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mower deck protection thoughts

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It's be a rough winter here in MD and the "dreadfully warm temperatures" gave me a chance to haul out the mower deck and start prepping for spring.  I've got a 42" RD deck and last year I cleaned it up as best I could and tried using the POR-15 treatment to try and protect the bottom of the deck.  Last fall when I put the deck away I noticed that there were a couple of bubbles and sure enough I found that the POR-15 was pulling away in those areas.  I suspect that "user error" may have had something to do with it but this year I decided to clean up the problem spots, re-sand the the whole bottom and repaint with Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer. I let that dry for about 36 hours, scuffed it up with Scotch Brite and gave it a coat of Rustoleum Gloss Black. I waited another 36 and scuffed up again and gave it another coat of GB. Once that dried I resharpened the blades and put the deck away till end I'll let it age till the end of March. The thought was that perhaps I may not have waited long enough for the POR product to set up completely (I did wait 2 days) and maybe with more time to setup, the new paint job will do a better job of stopping the rust.

 

At the same I got to wondering if it might be better to pickup another deck, strip everything off of it and have it powder coated as from what I've seen of that process, the adhesion seems superior to traditional paints but I don't know enough about how well the powder coating would hold up over time.

 

So if any of you have any experience with the powder coatings as they may apply to mower deck shells or snowblower components, I'm all ears as each of those items seems to benefit from extremely smooth surfaces that inhibit any kind of drag.

 

And I also promise not the take the snow thrower off the beast until April as I'd prefer not give the snow deities a reason for their own version of March Madness... ;-)

 

Thanks - Cod

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My Badboy zero turn has a powder coated deck and the finish is just about completely gone from the years of cleaning the underside of the deck. So I wouldn't recommend that :twocents-02cents:

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In my experience with POR-15 in a harsh environment like under the deck, it needs to be super well prepped. Getting completely to bare metal is imperative and sandblasting is best. Followed by degreasing and metal prep. That is how the POR binds to the metal to make a solid impervious connection. If it is done correctly, the only way to remove it is to grind it off (which will happen under the deck with time)

 

I have a quart of Wetlander to try under the deck ($$$). Its is a super durable hydrophobic coating designed for the bottom of air boats, so it is highly wear resistant. I havent been able to test it yet, but I plan on testing it on top of a primer coat of POR-15 to see how it stands up to that environment. A side benefit should be not needing to work very hard (if at all) to wash out the deck. 

 

Also, POR-15 is very durable to impact, but NOT very wear resistant. It looses its gloss very quickly with abrasion. 

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I suspect my experience with powder coat has not been with the best powder coat since it has not been the best experience. I'm not yet impressed with its adhesion. 

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I have a 1972 Bronco 14 and on it is a 48" side deck from the mid 80's.  It isn't rusted at all, and I mow with it every weekend thru the summers, as I have done since I put the deck on....in the late 80s or so.  The trick....  

I made a stainless steel liner shell for it.  Using two cardboard cutouts as template of the deck (1) shell and (2) apron, used the templates to transfer and cut out stainless steel sheet metal to same size and shape(s). After heating and shape-pounding the shell template into the general shape, bolted it down to the inside of the deck shell, then tig-welded the front apron to the shell plate.  The ss isn't very thick...probably 1/32" and it was easy to work with and drill.  Kinda hard on sawzall blades, but go t the job done.  

The grass doesn't stick to it much and is very easy to scrape off, but that's not even needed...just when I shapren blades.  This has been working for me for 25 years or so....no rust at all.  

ps...A tool and die shop  did the mig welf foir me...  I'm a bean-counter.         

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http://www.agriguardcoatings.com/home.html

 

The rust coater is the product for decks. I get them clean with we-adhering rust and coat them with a chip brush. Wear gloves because it will NOT come off your skin. The stuff cures in the presence of moisture in the air, but very high humidity can make it bubble a bit  After the stuff cured for two days, a wire brush mounted in a drill barely reduced the gloss. There are two price points for the product with the black product being cheaper as it is not rated for direct sunlight.

 

 I did a good job prepping to tight rust and then washed off all the dust and debris. Bonds and covers well and dries hard and shiny  Very impressive for the price. Rural King sells it , for 19 bucks a quart and 29 bucks for the UV stabilized version It sounds very similar to the airboat paint mentioned above.

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I hose under the deck, after each mowing, to remove most of the buildup.  When I remove the deck in the fall, I scrape off any significant buildup and spray it with Fluid Film.  The Fluid Film will penetrate around the spindles and fasteners making service easier and protecting them as well.   I gave up on any type of coating because there will be areas that nothing will hold up.

