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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Reel Grinder identity, help !!!

Hi guys. I have looked everywhere for a manual on this grinder, but I cannot find anything on it. On the front of the the machine it says Rogers Mfg Co "Universal" Lawn mower grinder. I just cannot find a single thing, other than the patent. I have figured out the bar in the rear of the machine was added by someone and it can be removed. I just want to know how to set this up to grind reels. According to the patent it will do the bedknife and the reel. Thanks in advance.

wristpin Wed, 07/10/2020

An interesting bit of kit.  Looks like the big hand wheel and the cables move the grinding head across the bed but there’s no sign of how the reel would be secured. Can only guess that there should be stocks on which to mount it and that each blade would be ground, one at a time - single blade or relief grinding .  

It will be interesting to see whether anyone can come up with more information or even a manufacturers brochure.


Rusty68us Thu, 08/10/2020

Here are some additional photos. I have a push reel mounted in it now, to try and see if I have it figured out. The grinding head can tilt 180 degrees to do bedknives as well.

Rusty68us Thu, 08/10/2020

Here are some additional photos. I have a push reel mounted in it now, to try and see if I have it figured out. The grinding head can tilt 180 degrees to do bedknives as well.

wristpin Thu, 08/10/2020

I have a push reel mounted in it now, 

It hadn’t occurred to me that it is for “ in situ” grinding only?  That would account for there being no obvious way of mounting loose reels. I’ve found one or two images on the Internet, almost identical to yours but no more informative.  It will be nice to see an image or even a video of it in action.

Clive1962 Sat, 10/10/2020

I too did a quick Google and it found a link to a US Popular Mechanics mag' which showed a photo of a unit or machine mounted at the back of the grinder.

Do some grinders treat one cylinder blade at a time rather than spin grind.? 



wristpin Sat, 10/10/2020

Yes, single bade used to be the norm many years ago and is still used now when the blades require "relief grinding".  Modern electronics etc have have made it possible for automatic indexing single blade grinding to be incorporated in the current generation of "all singing and dancing " ( and expensive) grinders . If you google Foley or Bernhard ( formally Atterton and Ellis) you can see them in action.

Please post the link to PM  - not been able to find it.

Clive1962 Sat, 10/10/2020

Will find the link and PM.... 

I am used to AE Pilot and Ledger which I still have.



Rusty68us Mon, 12/10/2020

If I have the reel mounted with both sides at the identical height and distance from the grinding head. Can I attempt a couple passes with the grinder ? I bought this machine only because the grinding unit can do single blade relief and then you can flip the grinding head 180 degrees and grind the bedknife. Plus, I felt like the price was right. I never imagined that I wouldn't be able to find a set up manual online.

hortimech Mon, 12/10/2020

Actually using the machine will probably be quite trivial, the small hand wheel will send the grindstone in and out and the large hand wheel will send the carriage along the machine, it will be the set up that will be the problem. From reading the patent notes it seems it was designed to grind side wheel mowers 'traction wheels....being removed'. To grind other mowers may entail the designing and making of some form of adaptors. The other question is, how do you grind the top face of the bottom blade ?

I feel, unless you can find a manual for the machine, you are just going to have to try to set up the machine as best you can. Have you used a reel grinder before ? I would offer to come and help you out (not that I have used your type of grinder) but there is a very large pond in the way. 

Rusty68us Tue, 13/10/2020

Haha, yes the pond is an issue. I have no used a reel grinder, zero experience. I have read a lot online, but I have zero,  real experience.

 I know the reel set up has to be equal in distance and in height to the grinding stone. I believe I can mount the reels properly, but not sure what else I need to check.

hortimech Tue, 13/10/2020

No idea just what the mower is, but it is obviously some type of side wheel. I still do not understand how you are supposed to grind the bottom blade (or bed-knife as they call it in the advert) correctly without removing it from the machine, unless you are just supposed to grind the front face ?

wristpin Tue, 13/10/2020

As Hortimech observes , it’s difficult to see how it copes with bottom blades but it’s an interesting bit of kit of the era.  Lots of other interesting things on that link too. Scroll down a way and there’s another in situ grinder, a Simplex. Similar in method but of a bit less Heath Robinson in construction.

Over  forty years ago I acquired a heap of workshop and parts manuals that were heading for the skip after a dealer’s liquidation sale .   Amongst the useful stuff was a leaflet for a UK made “hobby” cylinder grinder , extolling it’s potential for earning  cash on the side. I’d just bought a proper grinder, the BRL that I still use today, so I think that leaflet went into the bin. Pity, as it would be nice to be able to compare it with its transatlantic cousin.



Rusty68us Wed, 14/10/2020

I appreciate everyone's input, thank you. I will post some better pictures. I actually think that I can grind modern reels with it.  Once you see how the reel  mounts actually work, it will help explain a lot. I could be completely wrong also, who knows . I am missing the guide finger, so I have to buy or get a finger guide fabricated, but it shouldn't be terribly difficult, at least I don't think. I am going to get this thing up and running in the next week or so and will post a video if anyone is interested.. providing it works how I anticipate . If anyone finds anything knew, please let me know. Thank you everyone.

Rusty68us Tue, 03/11/2020

I found out that Rogers Manufacturing Company was a subsidiary of Jacobsen. I am going to contact Jacobsen and hopefully have some luck. 

hdtrust Wed, 04/11/2020

Just had a look at your grinder,that's got Jake written all over it,yes I've come across these units in the States but mainly with the Homish in Penn State,they use them mainly for the domestic market.

The best person to speak to is our Past Chairman,Peter Hampton, The best in the business as he says he's only been involved with cylinder grinding for the last 60 years! He was the North American,West Coast territory Manager for Bernhards.

Although you need grinders for sharp mowers,I'm afraid the whole subject can be alien to lawn mower collecting and infact the whole industry can appear misleading to those on the outside.Within the trade you'll find cloak and daggers between each company but all the sales staff know there opposite numbers!

I always remember travelling through a small village near Blue Boar Penn,not far from the township of Intercourse (google it,Intercourse Penn state) finding an Homish elder in his shed grinding a cylinder of a lawn mower one blade at a time with a hand held grinder! When the machine was back together,it cut perfectly - some would say by chance! but knowing the skill of the Homish,I would say it was a privilege to see.

Kind regards