Hard facing rod on mower blades

Oil pan 4

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L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
18
18
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When I'm using the mower and run over barbed wire or baling wire and it wraps around the blades real good I go back to the garage, lift up the deck and take the blades off and then the wire just falls off.
While I have the blades off I usually sharpen them real quick with a flap disc.
Then for about 10 to 15 minutes after they are sharpened they cut amazing, then eventually I look back and there are a bunch of weeds sticking up and I have to slow back down so the dull blades can beat their way through the grass and weeds.
I can go 2x and up to 3x faster with freshly sharp blades.
I'm thinking if I hard face the blades then 10 to 15 minutes of fast cutting turns into 30 minutes to an hour. So it could really be worth it. That's probably cutting twice as much grass burning the same amount of gas and half the time that is if the blades stay sharp for 45min to an hour.
Same with the flail shreadder. The blades on it are pretty much worn out. When I get new ones I would like to hard face them too after they are broken in. The ones on there are way too far gone.
Don't worry I can ballance them. Even the individual flail shreadder blades.
If your are not familiar with hard facing rod it's far harder than any hardened, heat treated mower blade. It's so hard I had to upgrade from a 120v powered 8 inch grinder to a 9 inch 240v powered grinder just to some what effectively be able to grind it to shape when required.

The mower is a 42'' craftsman with a 17.5hp Kohler motor and the flail shreadder is on my little kubota.

Has anyone hard faced mower or brush shreadder blades?
 

rentthis

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May 30, 2012
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summerville,sc
I just bought a new set of Oregon mulching blades. They came with hard faced cutting edges. All of these things exist somewhere. The only problem is finding them. I have to wonder how hard they will be to resharpen. For rental, I like to find blades and teeth with carbide edges. For instance, I use carbide post hole digger teeth. They cost 3 times as much but last 10 times as long.
 

Oil pan 4

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L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
18
18
NM
I already have a decent selection of various hard face rod, probably 20 to 30lb all together, stoody and Hobart brand and a miller dialarc 250.
If not I would probably attempt to track down premede hard face mower and flail shredder blades.

Now the trick will be to hard face the edges with out ruining the heat treat and temper on the rest of the blade.
I'm thinking about suspending the place in a tub of water to reduce the size of heat effected zone.

Not worried about sharpening them, I have a 2 to 3 horse power, 9 inch 240v powered grinder. It should wear down that hard face metal with out too much trouble.
 

Ramos

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1870-1, LA203A, RCK54
Feb 25, 2016
463
3
0
Sherman County, Oregon
We have had good luck hard facing Schulte mower blades. Much heavier, though. Roughly 1/2" thick for 42' (feet, not inches) wide mower. What we found is that the hard facing needs to go on the flat (bottom) side of the blade just behind the cutting edge. The beveled upper edge will wear back to the hard facing and then it will maintain an edge. The first ones, we hit the bevel with HF rod. They wore into a hard, dull edge.

Be interesting to hear how you make out with thinner blades and hard facing. Never know until you try. :)
 

Oil pan 4

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Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
18
18
NM
We have had good luck hard facing Schulte mower blades. Much heavier, though. Roughly 1/2" thick for 42' (feet, not inches) wide mower. What we found is that the hard facing needs to go on the flat (bottom) side of the blade just behind the cutting edge. The beveled upper edge will wear back to the hard facing and then it will maintain an edge. The first ones, we hit the bevel with HF rod. They wore into a hard, dull edge.

Be interesting to hear how you make out with thinner blades and hard facing. Never know until you try. :)
Thank you, that is what i will try first The flail shredder blades are about 1/2 thick, when new.
I will definitely do up the shredder blades like you do.
The mower blades which are approximately 3/16 I will try to hard face the under side.
I like the idea of the blades some what self sharpening.

On the mower every time I sharpen the blades I grind them to a more perpendicular angle. They started out about 45° now I have them at 60° or so. In preparation for hard facing them.
I'm going to try and hard face the mower blades this week, once I know I can buy new ones incase I burn through with the hard face rod. I tend to run them pretty hot.
 

JerryMT

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Equipment
Kubota M4500, NH TD95D,Ford 4610
Jun 17, 2017
411
79
28
The Palouse - North Idaho
When I'm using the mower and run over barbed wire or baling wire and it wraps around the blades real good I go back to the garage, lift up the deck and take the blades off and then the wire just falls off.
While I have the blades off I usually sharpen them real quick with a flap disc.
Then for about 10 to 15 minutes after they are sharpened they cut amazing, then eventually I look back and there are a bunch of weeds sticking up and I have to slow back down so the dull blades can beat their way through the grass and weeds.
I can go 2x and up to 3x faster with freshly sharp blades.
I'm thinking if I hard face the blades then 10 to 15 minutes of fast cutting turns into 30 minutes to an hour. So it could really be worth it. That's probably cutting twice as much grass burning the same amount of gas and half the time that is if the blades stay sharp for 45min to an hour.
Same with the flail shreadder. The blades on it are pretty much worn out. When I get new ones I would like to hard face them too after they are broken in. The ones on there are way too far gone.
Don't worry I can ballance them. Even the individual flail shreadder blades.
If your are not familiar with hard facing rod it's far harder than any hardened, heat treated mower blade. It's so hard I had to upgrade from a 120v powered 8 inch grinder to a 9 inch 240v powered grinder just to some what effectively be able to grind it to shape when required.

The mower is a 42'' craftsman with a 17.5hp Kohler motor and the flail shreadder is on my little kubota.

Has anyone hard faced mower or brush shreadder blades?
I believe those blades are forged and then sharpened. Remember this is a piece of rotating machinery and heating the forging by welding on it will change the metallurgy. The mower housing will not contain a chunk of blade that comes off and that can present a dangerous, even fatal, situation to the operator and bystanders. Play it safe. Touch up the edges carefully with with a grinder and re-balance the blade. Replace the blade and bolts when they get really dinged up.
 

