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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Ransomes Ajax Mk 5 restoration

A few pictures of my first restoration attempt. This is a Ransomes Ajax Mk 5 bought for £9. It was in a fairly poor state but complete and on cleaning up showed less wear than expected. It looked to have been little used but probably left in the garden in all weathers. This was intended as a practice session prior to my restoring a Mk 4 I had bought a year earlier.

I showed my Mk4 to my father who gave it a whirl on his lawn and was quite impressed (he being used to an old Qualcast 30 deluxe). My wife then suggested buying him a Ransomes if any become available and fixing it up as a present. Luckily this Mk5 was for sale a few months ago fairly locally and will be his Fathers Day present this year. Hope he appreciates it!! 

Hedley Fri, 26/04/2019

Thanks for the encouragement. These old machines cut very well when looked after. My wife thinks I'm slightly mad but it's great seeing something looking good again and giving a new lease of life to them.

Hedley Wed, 02/10/2019

 Have just acquired a Mk3. Can't wait to get started on it. Looks my the Mk4 will have to wait a little longer. Curiously this one has green cylinder blades. Is this an indication of age? 

wristpin Wed, 02/10/2019

I’ll leave it to Ransomes experts to comment on the green painted blades but bear in mind that it was, and still is, normal to repaint cylinders presented for sharpening. Also, most workshops repaint cylinders in a shade of red approximating to Pillar Box Red or as one paint supplier calls it, “ Bright Cylinder Red” but  Ransomes themselves used a shade with a touch more orange in it - at least from the 1950s onward.

Clive1997 Thu, 03/10/2019

Whilst unable to give a definite answer, I have seen the odd Ajax with green cutting cylinder, also the Atlas. The Mk 3 was produced 1946 to 1958 (Atlas 1935-1946).

All my catalogues etc from that era are in B & W so not much help & parts lists do not make reference to paint colour.

Would suggest that if you can establish there is no red paint beneath the green, perhaps you should restore it with a green cutting cylinder.

hortimech Thu, 03/10/2019

You cannot rely on there being no red paint under the green as an indicator that green was the original colour. It used to be fairly standard to remove the paint from a cylinder in a caustic tank.

stonethemows Thu, 03/10/2019

I would concur with Clive regarding the green cutting cylinders. I have a number of Ajax's, Atlas and I think probably an Anglia of that general era, all with the same green on the cylinder and looking original. Surely too much of a coincidence . . . . .

Hedley Thu, 03/10/2019

Thanks for all the comments. I must admit, I prefer the look of red blades over green but also would like it close to original. I may finally decide once it's stripped and cleaned up ready for paint. Swaying towards green at the moment. I suppose if when it's green and I'm not keen on it, changing to red wouldn't be a major undertaking.

I could always post pics of it finished with green blades and put it to a vote?