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Simpleton7016

Leo's 2003 Gator Blade experiment

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Simpleton7016
Darn, I just spent a long time typing and got "timed out". So I have to re-type everything and try to get all of my thoughts down again. This is primarily directed at Leo in New Jersey. I was going through hundreds of archived posts and came across this from Leo in 2003: "I just put two sets of blades on each spindle of my 48" desk. I set them perpendicular to each other, and tack welded a pair of washers to the top most blade to keep then from rotating. Definitely much more lift, smaller clippings, & further discharge distance. Oh yeah, a really neat new sound too!" I think this is a great idea, but as is usually the case with my posts, it leads me to a number of questions. I am anxious to use my vacuum collector set-up and have been busy this winter preparing my mower deck. I have already taken a lot of advice from Kent and the others on this issue, but I absolutely want to maximize the lift and thrust capabilities of my mower deck. And the smaller the pieces of clippings, the better - because I plan to use all of it for composting reasons and compost piles like real little bity pieces! My questions for Leo or others who have tried this:
  • After nearly 3 years, do you still stand by this experiment?
  • Were there any unforeseen consequences to doing this? I.e. extra stress on the deck or spindle bearings?
  • Is it possible to post pictures of what you did? I think I get it, but not sure. You tack welded the two blades together with washers? The spindles on my 48" deck are the type that have two bolts to attach the blade...not sure if this was your set up too
  • Do you use this set up in conjunction with a Vacuum Collector attachment?
  • How do you sharpen the blades?
  • Did you use two "Gator Blades" per spindle or two regular OEM blades
I am really anxious to hear your reply. I think this is a great idea and alone worth the $10 i paid for the entire year! Thanks for still being here 3 years later so that I can bounce this off of you! Thanks in advance, Erik

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lndscpr
i have seen lots of mower decks with 2 sets of blades. I saw this ona craftsman deck once. It looked like they used some type of adapter. Not sure if it was adapted or something off the shelf. Looked like a pretty good idea and i always wondered how well it worked.

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dcw06
When White came out with a 4 Wheel Steer mower several years ago,I bought one with the mulching kit.The kit was a plug for the deck and another set of blades,with 2 blades per side.There was an adapter that had 4 holes in it to bolt on each blade.One normal blade and the other was about one foot long.Its only purpose was to cut up the clippings into smaller pieces.It did a nice job even without the plug in,so I quit using the plug.My sister still uses the old White,but I think I still have the mulching blades.If I can find them,I can post a pic.

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mowerman1193
I have run double blades on my Wheel Horse's and on my commercial mower (Snapper Pro 48 walkbehind)..also on a older 1990 or so MTD that had the mulch kit.. The mulch kit for the MTD and the commercial mower the top blade is smaller than the main cutting blade..The Wheel Horse didn't have a kit but the blade mounts with just one bolt so I just added a washer in between the blades.. I have also done this with my commercail mower with 2 sets of regular blades..as the mulching blades are over $100 per set..and the standard blades are about $40 per set..Not cheap blades either way but they are very heavy blades compaired to any standard tractor blade I have seen.. I can say that the double blade on the Wheel Horse and the double regular blades on the Snapper Pro48 took alot more power to get the blades spinning..So I am sure there is more stress to belts and bearings than the single blades would.. Now not to nock what others do/have done...but I wouldn't recommend running a blade that has been welded on..When metal gets heated like that it will make it brittle and weaken it... I have ran Gator blades on my Simplicity tractors and they do a real nice job of cutting the grass up smaller..Although not nearly as small as what the mulch kit did on the Snapper with the real mulch blades or the MTD with the mulch kit & blades.. Gator blades are not avalible for the Wheel Horse deck I have so I don't know how double gators would do but I am sure it would do better than double standard blades..I have thought about trying double Gators on the Snapper but to buy 2 sets of those would cost as much as getting the regular Snapper mulching blades...and if I spend that kind of money then I will buy what I know works..

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ambler
If you have the PTO driven vac you don't have to do anything, they are small enough already. I use gator blades without the vac, with gator blades the clippings are to small and they plug up the screen on my trailer.

