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Anyone mess with reel mowers much?


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#1 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2011 - 10:04 AM

We have a 5 gang pull behind reel mowers and we want to get them setup and working good. We need to get a sharpener for it yet though. We did mess with them once before we moved but didn't have anything to sharpen them with. Dad bought them used. It does a great job at knocking the grass over but that is about it. I think if we got it setup right and sharpened it would work great. He also has three other reels that he bought brand new and we would just need to build a frame for the tow behind.

We used to have a push reel mower when I was a kid and mowed the back yard with it. I know they do work good when they are working right.

#2 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2011 - 10:56 AM

Sharpening reel mowers is definitely not a "do-it-yourself" job. ......The reel must be sharpened in a special grinder which sharpens all of the spiral blades to a uniform diameter. ....The bedknife must be sharpened in two planes to provide an accurate surface for adjusting the cut. .....There is a specialized grinder for sharpening bedknives.

There is a process called "lapping," where the reel is turned backwards and a lapping (grinding) compound is applied to the blades while they are revolving. ......The compound is a grit suspended in water or oil, and is pretty much the same as valve grinding compound. ......This process will not sharpen nicked or bent blades, but is a "touch-up" between sharpenings.

Sharpening and/or lapping are useless if the blades are not adjusted properly. .....The setting of the bedknife against the reel is critical to getting a good cut. .....If the bedknife is adjusted too tightly against the reel, the reel will drag, "click," or bind. ....If the bedknife is too far from the reel, the grass will tear or may not be cut at all.

We would use a page from a phonebook (very thin paper) to test & set newly sharpened reels. ......The paper should cut cleanly without pulling or tearing. ......This has to be checked for each blade on the reel along its entire length.

If there is an area in the center of the reel that is not cutting, yet the ends are cutting okay, then the reel & bedknife need to be sharpened properly to obtain smooth cutting along the entire length of the reel. ....If one end is cutting but the other end is not, then an adjustment may correct things.

It is expensive to have reel mowers sharpened, as it is a time-consuming process. ....This is but one of the many reasons rotary mowers have replaced reel mowers in most instances.
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#3 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2011 - 10:57 AM

I can tell ya what I know - it won't take long! :( If the grass is taller than half the height of the reels it won't cut it no matter how perfect the mower is setup. I used to have a 5 gang unit here and it wouldn't work for me because I have buckhorn. Buckhorn grows a foot overnight! You will have to find a local country club or municipal golf course that has the proper equipment to true up the reel and sharpen the bedknife. Setup is pretty much straight forward once the reel is true. If it will cut a piece of paper all the way across it is set up correctly. If you have trees that lose small sticks often - quit now and save yourself a lot of trouble. good luck!! :thumbs:
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#4 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2011 - 11:55 AM

We do have a lot of trees that like to drop stuff like acorns and whatever the spikey balls are LOL

We might give it a shot again before calling it quits. I will check the reels and then call around to see about getting pricing to get them sharpened.

#5 Encrypt OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2011 - 02:31 PM

I thought about getting some reel mowers because of how nice they will cut the grass once set up properly. Sorry I don't have much experience with them though.

#6 poncho62 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2011 - 05:33 PM

I have this old girl.....

Posted Image

.It cuts OK, but I cant afford to get the reels ground......I just have it because my dad used to have one when I was a kid. I learned to drive on it.

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#7 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2011 - 07:20 PM

...and whatever the spikey balls are LOL...


Chestnuts or buckeyes both have the spiky balls. The "nut inside them looks really similar as well.

As to reel mowers, the only thing that I know about them is when the one fellow from the UK was selling the 100 year old reel grinder and sent the link to me in a PM. I can't find it anywhere now though!

#8 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2011 - 07:35 PM

I haven't went fishing and mowing at the same time, so I can't say I have messed with reel mowers. Is that Zebco?




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