deck bottom

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by cuttinggrassiscool, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. cuttinggrassiscool

    cuttinggrassiscool LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    I understand that the bottom of the deck needs to be clean in order to produce a quality cut and proper grass dispersion. however how important is it that the deck be real smooth. I scraped it real well at the end of the season and primed the bottom, but it is about ten years old and thus is rough due to rust and dings. I was thinking about bondoing(i might have made that word up) the whole thing. is this overkill? anybody ever try this? thanks
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    The under side of a deck with the blades running is like a sand blaster.
    I have removed bondo off body parts in my blast cabinet so I'm sure it wouldn't last long at all under a deck.
  3. Gutterball

    Gutterball LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Overkill you got that right
    scrap. prime. paint. and yr ready for next season
  4. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    Way, way overkill.

    I also see no need to paint the underside of a commercial deck in most cases. As restrorob said, the underside is sandblasted shiny clean during normal cutting. Mine may get a bit of very light surface rust while they sit over the winter (not usually), but the first couple of cuts shines them right up again.

    I have not seen a commercial deck that has been scraped, rust appreciably from the underside.

    What I do is scrape it regularly (another action that removes paint) for good air and grass flow through the deck. In the fall before I store the machines, the decks get scraped more thoroughly than usual, then washed with a scrub brush and fantastic (just to ensure there is no grass build-up that will hold moisture over the winter). They sit this way all winter. In the spring before use the mowers, I will brush on a coat of "Slip Plate" - a graphite based slippery product. This allows the grass to slide through better, and not stick as much. It of course, also gets sandblasted off - but it makes me feel better to put it on :).

    The "Slip Plate" looks like grey paint once it dries, but it is very slippery. I get it in a quart can from the John Deere dealer. I think it is used in grain hpooers or something to make the grain slide through easier. It is very easy to apply - slippery is the intention, not pretty finish.

    So a couple of conclusions - scrape thoroughly on a regular basis, don't allow wet grass to stay under there for long periods of time, painting is a waste of time on a commercial deck, and there is no miracle product that will stop the grass from sticking, or the deck from being sandblasted.

    Now, thin cheap non-commercial decks, I have seen those rust through from the underside ...

    my experienced 2 cents ...
  5. cuttinggrassiscool

    cuttinggrassiscool LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    well thanks for the advice guys i kinda thought it was overkill but didn't think about it getting sandblasted off.... I will admit that the rust that was their is more due to me not scraping it well enough especially after the grass was wet:blush:. their are actually a few spots were it is rusted through though, and it is a toro commercial(it is at least ten years old and i bought it used), were two out of the three spindles go through and one little spot were the height adjuster is(the pin kind) grass gets stuck on the outside their easily too. i was just going to fill these with weld and then grind smooth, is their any better way to do this? thanks guys.
  6. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    You can weld the holes and grind smooth as you said if your good, I have found the edges of a hole are thin and soon as you strike a arc it blows the hole larger.You can weld a patch panel the same thickness as the deck on the bottom side, But the patch panel must be welded all the way around so sand can't get between the patch and the deck and the patch should be larger than the hole to get you out to the thicker metal so it can be welded without blowing a hole through.
  7. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ That is the way. Or, I suppose you could cut a square out of the deck area where rusted via cut off wheel and weld a plate in there. This would make the deck completely smooth. Just another option, correct me if I am wrong here.
  8. cuttinggrassiscool

    cuttinggrassiscool LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    thanks for the advice guys. I am just gonna try to fill the gaps with a mig welder, small circles and low amps till it is built up. i would try to patch idea but the steal is not flat were the spindles go and it would be near imposible for me without more machinery to do that, it is bent up and then down a bit if i recall correctly so it would need to be milled from heavier stock, not worth the effort either. thanks though that should work well.

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