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Jackman
03-02-2004, 09:42 AM
What do you use to sharpen blades? I have been useing a regular 8 inch bench grinderit works well I get a nice cut but the edge always comes out a little wavey. I may buy an actual blade grinder from Landscape Supply about 300 dollars. What do you think are the bench grinders as good as the actual blade grinder? Any oppenions are appreciated. Thanks Jack

greengator
03-02-2004, 10:54 AM
I sharpen mine with a 4'' angle grinder, works well. Put the blade in a vise and sharpen away. Cheap $25. home depot

ludwiglawncare
03-02-2004, 10:58 AM
I do the same as green gator, then use a 10 inch mil. bast. file to clean them up and get them a little sharper.

http://www.rd.com/familyhandyman/articles/200004/sharpen/main.html

odin
03-02-2004, 12:01 PM
magnamatic dedicated blade grinder ...gets the perfect edge and angle...cut off edge on the work table is a guide thaty lets you get the perfect angle.

hboyd_com
03-02-2004, 01:23 PM
... Magnamatics are the best, but you can get good results with a bastard file or a hand or bench grinder if you have the patience and the time.

Get a good balancer, not that garbage that was shown in the familyhandyman link.

matthew horner
03-02-2004, 01:27 PM
OK, so what can you make or buy to balance a blade after sharpening? Anything from home depot or lowes that will do a good job?

DanTheGrassman
03-02-2004, 02:13 PM
did somebody say bastard file....lol? well you just watch it mister or I'll pul out my half bastard and round bastard files on you!

I always get a kick out of word bastard files. Does anybody know why they call files bastards? Was it the persons name that invented the file?
Or just a scruffy foul mouthed mechanic who came up with the term. Come to think of it they always say bastard when they pinch there fingers.


Dan.

mow2nd
03-02-2004, 02:17 PM
Lesco has a bench grinder, I bought about 4 years ago, never gave me any trouble. It also gives the proper angel. I think it was around $350-$400 when I bought it. Bench grinders are ok, but you probably not getting the right angel. which makes all the difference.

I would say look around and find a blade sharpener that fits your needs. good luck

sildoc
03-02-2004, 02:28 PM
does anyone use the blade grinder that is found in landscaper supply?
Or the one on Ebay? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2379873453&category=50370&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBWA%3AIT&rd=1

odin
03-02-2004, 03:04 PM
OK, so what can you make or buy to balance a blade after sharpening


magnamatic balancer ..gets a true balance

Scraper
03-02-2004, 03:05 PM
my set-up...works well

KathysLGC
03-02-2004, 04:03 PM
Thats a nice set up. I was thinking of making something like that. I figure if i have a brand new blade it will be at the right angle so all i would have to do is measure the angle and make a blade rest at the same angle. I could double check the angle with the new blade and every thing should be perfect.

Scraper
03-02-2004, 04:06 PM
Yes and if you notice the stand is on a slide so that as the stone wears you can realign the stand with the wheel.

fullburn
03-02-2004, 04:34 PM
4" hand grinder works great, even repair shops around me doing it with regular grinder, no magic behind them doors. send me the 3-5 hundred dollars if you have nothing better to spend it on.:cool:

mow2nd
03-02-2004, 04:50 PM
I'm I the only person with a Nail in the wall and uses that to balance my blades?

Scraper
03-02-2004, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by mow2nd
I'm I the only person with a Nail in the wall and uses that to balance my blades?

I'm not much further ahead with the cone with the nail under it. I see no reason to spend so much time and money worrying about something that's gonna be beat to heck after a few hours. If the blade doesn't tilt all the way down and touch the work bench....close enough for me. If I had an extra $500 to spend...I don't think it'd be on a dedicated blade sharpener, but then again...I don't have an extra $500 lying around at this point. LOL

mow2nd
03-02-2004, 05:13 PM
good thing to see I'm not the only one, with the old nail in the wall.

chuckwk
03-02-2004, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by fullburn
4" hand grinder works great, even repair shops around me doing it with regular grinder, no magic behind them doors. send me the 3-5 hundred dollars if you have nothing better to spend it on.:cool:

On the higher sider of $500 ... I think the Mag-9000 retails for $580 ... Nothing better to spend it on? Some would consider that the best $580 they could invest into their company.

