# Reel Theory GOLF TURF John Deere Training Department & 24 NOV 97

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Reel Theory GOLF TURF John Deere Training Department & 24 NOV 97
JD Reels

Reels Slide Index (Left Click Selection Box) Four Principle Angle
24 NOV 97 Reels Slide Index (Left Click Selection Box) Four Principle Angle Backlapping Clearance Necessary Total Cost of Mowing Relief Angle HOC Milled Relief Blades Bench Setting Rake Angle Effective Height of Cut Bedknife Angles Prism Gauge Parallel Edges FOC Coned Shaped Reel Bedknife Attitude Dulling Curve Reel/Bed Relationship Dull Edges JD Reels

A reel cutting unit has two working parts: the bedknife and the reel blade leading edge.
The bedknife has two functions: 1. It pushes against the blade of grass and stands the grass up in a vertical position. 2. The leading sharp edge acts as half of a scissors. The reel blade rotates across the bedknife performing the cutting action, as the second half of the scissors.

24 NOV 97 Reel Cutting Unit JD Reels

There should be NO contact between reel and bedknife
There should be NO contact between reel and bedknife. None is needed (suggest a .002” clearance). Grass blades are inches thick. Several reasons why this clearance is necessary; 1. When the reel is allowed to contact the bedknife, the square (sharp) edges of the reel and bedknife will rollover, becoming dull. 2. Contact between the reel and bedknife will generate heat. Heat generated through this contact will distort the shape of the bedknife. Distortion causes the bedknife to draw closer to the reel, resulting in more rollover of the cutting surfaces and more heat generated in the bedknife. 3. Drag produced by an improperly adjusted cutting unit may result in an unacceptable clip ratio, undue strain on drive mechanism and premature wear of the cutting unit.

24 NOV 97 Clearance Necessary .002” or .001” Clearance JD Reels

Four Principle Angles 1. Relief Angle 4. Top Angle 2. Rake Angle
24 NOV 97 1. Relief Angle 4. Top Angle 2. Rake Angle 3. Front Angle JD Reels

Deere recommends relief grinding the reels for these reasons;
24 NOV 97 The reel back relief angle is ground to remove the cross section of the blade leaving approximately 1 mm (.040”). This 1 mm of cross section provides some strength in the cutting tip. When this blade cross section wears to 1/3 to the blade thickness, it is time to regrind the reel. This angle is set at 20 degrees. Deere recommends relief grinding the reels for these reasons; 1. Relief grinding removes metal from the trailing edge of the blade forming an angle (relief angle) to reduce the contact area of the cutting edges. This reduces blade contact area resulting in less friction. 2. Ensures longer wear life. 3. Less time is required to backlap. 4. Reduces squeezing and tearing of the grass as the unit gets dull by use. 5. Provides an area for backlapping compound to be trapped to more effectively backlap reels. 6. Because of the relief grind it is possible, with backlapping, to true a reel (make it round) if a blade is .001” to .002” too high. 7. Requires less horsepower to drive the reel. JD Reels

24 NOV 97 Reel Blade Relief Angle 20 Degree Relief Angle The reel back relief angle is ground to remove the cross section of the blade leaving approximately 1 mm (.040”). This 1 mm of cross section provides some strength in the cutting tip. When this blade cross section wears to 1/3 to the blade thickness, it is time to regrind the reel. This angle is set at 20 degrees. The industry ranges from degrees. Deere recommends relief grinding the reels for these reasons; 1. Relief grinding removes metal from the trailing edge of the blade forming an angle (relief angle) to reduce the contact area of the cutting edges. This reduces blade contact area resulting in less friction. 2. Ensures longer wear life. 3. Less time is required to backlap. 4. Reduces squeezing and tearing of the grass as the unit gets dull by use. 5. Provides an area for backlapping compound to be trapped to more effectively backlap reels. 6. Because of the relief grind it is possible, with backlapping, to true a reel (make it round) if a blade is .001” to .002” too high. 7. Requires less horsepower to drive the reel. .040” (1 mm) JD Reels

24 NOV 97 On smaller diameter reels with numerous blades (i.e. greensmowers) often the reel blade has a milled relief. This increases the open area between the blades which; 1. Allows more room for grinding 2. More area for the grass to get into the reel. 3. The reduced cross section at the end of the blades reduces the “flywheel effect” of the reel making starts and stops (which are very common on greens triplexes) easier on the machine’s hydraulic system. JD Reels

