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View Full Version : Mower Deck Wooden Roller Replacement?



scubabubba
06-04-2009, 02:14 PM
Anybody ever tried to make new wooden rollers? I've seen a post on converting to plastic rollers, has anybody tried that and if so how do they wear?

Mine are worn so thin (from the inside!) that they look like toilet paper tubes.

(I've already got an e-mail out to Harold asking about new ones.)

James

FarmallMan
06-04-2009, 02:22 PM
I think I heard about someone using rolling pins and just cutting them to length.

Nick :cool:

scubabubba
06-04-2009, 02:24 PM
That was GE, as far as I can tell!

behaines
06-04-2009, 02:49 PM
My local Ace hardware has the rollers of all things. They're plastic, not wood, but it's a quick replacement.

scubabubba
06-04-2009, 04:09 PM
you wouldn't hapen to have a part number or manufacturer handy would ya? I couldn't find it online at Ace and the closest store is 30+miles.

FarmallMan
06-04-2009, 04:28 PM
Amazon has a selection: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=wooden+rolling+pin

Nick :cool:

gus
06-04-2009, 09:01 PM
made some out of linen phenolic, seem to be holding up well so far

behaines
06-04-2009, 10:17 PM
you wouldn't hapen to have a part number or manufacturer handy would ya? I couldn't find it online at Ace and the closest store is 30+miles.
I'll see if I can stop over tomorrow.

behaines
06-05-2009, 05:52 PM
I`m away from my desk, so I don`t have the part #, but it`s 10 each, and 7 are needed. Might be cheaper to get a few rolling pins and cut them down.I`ll get the part number Sunday when I get home.(I`m in Baltimore now looking for a new home ; )

Steve Duke
06-05-2009, 08:26 PM
I got a set of rollers - I think they were a composite type material - from Harold at Cleanpower last year, and they were perfect.

I'd rather spend a couple of bux more and support one of our own !

( Harold Z. or Jim C. at Electric Tractor Store )

The knowledge and advice we all get in return is well worth it !! :trust:

Steve D.

behaines
06-06-2009, 10:06 AM
the last set of rollers I got were from Harold. the nice black plastic ones. they were a bit smaller then the ones I found at ace...but they fit perfectly...and cost less then the Ace ones. I probably would order them from him again...unless I was in a rush. I am a tad impatient.=)

ealan
06-06-2009, 05:01 PM
I replaced all the factory stuff with two large front and two smaller rear casters. Swings around a lot easier, and more permanent. Only disadvantage is the extra weight (mostly from the channel iron that holds the front ones) that makes it harder to swing the deck up for servicing.

scubabubba
06-08-2009, 07:16 AM
I ordered some from Harold this morning.

Hey Ealan do you have a picture of the casters you added to the back?

ealan
06-08-2009, 08:52 AM
I could take and post them if someone instructed me on how to do the latter.

Meanwhile, I'll describe. I bolted a plank, about 16" X 6" X 1" to the bottom rear of the deck. Then I attached a caster to each end of the plank.

Now no scraping in turns or catching on obstacles. And you can still swing up and stand the deck for servicing. But now the cutting height is fixed rather than adjustable.

The trick is to get the dimensions perfect. You want the front of the blades to be a smidge lower than the rear. So get the front casters, whether factory or custom, as you want them. Then use the thickness of the plank to give the rear casters the right height, and its length and width a caster placement that will clear the blades.

The rear casters work in a shower of chaff, so I got from a specialty shop hardy ones designed to work in such an environment. As I recall they are 2" or 2.5" diameter and fairly wide for their size, some sort of hard black plastic-like material, around $20 each. A friend found white plastic rounded wheels for his rears. Almost ball-shaped, they don't swivel but can easily scrape sideways.

scubabubba
06-08-2009, 09:07 AM
You can make an attachment to a post with the paperclip icon.

