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post #31 of 64 Old 06-18-2019, 10:28 AM
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Re: sharpening blades

I have some deer that sneak in my yard after dark to eat the grass clippings my tractor leaves behind--this year its been so wet the grass grows fast and tall,and I've had to mow on the only "dry" day it doesn't rain,so there has been quite a bit of clippings left on the lawn..
I mowed yesterday and so far I guess the deer aren't hungry--all the clippings are still there..but there is a lot of black birds and robins on the lawn looking for bugs & worms..had some showers earlier and more rain is expected here again today,tonight,maybe Wednesday & Thursday too,then a "bigger" storm Friday..

The brand new blades I put on my J-D last summer are probably beat by now,they have only been used maybe a half dozen mowings,but there has been so many sticks falling off trees it sounds like I'm using a wood chipper instead of a mower..last summer was dusty too,that takes the edge off blades quick..


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post #32 of 64 Old 06-18-2019, 04:34 PM
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Re: sharpening blades

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Originally Posted by Kbeitz View Post
Bagging another bad idea.... The grass eat the good stuff out of the ground and people haul it away... Not smart.... I don't bag ever...
I don't ever bag mine........too much work......especially with 12 acres. I always remove my deck deflectors so as to spread out the clippings as far & wide as they'll go. Rather than pile up 4 inches worth right at the mower!

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)
In use:
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!
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post #33 of 64 Old 06-18-2019, 06:40 PM
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Re: sharpening blades

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Originally Posted by mowergene View Post
I don't ever bag mine........too much work......especially with 12 acres. I always remove my deck deflectors so as to spread out the clippings as far & wide as they'll go. Rather than pile up 4 inches worth right at the mower!
This is a great strategy for mowing high grass w/o expelling wads of grass and having chute clogs. I always try to keep the wind blowing the grass away from me for this.

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post #34 of 64 Old 06-18-2019, 10:40 PM
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Re: sharpening blades

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Originally Posted by mowergene View Post
I don't ever bag mine........too much work......especially with 12 acres. I always remove my deck deflectors so as to spread out the clippings as far & wide as they'll go. Rather than pile up 4 inches worth right at the mower!
I usually drill a small hole in the deflector, and attach a thin nylon rope to it so the deflector is pulled up about halfway between its normal closed position and position when pulled all the way up. Whenever I tried it fully open I get hit in the eye 50 times a mowing session, even while wearing my glasses, lol
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post #35 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 08:08 AM
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I like to keep my grass shoot deflector nice and shiny by leaving hang on the barn wall. 😃

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post #36 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 08:20 AM
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I like to keep my grass shoot deflector nice and shiny by leaving hang on the barn wall. 😃
I have so many trees and rocks I rarely flip mine up. Hit a rock going around a tree with the chute up and the wife might find me lying on the ground with a hole in my head.

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post #37 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 09:51 AM
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Re: sharpening blades

One time, while going around a tree, I picked up a tiny piece of pea gravel and lodged it perfectly in my right nostril! ****, that hurt!

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)
In use:
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!
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post #38 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowergene View Post
One time, while going around a tree, I picked up a tiny piece of pea gravel and lodged it perfectly in my right nostril! ****, that hurt!
A one in a million shot, did you go out and buy a lotto ticket?

I almost always have the grass deflector hinged up and held up out of the way by a bungee, but I usually approach trees, curbs foundations and such obstacles from the opposite side of the discharge. Besides the “blow back at you” issue, due to the shape of the mower I can get in tighter to the obstacle.
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post #39 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 11:54 AM
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Re: sharpening blades

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A one in a million shot, did you go out and buy a lotto ticket?

I almost always have the grass deflector hinged up and held up out of the way by a bungee, but I usually approach trees, curbs foundations and such obstacles from the opposite side of the discharge. Besides the “blow back at you” issue, due to the shape of the mower I can get in tighter to the obstacle.
Closer using the left side BECAUSE your chute is attached.

By removing the chute altogether, you can throw the clipping far and wide.

Now, near obstacles, I turn my head FULL LEFT! Sometimes I even cover my face with my arm.

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)
In use:
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!

Last edited by mowergene; 06-19-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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post #40 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowergene View Post
Closer using the left side BECAUSE your chute is attached.

By removing the chute altogether, you can throw the clipping far and wide.

Now, near obstacles, I turn my head FULL LEFT! Sometimes I even cover my face with my arm.
All depends on the mower deck design, I guess your setup may be different. On the particular machine I use most often for grass cutting, the right side is tucked in slightly tighter and I can do a closer radius to a tree etc than the discharge size not because of the chute, that articulates up and right out of the way and does not impede neither the turning radius or the distance and spread of the clippings. Removing it will gain nothing, the steel stamping of the deck simply simply sticks out further on the discharge side.
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post #41 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 05:18 PM
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Re: sharpening blades

deflector? What is that you speak of?

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post #42 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 05:44 PM
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Re: sharpening blades

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Originally Posted by mopar65pa View Post
deflector? What is that you speak of?
I'd describe one for you, but I've forgotten what mine looked like!

