Re: sharpening blades
Would you recommend the Bradley? I've been using a vice and angle grinder, but have no idea if I'm keeping the proper angle, not overheating the steel, etc.
It seems like the Bradley would pay for itself pretty quickly, if I compared it to paying for sharpening 3 blades a couple times a year.
I'd recommend the Bradley. They're not cheap, though. The motor they employ is really heavy duty and reversible. You can smoke your blades easily if not careful. Best to make a couple of runs on the blade and switch ends or grab a different blade so as not to overheat it. The temper can, indeed, be taken out of the blade if you press too hard. I do keep sharp blades and always have an an extra set or four! Best to practice on a junk blade when you first start out or you'll be disappointed in your work. Experiment with speed, pressure and angle. Mulching blades are a pain. I use ONLY high lift for the best cut. If you can't lift it, you can't cut it!
On this forum a while back, we were discussing sharpening, and one fellow insists on doing his with a file........good grief! The blades on my 445 are so very thick and I don't want to spend three months trying to get an edge on them!! When I purchase new blades, I always check their balance and sometimes they're off. Rather than continue to sharpen in order to get in balance, I'll grind at the end of the blade, since being at the end, it will take less off to make a difference.
But, I do like the hollow ground edge that the Bradley gives me and I know that motor will last forever. I'm not had to change the wheel and I had mine for some years.
In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year
Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!