J.P. Maxees - inherited, and help needed!

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stevecross
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J.P. Maxees - inherited, and help needed!

I've recently inherited a J.P. Maxees 12 inch push mower which has been in my wife's family since bought new, we believe in the early 1960s. I have the original "Instructions to User" booklet which refers to the mower as a "J.P. Maxees. The "Pick-a-Back" Lawnmower". Presumably "pick-a-back" relates to the removable cutting cylinder cassette. It's been standing outside for years but only the grassbox seems to have suffered badly although some of the bearings appear to be seized. My plan is just to smarten it up, as bringing it back to operating condition will probably be beyond my very limited skills.

Some help from J.P. experts please:

1) Year of manufacture?: the main frame side panel and the cylinder cassette are both stamped GWF 120

2) Paint colour?: in the paint colour section of the OLC site the colours are listed as 1945-61 BS381 C223 Medium Bronze Green, and 1961-70 BS381 C222 Light Bronze Green. Which one would mine be? Is there a close match commercially available or would I have to have some especially mixed?

Any help would be much appreciated - many thanks in advance.

Steve

Antbr123
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Hi Steve,

Hi Steve,

I may be able to help as I only specialise in restoring JP lawnmowers.  It would help in answering your question if an image was posted, but from what you say, it sounds like it is a JP Maxees from the serial number you provided, but purchased considerably earlier around 1949 or 1950. GWF 120 dates the mower to 1949, June and it was the 120th mower produced in the month.  I expect it has an aluminium roller and grass deflector? Interestingly, the phrase "Pick a Back" only appears in earlier JP Handbooks and not later ones which supports my dating of the mower to 1949. The phrase does not appear in the JP Maxees MK3 Handbook in the 1960's for example.

Regarding the paint colour, JP appear to have used a number of different shades of green and your reference to BS381 is from work done by Henry Ellis.  He and I are in very regular contact and neither of us have been able to categorically pin down a particular colour standard that JP used.  It is therefore down to personal choice.  During the middle 1950's JP used a Lime Green colour only on the grass boxes, which changed again in the 1960's to an apple green colour which I have closely matched to RAL 6025.  However, we would suggest that you remove the transmission cover screws and check the colour on the inside of the transmission cover or underneath the handle bar grips and try to match to that.  I use a local automotive parts factor who can mix paint and has a number of colour swatches from which you can chose a close colour match.

If you decide to take the step of full restoration, I would be more than happy to assist and provide guidance.  Seized bearings are not such a big issue to solve and replacement imperial bearings are still available.  The original bearings were EE5 and RL5 manufactured by Skefko (SKF) and equivalents can be purchased on the internet.  It is likely that the eccentric adjustment and blade paralellism mechanism has siezed if the mower has been stood outside, but these too can be freed up by patience and application of some heat, soaking in vinegar or diesel or a repeated combination of all three.

regards

Tony

Antbr123 (Tony)
Consider grass in terms of how you would like to be treated yourself - and you won't go wrong!

stevecross
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Joined: 30/05/2016 - 13:00
Tony,

Tony,

Many thanks for your quick and detailed reply - very helpful. Obviously the mower is much older than I was led to believe, in fact it had celebrated its 70th birthday earlier this year!

I did in fact post several images which uploaded OK and I can see them on my laptop - maybe it depends what device you use to access the site??

You're quite right - it does have an aluminium pair of rear rollers and grass deflector, and also the eccentric adjuster and blade parallelism mechanism are seized - I've dosed them with Plus Gas as a starter. The good news is that the Bakelite adjuster knob is intact and only has a slight crack.

In an earlier post of yours (24/10/2018) you mentioned the rubber handgrips and I wondered if you still had a spare pair for sale? If so I would be interested.

Thanks again and regards.

Steve

(Tetney, Lincolnshire)

olcadmin
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Have just checked Steve's

Have just checked Steve's upload folder but nothing new there since 15/11/2018 (photo of an Atco 12in). Let me know if you need some help although the instructions in the Forum Guidleines section should get you there.

OLC Admin

Antbr123
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Joined: 02/08/2018 - 09:51
Hello again Steve,

Hello again Steve,

Regarding the handgrips - well you have touched on one of my key sourcing activities - which as yet has proved unfruitful!!

The original handgrips were manufactured by a company called John Bull - possibly also located in Leicester - and which later became part of Dunlop.  They were oval in shape.  In or around 1959/1960 JP changed their handgrips to one which had 4 finger notches underneath and 42 ribs along the top.  See images.   

The diameter of the tubular handlebars should be 9/16th inch MS Steel but do check this as I have come across mowers where earlier handlebars have been fitted and these were 3/4" solid steel.  Clearly these handgrips would not fit that diameter.  Due to the perishability of the rubber it is unlikely that many original handgrips have survived totally intact. So you are almost forced to have to use later handgrips.  Indeed, even original handgrips have the habit of breaking on the ends where the handlebar is eventually pushed through the rubber.  This may be the reason why JP changed the design. Any handgrip which is neoprene rubber and has an internal bore of 0.5" dec inch diameter would fit, if softened first with boiling water and applied with washing up liquid as to ease it onto the handlebar.  Do not use WD-40.  It sticks over time and you will not get the handgrips off easily later!

I do not have any of the earlier John Bull grips, but I can supply a good copy of the later JP handgrip and if you message me separately or ring me (0777 564 1907 or email me) we can come to some arrange re postage and cost.  The unfortunate situation we are in is that I can get copies made of original grips, but the manufacturers want £200 GBP tooling cost and a minimum order of between 100-500 pcs.  The does not make it economically viable.

regards,

Tony

Antbr123 (Tony)
Consider grass in terms of how you would like to be treated yourself - and you won't go wrong!

stevecross
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Last seen: 4 weeks 18 hours ago
Joined: 30/05/2016 - 13:00
Thanks again Tony and I'll be

Thanks again Tony and I'll be in touch with you directly.

I'll try again to upload the images - hopefully with more success than last time!

Regards

Steve