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View Full Version : Will grass that builds up on the blades unbalance it or stress the spindles?


soloscaperman
09-27-2010, 01:15 PM
Will it stress out the spindles? I'm just tired of scraping the blades every time I sharpen them.

MarcSmith
09-27-2010, 01:46 PM
never seen grass build up on the blades to be honest with you....

GrandMaster
09-27-2010, 01:58 PM
never seen grass build up on the blades to be honest with you....

The small amount that does will not hurt anything. On a light weight blade maybe it will throw it out of balance a little nothing to worry about. When I sharpen my blades I do wire bush them off before I balance them and put them but on.

Hoy landscaping
09-27-2010, 04:25 PM
the grass builds up on both sides of the blade so it doesn't unbalance it. but if you want some WD-40 and a wire brush to clean the blades off.

cgaengineer
09-27-2010, 04:30 PM
It is not a problem.
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puppypaws
09-27-2010, 06:58 PM
Will it stress out the spindles? I'm just tired of scraping the blades every time I sharpen them.

If you have grass building up on blades, I would try and find out why they are turning so slow... :confused:

JB1
09-27-2010, 07:00 PM
we polish the blade each time we sharpen them so this doesn't happen, they look nice too.

Clark Griswold
09-27-2010, 08:07 PM
I've never seen grass build up on a blade!

cgaengineer
09-27-2010, 08:08 PM
I have my blades dipped in chrome.
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93Chevy
09-27-2010, 08:16 PM
What do you mean, "sharpen blades?"

I get a new set from the dealer every week.

cgaengineer
09-27-2010, 08:18 PM
What do you mean, "sharpen blades?"

I get a new set from the dealer every week.

Only the best quality of cut for your customers right? Money is no object.
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flatlander42
09-27-2010, 10:15 PM
Yup, my mowers all have grass buildup on them too.....I just scrape them off once a year if they need it or not!

TLS
09-27-2010, 10:26 PM
I wire wheel the buildup off prior to sharpening/balancing as it won't ride flat on the sharpener bed with the buildup on them.

But no, it will do no harm as others have said it is equal on either side.

To those NOT getting buildup ...... What is your secret?
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Runner
09-27-2010, 11:17 PM
Every once in a while I will clean the blades of with the bench mounted wire wheel, but i always clean the bevel off completely before sharpening, so it doesn't gunk the grinding wheel up.

cgaengineer
09-27-2010, 11:18 PM
No buildup on my blades, just the deck...my secret is run the mower wide open.
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soloscaperman
09-28-2010, 02:45 AM
Every once in a while I will clean the blades of with the bench mounted wire wheel, but i always clean the bevel off completely before sharpening, so it doesn't gunk the grinding wheel up.

Same here I clean the bevel with a putty knife or a rough grit sanding sponge so the grinder doesn't get gunked up when sharpening them.

puppypaws
09-28-2010, 08:15 AM
I wire wheel the buildup off prior to sharpening/balancing as it won't ride flat on the sharpener bed with the buildup on them.

But no, it will do no harm as others have said it is equal on either side.

To those NOT getting buildup ...... What is your secret?
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I think I understand what he is talking about now, it is the little rim of grass outside the mounting washer, which would not throw the balance off because of being the same size around its rotation point.

I believe if this was never removed, you could wear a set of blades out and it would never affect their balance, this being due to the buildup turning so close to the blades center of gravity.

Cutting dry southern grass will not promote this as would moisture laden, limp blade, northern grasses, so what is seen there may be different than what we see in the south.

WH401
09-28-2010, 08:24 AM
I just clean the blades off every time I sharpen them and that reduces any chance of imbalance.

TLS
09-28-2010, 09:06 AM
I'd like to know how you guys prevent this from happening. Pictured is a set from probably August as I'm behind on sharpening.

And, maybe I'm lucky, but I scrape the blades with a scraper, wire wheel with the bench grinder, and sharpen with my Fireball 300C. I rarely remove the grass buildup from the cutting edge though. The grinder blows right through it and doesn't gum up the wheel that I can tell. :confused:

txgrassguy
09-28-2010, 09:30 AM
Grass clippings sticking to a blade is as a result of a blade being warmer than the turf, high moisture content in the yield and a somewhat porous surface on the blade.

Way back when I ran a couple of golf courses in N.E. PA I struggled with build-up issues on the two rough height rotary mowers and came up with a decent solution.
Clean the blade of all debris, paint the blade on both sides with a clear coat then liberally coated underneath the decks with WD-40 and allow the WD-40 to dry overnight.

Significantly reduced debris build up on the blades and underneath the deck, and significantly increased the operational life of the spindles and belts. One of the wide area mowers was an old Howard Price 18' bat wing mowers and I swear that thing coughed belts and bearings quicker than obamaman blowing through the national treasury. Once I implemented this process the failure rate on these machines disappeared.

I would clean the blade thoroughly, sharpen and balance then while the blade is still warm to the touch coat the blade in the aerosol sealer. If you have a quantity of blades to correct obtain a heat gun and warm the blades almost to the point of not being able to handle then seal them.

I wouldn't worry too much about accumulation of debris adjacent to the blade arbor, however accumulation like what you posted in your photos will unbalance the rotating assembly causing additional stress on the whole machine. The issue here isn't a one-time accumulation, it is continual stress which eventually causes bearing/spindle/belt failure.

JB1
09-28-2010, 11:26 AM
I haven't changed blades in quite a while, but they didn't look like that.

puppypaws
09-28-2010, 02:59 PM
I'd like to know how you guys prevent this from happening. Pictured is a set from probably August as I'm behind on sharpening.

And, maybe I'm lucky, but I scrape the blades with a scraper, wire wheel with the bench grinder, and sharpen with my Fireball 300C. I rarely remove the grass buildup from the cutting edge though. The grinder blows right through it and doesn't gum up the wheel that I can tell. :confused:

That is caused by a difference in conditions such as, I mention earlier. I see a little of the buildup just outside the flat washer (couple of inches), but nothing like your pictures. I am also running fusion medium lift blades (same as you), in normally dry, stiff blade grasses.

I could see this being more of a problem with high lift blades in moisture laden grass.

Bagit
09-28-2010, 04:10 PM
Could it be the blade your using? How its handling the clippings before discharge? Maybe try different blades to see how they do with the deck.

soloscaperman
09-28-2010, 05:41 PM
My blade looks like that too. It seems to happen with lawns that are heavy treated.

StihlBR600
09-28-2010, 06:29 PM
I have my blades dipped in gold

TLS
09-28-2010, 07:20 PM
Guys that have been on LS for a while know that I'm a blade freak an I take meticulous care of my equipment. If there is a 20.5" 5/8" hole blade made, I've bought it and tried it. I use the notched foil blade (shown in pics) for dry dusty conditions (it's also a Fusion blade), and then switch to the newer Hustler OEM Fusion solid foil high lifts for everything else. Coming in a few weeks I'll switch to Gator 3-in-1's for Fall leaf mulching.

Only time blades are ever clean is if I just finish mowing in a heavy dew, or after a rain (both of which I'd rather not do).
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StihlBR600
09-28-2010, 07:41 PM
I just bought some gator blades for my Toro and i used them in the rain today....they suck! They do work very well for mulching leaves though.