Mower blade - how to repair suggestions

Matt Ellerbee

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
MX6000
Jun 27, 2019
1,157
1,133
113
Canton, Georgia
I mow my lawn and a field.

My lawn is southern fescue blend - usually 2.5-3 height. At times, based on weather, it could be super dry or taller and thicker. Summer here in GA has been consistently in high 80s - 90s for several weeks now. We can get a daily thunderstorms but lately it's been missing me and not much rain last 7-10 days. a couple weeks bad, had 10-12 days of daily rain.

The field is bumpy and can be very tall where it needs mowed twice because it's so thick and/or tall. it has some rocks (golfball - baseball size) in some areas that occasionally get disloged and get hit with blades. I am not sure what all grasses/weeds are in field. This can be cut on highest setting depending on how long since last cutting. Also, it can have very tall ant hills and the discharge is nothing but a cloud of dirt/dust.

First time I mowed it, some of the shoots were as tall as I was sitting on my bx2380. since then, been able to keep it much lower, it gets mowed maybe every 2-3 months based on my schedule and weather. The first time I cut it, had to change filter it was clogged. Also had to clean out around radiator and screen.

Dan
I'm in Georgia too. I wouldn't worry about those ding, knicks or whatever you want to call them in the blades since your mowing that high. We mow our Bermuda grass ballfields around 1.5-1.75" with much worse looking blades than yours. Keep them sharp and somewhat balanced, you'll be fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

dan_m

Active member

Equipment
BX2380
Jul 9, 2020
133
48
28
Georgia
I'm in Georgia too. I wouldn't worry about those ding, knicks or whatever you want to call them in the blades since your mowing that high. We mow our Bermuda grass ballfields around 1.5-1.75" with much worse looking blades than yours. Keep them sharp and somewhat balanced, you'll be fine.
Thanks for that. I'm trying my best to keep the grass I have as healthy as possible.

It's been a struggle to get grass growing/keep it growing in some sports. My house is on side of a hill and creek at the bottom so a lot of water flows through my yard. I still have bare spots after 7 years. But good news, every year I make a little more progress. Water in part of neighborhood runs down one side of my yard and into creek. I haven't done much to that side as it's pretty stable (hard packed ground so little washout now) and I've been working on the otherside with less water flow, but still a lot compared to others in my neghborhood.

In other news, a new house is being built with a basement near by and I can get some free dirt. The builder is more than happy to give it away - the less he has to get rid of. My neighbor has a dump trailer and I've got a loader - we'll make a good team.

Dan
 

lugbolt

Well-known member

Equipment
ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
3,905
955
113
Mid, South, USA
Yeah cost to repair vs replace

replacing? $25 give or take? Each (times two or three depending on your deck)

-or- you can buy a welder, the stuff that goes with it, gas,electricity, safety equipment, filler, etc, spend 20 minutes fixing a blade, then 30 grinding/balancing. What's your time worth? In my case, here lately, a LOT more than $25.


Dealers don't often sharpen them very much anymore. At $120/hr it's less expensive to replace them at $75/set (3 blades) vs spending an hour sharpening/balancing.


I have a precision blade balancer (not the cone style those aren't real accurate in my experience) and a good grinder, with a set of jigs I made to grind blades. I have sharpened quite a few for folks over the years on my own time (not at work). I figured it up once, if I stretch the cost of tools out for one year, I'd have to sharpen 104 blades at the rate I was using to break even. I didn't do that in one year. Took about 30 months to pay the tools off not counting consumables (flap disc and wheels).
 

whitetiger

Well-known member

Equipment
Kubota tech..BX2370, RCK60, B7100HST, RTV900 w plow, Ford 1100 FWA
Nov 20, 2011
1,951
585
113
Kansas City, KS
We use this sharpener for mower blades, takes 30 - 45 seconds per blade and maintains the correct angle.
We typically sharpen 2000 to 2500 blades per year with it, some of the commercial customers bring blades in 50 to 300 at a time. At $12.50 per blade, it's a gold mine.

Oregon 88-103 Model X400 1.5" x 48" Blade Sharpening Belt Grinder
 

dan_m

Active member

Equipment
BX2380
Jul 9, 2020
133
48
28
Georgia
We use this sharpener for mower blades, takes 30 - 45 seconds per blade and maintains the correct angle.
We typically sharpen 2000 to 2500 blades per year with it, some of the commercial customers bring blades in 50 to 300 at a time. At $12.50 per blade, it's a gold mine.

Oregon 88-103 Model X400 1.5" x 48" Blade Sharpening Belt Grinder
That not a small upfront cost - but if you have the customer base - keep doing what you're doing!

I got my all american sharpner direct, it was cheaper than buying off amazon.
Since I don't keep mine permanently mounted, it takes longer to setup than sharpen the blades. I usually keep a pile and do a bunch at once, as many as 7 at a time (i know, i know, it's not 300 :p).

