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Yellow Mower Challenge!

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Pity about that, Richard. Is there not a garden machinery business near you, who could grind it down?

Searching through them (Mower Services) so far has produced no positive results. They can only do Sharpening/Honing etc., no large quantity metal removal. Hate to think what they would charge judging by some prices just for a Hone!.

My nearest Engineering company saved me the job of enquiring by publishing their Machinery equipment/facilities online and included all their Capacities.

 

That's a shame Richard, is it possible to fit the blades in a lathe to lose an 1/8th?

 

 If only Ian. This Cylinder is 32inches in length, the 5 blades are 24 inches long. 16lbs (7.26kgs) in weight.

 

Would need a Lathe that could cope with that 'Between Centres' and provide adequate clearance over the Carriage/Cross Slide and to be able to mount a Grinder that will traverse and clear each end of the Blades.

Also the Lathe would need significant cleaning after due to the damage the grinder dust can cause, hence unlikely to find a company prepared to do it,.  

 

I worked out that there needs to be 1.88 cubic inches of metal removed in total !. 

No response from Garfitts yet. 

May just have to break it up for scrap and sell off the useable parts if I can't find an economic resolution.

 

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Can you move the bearing carriers up? Even cut n shut and a repaint would be better than the tragedy of scrapping what you have done Richard.

Btw what paint did you use? Looks like it might be a cub cadet colour match?

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No way should you scrap it.

My BRL would do it but slowly . I run it dry with dust extractor but I've still got the wet kit and could get a bit heavier. However a friend has a bigger Atterton Master which eats twelve inch diameter gang cylinders and wouldn't even break sweat taking an eighth off !

See what Garfitts have to say .

Nil illegitimo carborundum , 😱

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Make a frame to carry a couple of pillow block bearings,hang the cylinder from that and set up a bar to attach an angle grinder which can slide from side to side, with adjustment for cut, rotate the cylinder slowly and traverse the angle grinder. You could slide it by hand or use a length of threaded bar as a leadscrew. If you make  it to use more than once you could sharpen other cylinders and recoup costs. I'm sure I read an article somewhere of a similar type machine a farmer built to sharpen some bit of kit. Much more satisfaction when you do it yourself.

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Can you move the bearing carriers up? Even cut n shut and a repaint would be better than the tragedy of scrapping what you have done Richard.

Btw what paint did you use? Looks like it might be a cub cadet colour match?

Hi Mark, Got a long list of options on my Workshop board I'm going through. Ruled that out as the blades are currently 15thou away from the underside of the Deck Panel. 

That clearance is too minimal for my liking, even if I opted for one of Wrispin's suggestions of putting a spacer between the Bottom Blade Carrier to solve the other interference issue.

 

Paint colour is OLD JCB Yellow (not the later one). The colour was used by Ford and named Lemon Yellow.  JD Yellow was too pale. 

 

 

have you thought about water jet cutting richard  its very accurate and last time i had something done it wasn't too dear

Hello Nigel, I admit I did not even know they used the process on Mower Cylinders. something to look into as an option.

 

 

Richard, I know I'm a little way off from you, but I can enquire at the chaps who did my trans cases. They specialise in vintage stuff.

Always grateful for suggestions thanks Norm, irrespective of distance, but won't rule it out yet.

I really prefer to be able to deal with a Company or Service provider in person now and perhaps within a distance that my little 16year old Ford Fiesta is comfortable with.  

 

 

No way should you scrap it. My BRL would do it but slowly . I run it dry with dust extractor but I've still got the wet kit and could get a bit heavier. However a friend has a bigger Atterton Master which eats twelve inch diameter gang cylinders and wouldn't even break sweat taking an eighth off ! See what Garfitts have to say .  Nil illegitimo carborundum , 😱

 

Absolute last resort to break it up. This Cylinder, Blade and screws alone have set me back £260 so far. I found pics of your set up elsewhere...impressed!.

I may well be asking for a quote.

 

 

Make a frame to carry a couple of pillow block bearings,hang the cylinder from that and set up a bar to attach an angle grinder which can slide from side to side, with adjustment for cut, rotate the cylinder slowly and traverse the angle grinder. You could slide it by hand or use a length of threaded bar as a leadscrew. If you make  it to use more than once you could sharpen other cylinders and recoup costs. I'm sure I read an article somewhere of a similar type machine a farmer built to sharpen some bit of kit. Much more satisfaction when you do it yourself.

