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'Simple' MTF Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I was able to grab something for my Simplicity collection that has eluded me for a long, long time. I've found various reels for usually high prices, but nothing vintage that I was interested in, and certainly not Simplicity. I found this 3-gang set at my local auction, on my way home from work this week. :fing32:

Best I can tell, it is Simplicity, or at th every least, the same model from the manufacturer, and in the right original paint. They match Simplicity #990273 perfectly!

Here's some ad photos for reference...






Well, got them home, and for the most part, they are gems!


First off, they are MUCH heavier and larger than I expected...of course, I didn't really know what to expect. At first I kept talking myself out of what I guessed they weighed when I unloaded, then I looked up the ship weight on the SImplicity price list...yeah, they're heavy alright. The set weighs in at 297#. Each reel is nearly 100#, and they feel it.






The tires show the expected weathering, but the original wood rollers look real good, as does the finish. Fatigued, but that's in better shape than my sicklebar.



They actually were cutting pretty efficiently while I was moving them around by hand, and I did tow one behind the Wonderboy for kicks...they cut! The clippings just fly!



I want to correct the hitch point to the tractor...a chain won't do. Also, one of the wheels was cracked inside the hub pretty severly. I finished her off, and it looks like a simple weld (and it will hide nicely inside the hub)

I'm thrilled with this pick up, and it will make a great addition to my show set up. I'm hoping to give them a try on the grass while it's still in need of a trim, but assume I have a sharpening job ahead of me if I ever want to use them (not real practical)
 

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Nice grab. They look to be in fantastic shape. Good to know their in good hands now.
 

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'Simple' MTF Member
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Discussion Starter #3
The bar for the two trailing mowers to hitch to has obviously been replaced, and I'm thinking I need them spaced a bit farther apart. I'd like a few more inches to keep them from getting hung up on each other. I'm real excited about this grab!

New in '64, they were $272, which was more than double the price of the 42" rotary mower deck. Now days, reels are well over a grand, with used ones over $500. I didn't realize how much steel are in these babies! I'll have to look into sharpening, etc, and hope to have the welding done this week on the one wheel.
 

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Sweet find and they look right at home behind your tractor.
 

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The bar for the two trailing mowers to hitch to has obviously been replaced, and I'm thinking I need them spaced a bit farther apart. I'd like a few more inches to keep them from getting hung up on each other.
Judging from the pics you posted, not much farther apart. The pic with the gentleman doing the slope looks as if the two rear reel wheels are practically touching.
 

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They looked like they were hardly used.The bed knives can be sharpened pretty easy by any sharpening center.my cousin runs a golf course and they have their own machine to do them.They do make a good job.
 

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'Simple' MTF Member
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Discussion Starter #8
Judging from the pics you posted, not much farther apart. The pic with the gentleman doing the slope looks as if the two rear reel wheels are practically touching.
Yeah, I'm thinking about 2" more would have me in good shape. Right now I don't think i can fit my fist between them, and it wouldn't take much uneven ground to get them bumpin and rubbin. Not sure if turning would get them into each other also.


From what I've read, the benefits to using a reel mower is the quality of the cut, which is easier on the grass than a rotary mower, the added ability to move with the contour of the ground and avoid scalping, and obviously, the large swath and fast coverage for larger mow jobs.

The drawbacks are that they are not easy to store, not as manuverable (if you have things to mow around, not a good plan), cannot be mowed over debris like sticks etc, expensive, lose cutting ability in tall grass (mow more often) and require a high amount of maintanence (sharpening).

For me, they are a novelty, and for $65, a guy can't go wrong :trink39: I think they'd look nice at a show behind the RER Wonderboy 575 or the Wonderboy 700, pictured above.
 

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Loving Life :-)
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Wow, that's a great find. And they sure are stout when you have to move them around for sure. I only wish I had a gang reel setup like that- there was a fellow here in WI that was selling a 5 gang setup like the one in the ad above, he was asking about $1,000 for 'em, and he wasn't moving... It was just too much.

Those of yours sure will look even better one they are spruced up, and getting towed behind your nice tractors. :fing32: Good luck on the weld, and thanks for sharing them.
 

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Those look great! Had you been looking at the auction before hand or just happened to pass by and ta da!?

Either way, congrats!

~Ed
 

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'Simple' MTF Member
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Discussion Starter #11
Well, it's a local auction that allows online bids every Thursday from 8a to 8p. I watch items in the Farm & Garden category every week, and happened by on Wednesday to peek at some items, when I saw the reels. I assumed they were on the block for the following week, but when I peeked online, they were up the next day. =]

They were listed under the category with hand tools, non-powered tools, etc. I never would have seen them online. The auction has between 2000-3500 items weekly.
 

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MTF Junior Poster Esq.
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Those are really neat. I'll be keeping my eyes out for some now, but never have seen any yet.
I was always told never to sharpen reel mowers unless they don't cut well after trying adjusting them. Easy to ruin them if done wrong I guess.
 

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Good find , when I was young thats the only kind of mower there was , push mowers and power mowers were reel mowers I always thought they did a better job .
 

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Good find , when I was young thats the only kind of mower there was , push mowers and power mowers were reel mowers I always thought they did a better job .
Yep, there's a reason golf courses are cut with them.


Just sayin' .:fing32:

Again Talntedmrgreen, nice gang setup. :thanku:
 

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RE: #6
Reel mowers have the advantage of quietness, safety from not throwing objects, and they can be adjusted very close.
Disadvantages are, they don't do sticks, they don't do tall grass.

That's why golf courses use them 2 or 3 times a week.
 

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'Simple' MTF Member
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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys! I'm awfully excited by the find, and likewise with the opportunity to cut with them. If it's not too much of a hassle, I think it would add some fun to cutting the lawn, and It would help me convince me to mow more frequently, before the grass is 5" long! =] My soil is terrible and my lawn is weedy, sandy and dry, so this will give some incentive to work on my lawn care a bit...spruce things up a bit.

I can't wait to hook them up at a couple shows, but they are going to take a up a chunk of space in/on my truck and trailer!
 

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Have you don't anything more with your set of mowers yet. I ask becasue I am most likely going to pick up a set this weekend and one mower will need the rubber part of the wheel replaced.
 

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'Simple' MTF Member
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Discussion Starter #20
Nope...I still need to have someone weld the cast wheel on one of mine. It's disassembled, but sitting in storage now. We sold the house, so things are progressing slowly, if at all.

That set there looks very nice. When you see them in person, look for the 'Turfmaster' text cast into the circular design near the rear of each mower. I've seen several sets, most of which in Bolens green, that had this, and am told the orange sets without the manufacturer info on them were Simplicity spec, as they didn't want the Turfmaster name on there. Turfmaster made these for various retailers.
 
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