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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers


Hi there

i am a new member on old lawnmower club although in have been accessing the information for years

We (a group of cricket clubs) purchased a BRL cylinder grinder.  We bought the machine and it was delivered, we were told it had not been used for a number of years so there was an element of risk but was assured it was running.


what I have noticed it that it is missing the adapters/bushes that fit around the cylinder shaft or bearing which then clamp into holder.  I noticed on another thread what the missing adapters look like but was wondering if I could replace them with a 3 or 4 jaw Chuck. Are there any friends out there that can advise on this?


any there any members who use this machine ( I have attached the photos)


looking forward to hearing from you


wristpin Mon, 15/06/2020

I’ve got nearly the identical machine and I don’t think that the chuck idea is a goer as one end has to be driven and the amount of re- Engineering To achieve that would buy all the adaptors that you need without the hassle. 

I’m sure that amount your cricketer members there will be someone with a day job in engineering who will have the contacts to knock up a few of the popular sized adaptors. As well as dedicated adaptors, BRL used to supply several different sizes of “ split rings”  that could be assembled to cope with popular imperial and metric bearings.

Assorted bearing adaptors made over the years

Bottom blade and single blade relief grinding attachments, wheel dresser and split ring bearing adaptors

cricketer Mon, 15/06/2020

Hi wristpin


thanks for the reply, i left a message for you to contact me based on a previous reply you posted to a similar thread. 

Do you service this machine yourself? Would good be to call you as I have so many questions, 

i will have to keep an eye open for the adapters and hope they come available

i was also considering getting a bearing with an outer diameter of 60mm (to fit the adapteR) and then get the inner diameter for the cylinder . We have only a few different machines. Would this work?




wristpin Tue, 16/06/2020

Not much servicing to be done other than keeping everything clean and grit free. A couple of times a year I undo the concertina guards to the main bed and give the tracks a thorough clean and some dry lubricant . Same for the traverse mechanism if it fails to trip. I've fitted a dust extraction system to mine so run it dry most of the time and only use it wet if taking heavy cuts on gang mower bottom blades etc but that is not often these days.

Not sure about you scheme for a big bearing . If you are limited to a few "standard" cylinders I would think it worth making  dedicated adaptors which may need to take into consideration the length and type of protrusion of cylinder shaft through them for the driver.  




cricketer Wed, 17/06/2020

Thanks wristpin, I need to give the machine a good clean and grease etc like you say, the traverse does need some work as it does not move 

I am a total novice to this so trying to obtain as much knowledge from forums and experts like yourself.

would be good to see a video of you setting it up and going through the steps if it's not too much trouble, you can send on watsapp?




hortimech Sat, 27/06/2020

If you do not know how to use this machine, then do not use it until you have found someone who does. You will need to be trained to use and maintain it, they can be dangerous in the wrong hands. It would also probably be a good idea to get it checked out before anyone uses it. You will also need someone with an abrasives licence to change the grindstone. I would also check if the clubs insurance covers its use.


Chris G Sat, 27/06/2020

Interesting post though, professional cylinder grinding machines. As well as all the H&S I would imagine there is a fair bit to understand on setup and technique best suited to hands on training over google etc.

I bet it wasn't cheap.

cricketer Tue, 30/06/2020

Thanks guys, I agree with the training and safety etc I have managed to arrange a training session with a mower repair guy who also has a similar machine but his is limited to under 30 inch. So he will show me how to use it etc at the same time he has all the collets which I can then get made using them as a template . All worked out really well.

this machine sharpens up 48-50inch, he was so impressed with it he wanted to buy it from me. 

Let's just put it this way, to sharpen all the blades at our 3 clubs at the end is one season is more expensive than I bought this for even if it means it costs me extra to buy collets.




cricketer Tue, 30/06/2020

Thanks hortimech. thats something i have definitely overlooked as I did not know about license. I guess if we are only using it for our own purpose and not for a business then we should be ok but I will investigate this and the insurance.  

an electrician friend and fellow cricketer is checking all wiring and putting a emergency stop on. We are a big cricketing family!


hortimech Tue, 30/06/2020

It is always better being safer than sorry ;-)

The collets are, from want of a better description, pieces of tube with a slot in them, so anyone with a metal lathe should be able to knock up any required.

The main thing with any cylinder grinder is to keep it clean. Are you also aware that as well as spin grinding, it will do relief grinding provided you have the correct attachments.

cricketer Tue, 30/06/2020

Yes I am aware of that thanks, I have seen the photos from what wristpin has provided which were really helpful showing the collets. 

we have an allett regal 36 and allett regal 42 and the price we were paying to sharpen them was out of the roof, 

looks like some adjustment is required on the traverse as it stutters a bit but does not seem to be a that complicated underneath.


thanks again for your reply

wristpin Tue, 30/06/2020

It’s not that complicated but sometimes a bit of a fiddle to get the trip mechanism just right. Mine is at full stretch with a 36” cylinder or bottom blade . So unless yours is a bigger machine than is apparent in the image that you posted you will be in trouble with the 42.

Adrian Tue, 30/06/2020

We're missing some important information here, chaps.

Where are your grounds, bat or bowl, and if the latter, what?

(bores batsmen out with leggies so slow that they fall asleep before the ball reaches them)

cricketer Wed, 01/07/2020

I will measure again but I am sure it's was over 42 between both points when it traversed. There was an Allen key type of stop at one end which I did not understand the purpose of as it was so far away from the end?

hortimech Wed, 01/07/2020

If I remember correctly (and it has been over 30 years since I saw a BRL grinder) that is the adjustable stop that makes the traverse reverse.


wristpin Wed, 01/07/2020

I will measure again but I am sure it's was over 42 between both points when it traversed. There was an Allen key type of stop at one end which I did not understand the purpose of as it was so far away from the end?

My grinding wheel traverses 38” from stop to stop and the bed that the stocks slide on is 54” from end to end; compare this with yours.  May be you have a bigger machine but the model / serial number that you have posted , suggests otherwise.

James34576 Tue, 10/11/2020

Hiya bit of a long shot I've just got myself the same machine just got some bottom blades to do. Just wondered if you could send me a couple of picture's of your set up. Make sure I'm doing them right. My email address is


Thanks James.