 

I would dearly like to be able resolve this challenge by sorting it myself. Good suggestion and I understand your thinking. I just don't have the space and materials to fabricate the likes, unless I (foolishly) attempt to extricate my Son's Gymnasium from the other Garage !. I doubt I would have a use for more Cylinder grinding of that size. This one has dampened my

enthusiasm for Cylinder Mowers :mellow: .

 

Well I have at least had my Email acknowledged and has been passed on ready for the return of Staff from Holidays on 8th June !. Watch this space.

Thanks for all the responses and suggestions....appreciated. 

 

I've refitted the Axles and Wheels so I can move it about easily and wheel it outside for when I attempt to start it up. Noticed the Spark is a little weak, so going over all the ignition and timing again before mixing up/filling with fuel. 

 

Regards        

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Spent some time on the 'No Cut' Mower to sort the final bits on the Motor etc. Now got a good bright Spark after a few healthy Pulls.
Did a final Tank Flush with neat petrol (shiny clean inside). I put a mesh filter on the Tap in the end, same as the others shown in post on page 4.
 
Hope there are no issues using Apsen4 fuel on these old engines?, but to compensate, I thought I'd treat it to some good ole' original spec Castrol XXL as listed in the Mower's User Manual.
 
post-94-0-17513400-1432923738_thumb.jpg
 
Maybe I should check the wind direction when I'm ready to start it up initially, as I suspect it will produce a nice white smoke screen briefly :) .  

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I spotted another one of these machines on my travels yesterday :D

So how many have you  seen on your Travels Chris?. Any pics or info on their age/condition?. Only a matter of time before a few creep out of the Hedgerows, a bit like busses! 

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Another Milestone this afternoon. Fired up the engine :hdance: . Burst into life on the 2nd pull and no smoke !  :) .

Had a small fuel leak at the Carb Banjo, found it was a faulty Fibre Washer.

Runs fine from Idle to mid Revs, which is all it will do for a Litre of fuel burn until the Rings bed in.

Started up 4  times, all on 1st pull and have now got enough heat into it to cure the VHT Paint.

Must admit the use of the Aspen Fuel has a very pleasant smell, both neat and when burn.

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So how many have you  seen on your Travels Chris?. Any pics or info on their age/condition?. Only a matter of time before a few creep out of the Hedgerows, a bit like busses! 

 

I may pick up this other one for you Richard :D

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I may pick up this other one for you Richard :D

Don't go out of your way Chris, I may well be sorted for a 'Fall Back' now, thanks to Alan :thumbs: .

 

 

They drive like that up here as well. :rolleyes:

Norm, Your not telling me you've got Busses up there as well as Hedges !. :yankchain:

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Courtesy of Alan on here for noticing a derelict version of this Mower project at his friend's and probably the same one Chris had seen?,

I now have a source of a few salvageable spare parts from this-

 

post-94-0-39792200-1433859986.jpg

 

After fully reducing the machine to a pile of Rusty bits, I found some parts that were preserved in copious amounts of grease and unexposed are in better shape than on my Mower ! :).

This Mower is a couple of years younger (1960ish) than mine and a few noticeable design changes, but I can still deduce things like- which holes in the Deck Panel on mine for example, should not be there and were done by the previous owner with the modifications made to it. 

 

One good point on this Donor Mower is that the Wheel/Tyres show the original Tread Pattern, which also means they are greater in diameter !-

 

post-94-0-06429400-1433860036_thumb.jpg

 

Like most things in this game, there is always the 'Trade Off' and these have more cuts and marks in them with the raised lettering worn off on the outside, but a lot of that can be invisibly repaired. The Ratchet Free Wheel Nuts, the Pinions and fixings are all useable.

 

As for the Cylinder (Reel), well it is just possible it could be used, but it is different.

This is where I believe that ATCO possibly acknowledged there was a design fault in the original (mine) where the Blades/knives kept breaking and they redesigned it and this is the revised version.