Different Types of Relief
24 NOV 97 Different Types of Relief On smaller diameter reels with numerous blades (i.e. greensmowers) often the reel blade has a milled relief. This increases the open area between the blades which; 1. Allows more room for grinding 2. More area for the grass to get into the reel. 3. The reduced cross section also reduces the amount of potential contact between the blade and bedknife reducing initial start up loads. Ground Relief Milled Relief JD Reels

24 NOV 97 Reel Load Comparison Reel-Bedknife Clearance .002” ” Touch % % % 0.6 hp hp 8.55 hp Relief Ground / Sharp Bedknife (HP per unit) No Relief / Sharp Bedknife (HP per unit) % Increase in HP Consumed ( per unit ) Increase in HP Consumed per 3235 (5 units) * Tests Conducted While Mowing 1.5” Bermuda to 1.0” HOC JD Reels

24 NOV 97 The reel rake angle is created by the slot in the spider which locates the blade on an angle: This ensures that the front cutting edge is always forward of the blade body, which in turn cuts, not pushes, the grass. The rake angle is fixed by the manufacturer and cannot be revised. JD Reels

24 NOV 97 Rake Angle The reel rake angle is created by the slot in the spider which locates the blade on an angle: This ensures that the front cutting edge is always forward of the blade body, which in turn cuts, not pushes, the grass. The rake angle is fixed by the manufacturer and cannot be revised. Rake Angle JD Reels

The bedknife has two angles; the top and front angle.
The top angle, set at 5 degrees ,except on greens mowers which have a Top angle of 6.5 degrees, is there to reduce metal contact, and it allows cut grass to be ejected from the cutting unit. This angle must be present for the bedknife to work properly. The industry range for this angle is 3-10 degrees. The front angle is set at 5 degrees also. It assures that the front will stand the blade of grass up perpendicular. Without a relief angle the blade of grass will contact the lower edge of the bedknife and be bent over at too much of an angle prior to being cut. In the case of mowing greens, where very small cuts are being taken, the reel may not capture the grass at all, and no grass will be cut. The industry range for this angle is 3-17 degrees.

Top Angle 5 Degrees (6.5 Greens Mower)
24 NOV 97 Bedknife Angles Top Angle Top Angle 5 Degrees (6.5 Greens Mower) Front Angle 5 Degrees Front Angle JD Reels

Reasons for grinding; 1. To restore the cylindrical shape of a reel that has become cone-shaped due to improper adjustment of the reel-to-bedknife clearance or worn reel bearings. 2. To restore the edge when the grass is not being cut across the entire length of the bedknife, evidenced by streaks of grass left after the mower has passed. Usually the result of nicked blades caused by hitting foreign objects in the grass. 3. To restore the edge when the lack of frequent backlapping allowed the edge to be rounded beyond the capability of the backlapping procedure to restore the edge. 4. To restore the edge when the reel-to-bedknife clearance has been improperly adjusted (reel contacting bedknife).

Cutting Edges Must Be Parallel
24 NOV 97 Cutting Edges Must Be Parallel The Reel Must Be Perfectly Straight and the Bedknife Must be Straight and Flat in Order for Them to Work Properly Reel Bedknife JD Reels

24 NOV 97 Cone Shaped Reel Reels Can Become Cone- Shaped. This Causes a Great Deal of Strain on the Supporting Bearings When Adjusted Parallel to the Bedknife Reel Bedknife JD Reels

2. Fairways, Utility 60, 80 and 100 grit
24 NOV 97 Backlapping is used to maintain a sharp cutting edge between grindings. It removes a very small amount of metal, requires less time and will effect a smooth clean cut. It should be done on a regular basis. Backlapping does NOT replace grinding and should never be used to sharpen extremely dull or out of shape reels. Backlapping is accomplished by spinning the reel backwards while applying special abrasive compounds to the reel (The most metal that should be removed is approximately .005”). Usually course compounds are used initially followed by a fine abrasive “tournament grade” for final honing. Recommended Grits; 1. Greens & Tees , 180 and 220 grit 2. Fairways, Utility , 80 and 100 grit Reel sharpening compounds should NOT be toxic, oily or greasy. Although some spingrinding machine manufacturers say backlapping is not necessary, John Deere recommends backlapping after spingrinding to remove burrs and rough edges left from the spingrinding procedure. Backlapping produces a honed edge that will cut the grass evenly and leave the tops of the grass with clean, straight edges. JD Reels

