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Old 11-11-17, 06:05 PM   #1
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Default Mowing faster

When mowing my fields occasionally I mow over some barbed wire or baling wire, which wraps around the blades.
Have to go back to the garage and take the blades off to clear out the wire.
While I have the blades off I usually sharpen them.
The freshly sharpened blades allow me to go 2 to 3 times faster. But only for 10 to 15 minutes max then I look back and a bunch of weeds and grass are left sticking up.
Then I'm back to a crawl, as to give time for the blades to just beat the grass and weeds into submission.

So I figure blades that stay sharper longer are the way to go.
First thing I did was search around. Didn't find much. I did find that standard blades are .125 to .135'' and that the heavy duty ones are .187'' inches.
Can't buy them so I will have to make them. Mower blades are fairly hard steel already but not nearly as hard as chromium carbide hard facing rod.
The smallest hard facing rod I have is .125 inches. So I would probably burn through a standard mower blade. Just need to make sure I have 187 thickness and go from there. I think all I will be able to do is build the blade back up with wire feed welding then weld the underside with hard face rod.
Any blades I weld on will have a heat sink on them so the welding heat only effects the area immediately around the weld it's self. That way the heat can't spread put and ruin the heat treat and temper of the rest of the blade.

I also have a brush flail shredder on my tractor, it needs new blades, the replacement blades are usually around 1/2 to 5/8 inches thick, I can just weld those up easy. Build up the bevel with oil pipe line welding rod (11018) which i have and is used commonly as cheap hard facing rod. Then weld underside of the blade with real hard facing rod.

I figure if I can keep the blades sharp I can just about cut time, fuel, number of blade replacements and oil changes in half or better. So its worth looking into.

I'm going to start small with my little 4hp push mower. It likes to have a sharp blade. Then scale it up to the riding mower and then the tractor.


Last edited by oil pan 4; 11-12-17 at 09:12 AM..
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Old 11-12-17, 01:10 AM   #2
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Im wondering,
if you increase the blade rotation speed with a larger pulley or gear if it would give a similar effect as slowing down the mowers drive speed
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Old 11-12-17, 09:08 AM   #3
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The mower has plenty of power, it probably could spin the blades faster. But then that works the motor harder and burns more gas.
I want to try making it more efficient first before just going to brut force.
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Old 11-12-17, 01:39 PM   #4
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Thinking about the whole mechanics of a mower blade, the edge you need to keep ultra sharp is the leading edge of the lower portion of the blade, not necessarily the whole thickness of the blade.

Would it be possible to drill the blade, tap it and attach a hardened cutting element to the existing blade? I know some of the old Snapper high lift system blades for rear bagging had additional wings on the trailing edge of the blade to create the high lift on a surface prone to high wear. (the quartz sand in my backyard is especially rough on blades).
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Old 11-12-17, 04:36 PM   #5
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I have seen these replaceable screw on blade tips on ebay.
Years ago I had a mower with them. I sharpened them a few times and I don't recall them being any harder than a standard mower blade.
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Old 11-12-17, 11:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Can't buy them so I will have to make them. Mower blades are fairly hard steel already but not nearly as hard as chromium carbide hard facing rod.
The smallest hard facing rod I have is .125 inches. So I would probably burn through a standard mower blade. Just need to make sure I have 187 thickness and go from there. I think all I will be able to do is build the blade back up with wire feed welding then weld the underside with hard face rod.
Any blades I weld on will have a heat sink on them so the welding heat only effects the area immediately around the weld it's self. That way the heat can't spread put and ruin the heat treat and temper of the rest of the blade.
All the mower blades that I have ever sharpened can be sharpened with a file, indicating a fairly soft steel. From what I understand, they make the blades out of soft, typically non-hardenable, steels to be able to take the impact of hitting rocks and other things and not shattering.

Though I find adding the facing rod an interesting idea, I think the unequal heating of the mower blade is going to cause it to warp and bend and make it unbalanced in the end. I think you might have better luck with "pack carburizing" the mower blades.
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Old 11-12-17, 11:48 PM   #7
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I can reballance them.
Carburizing is more of a surface treatment the you have to reheat treat and temper the blades. Then the blades may change shape during the process.

Another option is to buy Oregon tungsten carbide tipped blades. They are only 2 to 3 times the price of the junk they sell at lowes.
But since I already have the hard face rods and welding rig I am going to try this first.

From just mowing around my yard for this season only the blade ends are already starting to wear thin.
I'm going to take dial calipers to lowes and buy 0.187 inch thick blades, if they have them. I don't think they have any that will fit craftsman and are .187 thickness. The heaviest blades lowes has look like about 0.15 inches thick.
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Old 11-16-17, 01:57 PM   #8
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I found new 0.187 inch thick blades at the local echo dealer for $10 each. I will try hard facing the under side of these blades.
Then ordered some high abrasion and medium impact resistant 3/32 inch hard facing rod.
While cleaning out the shed I found some old worn out .187 thick blades I can practice on. I will practice on the inner non worn out part of the blade.
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Old Yesterday, 12:58 AM   #9
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I got them done.
The mower blades got one bead on the underside.
The brush shredder got several beads ran on the underside.
I don't know the effect yet because the blades have to wear back to the hard facing.

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