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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Thomas Green and Sons Mower Restoration

Hi fellow enthusiasts,

I wanted to share a recent restoration project. I bought a rusty old lawnmower for $50 and relied a lot on this site for tips to restore and get the engine going again breathing new life into a beautiful old machine. I have used it almost every weekend for the past year.

Last weekend unfortunately the sprag sprocket broke in half and I am now on a mission to get a new one. Any help would be appreciated!




hillsider Thu, 24/11/2016

Wow that is a really good restoration, such a shame about the free wheel breaking up. 

In you last photo I think I can see some letters stamped into the casing of the free wheel if so it may help to know what is there, also there is what looks like two holes that may be there to assist dismantling or removal of the unit.

Maybe someone will post more information re availability but I am wondering if a bicycle repair shop would be a good place to start your search.

Good luck with your search.

wristpin Thu, 24/11/2016

As Hillsider says, almost certainly a proprietary free wheel unit and equally liable to have come from the cycle industry. Is there any possibility that a professional welder could stick it back together; really nothing to loose from where you are?  Several years ago I was helping someone on another forum who got some new sprockets made from scratch for a machine that he was restoring at a very reasonable cost so all may not be as bad as it seems.

Meanwhile what is the maker's name on that hub? Those two holes are almost certainly for a pin spanner to dismantle the ratchet mechanism - as seen on many a push bike and also Hayter Harrier rear rollers!


Clive1997 Thu, 24/11/2016

Yes an excellent restoration, another option is finding a donor machine, whilst I never like scrapping a mower sometimes it must happen. There has been a similar mower on ebay for a while a 14in? Is yours a 12in? & is the box original?…

​Although it would require a kind club member to obtain it & strip it on your behalf & post the part as I see you're in Aus?

Or are there any members that have an existing machine for scrap?? I have various other makes that I could break, but not a Greens Motor mower at present.


Good luck with your search.


Greengrass obsession Sat, 26/11/2016

Hi Hillsider,

It has 'Villiers' and 'The Midget' stamped around the casing. I will check out a bike store, thats a good idea.

Greengrass obsession Sat, 26/11/2016

Hi Clive,

Will start looking for a donor machine, mine is the 14in and the box is original.  Thanks for the link, will be sure to keep my eye on it if I can't get one locally and make a plan. Just want to keep this thing alive!

You guys are all so helpful!


merryman Sun, 27/11/2016

I did up an old Greens mower about 15 years ago, a bit newer than your machine as it has a Villiers side valve engine and is 18" cut. Anyway, the blade clutch was seized and worn out. It was very close to a bike one but not quite, at this remove I can't remember why, I think it was LH thread whereas cycles are RH thread, or maybe t'other way round. Anyway it had Morse stamped on it, and Cross/Morse were able to supply a new one. Again, I think the thread was wrong, but so near in design that the old centre part could be used with the new ratchet and sprocket.

Greengrass obsession Tue, 29/11/2016

Hillsider was on the money. I managed to find a 14T 1/2" 1/8" sprocket with a threaded internal of 29mm ID for $15. I machined the old busted one to an OD of 29.8mm and pressed on the new one with a hydraulic press. Seems to be holding up. 

I also bought a donor machine. Just got to work out how to get it from Brisbane to Perth. 


hillsider Wed, 30/11/2016

Good to hear that you have resolved your problem over the free wheel, I am just a little concerned over the new unit relying on a press fit to keep it in place. If it stays put then all is well but if it starts to move then a rethink may be required, perhaps some Loctite sleeve and bush retainer would work or even as a last resort a couple of tack welds.