Garden Tractor Forums banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
8,986 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Decided I had better start working on getting the 42" mower deck back on the 1050 for another mowing season as the grass is growing quickly here now. Noticed that a few dandelions have popped up today as well - they really grow quick it seems.
The first step was to sharpen my three spare blades that I have for the deck but before I did I decided to see if the way I have used to balance them was reasonably accurate - I found out today that it was not and came up with a new method that I hope will get them closer to being balanced.

The way I usually check a blade for balance is to use a large shank philips screwdriver and set the blade onto the shank and observe if the blade stays put or drops at one end. Before I started to sharpen the blades I cleaned them up with the wire brush and scraper and checked them using the screwdriver method and they all seemed to be reasonably good for balance as you can see in the pictures. I numbered the blades from 1 to 3 with a marker and clamped the screwdriver so the shank would be horizontal and proceeded to check each blade by setting them on the shank.
Wood Automotive tire Road surface Gas Landscape
Wood Automotive exterior Engineering Composite material Auto part
Wood Automotive exterior Monoplane Lumber Bumper
Wood Automotive exterior Bumper Gas Auto part
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
8,986 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Then I used my four ball bearings that I used last year to balance my chipper flywheel and a piece of 3/8" threaded rod and two 3/8" nuts to see if the blades showed being in balance using the bearings. I read a post a couple of weeks ago about another member using a new stepped cone mounted horizontally that has magnets to secure the blade and thought it was a good idea but when I checked the price I could not justify purchasing one as I only sharpen my 3 blades about four times each season and tractor funds are a little short right at the moment (working on a 1929 Chevrolet Coupe seat for a friend that has tied up some of my finances until I get it finished). As a result I opted for this method to check the balance as I already had everything and figured it should be fairly accurate. Using this method blade numbers 2 and 3 showed to be very close to being balanced (the same as with the screwdriver shank) but blade number 1 was out of balance as you can see by they way it is sitting in the attached picture - heavy on the side that did not have the number marked on it as it is sitting low. Took some video of it that I hope to post at a later date of the three blades on the shank and then on the bearings and I learned today that the method I have been using was not very accurate so this will be the method I use in the future. With the blade mounted on the bearings it is quite easy to remove the blade and file or grind a bit of material off the heavy side and then set it back on the bearings to see if it is getting closer to being balanced.

Edit May 10 2022 - when I double checked the videos I took the #1 blade was out a little bit when I used the bearing method but the #2 blade was dramatically out of balance using the bearing method.
Wood Tool Gas Engineering Machine
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
8,986 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Finished up sharpening and balancing the blades using the new method and then I dug out the three used (but new to me) blade hubs that I purchased from Bolens Parts And Supplies as my old ones were not healthy as you can see in the pictures. The hollows where the drive rivets sit are broken and badly deformed on two of them so I replaced all three and got them and the sharpened blades installed on the deck. Started to grease the tractor and deck and got about three fittings done before I found out the grease gun was empty. Started to pull the plunger back to replace the cartridge and next thing I knew the plunger rod pulled out of the grease gun - apparently they don't last forever. The two little dimples on the end of the rod were worn so cleaned things up and got the plunger assembly back together and added a couple of spots of weld to build up the dimples. Got the cartridge changed and finished greasing things and then mounted the deck under the 1050 after I checked the gear lube level. Maybe tomorrow I will try the blades out and cut some grass if things go well.

Tool Wood Art Gas Insect
Wood Table Tool Gas Workbench
Automotive tire Wood Bumper Composite material Asphalt
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,552 Posts
Stew, after balancing blade number one with your bearing method. Did your then retry it on the screwdriver shank to see if it change on it. ?

