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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Qualcast B1

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Had a bit of fun with this one. The blades still had a good edge on so I opted for a clean-up and repaint. The colours matched reasonably well, especially the red. For this I used Ford Carnival Red and Ford Olympic Blue. The transfer was obtained from the club, thanks to Colin for the quick delivery.

Not sure how or if these can be dated but on the blade carrier is the number 62. Would anyone know if this is a date of manufacture?

Hedley Sun, 28/04/2024

Morning Chirpy,

I was planning to use it. I've discovered the advantage with side wheels on longer tufts that my cylinder mowers just flatten with the front rollers. It will only be used occasionally but its ready when I need it.

RansomesRob Sun, 28/04/2024

Hi Hedley. Your B1 looks amazing. Having read that you find your cylinder mowers flatten the longer tufts of grass, you might a forum topic from 2020 interesting? If you type into the Search Site box.....Front roller laying grass down will find the discussion. Cheers. Rob

chirpy999 Mon, 29/04/2024

A push mower is all most people need if you have a smallish garden. Ive got a Webb 12hr and find it a great little machine . You might need a bit more power for say a early cut after winter but thats about it I think.

Hedley Tue, 30/04/2024

Thanks to all for the advice. I'll have to keep a look out for a set of front rollers and bar from a Mk5 Ajax. I could swap these over on my Mk4 and just set up with the smaller outer rollers. Although, I do enjoy deciding which mower to use when cutting the lawn, it's interesting to compare different manufacturers and models.

RansomesRob Tue, 30/04/2024

Hi Hedley. I also like to compare the different manufacturers and models when cutting our 2 small lawns. Back in 2017 I got my first 'old' push mower and that was me hooked!! I now have 13 push mowers and there are still plenty of models that I would like to try, but sadly, there is no more room in my shed for anymore!  Cheers. Rob

Robert_jl_john… Mon, 27/05/2024

Just making a start on my own restoration of a B1.  Would anyone know the spec of the bolt that secures the sole plate.  It's Part No. b.17.  I think it might be a BSW 3/8 x 16 that is 1" long?

Robert_jl_john… Mon, 03/06/2024

Found a Qualcast B1 on eBay which had belonged to the seller’s mother, so probably owned since new.

This link very helpful to get started.

I used a generous amount of WD40 on all screws and disassembled then used wire wool to clean up all the parts before giving a coat of Owatrol Oil.  500ml is plenty, 125ml would have easily been enough for this little project.  The Owatrol Oil refreshed the original paint and gave is a glossy shine.  The larger screws that hold the sole plate in place where badly threaded.  They are 1.00” long 3/8 x 16 BSW which I replaced from Historic Threads

Reassembly is straightforward.  There are lots of videos online that explain back lapping.  I used lapping paste from Frost Restorers, they sell a medium and fine 500g pack for £16, which is enough for a lifetime of sharpening.

The original B1 manual provides a simple explanation of how to switch the pinions and then using a small screwdriver in the oil hole of the outer wheel it’s easy to turn the cutting cylinder in the reverse direction and after about 20 mins the blades sharpen up nicely.

The end result is a mower that works really very well, and makes a simple job of cutting a small lawn.