Backlapping VS Grinding
Backlapping does not replace grinding, but it can reduce how often you have to grind. Backlapping maintains the cutting edges it is not for establishing the cutting edges. When a reel is being ground it is a 5 step process. This can be a time/labor consuming process. 1) Removing the cone shape of the reel 2) Re establish the 20 degree relief on reel blade 3) Re establish sharp edge on reel blade (spin) 4) Top angle on bedknife 5) Front angle on bedknife. John Deere machines have “on board backlapping”. This allows the technician to regularly backlap the cutting units to “maintain” the cutting edges. This process should not take more than 15 minutes. If edges have not been maintained, then cutting units will need to be ground. To maintain reels with backlapping the reel blade MUST HAVE RELIEF.

Dull Edges Edges Have Become Rounded… No Longer a Sharp Edge
24 NOV 97 Dull Edges Edges Have Become Rounded… No Longer a Sharp Edge When reels become dull, the leading sharp edge of the reel and bedknife become rounded. This is normal wear. The approximately 90 degree edges must be restored to once again deliver a good quality of cut. JD Reels

24 NOV 97 When reels become dull, the leading sharp edge of the reel and bedknife become rounded. This is normal wear. The approximately 90 degree edges must be restored to once again deliver a good quality of cut. JD Reels

24 NOV 97 Backlapping Backlapping Compound with Reel Turning in Reverse Direction Backlapping is used to maintain a sharp cutting edge between grindings. It removes a very small amount of metal, requires less time and will effect a smooth clean cut. It should be done on a regular basis. Backlapping does NOT replace grinding and should never be used to sharpen extremely dull or out of shape reels. Backlapping is accomplished by spinning the reel backwards while applying special abrasive compounds to the reel (The most metal that should be removed is approximately .005”). Usually course compounds are used initially followed by a fine abrasive “tournament grade” for final honing. Recommended Grits; 1. Greens & Tees , 180 and 220 grit 2. Fairways, Utility , 80 and 100 grit Reel sharpening compounds should NOT be toxic, oily or greasy. Although some spingrinding machine manufacturers say backlapping is not necessary, John Deere recommends backlapping after spingrinding to remove burrs and rough edges left from the spingrinding procedure. Backlapping produces a honed edge that will cut the grass evenly and leave the tops of the grass with clean, straight edges. JD Reels

24 NOV 97 By regular backlapping, the sharpness of reels stays in the “optimum cutting quality” range. Note how backlapping restores cut quality. JD Reels

Cutting Unit Dulling Curve
24 NOV 97 Cutting Unit Dulling Curve Sharp Optimum Cutting Quality Usable Cutting Quality Dull Elapse Time in Hours JD Reels

This graph shows how the quality of cut deteriorates over time IF NO corrective action is taken. Note that the reel sharpness has fallen below the “optimum cutting quality”. The reel may still be cutting to some degree, but the quality of cut is poor. When having a “Grind only” program with no relief, more likely then not, the cutting unit is in the dull area longer before the edge is restored. This is because the only way to “maintain” this edge is to grind. Thus limiting a technicians options. Also effecting the quality of cut.

Backlapping Retains Optimum Cutting Quality
24 NOV 97 Sharp Optimum Cutting Quality Usable Cutting Quality By routinely backlapping, the sharpness of reels stays in the “optimum cutting quality” range. Note how backlapping restores cut quality. In some cases it is also beneficial to “face the bedknife”. With a file at the appropriate angle (5 degrees), move it across the front edge of the bedknife to remove the “burr” formed below the surface of the cutting edge. Because there are “many” reel blades and only one bedknife, this keeps the cutting unit performing better longer. Be careful to remove the “rounded edge” only, heavy filing or grinding will remove material from the front of the bedknife moving the cutting point rearward changing the cutting performance of the cutting unit (making it more aggressive). Dull Elapse Time in Hours JD Reels

24 NOV 97 Note that 50% of the “Total Cost of Mowing” is in Labor. 15% is maintenance and only 10% is the purchase price. 10% of the total is for fuel, note that although many manufacturers produce products that have ample horsepower, that fuel costs go up when reels get dull or when there is no relief grind because it does take more engine horsepower to spin the reels. JD Reels

