w/b blade sharpening

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sailinstud420, May 15, 2005.

  1. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    Okay, I know this topic has been talked in circles, but I am going to ask it, because I haven't asked it personally yet. I have a 52" TT, and I am sick and tired of sharpening blades!!

    What do all of you do to sharpen your blades? Does most everyone here take the deck completely off, flip it over, take the blades off and sharpen them, then proceed to put them back on, put the deck back on, etc? OR do most of you prop it up, crawl underneath and take the blades off that way? I find this to be a great inconvience and it is always hard to get the mower propped up well, those blades get really tight sometimes... Then, when I am by myself (which most of the time I am) I cannot get the deck back on if I take it off the mower because I cannot hold everything up and get the pins back in.....

    My next question is, without buying a blade grinder, what is the best way to sharpen them? I have a little makita grinder, but I really suck at maintaining a nice angle on the blade... The problem with my bench grinder is that it has two wheels on it, and there is no stinking way to get the blade in there and do it nicely cuz the other wheel gets in the way. I have looked for a single wheel grinder but have not had any luck finding one, does anyone know where I can get one of these? I have also looked into a blade grinder, but they look to be kind of pricey and I am only cutting 14 lawns a week, I find the need to sharpen blades about every two weeks, or every 28 lawns so it is hard to justify the cost of a blade grinder.

    Another thing, what about balancing them? I have not researched this greatly, but I hear some people don't bother, and others are extremely picky about it. What kind of products and prices are out there as far as balancers are concerned? Does it really matter that much, considering the fact that there is always play between the hole in the blade and the bolt anyway? There is no way to center them up when you put them on, right?

    This sounds like a rookie question, and this being my second year of mowing I stll cannot believe I am asking this, but it is combo of venting and a cry for help, what is your procedure?? Let me know, thanks guys!

    Oh, btw, the dealer will sharpen and balance for 2-3 dollars a blade, but the problem is it is really hard to get down there during the week because I am always out cutting or at school, and not only that, but it is not really close trip, I would have about an hour into it round trip, I can't afford to do that!
     
  2. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 308

    420, here is my procedure for sharpening my blades on my 48" TT. I do not have pictures but visualize this as I explain it and it should make sense. First of all my trailer has a gate with steel mesh as a surface. I placed a bolt through the mesh approximately in the center of the gate. I then took about a two foot piece of chain and connected it to the bolt with a nut. On the other end of the chain I placed a hook. Now when I let the gate down there lays the piece of chain with the hook connected on the loose end. I then back my mower up until the back wheels are just before starting down the ramp. At this point I put on the parking brake and then tilt the mower up. This places the handle bar assembly down towards the gate. I then place the hook on the chain over one of my handles and this holds the mower in the raised position. I also have four pieces of wood that I screwed together about 18" long. They were cut just so that when I put them together it allowed them to slip over my blades. Start with the blade at the discharge chute and slip on the wooden device. Once you place the socket on the blade nut the wooden piece will catch against the deck housing and leaves you with both hands free and safe for using the ratchet. Once this blade is off move to the center one and finally the last one. Now I clamp each blade to the side of my trailer and use a hand grinder to sharpen them. Place each blade back on in the opposite order that you removed them still using the piece of wood. Also remember to place a little anti sieze on the bolt threads before replacing them and they will come off much easier next time. I don't know about the others but I do not balance the blades after sharpening. The trick using the chain to hold the mower up also works great when scraping the deck. Many times the amount of grass makes the deck front heavy and it will not stay up on its own. Sorry for the long post and I hope this helps.
     
  3. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    I made this for that very reason. It slides in and out to fit different lengths. Lesco makes one, that's where I got the idea. It will hold 2 spindles from the top and the swing over to the 3rd.
     
  4. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    Sorry, maybe I can upload it this time.

    spindle tool2.jpg
     
  5. foggyjr5

    foggyjr5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    When i sharpen mine, on my Jacobsen 50, i take them completely off. To do this i use my atv/mower lift and put it under the front end. This will get it higher so i can use my impact wrench to get them off and they come off easy.
     
  6. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    I just put a jackstand under the front of the mower (mower is light i can pick the frotn up with one hand. Then I'll use an impact gun or a 1/2" ratchet to get them off. I use a 4" grinder to sharpen them. Takes me about 20 mins to fully change them out. I bought 2 more sets of blades to switch out so now i just unbolt and bolt new ones in, then sharpen the others whenever i get a chance.
     
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Take the DECK OFF??????????????
     
  8. RobH

    RobH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    I can't speak for a floating deck but on my fixed deck 48" Scag w/b I just lift the mower up on its side. The end of one of the handles basically just hits the ground and keep the mower positioned upright on a 90 degree angle. It allows me to scrap the deck, change the blades, grease the spindles as well as see underneath the deck very clearly.

    Just make sure you do this on level ground otherwise you could tip the machine upside down. I've never had a problem with flooding the engine or leaking gas from tipping machine on its side.
     
  9. Steve9

    Steve9 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 228

    I just bought my own 6" grinder and i cant figure out how to sharpen the blade either. The other wheel is in the way and I cant seem to get the right angle. Any tricks?
     
  10. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    A single wheel grinder is about the best, the double wheels do get in the way. a while back Lesco Sold an inexpensive single wheel grinder I think it was in the 2-300 range. I used it and had great luck with it....Nice thing about the "blade" grinders is that some have forms and settings so that you get the same angle each time and you are only taking off a little bit each time.
     

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