Many years ago, I purchased a lawnmower from a reputable national chain. I expected it to have a long life, yet shortly after the one-year warrantee ran out, I hit a large rock that was sticking up in the lawn. The mower began to vibrate severely. Obviously, something had gone terribly wrong.
I stopped the lawnmower and turned it upside down. I rotated the shaft by hand, and I could see that the shaft was bent. When I removed the blade I could also see there were no shear pins nor any other way for the blade to take the shock without transmitting it to the whole mower. Once it hit the rock, the shaft took all of the impact. I was now stuck with an almost-new mower that had a bent shaft. I was facing the option of either rebuilding the engine or buying another mower.
I live in a rural farming community where it is common to fix the oldest and most decrepit machinery -- it’s part of our lifestyle. I remembered having seen a house nearby that had a bunch of old lawnmowers sitting out for sale. The house also had a sign posted advertising lawnmower repair. So I took the mower to the gentleman who ran the mower shop and asked if he could repair my mower’s shaft. He took the mower and turned it over. He grabbed a pipe and put it on the bent shaft. He pushed the pipe in just the right direction, and he pushed with just the right amount of pressure. He was able to straighten the shaft. Just like that it was fixed.
The original problem was still there, however. There was no give if the blade hit a fixed and hard object -- which was bound to happen again. So I modified the shaft-to-blade adapter so that the blade would spin on the adapter if I hit another object. Voila, a solution. I used the lawnmower with great success for another 24 years.
This entry was submitted by Ray Mainer and edited by Jennifer Campbell.
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