With the main frame assembled we added the super structure which supports the gearbox; the gearbox sits in a cradle allowing for adjustment of the belt to the centre pulley which, although the same as the others, is fixed. The three pulleys were adjusted for height and the keys driven in then everything was measured for the deck. The original deck was cut from an old oil tank which a customer wanted rid of after we changed his heating over to gas (it served until 2014 when it was replaced by a stainless one).

Will it lift? I think the expression says it all!

That said, I acquired a right-angle gearbox, three cutting blades, three single pulleys, a triple pulley, two jockey wheels and change from fifty quid; a later visit, when the machine was taking shape and the measurements were properly known, they supplied the drive belts and made me up a prop-shaft to suit the Fergie, again without breaking the bank.

The geometry was the first consideration, how to get a slight overlap on the cutters without them banging into each other and self-destructing and, also, allow for tensioning of the belts. I had a length of 4” x 2” box section steel which was going to be the backbone of the mower so with that drawn to scale and a compass I tried various configurations and found one which worked nicely i.e. the two outer cutters trailing the beam and the other one in front, all three being spaced off by 4” using off cuts of box section. Moving in a straight line this allowed a 2” overlap on the rotors and gave me a total cut width of just over 7ft.

Outer bearing with adjuster

The various parts were then bolted together and attention turned to the running gear. One of the mowers we’d seen had a roller at the front, so we adopted that idea as I had an old steel chimney (again taken from a job) lurking in my store. I had to buy a couple of swivelling bearings though because the supports and stub axles (two old indespension arms from a burned-out trailer) were not quite square after the fire and didn’t line through properly. Four bolts were welded inside the chimney for attaching the bearings. The roller, apart from carrying the deck, also prevents stuff flying out forwards (a great asset to the driver and not previously considered!)

Three mounting brackets were made up as per the drawing but during construction it quickly became apparent that the middle rotor would have to follow the beam as there was no room for the gearbox and drive pulley with it in front, consequently the two outer bearings are now in front.

At this point the frame was finalised and welded together by “Young Roger”. Rog was one of the most able youngsters I’d come across in years and wasn’t afraid of hard work. He worked for me for several years before moving to Aberdeen to work in the oil industry where the money was “good to the point of obscene!” as he put it; twenty years on his welding is as good as the day he did it and stands as a fine testament to his skill.

Please mention THE VINTAGE SCENE when responding to advertisements

Middle pulley belt adjuster (the S hook is just a passenger!)

The rear castors were knocked up out of flat bar and a bit of old water pipe and once again, the adjustment was dispensed with. (Note the skirt; any ideas?......the top water drip from a 40ft curtain-side trailer!)

Some years later, a good friend of ours (he was a finance director for Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies) happened by

MAY/JUNE 2020 5

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32