I'm picturing it with the board parallel to the ground and mounted to the underside of the upper surface of the deck. So the blades are underneath the board, and you can't see the casters from the outside because they're inside the deck with the blades. Is that right?

terpstra
06-08-2009, 10:04 AM
PVC pipe. Its cheap and every hardware store has it. I will tray to post pictures tomorrow. The height will still be adjustabe and it will slide for turning very well. The picture of me in the gallary you can just see the corner of the pipe. mowed for about ten years on one pipe without breaking or wearing out. :trust:

moonstation2000
06-08-2009, 11:44 AM
How did you fix the PVC pipe to the rear roller mechanism?

behaines
06-08-2009, 11:49 AM
Check out:
http://www.elec-trak.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=323&c=30&userid=1513 (http://www.elec-trak.com/forum/../gallery/showimage.php?i=323&c=30&userid=1513)
it's a link to his picture. It's just a long, single piece of PVC pipe. My only concern with this, is that the rear adjustment has to be so close to the ground to get it to work.

ealan
06-08-2009, 12:06 PM
Scuba, your picturing is right but standing even with the deck rear you can see the rears of the casters under it. The board can't protrude too far aft or it will interfere with standing up the deck. I'll look into photos.

terpstra
06-08-2009, 02:30 PM
How did you fix the PVC pipe to the rear roller mechanism?

Its hard to explain without pictures, so hang tight and we'll show you tomorrow as I am at work and have no way to get pictures online right now.

scubabubba
06-08-2009, 04:15 PM
I'd considered a plastic pipe but my rollers are thin and the adjusters scrape in corners and on uneven ground, so I wanted something thicker (like the original wooden rollers) to stop that. If I couldn't find anything commmercial I was going to try concentric segments of different diameters, but it would take 4 or 5 layers to get close to the existing diameter.

But I really WANT rear casters, like the ones in the E15 picture on the home page.

Except now I notice that those are just rollers, not casters.

ealan
06-08-2009, 04:41 PM
Some years back I turned a set of replacement rollers, but some of them wore thin too, and I never liked these three problems of a roller system: Any stone or other obstacle made the whole deck jump; sometimes a stump would catch and bend the metal roller bar; and when reversing, the roller-holder would sometimes dig into the ground. And the more the rollers wore down, the worse these three problems got. The General designed the deck-wheel system to last 4 seasons, not 40.

It took a bit of trial-and-error to get the placements right, but having used the casters all last season, I wish I had made that change in 1972.

terpstra
06-09-2009, 10:12 AM
The pipe I used was three inch diameter. Hope this works, never addid pictures to a thread before.

behaines
06-09-2009, 11:44 AM
What an idea! Jeesh, must cost hardly anything to make!

I wonder if you can get black PVC for it...

BTW, nice paint on your tractor!

terpstra
06-09-2009, 11:50 AM
What an idea! Jeesh, must cost hardly anything to make!

I wonder if you can get black PVC for it...

I might have ten dollars into it. The main thing is not to glue the pieces together, that way if it breakes or wears out you just replace that piece. Never even thought of looking for black plastic, good idea. By the way this is a tractor you [behaines] posted as being for sale on craiges list.

It was solid but did not look this good at all.

behaines
06-09-2009, 12:30 PM
hehe, glad to help the community. lol

I think that even if you did glue it, it should work. If it breaks then take off the rear adjustment brackets and pipe, and just slide out the bar...slide in the new one. I'm going to have to try it with the egt150. Looks like a quick project.

Do you recall what the ebay/craig's list entry this was for? I kind of want to see what it looked like before...

terpstra
06-09-2009, 12:44 PM
hehe, glad to help the community. lol

I think that even if you did glue it, it should work. If it breaks then take off the rear adjustment brackets and pipe, and just slide out the bar...slide in the new one. I'm going to have to try it with the egt150. Looks like a quick project.

Do you recall what the ebay/craig's list entry this was for? I kind of want to see what it looked like before...

The craigs list ID # was 909525335, If you dont find any pictures I will try to post some soon. A then and now.

BTW I do not have a bar that runs through the center. The plastic just rides on the height adjustment brackets. I figured the plastic would wear out first. I am working on putting brass bearings from Tractor Supply in there but have not got it all worked out yet.

moonstation2000
06-10-2009, 01:26 PM
Wow! Nice looking tractor!

I like the roller - but your grass must be a lot higher than mine. Your deck is raised very high compared to mine.

For all the bad comments about the rollers - I like mine. They make the mowing stripes really stand out, which really makes the lawn look good. I don't have any obstacles that have ever upset it or mess it up, my lawn is pretty flat though, no rocks.

I am thinking of keeping the wooden rollers as bearings and then fitting a PVC pipe over them. I would only need 2, one on each end.

scubabubba
06-10-2009, 01:31 PM
My wooden rollers wore from the inside-out, so that might not work. One of many options I was considering was a plastic pipe for a bearing, then a wooden spacer, then a plastic pipe for a wear surface.

If I hadn't already ordered from Harold Z., I'd try Terpstra's idea.

And I might try Ealan's anyways -- My deck could use the extra support the plank would provide.