Noel
 

·
DR. Bolens
Joined
·
19,139 Posts
Are those hubs being reproduced? Or are we just going to have to keep searching for good used or N.O.S. ones if such things exist? Nothing wrong with good used, but sooner or later the supply will dry up. I have one or two used spares left, but that's it.
I have a supply of NOS & good used to last for now , if it comes to it I'll have them made up , I already did the blades a few years ago got to keep these going as long as we can !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,322 Posts
Unless a blade is drastically out of banance I really don't see any need to get them near perfectly balanced. Looks to me like the threaded rod and the 4 rollers would add more resistance than a smooth screwdriver shank would. Just my thoughts. I have a blade balancer but haven't used it in so long a time I doubt I could come up with it. Think it was Dad's.
 

·
Registered
Ingersoll 224, 1989
Joined
·
180 Posts
Unless a blade is drastically out of banance I really don't see any need to get them near perfectly balanced. Looks to me like the threaded rod and the 4 rollers would add more resistance than a smooth screwdriver shank would. Just my thoughts. I have a blade balancer but haven't used it in so long a time I doubt I could come up with it. Think it was Dad's.
Is 1 oz drastically imbalanced for a 16" long blade? You might be surprised that at tip speeds of 17,000 fpm (typical for mowers) that 1 oz imbalance exerts about 230 lbs of side load force on the spindle as it rotates.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
55,271 Posts
I am selling an 80 inch mower with three blades, and three extra ones. It is a 55hp John Deere Mower that has zero turn. I am asking $1500 for it. It is a 2020 version and runs and cuts well. Let me know it you are interested. The oil was just changed and everything has been maintained. It is ready to mow right when you pick it up.
This post does not belong here. If you have Items to sell, put them here.
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
8,986 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stew, after balancing blade number one with your bearing method. Did your then retry it on the screwdriver shank to see if it change on it. ?

Noel
Hi Noel, I did not retry it on the screwdriver shank as I didn't see much point after observing how the blades moved on the bearings as I believe that the threaded rod on the bearings has less friction than using the screwdriver shank method - just my opinion. After I reviewed the videos I took yesterday I see that blade #1 was actually only out of balance a little bit but blade #2 was dramatically out of balance when I observed it on the bearing set up - yet appeared to be reasonably balanced when using the screwdriver shank method.
Not saying that the screwdriver or nail method is a bad method to check the balance of a blade but the bearing method is definitely more sensitive to showing up and out of balance blade in my opinion.

I cut the first grass today and used the deck for a couple of hours - all I can say is "WOW what a difference". In years past I usually set the rpm of the engine about 3100 rpm with the deck engaged but under no grass load as setting it any faster it usually had a slight vibration. Today I engaged the deck and set the throttle for about what I figured would be about 3100 rpm and looked down at the tach and saw it was actually showing 3400 rpm and noticed the usual vibration I would feel at that speed was not present. I dropped the rpm's back to 3300 rpm and spent the next couple of hours enjoying the seat time as I got half the lawn cut. Replacing the drive hubs probably helped with the vibration I used to have a bit but I will definitely be using the bearing method from now on to check the balance of the deck blades. I am not saying that this method is the best by any means but it worked well for me.
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
8,986 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally got the video done and uploaded to you tube if someone wants to see the how the 3 blades responded using the screwdriver shank and the bearing set up.

here is the link to it -
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
8,986 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Looks to me like the threaded rod and the 4 rollers would add more resistance than a smooth screwdriver shank would. Just my thoughts.
That was what I used to think as well. I find that most blades tend to not hang "straight down" on a screwdriver shank because of the bent up back edge on most blades. I believe this plays a factor in making the blade try and bind against the shank rather than revolving freely. Might work better if there was oil or grease applied to the screwdriver shank - just my opinion.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,552 Posts
I’m just a little strange that way Stew. I would of liked to see the difference if I was doing it. That’s just me.

Noel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,026 Posts
I’m just a little strange that way Stew. I would of liked to see the difference if I was doing it. That’s just me.

Noel
Stews' video showed a pretty good difference especially on blade #2. It just sat still on the screw driver letting you think the blade was balanced but moved all around on the bearings showing something was out of whack.
Good Video Stew. May not be perfect but looks better than some other methods.

And if you'd think of blades as the same as a crankshaft in an engine do you think you'd want them balanced ?
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top