Friday, April 27, 2012

Rotary blade Sharpening

 These are a few picks of our Toro 4300D Groundsmaster mower ( Rough mower). Out of all the machinery these mowers get the most abuse on blades . There is is a reason they call it the rough and the blades will show you how rough it really is on your course . A good operator will get use to mowing these areas and know where not to mow to cause the least amount of damage .
 These are picks of blades with about 6 hrs. on them .
Rotary blades are at least easier to get sharp than reel mowers . The blade above is referred as a gator style blade. The notched area ( sail ) helps break up clumps from mowing in wetter conditions . There are many ways to sharpen blades . Some course (very few ) have machining equipment and can mill a new edge .You can buy a grinder specific to grinding rotary blades but are pretty expensive . For myself I use a 4.5 "  hand grinder with a medium grit grinding wheel . Pay close attention to the factory edge/bevel and follow it . When the course gets into full mow mod I may not have time to grind blades so I keep a spare set for each machine . With my equipment lift I am able to switch out blades daily if needed . If time allows I'll grind them if not I will set them aside for later .
 This is a little blade balancer . I use it to make sure the blade is somewhat balanced . If it drops rather quickly when placed on then grind it a little bit more till it balances itself out . You don't have to get to finicky with balancing, the centrifugal force of the blade spinning will find a balance on it's own .

 I will remove blades with an air gun but I won't install them with one . I'm using a block of wood to block the rotation and TORQUING the bolt to manufacturers specifications . You could drive them on with an air gun but may risk over tightening the bolt or worse yet ruin the spindle bearings . One the guys on a tech site made a tool to hold the blade but I just haven't found the time to make it yet .

Most importantly don't straighten a bent blade , check for cracks around the mounting area and sail . Once a year replace the bolts holding the blades on .
The blade closest to you has seen it's last grind .Two types of blades here . Top gator style (brand new ) and bottom is called a combination blade . Notice the the sails are different on it . Must be to lift the grass better . The bottom one is great for dry mowing . There are many different blades avaliable for different mowing conditions . These ones work the best for this course .
A couple of pics of our rough cut .

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