Metman
06-10-2009, 02:18 PM
If you guys really wanted to have black pipe, then go to Lowe's, HD or a real plumbing supply house and look for ABS drain pipe as it is black.

And to "ealan", I'd like to see pictures of what sounds like your rear casters.


It took a bit of trial-and-error to get the placements right, but having used the casters all last season, I wish I had made that change in 1972.

Mike in KY

scubabubba
06-11-2009, 06:59 PM
I got the solid plastic ones from Harold Z. last night. They look nice! The local farm supply carries some that look about the same but the ID is too small, and they never have more than 2 in stock, and there's never a price on half the stuff there. Clean Power Supply rocks!

ealan
06-15-2009, 11:49 AM
The fronts are 8" pneumatic casters whose built-in support-flanges are welded to 3" angle-iron held at each end by a threaded rod (3/4" as I recall) that fits into the existing holes for the factory casters. Adjusting the nuts on the rods can change the height at the front a little.

The rears are 4" casters (2"wide) bolted through a board around 2' X 7" X 1" bolted to the underside and protruding about a half-inch aft of the rear of the deck.


You asked for photos. They're downloaded to my computer. When I tried to attach them through the paperclip icon, an error message said a "security token" from the Electrak site was missing. No idea what that means.

Metman
06-15-2009, 12:21 PM
Well I too have some questions about the best way to add pictures to these posts, but just send them to metman@glasgow-ky.com if you'd like.

Mike in KY

Metman
06-23-2009, 06:13 PM
Attached are the three pictures I received from ealan showing his caster setup on his 42" front mount deck.

Mike in KY

ealan
06-23-2009, 07:04 PM
Thanks, Mike. (I just couldn't get them to transmit, so Mike kindly offered to post them for the group.)

In the top view, those shields help get the mower under trees.

My front casters had worn, so I replaced all four. The new ones work much better, but the weight makes it a little harder to tilt the deck up. And, as I said in an earlier post in which I provided dimensions, the mow-height is now fixed.

behaines
06-23-2009, 09:09 PM
Just got back from Home depot....I'm going to build terpstra (http://www.elec-trak.com/forum/member.php?u=1513)'s version of the roller. :) He was right...parts were less then $10.

Dinger95
07-03-2009, 12:52 PM
Anyone using Terpstra's idea care to post a full parts list?
As far as black plastic, there is the ABS pipe, ABS should be more UV tolerant than bare PVC.

behaines
07-03-2009, 03:50 PM
I started with 4' - 2.5" white PVC pipe, and 4' of 1" PVC pipe, and 3 step downs on each side...2.5" to 1.5 to 1". I ran the 1" on the inside of the 2", and had a spare bar inside it will the PVC glue dried. and a jigsaw. :)

clydeman
08-13-2009, 09:37 PM
When I replaced the wooden rollers on my front mount deck - I used 3 wooden rolling pins that I bought from Walmart (I think they were about $4 a piece). I removed the rods and drilled the centers out to fit on the axle. I cut the length of the center roller to fit then rounded off both ends of all 3 rollers and slipped them onto the axle with washers in between. I also used a piece of rolling pin to replace the center anti-scalp roller on the front of the deck.

scubabubba
08-16-2009, 08:53 PM
My new plastic rollers are already showing surface wear. I end up making turns in the street and in the concrete driveway, so that's going to be a problem for me forever. Next time I'll have to use something cheaper, like terpstra's solution, or try some sort of caster like ealan. I haven't seen anything made out of real wood in Walmart for years . . .

robert maxwell
08-16-2009, 09:53 PM
scubabubba,

Hi, It might be cost-effective to find a wood shop near you, and ask them to get maple (best wood, I would think) or oak, 5/4" thick, about 2 1/4" wide. Ask them to glue 2 pieces together, and then turn this on a lathe to the diameter you want (2 1/4"). The 3/4" central axle hole could be drilled on the lathe, or it could be routed out, before the pieces are glued together. Obviously epoxy or other waterproof glue is needed. I had some made about 15 yrs ago, and they still holding up, although I don't cut grass now as much as I used to.:o

RM

terpstra
08-17-2009, 09:35 AM
I still like my Idea, CHEAP, EASY, and WORKS. I mite be prejudice, just a little. :D:D:D:D

jcoate
08-25-2009, 06:48 AM
solid "rubber" (synthetic) roller sets here:
http://electrictractorstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=144

although Terpstra's idea is indeed going to be the cheapest.