Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tucking Your Lawnmower in for the Winter

I got this in a gardening newsletter and had to laugh. This seems like something that I would do, right?

If you are done mowing for the year, be sure to service your
mower before putting it away. Make sure you drain the gas tank of
gasoline-powered engines or use a gasoline stabilizer. Untreated
gasoline can become thick and gummy. A few drops of oil squirted inside
the spark plug hole (after you remove the spark plug) will help
lubricate the cylinder. While you have the spark plug removed, replace
it with a new one.

If your equipment has a battery, clean the battery terminals,
which usually corrode during the season. A wire-bristle brush is a good
tool for doing this. The battery can then be removed or connected to a
battery monitor that will keep it charged over winter. If you remove the
battery, be sure to store it in a protected location for the winter
season (a cool basement works best).

Now is also an excellent time to sharpen mower blades so
they'll be ready next spring.

Sharpening rotary mower blades is fairly straightforward. The
following steps will guide you through this process:
* Check the blade for major damage. If you can't fix it, it
likely will need to be replaced.* Remove grass and debris from the blade
with a moist cloth. Dry before beginning to sharpen the cutting edge.
* Remove nicks from the cutting edge, using a grinding wheel
or hand-file.
* If using a grinding wheel, match the existing edge angle to
the wheel. If hand-filing, file at the same angle as the existing edge.
* Grind or file until the edge is 1/32 inch, about the size of
a period.
* Particularly with a grinding wheel, avoid overheating the
blade as this may warp it.
* Clean the blade with solvent or oil, much like if you were
cleaning a gun, for optimum winter storage. Avoid use of water as it
will promote rust.

Following these tips can help you better prepare your mower
for winter storage and also save you some steps this coming spring. (WU)


Global Librarian said...

That is how your lawnmower's previous owner handled it!

And our new apartment's lawnmower is clean as a whistle and sitting in our basement storage unit ready to go for the Spring!

A Librarian said...

Actually I was joking. I already did that months ago