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)
In use:
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!
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post #43 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
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deflector? What is that you speak of?
It’s the shinny red or yellow thing usually found on a bicycle after the coloured lenses falls out rendering it defective!😁
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post #44 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 09:30 PM
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Re: sharpening blades

As far as sharpening mower blades goes I use a belt grinder. Not a handheld floor or board sanding job but one with a belt that is 30" or longer. My current belt grinder has a 42"x2" belt. Belt grinders sharpen faster than anything else I've seen sold for mower blade sharpening. I use 60 grit belts and they last. The belts never get hot and the blades never get hot. Burr King has some videos online to get an idea of what I'm talking about, then on to craigslist, ebay and other sites looking for a 30" or longer belt grinder for sale. I gave $75 for my current unit which is an old Dayton and 3/4 HP, but had to disassemble almost all of it to clean it up then lubricate everything after I brought it home. I wound up having to replace the motor starter ($10 on ebay) because the old one was getting hot and kept resetting after a couple minutes of run time. Then I took the motor completely apart to make sure it was clean of debris (metallic dust as well as other dust tends to get drawn into electric motors, you know... magnetic attraction) and I lubed up the motor, the bearings and installed filters (cut up from an improper sized duct filter I had laying around) on the exposed ends to prevent any more dust and debris from entering the motor. After all that, most of it being enjoyable labor of love for my new toy, I've not had a lick of trouble with it.

Initially I eyeballed the angle on my blades (I use Gator G6 mulching blades on my 60" Toro zero turn) then made an adjustable fixture to hold my blades at the proper angle and all it typically takes is 3 to 4 passes per half of the blade. It really is that fast. I sharpen my blades to what is considered fairly sharp for most cutting tools. The Gator G6 Blades are super tempered so they tend to really hold a sharp edge, and I pick up the yards before mowing so I typically don't hit anything. I also sharpen blades for a few of my friends and neighbors. The first time they see just how fast and easy it is, they typically can't believe that I'm through sharpening their blades and that the blades are sharp. I need to add that I have refused to sharpen some blades because I've found cracks in them when cleaning them before considering sharpening. I couldn't live with myself if a chunk of blade came off and struck someone because I went ahead and sharpened someone's blades that were bad.

While my Gator G6 blades are extremely hard and do a fantastic job of holding a sharp edge, some of the blades I've sharpened are much softer and they can get some pretty fair dings in them. In those cases it may take an extra 4 to 5 passes of the belt grinder to remove a decent sized ding. Then I use an inexpensive simple Oregon wall mounted blade balancer to make sure the blades are balanced.

As far as flap disks on an angle grinder go, they are typically pretty good but the lack of surface area can tend to cause more heat transfer to the blade, so keep an eye on the blade to make sure it doesn't get hot. If you can see it start to turn red you're getting it too hot and that will remove the temper from a blade real fast. The softer steel requires more and more sharpening, so heat is the enemy of blade sharpening.

As far as a belt grinder goes, if you're a homeowner, someone who isn't in the lawn care business, I would not suggest you run out and spend the very high prices Burr King, Jet and other industrial belt grinders are demanding for their product. If you can find one like I did, cheap and fairly local and if you're fairly handy so you can work to clean it up, adjust it and maybe replace a few parts, it's worth it. Otherwise you likely have more money than sense if you run out and buy a new 42"x2", 60"x2" or 72"x2" belt grinder just to sharpen your mower blades once every 3 to 4 months and in that case a flap disk and hand grinder will work just fine. Just FWIW, the elcheapo Harbor Freight 42"x1" belt grinders may be ok for sharpening and polishing knives but I absolutely would NOT buy one for sharpening mower blades. The light duty motors those things have simply will not tolerate the load needed to sharpen mower blades and you will likely soon own a $$ paper weight if you try using one for this purpose.

Anyway, I hope my comments help.
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post #45 of 64 Old 06-19-2019, 10:43 PM
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Re: sharpening blades

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On this forum a while back, we were discussing sharpening, and one fellow insists on doing his with a file........good grief!
Hey, I resemble that remark!

I know if you put heat in it you lose the temper, for those that claim they are not building up heat, touch it on your arm after you take it off the wheel, belt, disc, etc. I bet it doesn't take long to move it!

For those of you that have a heat treat furnace, disregard the above comment!

I worked at a striking tool manufacturer long before I got paid to use those striking tools, I've spent many hours grinding, polishing, coloring hammer heads, picks, axes, pry bars.

Heat softens the metal which in turn takes the temper out of it.

One example, I worked as a maintenance carpenter at a major window manufacturer that constantly put tape on the floor to designate where different items needed to be placed, make improvements on location and remove the tape to be put down somewhere else. They would use 4 and 6 inch floor scrapers to remove the tape, the employees would bring the scrapers to tool and die and myself in the carpenter shop. Tool and die would use a right angle die grinder to sharpen them, spinning at 8, 10 or 12 thousand rpm, they would blue the edge every time, edge wouldn't last long until the workers were expending more effort to scrape up the tape. I used a file to put an edge on the scraper, it would hold the edge longer resulting in less effort. I wasn't long that I was getting all the sharpening jobs.

It's six one way and half a dozen the other, put heat in it and sharpen them more often, take the extra effort to file and balance them.

I'm positive that the factory uses coolant when they put the initial grind on them.

I'm sure a Bradley or something similar will be on my bench one day but with a good file and the blade in a vise, I'm still capable of getting the job done.

Oh yeah Gene, I'm really feeling for you getting the stone to the nose!!

Different strokes for different folks.

Enjoying the read.

Take care,
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