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Mower Blade Standardization, Lack Thereof

The blade from our current Craftsman mower is on the right:

Sears Craftsman mower blades

Sears Craftsman mower blades

The other two came from our previous Craftsman mowers.

Stipulated: Sears sources their mowers from various suppliers, but it’d be great if everybody could agree on a single blade mount and be done with it.

Obligatory XKCD.

For the record, a 5/8 inch socket works fine. One could surely use a 16 mm socket in a pinch.

Wear leather gloves to prevent a nasty gash from the stamped-steel muffler shroud as you pull the sparkle plug cap to avoid an absolutely impossible engine startup while you’re wrenching under the deck.

Replace the air cleaner while you’re at it.

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  1. #1 by Olli on 2018-05-27 - 08:56

    “Anyone who’s used a vacuum cleaner understands the problem: You need a high-velocity stream of air to entrain dust particles and carry them into a filter that separates the dirt from the air. Moving lots of high-speed air requires a noisy motor and a line cord; any rationally sized battery just won’t suffice.”

    http://www.drdobbs.com/robot-lessons/184405413?queryText=roomba

    What is your take on these…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotic_lawn_mower

    • #2 by Ed on 2018-05-27 - 10:07

      I remember writing that! A decade and a half later, batteries remain too small, even the explosive ones. [grin]

      The same applies to robotic mowers, particularly “solar powered” ones. Sheesh.

      Given that mowers work well only on flat lawns in good weather, I’d like a laser guidance / data link from an elevated vantage point. If you raster-scan the allowed area with a data shower including the beam coordinates, you can tell the robot where it is and what it should do next. But, bah, you’d need actual hardware.

      • #3 by RCPete on 2018-05-27 - 10:52

        This week’s Ask This Old House featured a line of garden tools that use an interchangeable 40V lithium pack. Nope, though it’s less scary than the higher voltage units. I’m partial to the interchangeable power head/implement system. Toro and Ryobi have compatible units, and the last Toro power head lasted 10 years. And, the replacement fit properly.

        I read where a farmer outfitted a few of his tractors for full robotic (unmanned) control, with GPS assist for navigation. (I suspect he uses a differential unit for greater precision.) He was a retired robotics designer, but that’s a whole new level of liability. OTOH, the big manufacturers are marketing GPS-enabled automagic steering in manned tractors, and conversions are being marketed.

        • #4 by RCPete on 2018-05-27 - 10:53

          Oh yeah, the Toro is 2-stroke, but I don’t have to deal with California emission rules.

  2. #5 by Keith Ward on 2018-05-27 - 09:36

    “Interchangeable parts” has become “proprietary parts” to guarantee future business and to insure frustration. Similar to how “shrinkflation” has become the norm for everything and giving no other choice but to buy it or do without. As my wife reminds me frequently, “corporations are sucking the life out of the middle class”.

    I recall several companies that did not play well with computers and electronics and used various shenanigans to keep your business. If I recall, they were HP, Compaq, and Radio Shack, but no doubt there are/were many others. I typical avoid them when I find these things out. Some tactics were as simple as changing the connector type or simple reversing the order of the wires in a connector … not cool at all.

  3. #6 by RCPete on 2018-05-27 - 10:20

    I’m easier on mower blades (we don’t have much grass that needs a push mower), but our dusty pumice soil is hell on air filters. I usually have to replace the filter yearly, while the spark plug lasted 13 years before dying. Now, I have to find a source for the Honda air filter; they used to carry it at Home Depot, but the current supply looks incompatible. OTOH, the ranch and farm supply store probably has it.

    The fun job was replacing the bearing on the ancient Black and Decker cordless mower. (Found a rock and the bearing protected the shaft.) 12V Gel cells don’t have much power, but I like non lethal battery power in equipment.