Personal Safety

Can rusty mower be fixed?

Can rusty mower be fixed?

Can rusty mower be fixed? By JEANNE HUBER PUBLISHED: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2018 AT 5:15 AM PREV A A
I have a beloved lawn mower — starts every time on one pull! But it has a rust hole on the body. Is there any way to repair this?
If you ask a company that repairs lawn equipment, you’ll probably be told that you’d be better off buying a new mower.
The rust you’re seeing was undoubtedly caused by buildup of wet grass clippings against the back of the mower deck, the part that supports the motor and shields the spinning blades. The damage you see is probably just the start of a more widespread problem.
Tip the mower and inspect the underside of the deck. If the rust is indeed widespread, it might not be worth trying to patch the area where the rust has completely eaten through, because the surrounding metal will probably succumb soon, too. Plus, there could be a safety issue if you try to mow with a machine that has little solid metal to support the motor and shield the blades.
These concerns aside, because the mower has been working fine, there are ways to patch the holes. Simplest and cheapest, though not the most elegant, is to cover the damaged area with duct tape. Clean and dry the surface first, and use a heavy-duty type, such as Gorilla Heavy-Duty Duct Tape ($4.97 for a 12-yard roll).
Niki Popken, a consumer affairs specialist for Gorilla Glue in Cincinnati, suggested wire-brushing the damaged area first to get down to shiny metal where the paint is gone. Otherwise, she said, the tape will bond to the rust, which is prone to flaking. Apply a couple of layers of tape, with each new layer extending out a little farther than the one underneath. Multiple layers will be stronger in case the mower blades hit a pebble and fling it toward you or a bystander.
You also can patch the holes with metal flashing, cut big enough to extend past the rusted area. You can glue on small patches with a two-part epoxy, such as J-B Weld Twin Tube Cold Weld ($5.67 for a package with two one-ounce tubes). For a larger patch, where it might be hard to bend the flashing to match the contour of the mower deck and hold it in place while the epoxy cures, you could secure the patch with pop rivets. You will need a rivet gun, a hand-operated contraption that looks a bit like a wrench, and a few rivets; the Tekton Rivet Gun with 40 rivets is $13.51. You will also need a drill with a bit matched to the shank diameter of the rivets. Commenting rules: Stick to the topic of the article/letter/editorial. When responding to issues raised by other commenters, do not engage in personal attacks or name-calling.

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