Dan
 

dan_m

Active member

Equipment
BX2380
Jul 9, 2020
133
48
28
Georgia
Yeah cost to repair vs replace

replacing? $25 give or take? Each (times two or three depending on your deck)

-or- you can buy a welder, the stuff that goes with it, gas,electricity, safety equipment, filler, etc, spend 20 minutes fixing a blade, then 30 grinding/balancing. What's your time worth? In my case, here lately, a LOT more than $25.


Dealers don't often sharpen them very much anymore. At $120/hr it's less expensive to replace them at $75/set (3 blades) vs spending an hour sharpening/balancing.


I have a precision blade balancer (not the cone style those aren't real accurate in my experience) and a good grinder, with a set of jigs I made to grind blades. I have sharpened quite a few for folks over the years on my own time (not at work). I figured it up once, if I stretch the cost of tools out for one year, I'd have to sharpen 104 blades at the rate I was using to break even. I didn't do that in one year. Took about 30 months to pay the tools off not counting consumables (flap disc and wheels).
I already have the welder and tools. I recently upgraded welders and have owned grinders for years. Of the tools I use to sharpen, the most recent was the All American Sharpner and that was about 2.5-3 years ago. I've used it to sharpen blades for friends.


Dan
 

bird dogger

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota B2650 and lots of other equipment
Feb 24, 2019
1,277
960
113
North Dakota
I'm not sure just how hard the steel is on my mower blades, but I've been touching up the occasional small ding with the mig welder and reshaping the edge. But since the outer edge of the blade does most of the cutting, the outside blades get the brunt of the abuse when mowing along the windbreaks, shrubs. etc. That outer edge will become rounded off a bit. When it's excessive...I've had no problems building that edge back up again with the mig welder without any issues for as long as I've had the mowers.

So far, my blades have never taken a serious hit to where any hint of cracking of the steel has appeared. If the "hit" was that severe.....it would be obvious to check more carefully.

I also use the "ALL AMERICAN SHARPENER" to sharpen the blades and love it. Here's some pics of the blade balancer built from some parts on hand. One day I'll make a better stand for it to lock into. But for now, just clamping it into the vise works great.

The bearings are common roller blade/skate board bearings on a shaft that's attached to that stand by a set screw. The rotating hub is from a chunk of HDPE plastic. The front of the hub has 4 inletted neodymium magnets to hold the blade in place on the front bushing. A few interchangeable front bushing/stubs allows balancing of the different mower blades around here. You can see in the pics a few holes drilled on the perimiter of the black hub to perfectly balance the hub. There's nothing special about the shape of the hub.....it's just what I had available at the time and I made it fit the stub axle with the bearings.

If I want to be overly picky about balancing......the setup is sensitive enough where a couple of squares of toilet paper on the end of the blade will change the rotation. After sharpening, if one side is much heavier than the other.....rather than grinding off material.....I'll tack a bead with the mig on the top outer edge or back side of the lighter end and then adjust the bead with the grinder to re balance. No need to remove more good cutting edge than necessary.

The magnets work slick to hold the blade on and allow for quick changes for balance adjustments. The neighbors can't believe how smooth my 3 pt mower operates. No big secret....just use balanced blades. :) Select the thumbnail pics for the full view. Disregard the clutter in the background!!! LOL

Homemade Blade Balancer.JPG Temporary Mount.JPG Skateboard Bearings.JPG Top View.JPG Working End View.JPG Testing Balance.JPG
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

dan_m

Active member

Equipment
BX2380
Jul 9, 2020
133
48
28
Georgia
I'm not sure just how hard the steel is on my mower blades, but I've been touching up the occasional small ding with the mig welder and reshaping the edge. But since the outer edge of the blade does most of the cutting, the outside blades get the brunt of the abuse when mowing along the windbreaks, shrubs. etc. That outer edge will become rounded off a bit. When it's excessive...I've had no problems building that edge back up again with the mig welder without any issues for as long as I've had the mowers.

So far, my blades have never taken a serious hit to where any hint of cracking of the steel has appeared. If the "hit" was that severe.....it would be obvious to check more carefully.

I also use the "ALL AMERICAN SHARPENER" to sharpen the blades and love it. Here's some pics of the blade balancer built from some parts on hand. One day I'll make a better stand for it to lock into. But for now, just clamping it into the vise works great.

The bearings are common roller blade/skate board bearings on a shaft that's attached to that stand by a set screw. The rotating hub is from a chunk of HDPE plastic. The front of the hub has 4 inletted neodymium magnets to hold the blade in place on the front bushing. A few interchangeable front bushing/stubs allows balancing of the different mower blades around here. You can see in the pics a few holes drilled on the perimiter of the black hub to perfectly balance the hub. There's nothing special about the shape of the hub.....it's just what I had available at the time and I made it fit the stub axle with the bearings.

If I want to be overly picky about balancing......the setup is sensitive enough where a couple of squares of toilet paper on the end of the blade will change the rotation. After sharpening, if one side is much heavier than the other.....rather than grinding off material.....I'll tack a bead with the mig on the top outer edge or back side of the lighter end and then adjust the bead with the grinder to re balance. No need to remove more good cutting edge than necessary.

