If your grass develops disease, clean and sterilize your mower blades before you mow again. If you do not, you risk spreading the disease over your entire lawn, or, if you've treated for the disease, you risk reinfection. Sterilizing mower blades is not any more difficult than sterilizing other metal stools or surfaces. It takes just a few extra minutes after cleaning the blades.
Put on rubber gloves and mix 1 tbsp. of dish detergent in a 1-gallon bucket of warm water.
Lay the mower on its side so you can access the blades. This is best done on a cement patio or driveway, so you avoid getting infected grass clippings or dirt on your lawn.
Remove clumps of dirt and grass by hand (and dispose of these in a plastic bag, away from your lawn). Well-maintained mower blades are sharp, so take your time doing this so you do not cut yourself.
Wet a nylon scrubbing sponge in your bucket of water and detergent and scrub the mower blades until you’ve removed the dirt and debris.
Rinse the blades with a garden hose. Dry the mower blades with a towel.
Dump out your soapy water in a sink and rinse the container. Add one part household bleach to nine parts water to the container. This solution will disinfect mower blades, as suggested by Pnwmg.org (see Reference 1).
Dip a cloth in the bleach-and-water solution. Wipe this over the blades. Allow it to dry (do not rinse).
Remove the spark plug wire before doing anything else with the tiller. This prevents accidental starts, which can cause severe or fatal injuries. To determine where your spark plug wire is located, consult your owner's manual. If you do not have one or have misplaced it, you may be able to find a free copy at ManualsOnline.com.
Raise the tiller to a comfortable work height by placing it on ramps, blocks or a workbench.
Grind the edge of each tine square and sharp using a 24-grit wheel on a right angle grinder. Measure each tine's angles and thickness with a ruler, calipers and protractor or other gauge to ensure that they are even with all the other tines.
Grind the tips of each tine to a sharp triangular edge on both sides. Check the angles on each tine tip to ensure that they are as equal as possible.
Lower the tiller to the ground. Replace the spark plug wire and test the freshly-sharpened blades to ensure that they are turning smoothly and digging into the ground effectively.
Mount aluminum tracks to the wall to guide the saw. Follow the mounting instructions given for the specific saw for best safety. Choose a big, circular wet saw designed for concrete cutting. The saw should have diamond-tipped blades. This type of saw makes the most precise cuts and often the deepest cuts.
Shoot two-by-four boards into the concrete wall to use as a guide. Use a lightweight, hydraulic, hand-held ring saw with an eccentric drive. Use the two-by-fours to guide the saw. The eccentric drive of this type of saw will allow you to cut a 10-inch-thick wall with a 14-inch blade.
Score the corners with a small 4-inch diameter electric cutoff saw. This will allow you to go deep into the corner where the bigger saws and blades cannot reach. Chip out the rest of the concrete with a small pneumatic chisel.
Drill holes in concrete with a heavy-duty variable-speed drill designed to be used wet. Use a diamond-tipped bit and allow the water to keep the bit cool while you are cutting.
Sharpen blades based on the model of your reel mower and what kind of blades it has. Reel mowers with alloy steel blades require sharpening as often as once a year. Those made with flame-hardened steel blades typically do not require sharpening for five to 10 years.
Sharpen blades if adjusting the blades does not change how the mower blades cut. Many times, properly adjusting the blades to account for higher or lower grasses fixes the mower's ability to cut the grass well.
Sharpen blades based on use. The size of your lawn, how often the reel mower is used, condition of the lawn and moisture exposure all affect how long the blades remain sharp. Consider these factors when determining how often to check the blades' sharpness.
Sharpen blades when a paper test shows jagged edges. Place a piece of paper between the blades. Move the reel mower forward to cut the paper. Sharp blades will cut the paper cleanly. Blades that require sharpening will cut the paper with jagged edges.
The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is popular because it grows well as a groundcover, in planters or in hanging baskets. Long blades are solid green with white stripes. Trim and transfer offshoots into soil to easily propagate. Small clusters of white flowers emerge on the spider plant when it reaches maturity. The spider plant grows in zones 9b through 11, and the average plant height is 1/2 foot to 1 foot. The spread reaches up to 4 feet.
The elegant fawnlily (Erythronium elegans) contains two long blades that display a large, six-petal flower. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 478 species of the elegant fawnlily grow in the United States. Even so, the primary growing area is in Oregon. Logging, collection and disease significantly reduced the quantity of these long-blade flowering perennial bulbs, according to the Center for Plant Conservation.
The longleaf phlox (Phlox longifolia) is a perennial small shrub that grows approximately 1 foot tall. Purple five-petal flowers are small and bloom during the late spring, surrounded by long blades. Longleaf phlox grows in zones 5 through 8 in a variety of soil conditions and is drought tolerant. It is not uncommon to find this plant growing on mountainsides or at the edge of forests.
Loosen and remove the wing nuts that secure the tine shield end covers with a crescent wrench. Place the nuts in your pocket for safekeeping.
Remove the cotter pins with your hands and pull out the clovis pins at the top of the blade assembly.
Slide the blades off the tine shaft. Run a file gently over them to remove pitting and rust. Sharpen them slightly by running the file over each side of the blade evenly three or four times. Apply lubricating oil to the blades with a soft cloth.
Reassemble the blades by sliding them onto the shaft in the reverse order of removal. Ensure that you've attached the blades in the same position they previously sat.
Pound a nail with your hammer into a wall, beam, framing piece of wood, or any other board that is perpendicular to the floor. Allow the nail to protrude approximately one inch outwards.
Place the blade onto the nail through its center mounting hole so that both ends are parallel to the ground.
Observe which end drops on one side or the other. The side that drops is the heavy side that you'll need to grind off.
Remove the blade form the nail, and grind off some of the end or along the original sharpened edge. Replace the blade back onto the nail, and watch which end sags. Repeat the grinding procedure until the blade stays parallel to the ground and no longer sags lower on either end.
Repeat this procedure with all of your lawn mower blades.