Many LCO's don't have the time to do it the unproductive way. I can see from your profile and your most-recent posts you have lots to learn about this business ... Do yourself a favor and read up on past discussions about the magna-matic product....

Here are a few to browse through...
Magna-Matic Discussions..... (http://www.lawnsite.com/search.php?s=&action=showresults&searchid=324347&sortby=lastpost&sortorder=descending)

In years past... some of the most hard headed lawnsite members have tried to justify NOT buying a magna-matic and they have all given in to simple FACTS.. time = money , ... not to mention the quality a truly sharp and perfectly balanced blade helps the bottom line.

If you can't justify a $580 Magna-Matic because of $ issues,.. then that will give you something to save for.

mow2nd
03-02-2004, 05:20 PM
Chuck - who are you talking about?

chuckwk
03-02-2004, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by Scraper
I'm not much further ahead with the cone with the nail under it. I see no reason to spend so much time and money worrying about something that's gonna be beat to heck after a few hours. If the blade doesn't tilt all the way down and touch the work bench....close enough for me. If I had an extra $500 to spend...I don't think it'd be on a dedicated blade sharpener, but then again...I don't have an extra $500 lying around at this point. LOL

If you had a Magna-Matic dedicated sharpener you would have that extra $500 lying around. Imagine all the extra time you spend hacking on your blades with a grinder.

" I see no reason to spend so much time and money worrying about something that's gonna be beat to heck after a few hours."

If you had balanced blades they would not get beat to heck so bad under your deck. also... I think worrying about such a crucial part of your productivity and finished look is very important. IMO

:) :p

chuckwk
03-02-2004, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by mow2nd
Chuck - who are you talking about?

See my post .. I quoted "fullburn" :)

mow2nd
03-02-2004, 05:29 PM
oh I see, I can remember being 5 years old and my dad used to use a bench grinder. Of course there was no other way to sharpen blades. Then probably 10-15 years ago, they started coming out the grinders specially made for lawn mower blades. At that time they were around $500.

Soon after I left him, I went to Lesco and got a bench grinder, which gives the proper angle on the blades. I do see mechanics at lawn mower shops using bench grinders, and try telling them that they would be better off getting the proper grinder. I love mine even it's not the same brand, but it is specially made, not sure who made it, but got it from Lesco. I know they don't build there stuff.

As far as the balancer, I'll admit, I use a nail in the wall. Got that technique from my dad. He still does it too, never heard of this other balancer you stated. Maybe I'm somewhat old fashioned

chuckwk
03-02-2004, 05:31 PM
Here is a quote from "65hoss" about his magna-matic balancer...

"The magna blade balancer is a necessity in my opinion. I did it the old fashion way and though, oh well, i'm close.
When I got the magna I found out I wasn't even close to being close.

Sharp balanced blades will do a few things for you:
1. A balanced blade takes all the vibration away. Vibration is a power robber and future mechanical failure of anything.
2. It uses the full potential of the mower because its running smooth and getting all the horsepower of the motor where it counts most...in the grass.
3. It will make the job more productive. If not balanced you get 90% of the potential, what would giving you the other 10% do? I would bet that getting full potential from the mower would make it bag the grass better, cut better, and be just a little faster."

odin
03-02-2004, 05:52 PM
the life of me i cant figure out way ...people buy and 10 k ztr and then skimp on blade maintainence equipment....i use to use the nail in the wall trick and the cheap cone balancers ...thought the blades were balanced until i put them on a magna matic balancer....wasnt even close to being balanced .

The magnamatic i bough is worth every penny of the 540 i paid last year......unlike a bench grinder you allmost have to be retarted to burn a blade on the magnamatic.

wouldnt never be with out my magnamatic products they the best in the biz.

Ilike the best that's why my wife is sicilian... my blade maintainence equipment magnamatic

matthew horner
03-02-2004, 06:59 PM
hhhhmmmmmmmmm? Sicilian. They the best in the biz?