The magnets work slick to hold the blade on and allow for quick changes for balance adjustments. The neighbors can't believe how smooth my 3 pt mower operates. No big secret....just use balanced blades. :) Select the thumbnail pics for the full view. Disregard the clutter in the background!!! LOL

View attachment 84774 View attachment 84775 View attachment 84776 View attachment 84777 View attachment 84778 View attachment 84779
Good tip on about adding metal instead of removing more to balance.
That's a nifty balancer you made there - well done.

What clutter? All I see are signs of a shop that's actually used ;)

Dan
 

lugbolt

Well-known member

Equipment
ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
3,905
955
113
Mid, South, USA
I'm not sure just how hard the steel is on my mower blades, but I've been touching up the occasional small ding with the mig welder and reshaping the edge. But since the outer edge of the blade does most of the cutting, the outside blades get the brunt of the abuse when mowing along the windbreaks, shrubs. etc. That outer edge will become rounded off a bit. When it's excessive...I've had no problems building that edge back up again with the mig welder without any issues for as long as I've had the mowers.

So far, my blades have never taken a serious hit to where any hint of cracking of the steel has appeared. If the "hit" was that severe.....it would be obvious to check more carefully.

I also use the "ALL AMERICAN SHARPENER" to sharpen the blades and love it. Here's some pics of the blade balancer built from some parts on hand. One day I'll make a better stand for it to lock into. But for now, just clamping it into the vise works great.

The bearings are common roller blade/skate board bearings on a shaft that's attached to that stand by a set screw. The rotating hub is from a chunk of HDPE plastic. The front of the hub has 4 inletted neodymium magnets to hold the blade in place on the front bushing. A few interchangeable front bushing/stubs allows balancing of the different mower blades around here. You can see in the pics a few holes drilled on the perimiter of the black hub to perfectly balance the hub. There's nothing special about the shape of the hub.....it's just what I had available at the time and I made it fit the stub axle with the bearings.

If I want to be overly picky about balancing......the setup is sensitive enough where a couple of squares of toilet paper on the end of the blade will change the rotation. After sharpening, if one side is much heavier than the other.....rather than grinding off material.....I'll tack a bead with the mig on the top outer edge or back side of the lighter end and then adjust the bead with the grinder to re balance. No need to remove more good cutting edge than necessary.

The magnets work slick to hold the blade on and allow for quick changes for balance adjustments. The neighbors can't believe how smooth my 3 pt mower operates. No big secret....just use balanced blades. :) Select the thumbnail pics for the full view. Disregard the clutter in the background!!! LOL

View attachment 84774 View attachment 84775 View attachment 84776 View attachment 84777 View attachment 84778 View attachment 84779

Pretty much same balancer I have, but I used a pair of ceramic radial ball bearings to house the shaft. It's mounted to the wall. My breathing on just the cone will turn it. When I am balancing I can get it close and then wipe the dust off of the cut side and it'll either balance out or it'll get light on that side. It's really sensitive! Nicely balanced blades make a huge difference both in comfort, but also noise and cut quality. And obviously longevity of the equipment. people would be surprised how long stuff doesn't last if it's run at it's resonant frequency. I don't know what that frequency is but it doesn't take long to wear parts out when they vibrate all the time.

but what I also found out that is I can put the blades on the mower, cut one time, and pull them off and they're out of balance again. I assume that's from grass buildup. Even after cleaning them they'll still be 'off' a little. Wear maybe, dunno. But the amount they're 'off' is repeatable. Kinda odd but whatever, I've gotten used to it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

dlsmith

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2230, LA211
Nov 15, 2018
967
407
63
Goshen, IN
I've seen these balancers for $5 at hardware stores or Wal Mart. View attachment 84719
I have had one of those for years, but none of the steps fit the hole in my Kubota blades, so I 3D printed an arbor that holds a couple of small bearings that have no grease in them to cause drag, and a threaded pilot the fits the hole in the blade snugly, with a 3D printed wing nut to hold the blade in position.
With a 5/16" bolt got an axle secured to a piece of 1" X 1" tube which is clamped in a vise.
It's sensitive enough for the weight of a small paper clip to show the imbalance.

IMG_20200509_150726737 (Custom).jpg
IMG_20200509_152156002 (Custom).jpg
 
  • Like
  • Wow
Reactions: 1 users

dan_m

Active member

Equipment
BX2380
Jul 9, 2020
133
48
28
Georgia
I have had one of those for years, but none of the steps fit the hole in my Kubota blades, so I 3D printed an arbor that holds a couple of small bearings that have no grease in them to cause drag, and a threaded pilot the fits the hole in the blade snugly, with a 3D printed wing nut to hold the blade in position.
With a 5/16" bolt got an axle secured to a piece of 1" X 1" tube which is clamped in a vise.
It's sensitive enough for the weight of a small paper clip to show the imbalance.

View attachment 84847 View attachment 84848
I'm guessing that tin can is either an old folgers coffee can or previously held enough green beans to make an entire first grade class 🤮. And I still can't believe it's not butter!

Sorry, I always am looking in the background of peoples pictures to see what I can spot. :)

Nice work on the balancer!

Dan