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Bewitched KBG (38k sqft)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious if you face your bedknife and how often you do it. Also what are you using to face the knife. Since rebuilding my reels in the winter I've been wanting to stay on top of the maintenance and keep them cutting like new. So far what I have been doing is a light backlap every 2 weeks(about 6hrs of cutting) and then after I am done I will run a file across the front face of the knife(about 6 smooth swipes) to take any burr off the knife and try and maintain the face angle.





 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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I think you can get adequate results doing it by hand with a file. Here is a good video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oGAwe_g_PY​

As cool as it would be, a Rapid Facer is probably cost prohibitive/overkill for home use:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYoCJE9Vkdw​

Your grooved front rollers - are they the OEM JD grooved option or aftermarket?

Welcome to TLF, by the way! Glad you found us! :thumbup:
 

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Bewitched KBG (38k sqft)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for posting the videos Ware. The first one is the one I found initially and used as reference. I'm "touching up" the front face of the knife every time I'm done backlapping. The knives are new this season and so it doesn't take many swipes to keep them clean and smooth. Do you think it's overkill to run the file across them after each backlap? Obviously I'm not being too aggressive and not removing too much material.
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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Ive thought about getting one of these bedknife grinder. It's the cheapest way to go if you have an angle grinder already.

Honestly it's not something a homeowner would have to do very often. Using a bastard file would probably be good enough.
 

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Bewitched KBG (38k sqft)
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ware said:
Your grooved front rollers - are they the OEM JD grooved option or aftermarket?

Welcome to TLF, by the way! Glad you found us! :thumbup:
They are from RRproducts. Most of my rebuild was OEM Deere, but the front rollers, reel bearings, knife screws and a few misc other things were from RRproducts. I wanted to get the rollers from them since they were significantly cheaper then Deere, but needed to put a few other things on there to reach the free shipping amount.

Glad to be here!
 

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Good videos

Pete,
While I admire your level of follow up on your backlapping and facing, i believe it to be overkill.

On the contrary to you, I've never backlapped the reel on my Jacobsen since I started using it and it cuts paper every time.
 

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Bewitched KBG (38k sqft)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sg311, appreciate your feedback. From what i gathered is there are 2 schools of thought in regards to backlapping. Even with professionals. Ones that swear by it, and ones that swear against it. Some say to never backlap and only grind. I started with new reels and bedknives this year and the cut quality has been amazing so far. There are a couple reasons why I want to form a preventative maintenance plan of lightly backlapping and facing. I want to see if it will allow me to keep the reel and knife at peak sharpness longer. I've seen some claims that grinding might only need to be done every 400hrs depending on backlap frequency. For me cutting an acre, 400 hrs might be about every 4-5yrs. For 3 cutting units the cost of grinding could add up quickly, so I want to see if I can increase the time between grinds.
 

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Absolutely correct on the two schools of thought. I'm on the school of thought of backlap when the paper won't cut anymore after minor adjustments and grind when backlapping does not have the desired effect.

Again Pete I admire your dedication to that machine, because I know your $$$ investment is very high with multiple reels.

I actually do use a paint scraper to remove buildup near the cutting surfaces quarterly. Does anyone else do that?
 

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Baroness LM56 Meyer Zoysia 0.4"
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@Mightyquinn and @Pete1313

How often are you guys facing your bedknives? After each backlap?

Two years later Pete1313, how did the preventive maintenance on bedknives work out on keeping your reels sharp longer? Any changes or advice to offer?

Also, how long in mowers hours does a bedknife last you guys?

Any tips Mightquinn on using your Bedknife Face Grinder? Are you using the 36 or 60 grit discs?

Thanks for all your insight and suggestions!
 

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I never face my knifes or backlap reels anymore. Long as they cut paper we send them back out. I grind greens mowers 2x a year and fairway units once. Everyone is different. Our mow seasons is 7 months. We mow greens 7 days a week in summer.
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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TulsaFan said:
@Mightyquinn and @Pete1313

How often are you guys facing your bedknives? After each backlap?

Two years later Pete1313, how did the preventive maintenance on bedknives work out on keeping your reels sharp longer? Any changes or advice to offer?

Also, how long in mowers hours does a bedknife last you guys?

Any tips Mightquinn on using your Bedknife Face Grinder? Are you using the 36 or 60 grit discs?

Thanks for all your insight and suggestions!
I don't face any of my "good" bedknives as they normally don't require anything.

I have never had to replace a bedknife due to wear most of my replacements are because I hit or ran over something I shouldn't have. The one caveat to this is that I have found that during scalping or using the vertictutter attachment which tends to kick up a lot of sand that it tends to round or dull the bedknife on my mower. That's one of the reason's I bought a bedknife facer, but I know have some "used" bedknives that I will install on the mower if I am going to perform any of those duties. And then I can "touch up" the used bedknife when I'm done so it's ready for next time.

I ended up using the 60 grit discs as I prefer a finer finish when I'm done.
 

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Bewitched KBG (38k sqft)
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have still been using a file to touch up the front face of the bedknives every time I am done backlapping. I did make a DIY Bedknife Buddy which makes it alittle easier. I have been backlapping monthly during the season, which I believe ends up being every 15 hours. I try and backlap and touch up the knives preventively before to keep them sharp and not wait to do it when it no longer cuts paper. I made a post in my journal on how the cutting units are holding up. https://thelawnforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=8014&start=300#p230634 there is about 300 hours on them since new, still cut paper, and have not had a grind yet. They will make it at least another season, maybe 2 before needing a grind. The bedknives have some wear and showed it in my journal. They are the hi-cut fairway knives though and have a good amount of front face to begin with. Backlapping and facing can be a debatable topic, but believe it is helping me keep the reels sharp and prolong how often they need a grind.
 
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