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dhardin
I have a Dixie Chopper that runs doubles. I have mowed with them and singles last fall. Man what a difference they make. I plane to add a set of doubles this summer on one of my AC/Simplicitys. To answer your questions (witch I had some of the same) I found a DC web site, a lot like this one. They answered all my questions and more. 1 Yes it works well on a 23ph koller cutting 60" It dose thake a few more hp to run, but not bad. 2. It appears there is no more wear and tear than singles. 3. Im not real shur that the Simplicity 2 or 3 bolt blades are the best set up for boubles or not. (DC is a single bolt) But I have read that you can place a second blade first with using just the single hole blade then bolt the original blade (with the 3 bolt hole) on to the spindle. All that might be need is a longer set of bolts. For the most part the blades dont have to be welded together, just tighten then down in a cross, but real tight. If you hit something very hard you might move the top blade, And then you will need to re-aline then. You must have a bolt going through the top blade of some type. just claping it with the bottom blade is NOT SAFE. 4, works great with vacs, great on leaves 5. shapens the same 6. Thers are many number of combontions that all work well. It has become so populal with the pro/commersial mowers that DC and other blade makers are now making a "offset blade". This blades has a twist built into it that helps with the lift. As well as the 1/4" drop to the tip so it is cutting the grass at the same hight at the cut ends of all blades. I speek from my experence with my Dixie Chopper but I am shure doubles on a Simplicity would improve its cut some. But in my opinoin it cuts good now. I think it would be most seen if you was cutting heavy, wet, deep grass, weeds, vacing and mulching leaves and the like. A big advantage with doubles on DC and the pro line mower is the clipping are much smaller and you have less clumping. And will strip much better, witch Simplicity has all ready got. I plan to add a set of doubles to my AC416 just to see the difference.

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lsenus
I still use the setup every year on the 6116 and made a setup for my 5112 as well. I bought the 5112 because it had the deck mounted turbo collector and figured that would work very well, which it did. But it seems to work better with the double set up. It makes for finer cuts going into the system which helps reduce the clogging, especially in the spring with the faster growing grass. I never seem to get out to mow often enough it seems. It also does a wonderful job during the fall. As for the setup... I used two OEM blades per spindle for the setup. My deck has the single bolt with the splined washer and bolt setup. I set the first blade on a 2x4 to elevate it off the work table, then set the second blade perpendicular to the first on top of the first blade. I then put washers on the first blade, one on each side of the second blade, touching the side of the second blade and on opposing edges of the first blade on the edge that cuts. The washers should be diagonal from each other, and touching the second blade on the same edge as the lift wing. This will prevent the sedond blade from rotating. Weld the washers to the first blade only. This will allow you seperate the blades for sharpening. Make sure to rebalance the blades after adding the washers or might just have a mini earthquake underneath you and wipe out some bearings in the process. As for unforseen circustances???... Just make sure you engage/disengage the deck with the motor at full power. The extra rotating wieght does tend to bog the motor at low RPMs, and the blades take a little longer to stop when disengaging. Again, due to the extra rotating wieght. [img]http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/uploaded/lsenus/DSC01678.JPG[/img]

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KVANDY12
I have an AC914H with 48" deck with a PTO driven peco mounted leaf vac. I have had it for about 10 years, allways used OEM blades up about two years ago when I bought gator baldes for it. I read this post yesterday but got to thinking about the size of the leaves that were chop up, if there was any different with the gator blades. checked the leaf pile this morning ,and found that 60% are 1/8to 1/4 pieces in size, biggest is size of silver dollar. Much smaller than when I was using the OEM blades. So my thought i9s that the gator blade chops them up small enough without adding another balde. But hay I like the idea.

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Simpleton7016
Leo and all, Thanks for responding. Very intersting and thorough explanation. Thanks for the picture/ I am definitely going to try it. Unfortunately, I have the blades with the two mounting holes so I can't copy you exactly. I will fabricate something but will have to do so over at my dads. I am not set up for any machining here. I may try running dual gators (depending on price). Maybe I can get the clippings so small that they are invisible to the naked eye! Woohoo!

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