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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Rich Tea Biscuit updated

04/06/2021 update.

I am really pleased in spite of the many set backs my 10" Ace put me through that it has now been painted (with exception to the wheels and grass bucket) and put back together to accompany its bigger counterpart 12" which by some miracle has now got it's own grass bucket, this was a later purchase but the search still goes on for a 12" grass deflector, so if anyone has a spare one in their treasure room please let me know.

I have more than enough side wheels to tinker with and a Suffolk Colt to swear at, I wont be buying anymore for a while, on a finishing note I would just like to say thank you to all those who have helped with my enquiries and I dare say I will be asking for help in the near future if I fail to get my Suffolk Colt running. 




A hairline  facture on the LW1 side plate killed my 10" Ransomes Ace,the attached wheel was seized at the time of purchase, I used WD40 to work its way into the shaft over two days to ease the wheel off and still nothing, gentle tapping with a rubber mallet on the inner rim of the wheel and CRACK!  

Words cannot describe the sickness I was feeling as I just stared at my broken mower, I don't think it mattered what technique I could have used, it was going to break either way sooner or later.

The cost of repair by a professional company quoted - £200 + vat, I searched for a donor mower for a few weeks and found one in Birmingham, no handle or badge, just the mower, everything was seized nothing turned, it was caked in dirt and rust which suggests it sat rotting away in the owners garden for years, the other alterative was to spend £200 so I went for the cheaper option although I did prepare the side panel by removing the rust and paint just in case.  

Once home I took a few pics and started the removal of mud and left to soak in lubricant for a few days and come the day of stripping the parts, the nuts sheared off, the wheel split pins refused to budge so these were nipped off and drilled out, Nails had been used to hold the handle curved irons to the side panel location, these were rusted tight, (talk about being a sucker for punishment) I roped in some help and extra tools, namely a gear puller.

We salvaged the LW1 side panel I needed but not so good for the LW2 panel which broke as a result of a hidden fracture which like mine was not fresh, the other parts are surplus but worth keeping since parts are rarely found singularly.

Since the side panels are as thick as a Rich Tea Biscuit, I will do a full restoration on mine and prevent this delicate design of lawnmower from further decay, the pictures below is the donor mower after I brought it home with some additional pics of breakages, my Ace is currently at the back of the shed for now until the weather improves and I can restore it. 




DJD Wed, 12/05/2021

£200 plus vat sounds an awful lot of money for about an hours work? Maybe they plan to use gas or TIG welding?

I've used my MIG wire fed welder to weld quite a few items over the years, including an exhaust manifold on a Land Rover, motorbike barrels and heads etc. I've also used the blue silicone type rods with an ordinary arc welder.

Preparation is the key to such work, work needs bevelling at join to allow maximum penetration to get the strength back into the part and heat treating (stress relieving)  too is required, to prevent cracks at the weld site.

It would be a tricky job for someone like myself to give any guarantees on such work, but I've done similar jobs whilst working for a farmer at £8 an hour, a long time ago of course.

If you get stuck, email me and I'd be happy to talk to you further, £20-50 ought to be plenty, plus postage, I'd have thought myself.

John.Sutherland Thu, 13/05/2021

Thanks for the offer but I now have the donor part, I will however keep you in mind should lightening strike twice, touch wood it wont otherwise this mower is going to fall down the least favourite scale.

I can't remember the company name but they specialise in vintage and antique repairs hence the price and had the Ransomes Ace been a rare item I would of course find a means to have the LW1 repaired but these lawnmowers are popping up all of a sudden, I was just lucky to have found one beyond practical use.

Back in my day £8 an hour would have been a treat, instead I was paid £4 per day on the farm, how times have changed.