Oil for under your mower deck

oil for under your lawn mower deck

Someone asked me to recommend oil for under your mower deck. If you’re not familiar with this trick, it’s a good idea to oil the underside of your lawnmower deck to keep grass from sticking to it. This helps keep your blade from bogging down and your deck from rusting.

What oil do I like? The person brought up Marvel Mystery Oil. I do like Marvel Mystery Oil inside the mower. But I think it’s too expensive for the deck.

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Tips on buying used stuff

I just found a Lifehacker piece on buying used stuff without getting ripped off. I have plenty of experience in this area.

The key, I think, is to deal in person, and test as much functionality as you can before handing over the cash.

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Change a stubborn lawn mower blade safely and easily

Hold the blade still with a board while you change a lawn mower blade

I needed to change a stubborn lawn mower blade this weekend. The bolt on the old one was frozen hard. That proved to be a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. I learned the secret of changing a blade without hurting myself, and without an impact wrench, even when the stubborn bolt doesn’t want to turn.

To remove and replace a lawn mower blade safely and easily, you need a length of 2×4 board long enough to stand on, a small plastic pan, the biggest socket wrench you can find, and a socket that matches the stuck bolt on your mower. If you don’t have a socket wrench or torque wrench, you can use a regular crescent wrench, but you want the biggest one you can find. Longer wrenches give more leverage, and you need lots of leverage to free a stuck bolt.

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No matter what brand you buy, you’ll have carburetor trouble

I bought a lawnmower this weekend for the other house. Of course they tried to get me to buy the $40 extended warranty to cover a $162 lawnmower. “You’ll have carburetor trouble no matter what brand you buy,” she said.

The bold print on the warranty paperwork said it excluded carburetor cleaning, so I don’t know what the point of that was. “I’ll pass,” I said.

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Synthetic oil + Marvel Mystery Oil = happy lawn mower

I’ve always hated my lawn mower. But once I started using Marvel Mystery Oil in a lawn mower, and putting synthetic 10w-30 oil in the crankcase, I’ve been much happier. It makes me feel like I discovered one of the secrets of the universe.

While you’re at it, check the air filter. You’re supposed to change that every year, at least. The combination of a fresh air filter, Marvel Mystery Oil, and synthetic oil gives me easier starts and smoother running.

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Another (unwanted) lawnmower adventure

So the Toro died Sunday, with maybe 100-150 square feet of unmowed lawn left. I coaxed it into running again by adding oil–it looked low–and that was enough to mow what was left. The gray smoke bellowing out the side, the horrible noise, and the vibrating as if it would fall apart just added character. Yeah, character.

Against my better judgment, I finished cutting the lawn, then killed the engine and dragged the beast back into the garage. Then I got on the Internet to weigh my options.

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Fixing a Marx 490 O27 toy locomotive

I fixed my Marx 490 locomotive this weekend. I used the tips in The All Gauge Model Railroading Marx Trains guide. Scroll down to the heading titled, “The Marx motor.”

I was skeptical because these instructions call for WD-40, and it seems I’ve read a hundred other places never to use WD-40 on any model train. But my Marx 490 wasn’t running well, and it would cost more to have it professionally repaired than it’s worth.