lawnmower blades

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  #1  
Old 09-20-02, 04:24 AM
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lawnmower blades

Hi Tom.

My lawnmower blades appear to be getting dull, as the grass is cutting unevenly. I'd like to sharpen the blades myself rather than find a mower repair shop. Any suggestions?
 
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  #2  
Old 09-20-02, 05:03 AM
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I assume this is a single blade power mower. I typically sharpen the blade with a file, sometimes while still attached to the mower, sometimes in a vice. I'm a cheap bugger. If I were smart, I'd buy a new blade at the hardware store. A typical 20 or 21" blade costs under $10.
 
  #3  
Old 09-20-02, 10:57 AM
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WoodWkrWannabe,

RichD' idea is pretty good. But if you want to sharpen them, file or wheel, just make sure the blade remains balanced. Just put the blade on a nail in the wall - neither blade end should drop down(out of balance).

fred
 
  #4  
Old 09-20-02, 05:18 PM
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To sharpen mower blades, the do-it-yourself person can use either a belt sander or a ginding wheel. The grinding wheel should be a medium coarse wheel. Belt sander belts should be 80 to 100 grit.

It's a simple process. Just follow the existing angle. It takes several passes to acquire the final results and not blue the blade from overheating. If there is bluing on the final sharpening pass, a wire wheel can be used to remove light bluing.

Take off small amounts of metal with each pass. Do each side equally and sharpen some on each cutting edge. In other words, do not sharpen one side fully before doing the other side. Alternate sides throughout the entire sharpening process.

Continue until the blade is sharpened on both cutting edges and all nicks are removed. A can, pot or pan of cool water nearby to dip the blade into helps to cool the metal and water also provides a cleaning and lubricant.

When the sharpening process is completed, it is necessary to balance the blade. The entire process to balance the blade and the various methods are located within the archives of this forum topic & also in the hints, tips & tricks forum topics.

Simply go back several months in either forum to locate that topic discussion pertaining to blade balancing.

The suggested method of a nail in the wall is also practical.

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  #5  
Old 09-20-02, 05:59 PM
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WoodWkrWannabe,

We may have missed an important note in your first sentence.
If your mower is cutting uneven it may just need a height adjustment on one side or the other. On a level surface(garage floor) measure floor to blade height on each blade.
Usually, dull blades are detected when thick grass is not cut thoroughly or weed stalks remain standing.
fred
 
  #6  
Old 09-22-02, 05:27 PM
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blade height

Hi Fred

Thanks for the reply. I thought, at first, that the blades might be at inconsistent heights, too. But I've re-checked the settings and everything appears even.

I'm assuming the blades are getting dull because the grass looks like it was "ripped" as opposed to being cut. I do have a self-propelled mower - would that have anything to do with the cut of the grass? (I wouldn't think so, but I'm pretty new at this homeownership stuff)

thanks again for your help.
 
  #7  
Old 09-22-02, 05:57 PM
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Question Clarification Requested

Hello: WoodWkrWannabe

Seems to be some confusion here with the terminology. A single blade has two cutting edges. These are considered to be a single blade as verus two individual & separate blades. For all purposes of discussions, all walk behind mowers have one blade, not two.

Riding mowers have two blades. Each is a separate & individual blade. These types of mowers can cut unevenly if the blades are not adjusted correctly and or the housing deck is not level.

The forums assumption here is you have a single blade walk behind rotary mower. Brand and model unknown. If the grass is actually being ripped and not cut evenly, then the blade is dull and sharpening will resolve the problem.

Riding mowers {having mutiple blades} can also rip the tops of the grass stems. Same dull blade situation applies. Sharpening & balancing the cutting blades resolves the problem.

Regards & Good Luck,
Tom_B
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  #8  
Old 09-23-02, 08:54 AM
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clarification

No surprise that my questions generate more questions - I live in an eternal state of confusion when it comes to DIY projects. I just happen to be frugal (cheap) and love learning new things, so these forums are invaluable to me.

Yes, a single blade power mower is evidently what I have.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions - I'll try to accomplish this without cutting off any necessary appendages....
 
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