Reel Grinding/Sharpening

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This time of year most everyone thinks i sit on my ass cause the golf course is closed. Actually this is one of the busiest times of the year for me. This is when winter maintenance goes into full swing. Since i have over 40 reel units in the fleet by themselves, this is about the only time of the year i get to do some of them. Greens reels need to be sharpened once a month as they actually throw sand on the greens once a week to improve turf conditions. it also pisses me off, but it isn’t the end of the world. Anyways sharpening reels is always an on-going thing. in the picture you see there is my reel grinder. basically it spin-grinds the reel in reverse rotation to sharpen all the blades of the reel. where like when you sharpen a rotary blade using a grinding wheel- here we have a spinning stone travelling back and forth along the reel and the reel is also driven in reverse. hence spin-grind.

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 Now, the reel isn’t the only thing that needs to be sharpened. the bedknife needs to be removed and either reground back into shape or replaced. the bedknife will wear in a taper fashion very similar to the cylinders on a chevy engine block. So we chuck it into the bedknife grinder to level it back off. there are two edges on the bedknife and it is not a right angle piece a steel the reel cuts against. The relief needs to be ground into the top and sits behind the edge the reel cuts against. it gives a place for the cut grass to move away from the cutting edge. when this gets wore down, it will almost rip off and pinch the grass off rather than allow the reel to cut the grass. obviously if you following this at all, running sand through the reel accelerated this dramatically.Than there is the face of the blade, which is the front face of the knife that comes into contact with the grass. it actually sits at a 95deg angle to the relief. the face is what holds the grass briefly as the reel cuts it off like a reaper. the shorter the grass to be cut- the thinner the face of the bedknife has to be.

once both of these are sharpened, i set the gap, which is less than .003″. i use printer paper as it is cheap and won’t damage the edges of the blade. you basically want it to rub the paper without cutting it- and i run no contact so the reel should not or just barely touch the bedknife. Height of cut is set using a dial indicator-setting the rollers to the cutting edge. the rollers need

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 to be within .003-5″ otherwise it will leave stripes on the greens.

Well, that reel grinding in a nutshell. it keeps me busy through the winter, and the summer, along with running some of the equipment. And if you want to see what my office looks like here it is. i have mice running out from the wall underneath the desk at times, the walls are collapsing, and the roof has pieces blowing in the wind. if you think Government work is all glory you have another thing comming!

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