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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions

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Suffolk2

02-20-2008 07:41:08
208.5.80.8



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For the past 15 or 20 years I have used a JD No. 9 sickle bar mower to cut 30 to 40 acres a year of grass, alfalfa and alfalfa/grass mix for putting up hay. Have more land now and will be cutting about 70 to 80 acres and I am looking at getting a pull behind haybine. Most of the units I have looked at, both new and used, have knives with overserrated sections which cannot be sharpened. I have always used smooth or underserrated sections and have had good performance with them. Always kept a spare knife or two around, sharpened and ready to go in case I had a problem when cutting. Although it is a bit tedious to sharpen the sections, I saw it as a cost savings when compared to the price of buying a new knife or replacing the sections when they are dull or get a nick in them. Are the knives with overserrated sections that much better to justify the expense of replacement without being able to sharpen them or are they part of the mindset of an ever increasing "throw away" society? I guess with big producers their time to sharpen the entire knife or replace individual sections is not worth it and the pressure is on to "get er done" while the sun shines, but I am not in that situation. What has been your experience with the different types of knife sections?

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Pitalplace

02-22-2008 08:19:01
70.41.137.123



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to ejr-IA, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  

Bill in Colo said: (quoted from post at 22:28:14 02/21/08) replace guards with swather type, with out ledger plates. and only use overseratered sections ,they are some what self sharpening.


My father always had 4 or 5 extra sickle bars for each mower when we were putting up prairie grass hay. Then about once a week he would spend the evening until it was to dark to see sharpening sickles on the sickle grinder. I managed to save it after he passed away.

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Bill in Colo

02-21-2008 19:28:14
75.104.96.38



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Suffolk2, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  
replace guards with swather type, with out ledger plates. and only use overseratered sections ,they are some what self sharpening.



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Our Farmer

02-21-2008 14:21:32
4.248.240.214



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Suffolk2, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  
I always knock off the damaged sections and rivet on new ones. They're cheap enough.
I bought an extra sickle bar for my 469 at a sale. I have one that has serrated over, one serrated under knives and I haven't been able to tell any difference in performance. If I lose a section in the field I just pull the bar, throw on the spare and fix the missing one when I can.



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Joe(TX)

02-20-2008 12:43:42
192.249.47.11



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Suffolk2, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  
I use the type that came on the cutter. I never sharpen them. I replace them. My time is worth mor than a section. I also only use bolt on sections.



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johns48jdb

02-20-2008 09:07:30
64.12.117.79



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Suffolk2, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  
i use to cut hay for the public for 5 or 6 years. never had much luck with shapening sections. once you sharpen them they get out "of time" with the guards and make for a ragged cut. i wouldn't use anything but the under cut sections. lasted longer and one sharpening on them was ok. personally i wouldn't consider buying a mower/co with a knife driven blade any more. get one with the twirling heads and a conditioner and don't fool with sections any more. you can help pay for the difference in doing custom cutting and the time you save by not having to fool with sections will more than pay for the difference in machine cost in a short while.

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Dick L

02-20-2008 11:04:46
72.11.21.66



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to johns48jdb, 02-20-2008 09:07:30  
I agree with most of what you say, but man how and what with are you sharpening section knives to get them out of time with the guards?



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johns48jdb

02-21-2008 05:08:37
63.108.130.34



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Dick L, 02-20-2008 11:04:46  
i cut hay for a living (not much of one) for 5 or 6 years. i would take on 450 acres without a second thought. try getting out on a military reservation on a sunday morning 30 miles from home and your blade want cut. you have enough section to replace those you'll lose today with two ih 990's running and a 12 foot self propelled mo/co and the only choice you have is to jank the blades out, fire up the generator and use a side grinder to try to get through the day. you've been cutting in rough places with some brush and rocks and nicks in the blade are killing you so you shapen them the best you can and go for it. i had one rule when cutting hay. as long asit doesn't fall down run it until it rains.

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Dick L

02-21-2008 07:10:25
72.11.21.66



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 Nicks In The Blades in reply to johns48jdb, 02-21-2008 05:08:37  
That tells the story. Grinding out the nicks does not work and you stated. When I have a nick I knock the knife off and replace the section. I never thought of sharpening until the nick was gone. I do a little sharpening but Dad always had several section bars and would take them to a local welding shop to get them sharpened. Both he and my grandpa would knock a section off and rivit on a new one in a few minutes in the field. At age 70 I only do 4 acres of hay now and just drive up the the shop for the repairs.
I am a one man crew.

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johns48jdb

02-21-2008 10:57:40
63.108.130.34



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 Re: Nicks In The Blades in reply to Dick L, 02-21-2008 07:10:25  
looks like a lot of fun. stopping the baler getting off, climbing up on the wagon and stacking a few bales and then baleing a few more. i doubt if i could hold up to it now, but one sunday a close family friend came by and wanted me to haul some hay for him. he didn't let me know in advance and i could only find one boy to go with me. we drove 25 miles to get the hay and i could haul 250 bales one way with this truck and trailer. it took us a while but we put a little over 500 bales in the barn loft by ourselves that day. hauling hay is an art. if your going to pick up a bale of hay know where your going to put it before you do pick it up. don't be all day about standing there holding it and looking around. get-er-done and go on to the next one. while i have a chance let me caution everybody who reads this to wear a good dust mask anytime your messing with anything that is dusty or moled or makes saw dust. there is a lung disease thats called pulmonary fibrosis that is fatal to everybody who ges it unless they have a double lung transplant. do a search on it and read it. it might save your life. to late for me, but maybe it will help you.

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johns48jdb

02-20-2008 09:06:17
64.12.117.79



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Suffolk2, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  
i use to cut hay for the public for 5 or 6 years. never had much luck with shapening sections. once you sharpen them they get out "of time" with the guards and make for a ragged cut. i wouldn't use anything but the under cut sections. lasted longer and one sharpening on them was ok. personally i wouldn't consider buying a mower/co with a knife driven blade any more. get one with the twirling heads and a conditioner and don't fool with sections any more. you can help pay for the difference in doing custom cutting and the time you save by not having to fool with sections will more than pay for the difference in machine cost in a short while.

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Steve in MN

02-20-2008 08:48:31
204.73.105.107



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Suffolk2, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  
We use overserrated sections and really like them. Hold their edge longer than smooth sections. Most of them wear out or brake before they get dull. But we cut almost exclusively alfalfa. They way it was explained to me, underserrated sections are superior if you're cutting a lot of grass.



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dobber

02-20-2008 08:28:19
208.246.9.37



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Suffolk2, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  
I only use sickle mower for pasture clipping and weed cutting so the serrated sections and serrated ledger plates in rock guards seem to work better for me. Doesn't your mower have serrated ledger plates in guards? Same thing on haybine the guards surface will be smooth but the knife section is serrated. We cut more sorghum sudan mix for hay later and some weeds get in it with JD swather. The smooth ones break here on tough weeds and we couldn't probably find a dealer that has smooth ones. Same JD swather serrated sections work on the old #5 mower too and easy to change with a Johnson sickle servicer that has been faster for me than bolt on sections. You'll probably need all different hold downs and new bar to use most bolt on types.

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rrlund

02-20-2008 08:04:53
216.46.213.125



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 Re: Section types for sickle bar mowers --your opinions in reply to Suffolk2, 02-20-2008 07:41:08  
I grow about 140 acres of hay. I use the overserated and change them every two years. I use the bolt on sections for easy changing. The guards and hold down clips need to be changed at the same time. Just changing sections,or sharpening them like you do with smooth or underserated,is like sharpening one side of a pair of scisors.



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