Mykster
03-02-2004, 07:08 PM
I just use the bench grinder. I would like to get a Manga Matic, but they're a little spendy. So the bench grinder will work for now like it has the past few yrs.

I've never balanced any of my blades, and have never had any problems in result of not balancing. I would however give it a try to see if there is a significant difference between the two.

What are the professional balancers going for? Are the results that much better than a homemade balancer? How do these homemade balancers work comared to the good ones?

Mykster
03-03-2004, 02:39 AM
Thought I'd bump this up so I can get info on the comparison of the homemade and pro balancers.

Jackman
03-03-2004, 06:50 AM
Scraper I like your set-up looks like a common sense solution with out spending the big dollars. Do you have any pics of blades you sharpened? I am trying to avoid that wavey edge that i always get, I also use a similar 8 inch grinder. I think Ill do the same and also look into the Magna matic blade balancer. Thanks Jack

matthew horner
03-03-2004, 08:26 AM
Home made balancer. 1/2 inch bolt, nail, string, all i've seen. Personally, this is the 1st year i'll be sharpening my own blades. I'll be using an angle grinder or bench grinder.
Matt

Tvov
03-03-2004, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by mow2nd
good thing to see I'm not the only one, with the old nail in the wall.

Nail here also. I know some long time LCOs who don't balance at all, and do very well.

A lot of owner's manuals (even for those $10,000 ZTRs) recommend simply using a nail.

Whatever works for you.

Scraper
03-03-2004, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by chuckwk
If you had a Magna-Matic dedicated sharpener you would have that extra $500 lying around. Imagine all the extra time you spend hacking on your blades with a grinder.

" I see no reason to spend so much time and money worrying about something that's gonna be beat to heck after a few hours."

If you had balanced blades they would not get beat to heck so bad under your deck. also... I think worrying about such a crucial part of your productivity and finished look is very important. IMO

:) :p

Plug your sponsors all you want...I have no blade burning issues nor balance issues that concern me. My productivity with my set-up can't be much slower than with a $500 dedicated grinder. Three passes on each side gives me a perfect edge. I don't understand how a blade that is unbalanced is gonna bang up under my deck...what I was referring to is just cutting is going to wear down a blade whether a person uses a dedicated blade sharpener or a bench grinder or an angle grinder for that fact. For the cost of a set of blades, they are a disposable item. Sure someday I may buy one, as a new toy is always welcome, but why shoot in the foot something that works just fine? IMO

:p

Scraper
03-03-2004, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by Jackman
Scraper I like your set-up looks like a common sense solution with out spending the big dollars. Do you have any pics of blades you sharpened? I am trying to avoid that wavey edge that i always get, I also use a similar 8 inch grinder. I think Ill do the same and also look into the Magna matic blade balancer. Thanks Jack

Not right now, but I'll try and take some when I get started if I remember.

odin
03-03-2004, 11:51 AM
just in case we cant understand english here or we have had a few hits on the bong....unbalanced blades= vibration...vibration=strain on every companent on the mower.
A nail in the wall and cone balancers aint gonna balance a blade ...they as useless as two boots full of piss in the sahara desert

DLCS
03-03-2004, 12:01 PM
Ok so your blades are balanced nicely. What happens after the first couple of passes mowing grass. They are out of balance again. Have you ever checked the balance of a blade before you sharpen it, its way out of balace. So,I don't understand why they need to be perfectly balanced?

burnandreturn
03-03-2004, 12:18 PM
I chucked up a grinding wheel in my lathe. Clamped the blade in the tool holder and used the manual feed to move the blade back and forth on the stone. Then feed it forward, back and forth, until the edge was sharp and straight. Flip the blade do the same and watch the read out to get the same depth.

Then I used my 4" angle grinder to sharpen a blade.

I put both these blades on the mower at the same time and mowed After literally two minutes of mowing I stoped and checked the blades. There was a big difference in how sharp they stayed. The blade sharpened on the lathe was still much sharper.

As I went on mowing the difference became obvious in the cut.

SO I concluded after this crude test that the more accurately the blade is sharpened the longer it will stay sharp.

