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Stress relief

posted Apr 14, 2010, 7:21 AM by Matt Francis   [ updated Apr 14, 2010, 7:35 AM ]
Last night I started rebuilding the bar portion of my old John Deere No. 9 sickle mower.  This involves replacing broken "sections" on the sickle bar and adjusting/replacing the "stone guards" on the bar.  The sections are typically held on with rivets, and more lately with special low-profile bolts.  On my other mower, I opted to switch over to the bolts.  On this mower, I decided to try my hand at riveting...

Here you see the basic prodedure; pound the rivet with a peening hammer until the sucker doesn't budge.  I now see why the riveting method is still used; you only need a hammer and anvil to replace sections in the field.  For the remaining sections that were in "OK" condition, I opted to sharpen them rather than replace (for now), using an angle grinder...

The other half of the "scissors" action that cuts the grass is the ledger of the stone gaurd.  The stone 26 gaurds all bolt to the mower bar, and all must be perfectly alligned if you don't want to miss a blade of grass.  I opted to use a string to set each guard.  Thus you bolt on a guard, and wail on it with a sledge hammer until it lines up with the string and adjacent guards.  It's tedious, but what a great way to get out a little aggression!