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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Webb Witch Help

Hi All I'm a newbie here.  My 9 yr old son and I are trying to get my Grandfather's mower going.  I think it's a parallel handle Webb Witch, from your picture advert in MP041, price £3 10. The chain is missing but a heavy duty BMX bike chain looks like it's going to be a lovely fit. (KMC 415H 3/16" and a half link.)   I've stripped it down but can't get the green side off as I can't work out how to undo/remove/prise off the bearing.  I'm trying to get the cutting cylinder out to clean up the bearings.  Please be gentle with me as we only did rubbish cooking and sewing at school and most of my messing with machinery is self taught.  I'm assuming there isn't a Haynes Manual for a Webb Witch.smileyHere is a pic of the bit I need to remove .....  Many thanks Merinda (45, mum of 3)


hortimech Wed, 12/06/2013

Hi, you do not need to remove the rear roller to get the cylinder out smiley

Remove the bolts that retain the bottom block/delivery plate ( the large cast thing behind the cylinder), this should now drop out (though you may have to force it gently, do not hit it), remove the sprocket from the cylinder. Remove the front roller completly, remove the bolts that retain the rear of the cylinder bearing housings,. At this point, on the later models, you would remove the nuts retaining the front bar and gently pry the sideplates out a little to allow the bar and cylinder assy to drop out, but yours seems to an early model that I have never seen.

Is there any chance of close up pictures of one of the cylinder adjusters? if so I will work out what you need to do  

Merinda Wed, 12/06/2013

It worked!  The whole thing is apart, thank you so much.  The cylinder bearings are gummed up with rust and muck, but I think they'll last a few more miles after a good clean and new grease, as long as my son sticks to the speed limit.  Another question, what should I clean it with?  My husband won't approve of my putting it in the dishwasher, soak it in petrol? car oil? or just scrub it with WD40?  

wristpin Wed, 12/06/2013

Looks in nice condition so a good clean up with diesel or WD40 and when it's all reassebled a drop of oil on the moving parts may be a wipe over with Waxoyl to preseve it.

Clive1997 Wed, 12/06/2013


Looks like a very early one and good condition, I have just identified an early webb mower (Assuming it was a Witch) for a charity that contacted me, image below. Yours appears to have a smooth roller so earlier than the one below, which to date was the earliest I had seen.

I have traced an ad in the Army & Navy stores catalogue for 1939 with a nice image & text, price 75/9  or £3-15s-9d.




hortimech Thu, 13/06/2013

Glad to help, just one thing though, I think your 'witch' is actually a 'wasp'. Every Webb witch that I have seen has had a grooved rear roller and an 8 blade cylinder, Wasp's looked nearly identical, but they had a smooth rear roller and a 6 blade cylinder.

You could try get some diesel to clean the machine, this would not not effect any paintwork and if you left the bearings soaking in it, would make freeing them off easier.


Merinda Sat, 15/06/2013

I now need to know what make is it?  A Witch or a Wasp?  I'll try to find out what my mum knows about it.  It was my father's father's but mummy has THE best memory.  My grandfather had a garage and my father was always mending things around the house and pulling car engines to bits.  Knowing those two, it could have been a home made hybrid.  Mummy said at one point Daddy had 11 lawn mowers.