Oil pan 4

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L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
18
18
NM
I couldn't hit the nearest by stander with a 22lr from a rifle. So everyone is safe from my mower.

Plus I already said that I was going to use a heat sink so the metal only around the cutting edge is heat effected.
If the rest of the blade was allowed to anneal the blades would bend out of shape as soon as they hit the dirt or a small stone.
 
Last edited:

lugbolt

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ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
3,768
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Mid, South, USA
Craftsman? It's no wonder they lose their edge quickly. They are paper thin, at least compared to Kubota's blades. As mentioned, watch the metal changes as the HF goes on. I have seen homemade "cross cut" blades (two blades welded at 90° to each other on a single spindle) break due to the effects of welding and not heat treating, and it's not pretty.
 

Oil pan 4

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Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
18
18
NM
This old craftsman probably came with the paper thin 0.125 inch thick blades mild steel blades. It's got the so called heavy duty 3/16 blades now. That's standard for all your non heavy duty mowers.

Welding across the blade near the center of rotation has to be the worst idea ever.
 

Oil pan 4

Member

Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
18
18
NM
I found the Oregon tungsten carbide tipped blades.
They are around $23 to $25 each. Plush shipping.
Which only makes it about double the price of cheap Lowes junk.

Last year I switched to carbide chain saw chain. I have been very happy with the switch, mowers with carbide blades should work pretty well too.
I will try doing my own mower blades since I already have the hard face rod and welding rig.
 

Oil pan 4

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L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
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I found some craftsman hub 5 point .187 thickness blades locally for $10 each.
These will be first victims.
 

Oil pan 4

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L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
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I really like my gator blades. There should be blades for your machine.
The place where I bought these is an Oregon dealer, they said they will look up the gator blades for me.
I'm going to get the Oregon blades because I am assuming Oregon can make better ones than I can.
At least I hope they can.
 

Oil pan 4

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L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
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18
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I really like my gator blades. There should be blades for your machine.
The place where I bought these is an Oregon dealer, they said they will look up the gator blades for me.
I'm going to get the Oregon blades because I am assuming Oregon can make better hardened than I can.
At least I hope they can.
 

cerlawson

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rotiller, box scraper,etc.
Feb 24, 2011
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PORTAGE, WI
If you are not an experienced hard surfacing welder, I'd question that it will be a satisfactory job and the warnings here should be heeded. Why not invest in those blades already hardened before trying anything yourself?
 

Oil pan 4

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L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
18
18
NM
I have hard faced things before, just never cutting blades.
Thing is the Oregon blades are tungsten carbide which has a rockwell hardness of up to about 40.
Chromium carbide has a RC in the mid 50s.
And thanks to Ramos the hard faced blades may be some what self sharpening, so I have to try it.
I just never tried on metal so thin.
I found some old heavy duty blades to practice on first.
I may order some 3/32 hard rods, everything I have is 1/8 and 5/32.
The kubotas' new shredder blades should be easy since I can set my miller dialarc 250 on kill and have at it.
 
Last edited:

Ramos

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1870-1, LA203A, RCK54
Feb 25, 2016
463
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Sherman County, Oregon
Hard facing a lawnmower blade may, or may not, end with the desired effect in the end. However, if a guy lays a single string along the underside of the cutting edge, it's not going to result in a blade that is any more dangerous than before you did it. There won't be enough heat that travels all the way to the back side, much less to the center hole to create a concern. Any change to the original steel will be to make it softer. More likely to bend than break. Just let it cool slowly and DO NOT quench it. Quenching is where you end up with a scary, brittle blade.

Oil pan 4, go for it and report your findings. :)
 

Oil pan 4

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L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
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18
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Yes I was planning to do a single wide flat weld bead. Because occasionally I will get a crack where hard face welds mate up.

First test is going to be to hard face an old worn out mower blade that I am not going to use on a mower. But only part towards the center that doesn't really get warn. That way I can work out the number of amps and how to heat sink the back of the blade. Or not to heat sink it at all.
Sharpen it so that a section of hard face rod is the exposed cutting edge then extend the sharpening to original metal too. Then beat the edge on a concrete block to see how it holds up compared to original steel.
After that put it in a vice and beat on it with a sledge hammer to break it.
Once all that is complete and I am satisfied it's safe then I will make a real blade put it up under the mower and spin it, apply spinning blade to grass and weeds. Do a few tanks of gas then if that first blade is still good put the second one under there.

Blades that stay some what sharp for at least one entire tank of gas would be really nice.

When I do the flail shredder blades I will weld them, and immediately wrap the welded area with fiber glass insulation.
I am not worried about the half inch thick, nearly 3 inch wide shredder blades loosing their heat treat and temper.
I will probably run a few beads on the shredder blades underside.

The kubota holds 6 gallons of diesel so that would be really nice if the flail shredded blades hold sharp or kind of sharp.
 
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Oil pan 4

Member

Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
201
18
18
NM
I have new 18'' long 4 inch wide shredder blades, $66 each.
I have the riding lawn mower blades and the hard face rod.
But I can't find the 40' long 00gauge work lead to my miller model 250. I'm moving and it got misplaced.
So I have to find my work lead or open up my machine and install the smaller 3/8 inch straight miller receptacles I use in my mig, plasma cutter and 120v tig welder and high frequency box. Which is something I have been meaning to do so I don't always have to use a 00 gauge cable and 400 amp electrode holder to burn 3/32 rod.
 

D2Cat

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You want me to come out and help you look for the lead, or are you just going to step up and get the welder working so you can show us the hard surfaced cutting edges?:D