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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Rear roller colour

I have rescued a few mowers now, taken apart cleaned, replaced bits and pieces and obviously painted relevant colours on framework and cutting cylinder, handles etc, 90% of the time the rear roller contact surface is rusty and bears no significant colour, so my query, would the manufacturers back in the day have painted them the same colour as the mower? Ive painted quite a few silver, and recently after seeing other restorations, done them black. Can I ask if anyone has a personal preference, and ill go with the majority.  Cheers to you all. Lee

Warpa Tue, 26/11/2019

Most I see restored and from factory are green and I've no idea why as it wouldn't last a season with paint from those days being pushed down paths etc.

The inside of the roller looks fine green, and the mower I'm working on I'll do green as it's meant to be. If it's done in silver the paint still wont last. If the roller didnt rust I'd leave natural after wire brushing for my personal preference.

Clive1997 Tue, 26/11/2019

My personal preference is to leave unpainted, but clean any rust & a bit of treatment to protect from further  rust, sometimes we use black  wax for those on display.

wristpin Tue, 26/11/2019

As I give my preserved machines some use l don’t paint the rolling surface of the roller. Iron and steel rollers get a good wire brushing followed by an application of a rust converter  which leaves a Matt black finish which wears well and looks “natural”.  Alloy rollers such as those on Auto Certes get a light rub over with medium wire wool and are left to age naturally. 

RansomesRob Tue, 26/11/2019

Hi Wristpin. Recently bought some Owatrol for my Push  mowers to try. Not used it yet. Is  this something you have used?  If so, any tips please? Thanks. Rob

wristpin Tue, 26/11/2019

I use it thinned for rustorations that are never going to see paint, as a holding preservative on cutting cylinders that have been through the stripping and derusting tanks and are awaiting the right conditions for painting  and as a brush painting additive to improve paint flow and with a decent brush eliminate brush marks. 

Lee Smallwood Wed, 27/11/2019

That's interesting, which rust converter leaves a Matt black finish Angus? I'd prefer to use something like that than paint.

wristpin Wed, 27/11/2019

Spencer Coatings Konvertex gives the consistently blacker finish. Kurust tends to produce a slightly purple finish.

What  ever you use there must be an even coat of rust for it to convert. Over wire brushing leaving bare metal is counter productive as the converter will not cure on bare steel or iron.