A wonderful day at the British Lawnmower Museum + BARGAIN!

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A wonderful day at the British Lawnmower Museum + BARGAIN!

Hey all.

Well... I'm back after a very busy and exciting day at the lawnmower museum in Southport. WOW... What a day! All I can say is thank you to Brian and his gang for a great 3 hours spent raiding the sheds, etc for equipment, as well as spending time feeling the old mowers and studying the designs. It's really heart warming being in touch with the past. from old mowers which have served their time.

I mentioned a bargain... yes that's right a real bargain.. I came to pick up the decal for the AJAX but also to hunt down a few machines to take on. Shame my dad's car couldn't take much more than 2 machines. So... I bet you're guessing which ones I picked up.....

Well... first off, a Ransomes Auto Certes with the BSA sloper engine fitted and what appears to be a 12 blade head, 18 inch cut. There's some work to do on her and I'm happy to undertake it. I need to re fashion the box as I have a box with it that is smaller than needed, so a bit of fabrication is in order.

The 2nd a qualcast super panther in good condition. with grass box. needs a little care and attention. in other words. a full strip, repaint, blades regrinding, a bit of welding on the box, etc. still no worries there.

All for the sum of £140 inc VAT also including decals for the auto Certes, etc.

On a side note... does anyone have a cylinder grinder for sale at a decent price? I'm looking for one to undertake work or if not, an old lathe I could mount a grinder on. My local machine service centre is run by a cowboy who's done some damage to parts before and he charges a minimum of £60 per cylinder then extra for knives.

cheers folks and have a great day. If ever you want to dig deep into lawn mowers, go to the museum. it's at Lawnmower World on the 1st floor. a Great little place to spend time in and understand the heritage.



£60/cylinder is an absolute

£60/cylinder is an absolute rip off, where abouts do you live? A realistic price (my local dealer) does it for £20/cylinder, which is what I was quoted for a 18" Ransomes Auto Certes. Same one as you described.

I'm gonna do a bit of shameless advertising, that's this guy: http://www.leachslawnmowers.co.uk/

Regarding the cylinder grinding machines I've noticed they don't come cheap from what I can see, I need to invest in one myself, but a friend of mine uses a lathe with an angle grinder for sharpening cylinders.

One thing I've been told with using a lathe though is that it doesn't sharpen the blade quite the same as a proper grinding machine, the difference is, although the blades are still sharp, the technique is marginally different so there needs to be more force applied to rotate the blades, so you need to push a bit harder. Not a bad option though if you can't afford the outlay of a proper cylinder grinder, and who knows you might even get the technique as good as a proper cylinder grinder.

Also were these mowers you bought in sheds away from the shop? I didn't know you could do that, I'll defiantly be taking a trip up there sometime soon, it is a nice museum isn't it!

Did you notice the Greens Zephyr in the museum which was at the Southport Flower Show, with the chrome sides? That's my personal fav mower there.


hey. great info there. 'm in

hey. great info there.

'm in rhyl in north wales. someone's go to live there and it's me lol. I've had contact with a chap who recommends a lapping compound he supplies and I'll be going for that option. at least I am not waiting on someone to do the work and having to take time off to collect a cylinder or two.

as regards machines, they were in 2 small garages away from the shop. I'm due back some time soon, so if you're going, leave me a few please. after all, there's some good ones I'm still awaiting to pick up, unfortunately dad's car will only take 2 machines plus the odd box, etc. no trailer hitch or access to a van, etc. it's a good 2 + hours from us to southport but worth every penny.

just started the repair work on the auto certes. the carb was full of solid and degraded fuel, etc so has been stripped in paraffin, cleaned with needle scrapers, etc and tested. the fuel tank had fuel in from god knows how long ago, so has been flushed out again with paraffin. the fuel valve was seized but luckily with a little patience, paraffin, etc it's back up and running.

tomorrow's the engine strip, clean, points clean and adjust and hopefully firing up. This little baby needs a little care, so I'm spending my time on her.

stripped down the qualcast super panther ball bearing edition  with my sanding rig. here's a question though. my P.A (sighted assistance / mum) told me that under the green second coat, the original finish was Orange. could someone clarify that for me please? also could use an image file with the logos for the qualcast to print to silk screen at my friend's office, rather than ordering logo's etc and waiting on time.

there's a good bit of work still to do. there's a plastic chain guide missing in the qualcast panther and don't know where to find one. the chain is rather slack and sniping. anyway, all that to do and a home to find for the panther when fully restored.

the ransomes auto certes isn't for sale unless I can be persuaded otherwise. I've had 2 people offering me serious money for it as these are rarities, especially with the transport wheels, etc.


Can't offer you an image file

Can't offer you an image file for the logo's I'm afraid, because I don't have one. Although to be fair the ones the Old Lawnmower Club produce are absolutely superb, I've just bought a set for a Drummond Willing Worker I've just bought.

On the Qualcast Super Panther, the handles are orange, the same orange used on Suffolk mowers and the main body of the mower is green, not sure if it's Qualcast green or Suffolk green, that is, if there is any difference.

I've got a Super Panther in my shed and I'll give you the chain guide for the cost of postage, which won't be much since they're light and small. Give me an email if you're interested: aled29@gmail.com

Can't really help you with the Ransomes Auto Certes, because I've not owned one yet, I have a marquis but I don't have the original BSA Sloper engine for it, sorry about that!