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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Wood Stain

What stain or oil or varnish do you recommend for the wooden rollers on my lawnmower?

I’ve used varnish that is a light oak but as soon as I’ve pushed the lawnmower across the patio it’s removed the varnish back to the light wood colour underneath. 

I assume I need some sort of oil to penetrate the wood as opposed to a varnish which sits on top of the wood and ultimately gets scratched off


stonethemows Sun, 11/08/2019

Linseed oil is the answer. Ideally remove the individual rolls from the axle then lightly rub down, including the ends, with sandpaper. Clean off and brush on the linseed oil.  The amount required will depend on the age and wear of the wood. If it is of an age apply fairly generously then brush out any excess. You may well find in this situation that it could take a day or two to thoroughly dry out. A second, lighter coat may then be considered. The linseed oil will prevent the rolls from drying out and cracking; also will give a degree of waterproofing.

Traditionally in their handbooks/operators manuals manufacturers would strongly recommend cleaning the machine after each use. Mainly this is removing grass and dust from the cutting cylinder, front and rear rolls and wiping the cutting cylinder with an ' oily rag '. End of season cleaning and storage could also include rubbing down and applying linseed oil to the front rolls ( also the handgrips where appropriate )

I would also suggest that when moving the mower, particularly over a paved/hard surface it is good practice to slightly tip the machine backwards to avoid the front rolls scraping the ground.. This also makes it easier to push and steer.