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I used Rustolem Rusty metal primer (paint on not rattle can)

The fish oil formula is tough stuff, and can take hi pressure washing. 

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I have used:

 

Rustoleum Rusty metal Primer

Corroless  (was sold by Eastwood years ago

Eastwood rust convrter

Eastwood rust encapsulator

POR 15

 

None of them worked very well over time.

 

 

Edit;  I should add that for prep work i have used pressure washer, Sanding discs, Needle scaler, wire brushes on a angle grinder, and  sand blasting.

Edited by pfrederi
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Thanks gents although I'm surprised as I thought (and hoped) the powder coat would solve the problem.  A friend of mine mentioned that perhaps spraying it with Rhino liner might work but I don't think I'll go there.  I also like the idea of the SS liner as 25 years is great advertising.  Oddly enough I was wondering if one could mold a plastic shell that you could fit to your deck but I suspect that it's harder than I think although they've had disposal inserts for paint trays for years.

 

Hmmm, retirement is coming up and one does need a hobby...

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depends on soil conditions,and how dry it is,im with p fred,ive tried most things and after 1 season they have all failed to some degree,i own a sand blaster,so they were to bare metal,i even tried epoxy,system five,supposedly can be used in pipeline work,it even got blasted off by grit andstones

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I want two gallons of the two-part epoxy we use on the floors of the Nuclear generating plants - that stuff is so amazingly tough but it's not fun to work with at all . I've heard claims it's around $50/oz , they do seem to be quite finicky about how it's used and we've never applied it without at least 3 supervisors standing on top of us while repairing any damaged coating from moving heavy machinery when doing an outage . I'd have to say it's some epoxy-like material , but gets super hot when mixed and only has a 15min window to work with it - after that the container will start to get hot enough to burn your hands . There is also another epoxy stuff used in the end plates of the heat exchangers - same deal with it getting very hot and being super expensive but it's warranted to last 10yrs minimum . Those exchangers use either river or lake water to condense the steam in the generating system back to water and contains a lot of solids/dirt moving at very high velocity - almost like water blasting . Over time , without those coatings the end sheets and first 18" of the stainless steel tubes will wear away , potentially creating a radioactive leak into the holding lake or river , so the stuff has to work without fail .

 

It seems anything in the consumer market will never last long , if you get a full season of use you'd be lucky depending up how much dirt gets mixed into the air flow by the blades as well as small stones . For those of us that cut the grass short - it makes it even more difficult to protect that deck from wear and corrosion . An injection molded liner wouldn't be that hard to produce , but the cost of the mold is what hurts and there are thousands of different deck shapes - doubt anyone will ever attempt that project . Since there is no long term solution , I just use the wash nozzle method and fully flush out the deck after every use - then let it dry in the shed when parked . So far , no real rust issues even on the completely bare spots and I do check for any stuck material fairly often to prevent it from rotting the metal . Moist grass contains acids which can attack steel pretty aggressively and rot it out in a big hurry - just keeping it clean with no buildup is the real key .

 

Sarge

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I use EZ-Slide under my decks. I prep using the usual methods but I paint the underside white before the EZ-Slide application., That way, I can monitor the need to touch-up the coating during the season. 

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5 hours ago, Sarge said:

I want two gallons of the two-part epoxy we use on the floors of the Nuclear generating plants - that stuff is so amazingly tough but it's not fun to work with at all . I've heard claims it's around $50/oz , they do seem to be quite finicky about how it's used and we've never applied it without at least 3 supervisors standing on top of us while repairing any damaged coating from moving heavy machinery when doing an outage . I'd have to say it's some epoxy-like material , but gets super hot when mixed and only has a 15min window to work with it - after that the container will start to get hot enough to burn your hands . There is also another epoxy stuff used in the end plates of the heat exchangers - same deal with it getting very hot and being super expensive but it's warranted to last 10yrs minimum . Those exchangers use either river or lake water to condense the steam in the generating system back to water and contains a lot of solids/dirt moving at very high velocity - almost like water blasting . Over time , without those coatings the end sheets and first 18" of the stainless steel tubes will wear away , potentially creating a radioactive leak into the holding lake or river , so the stuff has to work without fail .

 

 

 

 

Its just a high-solids epoxy used for self-leveling floors. Chips easily when tools are dropped, scratches and scuffs easily when boxes are moved around. I haven't been too impressed with it. Although it does do a good job of sealing contamination in.

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