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Old 10-29-2011, 03:04 AM   #1
Sureshot
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Default Anyone ever sharpen tiller blades?

Doing the annual oil changes, swapping out for stabilized premium, blade sharpening, checkover on our multitude of yard and garden equiptment and got to wondering if anyone had sharpened the tines on a walk behind tiller?

We have a 50" for the JD CUT4010, a walk behind, and a mini tiller so for the most part everything stays mulched pretty good but my wifes ever evolving plans require her to expand into the lawn on occasion and it usually calls for the walk behind to fit.

Thoughts or experience?
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:16 PM   #2
Vonrow
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Default Re: Anyone ever sharpen tiller blades?

Yep, I sure do. I have 3 sets of tines for my frankentiller: sodbuster set, mulcher set, and a soil/cultivator set. I sharpen all 3 sets at the start of the year. It doesn't take much, and you don't need a knife-edge or lawn-mower edge on them. About as shapr as a plow-sheer is fine enough. It makes a big differenece on the machine's performance too
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Anyone ever sharpen tiller blades?

What is the difference between the three sets of blades?

I have some other sets here from junked machines etc before my time but just considered them from different manufacturer's and never thought of them as for different uses.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:13 PM   #4
micah68kj
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Default Re: Anyone ever sharpen tiller blades?

No way am I gonna sharpen something that wears down plenty fast enough without me taking off additional metal. Ever see tines when they're brand new? They aren't what you'd call sharp. Just a good, beveled edge. As a matter of fact, Troy Bilt's long-life tines have an additional bead of weld buildup on them so they certainly aren't sharp. JMHO.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Anyone ever sharpen tiller blades?

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah68kj View Post
No way am I gonna sharpen something that wears down plenty fast enough without me taking off additional metal. Ever see tines when they're brand new? They aren't what you'd call sharp. Just a good, beveled edge. As a matter of fact, Troy Bilt's long-life tines have an additional bead of weld buildup on them so they certainly aren't sharp. JMHO.
Joe
That is true enough. This tiller has the original blades after many years but would depend on your soil type and conditions.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:45 PM   #6
engine2quarters
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Default Re: Anyone ever sharpen tiller blades?

With all the rocks we grow up here, a fine beveled cutting edge would be history in seconds, once the blade hits the soil.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:40 PM   #7
Vonrow
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Default Re: Anyone ever sharpen tiller blades?

Yeah, a lot of the metals used to make tines these days are pretty soft and don't hold much if any kind of an edge. And to no fault or failiure on the manufacturers.... they use the softer stuff for a reason: it's a bit safer to let a tine get mangled, than the operator. There's also a drawback: lighter materials mean a lighter machine that likes to bounce out of the ground.

Safe or not, I got sick of machines that were to light & fluffy to get things done. So I built my own tiller from salvaged bits and parts from stuff I felt would suit my needs better. First glance one might think my rig is a factory unit...untill you look closer. I kyped things off other models that were handy, and eliminated other things that just got in the way. My tiller will not win an award for the safest thing on the planet any day soon. Not to say it's absolutely unsafe to use it however. At any rate, I pay very very careful attention to what I'm doing when I'm working with it, even more so with the custom tines I use.

My sod buster set looks a lot like the blades on an old JD rototiller. 6 bars about 4.5 iches from center to outer edge, with mild angles on them. Short, 3.5 inch wide semi flat buggers, not long and finger-like. Hardened steel, these things cut sod up fast. (6 bars, 3 on each side of the tiller) These are a pita to sharpen!

The mulch set is a trio of 5 inch long fingers (again from center to outer edge) 3 fingers per "wheel" if ya call em that. Semi hardened steel with a short angle on each finger. (again, 6 units with 3 on each side)

The cultivator set is a pair of long-finger tines each set 90 degrees from the other. 2 units per side. Each "finger" on these is about 8 inches long or so. These guys I made myself, and are super easy to put an edge on.

I've spent years picking rocks and roots out of my soils. I don't usually run the sod busters unless it's new or untouched ground for someone else.

I run some rather soft sheer pins. Seems to keep my tines in nice shape when they bite into something mean. I've also seen my machine stay in the ground and keep goin while my inlaw's rig bounces right out of the dirt if so much as a dandelion is in the soil. I attribute that more to the fact that I built my frankentiller rather heavy. The chassis without a motor weights more than 150 pounds.... and I've also got a 60# counter weight on the nose. I also have a second 40# I can put on the rear if needed. Wich is rare, but comes in handy when doin soddy/new ground. No reverse on the cuss... so once you start a path... it's gettin done! My machine is ugly no doubt... but it does just what I need it to do.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
Sureshot
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Default Re: Anyone ever sharpen tiller blades?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vonrow View Post
Yeah, a lot of the metals used to make tines these days are pretty soft and don't hold much if any kind of an edge. And to no fault or failiure on the manufacturers.... they use the softer stuff for a reason: it's a bit safer to let a tine get mangled, than the operator. There's also a drawback: lighter materials mean a lighter machine that likes to bounce out of the ground.

Safe or not, I got sick of machines that were to light & fluffy to get things done. So I built my own tiller from salvaged bits and parts from stuff I felt would suit my needs better. First glance one might think my rig is a factory unit...untill you look closer. I kyped things off other models that were handy, and eliminated other things that just got in the way. My tiller will not win an award for the safest thing on the planet any day soon. Not to say it's absolutely unsafe to use it however. At any rate, I pay very very careful attention to what I'm doing when I'm working with it, even more so with the custom tines I use.

My sod buster set looks a lot like the blades on an old JD rototiller. 6 bars about 4.5 iches from center to outer edge, with mild angles on them. Short, 3.5 inch wide semi flat buggers, not long and finger-like. Hardened steel, these things cut sod up fast. (6 bars, 3 on each side of the tiller) These are a pita to sharpen!

The mulch set is a trio of 5 inch long fingers (again from center to outer edge) 3 fingers per "wheel" if ya call em that. Semi hardened steel with a short angle on each finger. (again, 6 units with 3 on each side)

The cultivator set is a pair of long-finger tines each set 90 degrees from the other. 2 units per side. Each "finger" on these is about 8 inches long or so. These guys I made myself, and are super easy to put an edge on.

I've spent years picking rocks and roots out of my soils. I don't usually run the sod busters unless it's new or untouched ground for someone else.

I run some rather soft sheer pins. Seems to keep my tines in nice shape when they bite into something mean. I've also seen my machine stay in the ground and keep goin while my inlaw's rig bounces right out of the dirt if so much as a dandelion is in the soil. I attribute that more to the fact that I built my frankentiller rather heavy. The chassis without a motor weights more than 150 pounds.... and I've also got a 60# counter weight on the nose. I also have a second 40# I can put on the rear if needed. Wich is rare, but comes in handy when doin soddy/new ground. No reverse on the cuss... so once you start a path... it's gettin done! My machine is ugly no doubt... but it does just what I need it to do.
That thing sounds awesome but to much for the wife to run

This one is considered doing what it needs to do as long as she can run it and it does that without me hearing about it. I like to keep it serviced and easy starting so getting it in the shop in the fall and not seeing it for another year is awesome with me.
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