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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Atco Standard toolbox lid

Just wondering whether anyone in the club makes and supplies these? Mine has long since gone AWOL (I'm not sure the remaining box sides are original either), and I'm feeling a bit inspired at the mo to sort mine out. Is this a real Standard toolbox, gents?

 

Keith Wootton Wed, 24/06/2020

Adrian

Looks genuine - almost...

The profile of the wooded sides looks correct and the washers inside and the clips outside are right.

However, not sure about the metal base - I've never seen a box that has this mix..

 

Adrian Wed, 24/06/2020

Thanks, Keith, sounds like a bodge, then. I did wonder with the generous number of screws in it. Presumably, then, the piece of wood in the middle is probably genuine, and the remaining wood has been replaced?

Nobody knock up lids in their shed for fun? I have some strange non-ferrous sheets I inherited that would probably be quite good thickness-wise once given a lip and some corner seams, but no way of joining them and no metal working experience either. Not that that's ever stopped me from making a mess of a job before.

Keith Wootton Thu, 25/06/2020

Adrian

Photo of the box on my "Oval Frame". As you'll see, the box has recesses for the specific tools supplied with the mower (spanners, oil can etc).

Adrian Fri, 26/06/2020

Ooooh, that's a lovely thing, Keith!

 

What's missing from the square hole and the triangular  one, I wonder?

 

And that reminds me - somewhere I have a banjo oil can, I wonder if it's an Atco one?

wristpin Fri, 26/06/2020

Just about every Standard tool box that I’ve seen includes at least one spare spark plug,  but perhaps that was not official issue.

Adrian Sat, 27/06/2020

It's wonderful, isn't it? What a gloriously comprehensive list! Now, if I could just give them a quick buzz and order a 5250... or is it a 2531? Mine is an 18", so does it share with the 16" or the 22"? 

Looking at it earlier made me wonder... why the different cone and plate clutch offerings? I have the cone on mine, whereas most I see  have the plate. I'd wondered if it was an age thing, but the parts list has both. 

 

Adrian Tue, 30/06/2020

Ah, the vagaries of fate! I have a volunteer who may make me up one if I get measurements... I know where there was a Standard locally some 18-19 years ago, we set off for a walk there yesterday only to discover that I had very much mis-remembered the depth of the ford, and SWMBO was having none of even trying to cross it. So later this week (on "holiday" - well, off work) we try again via the route with a bridge...

 

And this time even if the Met Office predict a wash-out I will wear sunblock. As a result of their sunless day, my forehead currently glows like a brake light.

olcadmin Tue, 30/06/2020

Some interesting points/questions arising here.

My current understanding is that the 22" Standard was introduced in 1922 (the Oval Frame being available in 1921 and possibly a bit of 1922 too) and the 16" and 30" models a year later. The next "new" models were probably 1926 so this places the parts list on our site at somewhere between 1923 and end of 1925. It's possibly towards the end of that timeframe if the assumptions about the changes in clutch design etc are broadly right.

Although I have had a copy of the parts list for years - and have seen dozens of the mowers in question - I had never thought much about there being different sizes of toolbox. I'll need to compare my 14" and 22" models side-by-side to have a proper view on that. Also interesting is that the toolbox is clearly wooden. The all-metal design must have come in later.

Adrian's point about the type of clutch is also interesting. The earliest "Standard" models all had the plate clutch design but this was superseded around about 1925 with the cone version which one assumes was more reliable and easier to adjust to give a good connection with less slip while also loosening for non-drive. Bearing in mind this is the "parts list" it's not surprising that it covers both versions.

Look closely and you'll see that the flat plates come in two sizes - except that both are available for the 16", 22" and 30" models (these were the only sizes available at this time). This implies to me that the size was enlarged at some point to give better traction but soon afterwards they gave up and went to the cone style model. Certainly my 22" "Oval Frame" has the smaller size plates. If we knew when the changes were made it would be a useful guide to ages.

Theoretically it should be possible to interchange the different clutch designs between models although I have never tried it.

Adrian Tue, 30/06/2020

Intriguing... I got the idea from somewhere many moons ago (bear in mind that I first saw another Standard, and heard of the club, and wrote to Keith, in about issue 12 of Old Glory, now up to issue 365 - if anyone fancies a complete set, make me an offer for Dad's...) that my machine was early - the number on the magneto backplate and flywheel is D1187 - however it's got a steel tank, a cone clutch, and it's an 18" cut, all of which suggest it isn't.

I know that machines would be repainted when serviced - mine had at least three sets of Atco transfers visible when I got it, and it'll need another one now the tank has been in the ultrasonic bath - do we think/know that maybe major assemblies would be swapped around depending on what was ready when the machine needed finishing? Angus? That sounds like your thing!

PS I'm not sure that cleaning tanks in the bath is recommended, but it does at least no longer sound like a rainmaker when you tip it up - no wonder the poor old thing kept clogging up!

hortimech Wed, 01/07/2020

It depends on who serviced it, if it was an independent dealer, you would probably get back your machine with only faulty or service parts replaced. If Atco serviced it, then you would probably only be sure in getting back the label with your name on, they just stripped down the machines entirely, refurbished or replaced everything, repainted and then built a machine. They then tied your label to it and returned it to you.

wristpin Wed, 01/07/2020

 

It depends on who serviced it, if it was an independent dealer, you would probably get back your machine with only faulty or service parts replaced. If Atco serviced it, then you would probably only be sure in getting back the label with your name on, they just stripped down the machines entirely, refurbished or replaced everything, repainted and then built a machine. They then tied your label to it and returned it to you.

A bit of history

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qvr5u31cldlazr0/Atco%20Service%20Dept%2030001…

Adrian Sat, 04/07/2020

Bother. Unsurprisingly, I guess, given how long since I saw it there, the Standard I was going to inspect for toolbox sizings is no longer there - neither, it seems, is the farmyard it was in, replaced by houses with expensive cars parked in front of them. 

Would anyone be prepared to measure theirs up for me, please?

wristpin Sun, 05/07/2020

Despite your rude remarks about the likely parentage of my Atco trolly I've just risked life and limb to access two Standards lurking in my store.

The lid on the 24" machine is 12" x 7"  and the one on the 20" machine 10" x 7" .

Enjoy!

 

Adrian Sun, 05/07/2020

Thank you - I reckon the 20" is probably the same as mine (haven't gone out and measure it yet).

That's a scary looking scarifier!