The Blades/Knives are still the same robust thickness of 5/32" (4mm), but they have added an extra Web (to 6) on the Spindle to reduce the distance between the Webs improving its strength overall-

 

post-94-0-79137800-1433862882_thumb.jpg

 

Still playing the waiting game for a response on the situ with the original one :(  

 

 

 

    

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Good you have another Richard & yes that was the one I had seen at Alans friend John place. ......Something else I dont have to put in the skip for thim :)

That's good Chris!. Although I did leave some of it there :hide: . I'll probably arrange another visit soon anyway. 

 

On the subject of scrapping and salvage, I've now accumulated several bits of Villiers Mk2 (Midget) engines from Donor Machines with some good bits from each. 

The Sidewheel ATCO mentioned most recently had a seized solid engine and very corroded :( (on right in Pic), but after pulling the Cylinder, I found a 0.030" oversize Piston. 

Yep, it has had a re-bore in the past and although the Cylinder was Shot with heavy rust, the Cast Iron Piston cleaned up good, if a little scored.

  

The Bottom end of the Donor 14" ATCO Mower's engine is in very good condition despite being original and 61 years old !(left in pic). 

Several noticeable differences in Crankcase design between the two-

 

post-94-0-91027500-1433959967_thumb.jpg

 

I have one fairly decent spare Cylinder, so my plan is to find someone to re-bore it +0-030".

I should then be able to build a very good Engine without too much expense for a future project and will retain all the correct serial/date marks for 1954.

......Just have to suss out what the output end Clutch Housing is sitting on , taper or threaded ?. No Keyway visible :dunno:.

 

Will have to make a decision soon about refurbishing the Original 'Grass Catcher' that was an optional extra,.... yep even got that as well!.

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Reference to my previous on the Villiers Engine, the Clutch housing came off ok. It was on a Taper.

Packed all the bits away for that, as it will cost time and money that needs to be spent on this Mower and other things. 

 

The Cylinder from John/Alan's Donor Mower was taken to the Media Blasters today in the hope it will clean up enough and get someone local to see if it can be sharpened up.

If so , at least I can get the Mower working. No luck or response on the other one still.

 

The Grass Catcher is a dilemma for me, as it needs some attention. The current condition is useable, but I suspect it would be better to bring it up to a standard like the Mower. May look a bit odd otherwise. 

 

The receipt for it when purchased new-

 

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post-94-0-42175700-1434480711_thumb.jpg

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I can obtain new Jade coloured Rot proof Canvas and replace the rusted steel rod frame ends , while keeping the galvanised base plate as it is very good. 

Would bring it back to looking newish ?.... I shall see how it goes.

  

 

     

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Be good if you could get it done up, Richard.

Yeah, I reckon Norm. Trying to get a seller to only supply a metre of the Canvas, rather than a 5metre roll at the moment, I think I'm winning.

 

Have been sorting out the back-up cylinder (reel) . It's been liberated from all the rust by Blasting and had a good coat of self Etch Primer, then baked on. 

I opted for checking out a long established Garden Machinery place in Lingfield to give it a Grind and Hone, handy as it was also on the way back from the Media Blasters.

(they can't do the other one as there is too much metal to remove).

Got it back this morning and cleaned off the greasy finger marks etc. Also masked off the ground blade faces ready for painting (lot of pitting to lose)-

 

post-94-0-77250400-1435595220_thumb.jpg

 

Made a start on the Hub Cap/wheel retainers, these were well gone with the rust lifting the Chrome off. This example is the better of the two -

 

post-94-0-92132200-1435595270_thumb.jpg

 

I couldn't put them in the E-bucket as they were Chromed, so had to sort them by hand. Took a while what with the old joints "Really giving me Gyp" nowadays. 

Pitting wasn't so bad once they were cleaned, then decided to just paint them. Re- Chroming is not a consideration my wallet will respond to.

So they look reasonable -

 

post-94-0-45057100-1435595233_thumb.jpg

 

Thought I was going to be lucky on at least one part of this project, but I need to replace the Piston with an Aluminium one due to some vibration occurring at half Revs.

The Cranks must have been 'Matched' to either Cast Iron or Ali Pistons?. No references anywhere that I could find.

There is about 120grammes difference between the types, so it's got to be that. 

Should have gone and replaced 'Like-for-Like' in the first place. Something else I've learned about these little Villiers.

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