Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers
Would be interested to hear any suggestions on my first restoration project?
First I'd reccomend you read this section of the website:
Secondly always set a deadline appropriate for your restoration and stick to it, I've tried restoring 2 mowers up to now which I've not been motivated to do and have unfortunatley failed restoring. This one I'm working on at the moment I set a deadline for 22nd August and to be honest I think I'll reach it.
Also stick to small mowers first, good examples of mowers to do are the Folbate J1 sidewheel mower or the Greens Monitor push mower since both of those have few parts.
When you're painting machinery it's generally acceptable to use red oxide primer, since it has better adhesion properties than normal grey/white primer. I'm not sure of the reactivity it gives when you're topcoat is green since red pigment tends to bleed through many colours. Of course there are products such as barcoat which prevent this but it's added cost to your restoration, if you prefer to be safe than sorry i'd reccomend simply using grey primer.
Some mower restorers like to shotblast the mowers down to bare metal, this is not nessicary and unless you happen to have a big enough compressor and the right facilities it only adds to the cost of getting somebody to do it, the best way is to use an angle grinder with a braided wire wheel, this will easily remove paint and rust and depending on how long you want to take it may even bring the metal down to bare.
In some cases the metal pits, which is a form of corrosion which forms small holes in the metal. Depending on how far you want to go you can use an automotive body filler to fill in the pits, if you're not planning to display the mower to a highly critical audience this certainly isn't nessicary and costs time and money, especially if you're just using the mower for yourself.
If you're planning to restore the mower in your profile picture, which looks to me like a 50s ATCO with the tow behind seat, I'd say get a bit of experience on smaller mowers (Folbate J1 or Greens Monitor) before you delve into a large mower like that. Suffolk Iron Foundry Engines are also cheap engines to pick up, and good to get experience with fine tuning and rebuilding with.
Hope my help is appreciated.