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Discussion Starter #1
Was thinking what blades I could get to update the cut, I need a higher lift blade to get the grass out from under the deck faster. After looking at whats out there for Bolens, it was a pretty lame selection compared to modern blades.

Then it came to me, "how do you drill a hole in a drill bit"? (hardened steel blades), water jet it. There is a shop down the street that does water jetting so I am going to see if they can not only cut a blade to length, but drill the holes too.

Then I can pick out any modern blade and adapt it.

What is everyone else doing?
 

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I put a set of Gator Blades on my tube frame last season, simply made a spacer and bolted them fast using the main bolt and friction. Most of the new blades are installed this way haven't come lose yet :)

I do plan on machining a new spindle mount that is wider than the blade and has sides (channel) so the blade sits down in and then use the main bolt to hold'em in place. This is on the to-do list sometime soon.

But, the Gators are working "as-is" so well that I now mow in second gear instead of first and cut my mowing time way down good in one respect bad in another . . . less seat time.
 

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Any blade you want now!!!

Got them finished, first had to make a jig out of the old blade so that it would rest flat on the new blade to make measurements.


Then found a cap screw that the head was a match for the new blade center, and the shaft a match for the old blade center, (first one I picked out of the bin, what are the odds).




Thought I could drill through this, yea,,, good luck with that!! So I took them to the machine shop down the street and they Knocked them out for me.



Then brought them back with factory holes, then using the centering cap screw, I found the outside width.



Marked ends.



Squared them up.



Then cut them with the cut off grinder, touched up sharp edges.



Then did a balance test using the center screw in the vice to see if either side dipped, or the unit stayed neutral balance.



Mount on deck (rotate) check for any place they may hit or rub, (perfect)!!



Note how much higher the high lift blade is compared to a blade from the 1970's. I choose the high lift blade instead of the gater blade just because I wanted more material out from under the deck faster, was just a preference.



Now your Bolens can have any blade you so desire.
 

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Your mounting is different than a tube frame deck. The tube frame deck uses one bolt in the center and two round head rivets for "anti rotation".

So using these blades http://www.amazon.com/Oregon-96-714-Chopper-Mulcher-Replacement/dp/B0018TWGZY I simply made a spacer for the hole to fit my main spindle bolt and attached the blades.

I had no cutting of length nor did I drill the rivet holes. Good idea to keep an eye on the bolt torque to make sure the blades are not getting loose. Standard grass mowing and not hitting anything and they should be fine.

I'm quite happy with the clippings that come out. I think each model of Bolens is going to need a different method of mounting. I only deal with tube frames so am not familiar with how other models mount or blade length.
 
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