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Old 07-25-2013, 11:24 AM
Tmosely1 Tmosely1 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Tulsa, OK
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Adjusting the Reel to Bedknife on old California Trimmer Reel

I have located an older California Trimmer Homeowner reel mower and would like to do a restoration to use it on my Tiff bermuda. I was wondering if anyone could direct me to an article or forum on adjusting the reel to bedknife clearance. I have found plenty of information on the newer style units and other manufacturers that use an adjuster. This reel and bedknife appear to be fixed in relative postition with the reel being in a fixed bearing.
Thanks in advance...
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2013, 11:27 AM
macgyver_GA macgyver_GA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmosely1 View Post
I have located an older California Trimmer Homeowner reel mower and would like to do a restoration to use it on my Tiff bermuda. I was wondering if anyone could direct me to an article or forum on adjusting the reel to bedknife clearance. I have found plenty of information on the newer style units and other manufacturers that use an adjuster. This reel and bedknife appear to be fixed in relative postition with the reel being in a fixed bearing.
Thanks in advance...
Have you looked at youtube?

I've seen quite a few videos on there for adjusting tru-cuts...not sure about trimmers but it's worth a shot.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:38 AM
Tmosely1 Tmosely1 is offline
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Yeah Mac... I've tried to Google it for days and find lots of posts with guys talking about doing the same type of restorations but can't find anyone really giving detail. I assume that a few of the guys who have done it have posted around and I'm hoping to get someone to explain it to me.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:13 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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Hard to explain, but I will try. There are three bolts that fasten the reel bearing carrier to the side plate on each side of the mower. You loosen those a bit. Then you use a wooden dowel as a punch on the bearing carrier to punch the carrier downward to tighten, back and up to loosen. Look at this for an illustrated guide. http://caltrimmer.com/wp-content/upl...nual-Small.pdf
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:17 PM
Tmosely1 Tmosely1 is offline
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Green.... Thank you and that's exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:50 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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Sorry, that procedure I described was for the Pro models. I only know the Pro models. Most people that spend the money for a Trimmer are landscapers. I can tell you that Hawaii must have the most McLane 20" mowers per capita. Everyone with a maintained lawn that is not a weed patch uses a McLane.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2013, 10:50 AM
chrisb99 chrisb99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmosely1 View Post
I have located an older California Trimmer Homeowner reel mower and would like to do a restoration to use it on my Tiff bermuda. I was wondering if anyone could direct me to an article or forum on adjusting the reel to bedknife clearance. I have found plenty of information on the newer style units and other manufacturers that use an adjuster. This reel and bedknife appear to be fixed in relative postition with the reel being in a fixed bearing.
Thanks in advance...
On the Cal Trimmer Homeowner mower the reel blade is fixed and you adjust the bed knife to the blade. There is an adjustment rod on each side of the blade. Take the chain guard and outside chain off first. This makes it easy to spin the blade without resistance. Spin the blade to see if you have any contact with the bed knife. If you have contact, turn the adjusting rods slightly counterclockwise, maybe just an 1/16" at a time. The goal is to start with no contact. Once you have no contact, turn the adjusters clockwise just a little at a time, one side then the other. Ideally you want just a little contact. Make up some 1" wide strips of paper. Carefully place the paper between the bed knife and the blade and spin the blade slowly toward you. You need to be able to cut paper cleanly from end to end with all the blades. If the blades and or bed knife are damaged, dented, etc. you may be due for a sharpening or replacement. If not, you may want to backlap the machine.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:05 PM
M&L M&L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb99 View Post
On the Cal Trimmer Homeowner mower the reel blade is fixed and you adjust the bed knife to the blade. There is an adjustment rod on each side of the blade. Take the chain guard and outside chain off first. This makes it easy to spin the blade without resistance. Spin the blade to see if you have any contact with the bed knife. If you have contact, turn the adjusting rods slightly counterclockwise, maybe just an 1/16" at a time. The goal is to start with no contact. Once you have no contact, turn the adjusters clockwise just a little at a time, one side then the other. Ideally you want just a little contact. Make up some 1" wide strips of paper. Carefully place the paper between the bed knife and the blade and spin the blade slowly toward you. You need to be able to cut paper cleanly from end to end with all the blades. If the blades and or bed knife are damaged, dented, etc. you may be due for a sharpening or replacement. If not, you may want to backlap the machine.
Good first post, and welcome to L/S


That's how the adjustment is made, but if you want to Lap the reel, you'll either need the back lapping gears, a reel grinding machine or..... A harbor freight angle grinder. Don't grind the reel though.

I modified the trimmer I had to make it serviceable with a corded drill. We ground the outside lip of the reel gear into a slight hex shape, so it could be turned with a socket. Then we could spin it backwards with the drill and a socket adapter instead of having to purchase any additional equipment.
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