Back in February, MachinistBlog contributor Mikey won an essay contest there with his post, Honest – all I ever wanted to do was make some stuff…, which is a must-read for anybody who’s thinking about getting into hobby machining. And it includes a picture of this beautifully rebuilt mower. Mikey says:

My Tru-Cut P-20S reel mower [was] restored to like-new condition for under $400.00 in my shop. Unlike its $1700.00 new counterpart, this one has precision bearings, stainless fasteners, and a reconditioned motor that runs great. Restorations like this are simple for a hobby machinist. Like I said, you can make stuff.


Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Jerry Stephenson

    Very nice rebuild. I found your post searching for tru-cut as I have converted my back yard into a chipping area and now mow it to fairway length. I recently restored a 25 inch commercial Tru-cut mower. I didn’t repaint it or replace the fasteners and bearings but did put new nickel plated chains on it.. The date code on the engine is 1986. Fortunately, it was very low hours and had never been worked on significantly. The grease in the wheels had hardened and I had to take them apart and replace some grease zerts. The engine was quite a head scratcher as I took the carb apart 4 times trying to figure out why fuel was accumulating in the barrel. Finally figured out the gas cap has a small metal diaphragm in it with 3 small holes that had plugged with rust. I fixed the gas cap vent and runs great.

    I’m a single dad with 2 active kids so I don’t have time to fully restore like your machine. Wish I did. I am am a home shop machinist with a nice lathe and 3 milling machines in my garage but haven’t had much time to use it since the divorce.

    Thanks for sharing. –Jerry