Height of Cut (HOC) Two Methods of Measuring HOC Bench Setting
24 NOV 97 Height of Cut (HOC) Two Methods of Measuring HOC Bench Setting The Height at Which the Bedknife is Set Above a Firm Level Surface Effective Cutting Height The Actual Height at Which Grasses Are Cut JD Reels

24 NOV 97 Bench setting is done with a gauge bar (typically aluminum) or a straight bar with a dial indicator in place of the screw shown above. The “Bench Setting” simply measures the distance between the top of the bedknife (cutting surface) and the bottom of the rollers (the supposed ground level). JD Reels

Bench Setting Distance Between Top of Bedknife and Bottom of Rollers
24 NOV 97 Bench Setting Distance Between Top of Bedknife and Bottom of Rollers JD Reels

24 NOV 97 The most widely accepted method of establishing “height of cut” is the bench setting. This is done statically in the shop and typically does NOT take into account the conditions in which the reels will be cutting. JD Reels

2. Grass and Environment Conditions
The effective height of cut or “true height of cut” is the actual height of the grass plant after it has been cut. This method takes into account the many factors that affect height of cut (HOC), such as; 1. Soil conditions -Wet or soft, resulting in the rollers sinking in to some degree -Dry or hard, rollers do NOT sink into the ground. 2. Grass and Environment Conditions - Thick or Lush, rollers will ride up on the grass raising the HOC Weak, limp grass in early spring or late fall (or poor sunshine) Thatch causing rollers to ride up raising the HOC. 3. Surface contact of the rollers Smooth rollers have more surface area and will ride higher in the grass raising the HOC Grooved rollers have less surface (support) area and will sink lower in the grass lowering the HOC. 4. Weight of the reel AND ATTACHMENTS The heavier the reel, the more the rollers will sink into the grass effectively lowering the HOC. A general rule is for every 10 additional pounds, the reel will “sink” into the ground .005”. 24 NOV 97 JD Reels

Effective Height of Cut
24 NOV 97 Effective Height of Cut Weight of the Cutting Unit and Attachments Every 10 lbs results in .005” height difference Soil Conditions Roller Shape and Surface Area Grass Type JD Reels

Evaluating Cut Quality With a “Prism Gauge”
24 NOV 97 Evaluating Cut Quality With a “Prism Gauge” Uses Right Angle Prism to Observe at Horizontal Plane to the Ground Line Measures “Effective Height of Cut” Allows to Measure “Rate of Growth” Quality of Cut Comparisons JD Reels

Frequency Of Cut (FOC) Distance Traveled Between Consecutive Cuts
24 NOV 97 Frequency Of Cut (FOC) Distance Traveled Between Consecutive Cuts Direction of Travel JD Reels

24 NOV 97 Frequency of Cut (clip ratio) … The forward distance traveled between successive cutting contacts at any one shear point. JD Reels

FOC Factors Number of Blades on Reel Reel Speed (RPM) Travel Speed
24 NOV 97 FOC Factors Number of Blades on Reel Reel Speed (RPM) Travel Speed JD Reels

FOC Negative Effects FOC Too Slow (Higher Number)
24 NOV 97 FOC Negative Effects FOC Too Slow (Higher Number) Marcelling (Wash Boarding) (Rippled Effect) FOC Too Fast (Lower Number) Over Stressed Grass Stripes and/or Brown Tips Accelerated Component Wear JD Reels

Marcelling Wash-boarding Rippling Objectionable Cut Quality 24 NOV 97
JD Reels

24 NOV 97 FOC “Guideline” The Lower the Height of Cut (HOC) The More Blades That Are Required The Higher the HOC The Less Blades That Are Required JD Reels

Bedknife Attitude Down Level Better Cut Quality Better Stripe
24 NOV 97 Bedknife Attitude Down Level Better Cut Quality Better Stripe Reduces Scuffing Accurate Height of Cut Adjustment JD Reels

The ‘aggressiveness” of a cutting unit is determined by the distance
24 NOV 97 The ‘aggressiveness” of a cutting unit is determined by the distance between the front edge of the bedknife (cut point) and the center line of the reel. Commonly referred to as “Attitude” for the bedknife. As the reel turns in the cutting unit the reel blades actually go below the front edge of the bedknife (cut point). This is how the reel gathers the grass to be cut. If the bedknife edge was directly under the center point of the reel the reel blades would not gather the grass and the cutting unit would have a poor quality of cut. The further back the bedknife is moved from the center of the reel the more aggressive the cut. Meaning the reel blades are going further below the cut point. The closer the bedknife is to the center of the reel the less aggressive the cut. Meaning the reel blades are not going as far below the cut point. JD Reels

