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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Hello from a new member

Just a quick introduction . I've been using old push mowers for the past 25 years since a neighbour gave me his restored 12" Atco Deluxe ( still working without issues ) after it became too heavy for him . I'd previously used Husqvarna push mowers ( I like to mow in the early evening without disturbing the neighbours ) . The Atco was a revelation , the smoothness and the quality of cut were way beyond what I'd experienced before . A few years later we moved to a house with a larger lawn and realised that I needed a wider cut . That's when I became aware of Ransomes Certes push mowers . I watched classifieds and eBay for 18 months with no joy when two came along within a week of each other , both 16". These have been a delight to use and look after (hopefully for another generation to use and appreciate) . Much to my Wife's bemusement I recently took in another stray - this time a 14" Certes . I'd never seen on of these for sale so I couldn't say no. This one is more of a project than the others and has had a tough life without any care and attention . I dare say I'll be picking your brains in the days to come, as the size of the task becomes clear ...

AUTO CERTES 1 Fri, 31/07/2020

Welcome to the club from a fellow Certes collector! Have you got any photos you can upload of your 16 and 14" Certes? It's always nice to see other members machines. 

 

Old Certes Fri, 31/07/2020

Just laid out quickly what I have . I apologise in advance to the purists with regards colours but this is how they came to me and I have touched up here and there ...

As you can see the 14" is apart due to a chipped bottom blade ( with which the screws seem to be held in place by some biblical force ! ) Also the left hand , non spindle , cylinder housing bearing is shot and I'm having trouble getting it repaired / replaced . Thanks for you interest .

 

Old Certes Fri, 31/07/2020

Hi Wristpin . I'm not very technically minded but I was told that it needed new bearing / 's .  ? Any advice would be appreciated .

Thank you 

wristpin Fri, 31/07/2020

I'm not familiar with the Certes but Ransoms usually used standard off the shelf bearings  - but may be not in this case?  Another nice image of the dismantled bearing and its carrier will assist.

Edit. Just had a look at a Certes illustrated parts list on this site and the bearing is shown as a standard RL5 or equivalent so no problem .

wristpin Fri, 31/07/2020

Under that steel cap will be an industry standard RL5 self aligning bearing or the equivalent from another manufacturer. May also be a felt seal which helps to keep the oil in. Note that Ransomes recommendation lubricating with oil, not grease.

If the machine has been run with a bad bearing , I would renew the bearing at the other end as well and also get a mower shop to give the cutting cylinder a light grind .  When you say that the bottom blade is chipped, how bad is it? It may only need a skim. Even if you fit a new bottom blade it should be skimmed after screwing it to the sole plate /  carrier.

Old Certes Fri, 31/07/2020

As a matter of interest , how do you remove the housing from the cylinder ?

Thank you .

wristpin Fri, 31/07/2020

As a matter of interest , how do you remove the housing from the cylinder ?

Careful use of a couple of pry bars or big tyre levers .

I see what you mean about the chip!  Bottom blade screws - start of by trying plenty of heat on each screw . If you have access to oxy acetylene which gives intense localised heat, take each screw head to cherry red.  Last resort is to weld a nut to each screw . The welding warms them up and the nut gives something to get hold of.

If considering a cold chisel and lump hammer or an impact driver, give a thought to the possible fragility of the cast sole plate.