I didn't balance the blades, but I FEEL(not sciendtific) the blade sharpened on the lathe was quite close to balanced where as the dimensions where all the same. I've read on here that brand new blades aren't balanced.

Scraper
03-03-2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by odin
just in case we cant understand english here or we have had a few hits on the bong....unbalanced blades= vibration...vibration=strain on every companent on the mower.
A nail in the wall and cone balancers aint gonna balance a blade ...they as useless as two boots full of piss in the sahara desert

Whatever Odin...bong hit or not (and with all your references to it I guess you partake)...a cone may be simplistic, but it sure will suffice. I paid how much for my mower? If it can't handle a blade being a hair off, then it can't handle cutting turf at 7 or so mph.

This is like beating a dead horse...or better yet, Ford vs. Chevy. To each their own. I have yet to have to replace a spindle or anything else for that matter because my blade wasn't magnetronomically balanced. And like DLCS stated...truly how long is it going to stay perfectly balanced in the field?

LawnMower
03-03-2004, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by burnandreturn
I've read on here that brand new blades aren't balanced.

Are you sure about that? I guess they wouldn't have to be if theres no dings on them. Thats what messes up the balance for the most part. That and taking to much off one side when grinding them.

Phishook
03-03-2004, 02:35 PM
http://ballard-inc.com/bladeassist.htm

This look like a good design.

Scraper
03-03-2004, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by LawnMower
Are you sure about that?

I have come home from my dealer with new OEM blades which when put on the cone tilted all the way to one side. Funny thing was, when I returned them the dealer looked at me and said...."You balance your blades?" All I could do is laugh and shake my head. Needless to say...I no longer do business at that Scag dealer anymore.

cush
03-03-2004, 07:20 PM
Most of us understand the importance of sharp balanced blades. No one wants to spend $600 on a sharpener but...............who wants to spend money for lawn maintenance. If you want quality results you must pay a quality price. Doesn't matter if you're talking products or services. All in all if you are in this biz full time $600 should be nothing, plus you can write it off so it's more like $400.

TreffertLawnWrx
03-03-2004, 07:36 PM
I use wooden blades that i widdle, they are really cheap to make! but I'm losing alot of shade in my yard. ;) :D:D:D

burnandreturn
03-03-2004, 10:36 PM
This is what I use. After the lathe experiment I needed something dedicated for sharpening. This is a radial arm saw with the head turned 90 degree's. I roll the head with the grinding wheel back and forth, this keeps the temp down.

The vice is/was one of the tilt jaw type. I modified it to allow me to clamp the blade and then turn the bottom T bolt to move the blade into the grinding wheel more. I now have a nut on the T bolt for depth gauge. When I turn the blade to sharpen the other end I know how deep I went on the first end. If I need to go deeper on the second end I reset the depth nut and go back to the first end and make it match. Almost balanced!

Dependable Lawncare
03-03-2004, 10:54 PM
I used a bench grinder then the next time I would just take it to the shop and let them sharpen and balance. No the cheapest method, but worked for me.

Tvov
03-03-2004, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Dependable Lawncare
I would just take it to the shop and let them sharpen and balance. .

Considering some of the previous posts, do they actually balance them?

Dependable Lawncare
03-03-2004, 11:11 PM
Well, I never notice any vibration, and surely those guys at the Exmark shop wouldn't lie....would they? ;)

myoder
03-04-2004, 12:19 AM
Just got my new blade grinder the other day, can't wait to start sharpening my own blades...

BSS
03-31-2004, 12:57 AM
Has anyone owned a RGB Grinder Model RGB121? Its about $250 cheaper than the Magna-Matic and looks to be about the same thing.

Acute Cut
03-31-2004, 10:25 AM
This is all fine and dandy for all of you dischargers and baggers. What about us strictly mulching guys? I have to use my Dewalt hand grinder because of the different angles. I use the cone balancer, but will look into the magnematics balancer next time i can afford to do so. So what do you use to sharpen the mulch blades?:confused:

Bill Boroskey
03-31-2004, 01:12 PM
I want a Magna-matic but I have to sell my almost new Lesco first.

Any one know if Magna-matic has any special right now? Like free shipping?