Aggressive VS Less Aggressive
What determines the cut quality of a cutting unit? The aggressiveness or non aggressiveness of the cutting unit. The more aggressive the cutting unit the better job the reel is doing in gathering the grass to be cut. This provides a good cut quality with less uncut grass(stragglers). The down side or the fine line, is the more aggressive the cut the more risk you run of over stressing the grass. Especially at lower heights of cut. This usually shows up first on the overlap stripe. So moving the bedknife further from the center of the reel does have a down side. It can be moved to far. The opposite is also true. Moving the bedknife closer to the center of the reel the uncut grass(stragglers) are increased because the reel is not gathering the grass as well.

What adjustments and maintenance practices can change this relation ship?
Facing of the bedknife is a common practice for maintaining cut quality. But each time a bedknife is faced material is being removed from the front edge of the bedknife. This moves the cut point further from the center of the reel making it more aggressive. Caution needs to be used when facing a bedknife. A hand file is recommended. Roller set up on the cutting unit can also change this relationship. Having a cutting unit with the rear roller set lower then the front gives the cutting unit a pitched forward appearance thus moving the bedknife away from the reel center. Making it more aggressive. When the the front roller is lower then the cutting unit is pitched backwards moving the bedknife closer to the center of the reel. Making the cutting unit less aggressive. ESP cutting units it is recommended for the roller to be parallel to the bedknife and the notches on the roller to be no more then 1 notch off front to back.

Continued…. What adjustments and maintenance practices can change this relation ship? The NON-ESP cutting units use roller bracket location in the frame to determine the HOC range of the cutting unit. It is possible with these cutting units to obtain the same HOC in different height ranges. The difference is, in this case, is the location of the front and rear roller heights. One range will make the cut more aggressive…… When stressing of the grass is seen there are points that need to be checked. 1) Make sure reel and bedknife are sharp. 2) Bedknife relationship to reel. Roller settings…are we too aggressive 3) Replace bedknife to reestablish the proper bedknife to center of the reel relationship.

Reel / Bedknife Relationship
24 NOV 97 Reel / Bedknife Relationship ESP Cutting Unit (Parallel Bedknife) .78 MM 11.76 MM 48 JD Reels

24 NOV 97 On “ESP” cutting units, with the bedknife adjusted parallel with the ground, the reel actually “reaches” .78 mm below the top surface of the bedknife. The front edge of the bedknife is nearly 12 mm behind the center line of the reel. JD Reels

24 NOV 97 On “ESP” cutting units, with the bedknife adjusted with the front edge slightly down, the reel actually “reaches” 1.02 mm below the top surface of the bedknife. The front edge of the bedknife is mm behind the center line of the reel. JD Reels

Reel / Bedknife Relationship
24 NOV 97 Reel / Bedknife Relationship ESP Cutting Unit (Bedknife Angled Down 6MM) 1.02 MM 13.43 MM 51 JD Reels

Grease Recommendations
It is essential that you use the proper grease when performing the scheduled maintenance. Below is John Deere recommendations for grease used on Golf and Turf products. For CUTTING UNITS: Use John Deere CORNHEAD grease (AH80490/AN102562) per Operator’s Manual. Other greases may be used if above John Deere greases are not available, provided they meet the following compatibility specifications only: Polyurea Grease - NLGI Grade 0; Calcium Complex Grease - NLGI Grade 0. For TRACTION UNITS: Use John Deere Moly High Temperature EP #2 grease (TY6333) on pivots, bushing and lift arms where there is low speed, high load applications. IMPORTANT: DO NOT mix any other greases (including calcium, lithium, and lithium 12-hydroxy based greases) with above recommended greases, they are NOT COMPATIBLE. For best results, completely remove all non-compatible grease from housing and fill with above preferred grease or one of the other greases, which are compatible with each other. DO NOT use any BIO-GREASE. Additional Information: Due to the demands of the manufacturing process, a very high water/corrosion resistant calcium based #2 grease is used at the factory. The products listed above ARE COMPATIBLE with the factory installed grease.

All Greases Are NOT Created Equal
24 NOV 97 All Greases Are NOT Created Equal Bushing and Shaft Different Applications Require Greases with Characteristics that Meet Their Requirements JD Reels

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