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Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Obsession With Making Things Nice...

 This little project proves my random obsession with making old things nice again.  I am talking about my constant need to restore something most people would see as pointless into the way it once was.  Take this lawn mower, for example:

It is a White's brand push mower that was made long before I was even though of.  I cannot seem to put an exact date on when it was made, my according to my uncle Cecil who gave it to me, it has to be at least forty years old.  He used it when it was given to him by someone else and after many years of use, threw it to the side and it sat out in the weather for probably over ten years.  Everything on this mower is original besides the engine, which he replaced with a more powerful unit (4.5hp of screaming fury, baby), but the original engine was a Briggs & Stratton, so it is not very far off.  

When I say not to let yourself go idle most days after work, I mean to keep your mind stimulated with things that have nothing to do with the majority of your day.  Doing projects like this keeps the carbon build-up cleared out of my mind.  The only thing I really hated about this project is that it took less time than I would have wished.  I started it on Monday, and it is now Thursday night.  Sure, there are things I would like to do to it beyond this, but I also needed a functioning mower of my own since my last one became obsolete for new parts.  I do intend to fabricate a top cover for the pulley system over the weekend, because that is the only part it did not have when Cecil gave it to me, but I have mostly finished it.  There are a few rusted-through places in the deck from a decade or more of standing water, but I will tend to that when the grass stops growing in the fall and I can tear it all down again to do proper body work.  Body work on a lawn mower?  Yes, I am that stupid.  
Here is the process of my week after work, in addition to posting blogs and writing/recording a song every night:

I gave it a good staring at, and took this picture so I would remember where everything went as I prepped some tools.

Here, I have taken the engine off with the throttle linkage and belt.

Getting to this point of the tear-down meant breaking essentially every bolt that was ever installed on it originally, other than the axle bolts.  This took the most time and caused some skinned knuckles, a few choice words, and quite a bit of ancient grease all over me.  

This was after stage one of running a wire wheel over the entire deck assembly to remove most of the paint, the decals, and surface rust.  Also very time-consuming, even with a slathering of BIX stripper, which will probably give me cancer and black lung.

Here we have a few coats of primer put down and you can see the little rust holes in the grooves that I will fix permanently once the mowing season ends, because my grass is getting a bit thick, so I need to use it soon and did not want to spend the time to do it now considering that.  

It is finished!  And my garage floor now needs a good de-greasing. I painted the engine cover to match the deck, because, well, why not?  I should have taken more pictures of it during that process, but I did not do so because grabbing my phone or camera with paint and gunk all over my hands was not my ideal situation. But, hey, my mower now runs great, looks pretty nice, and is ready for the grass cutting to begin!  I still need to fabricate a top cover, but, like I said, that should happen over the weekend if I get a chance to do so.  

If anyone knows anything about these old mowers from White Outdoors from a vintage standpoint, please let me know, because searching anything on Google with the words "white" and "mower" involved only really brings up the current company that is actually still in production or forums depicting white smoke coming from someone's lawn mower exhaust pipe.  Like I have said in previous blogs, I love to learn everything I can about everything I own, and with this I am at a loss.  

Thanks for reading, and if you like my blog, share a link or show it to your friends.  I try to put one up every other day, if not daily about various topics and what is happening in my life.

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Email: drewcoustic@gmail.com
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