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Message Icon Topic: Rapier? What period Post Reply Post New Topic
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mikerecike
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Quote mikerecike Replybullet Topic: Rapier? What period
    Posted: 01 May 2012 at 12:03pm

I think this is a rapier - having a go at restoration. Any ideas when it was made - what it is actually called.

 
Has a Briggs what looks like 3- 3.5hp engine.
 
This is my first post here - great forum!
 
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pauldg
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Quote pauldg Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2012 at 4:19pm
If you have the engine cowl you can date at least that part from the engine number...

I'd hazard a guess at late 70's / early 80's though.
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pmackellow
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Quote pmackellow Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2012 at 5:47pm
Hello mikerecike welcome to the forum
Collector of Tarpen, Wheelhorse, International Cub Cadet, Landmaster, Cooper Stewart, Farmfitters, Jobber, Jalo, Ro-lo, Sisis and literature
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Dorigny
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Quote Dorigny Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2012 at 6:34pm

Do I recall these being Norlett.?....and/or Farmfitters.?

Mid 1970s perhaps.??

Clive.
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hortimech
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Quote hortimech Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2012 at 8:59pm
The colours remind me of Norlett, but the design is the same as a Farmfitter, see
http://www.oldlawnmowerclub.co.uk/moms/mom68-farmfitters-rapier.
I seem to remember seeing one of these shortly after I started work in the early 70's. I also remember seeing a similar machine called, I think, a bushwacka, this was little more than an engine and a frame with a triangular disc with a blade at each tip, but no covers!!!

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Philipagri
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Quote Philipagri Replybullet Posted: 02 May 2012 at 6:46pm

Yes, its a Farmfitters Rapier, more pobably made  in the 6o's I think. the first ones had a Vincent engine, though mine has a Briggs, runs well but not for long grass.

 
Philip
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mikerecike
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Quote mikerecike Replybullet Posted: 03 May 2012 at 7:39am
Thanks for the replies folks, it's really appreciated - great forum. Phil could I see a pic of your Rapier - I'm quite excited by it - my neighour who knows a thing or two has never seen one - I've christened it the ugly duckling.
 
I've just stripped the paint from the handles (are they adjustable? seem to be set very low) and repainted them.
 
Experimented with wickes paint remover and various combinations of sanders, wirebrushes on drills - what's the best way to remove old paint that has great chunks missing. Is there a strong paint stripper  available in the uk?
 
THanks again - and  much appreciated
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Charlie
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Quote Charlie Replybullet Posted: 03 May 2012 at 9:50am
I think you will find paint stripper is not what it was due to re-formualtion for health and safety reasons.
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will_haggle
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Quote will_haggle Replybullet Posted: 03 May 2012 at 6:42pm
Brake fluid still works well, though!
6 months ago I couldn't even spell engineer - now I are one
Calne, North Wiltshire...
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 03 May 2012 at 6:59pm
hi. this might slightly be extreme but why not use age related tecniques ,if its thick try a blowtorch and scraper. appologies for my spelling but after 54 years i do not think its going to improve.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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Philipagri
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Quote Philipagri Replybullet Posted: 05 May 2012 at 7:54am

Hi, This is my Farmfitters Rapier, you'll have to excuse the clutter around it as it is rather inacessible a the moment. The main difference with yours is the T shaped handle which is different again from the one in the advert. What type of grass blades does yours have, I have 3 triangular blades attached to the revolving disc. The whole thing seems heavily overengineered compared to other rotary mowers, but was this because the company were agricultural engineers? If the mower and casing are ok the parts for the Briggs engine should be fairly easily available.

Philip
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charliesfergy
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Quote charliesfergy Replybullet Posted: 05 May 2012 at 8:10am
The reason modern paint stripper is guff is because the EU have said it now must be all dichloromethane free which was the best active ingredient you can buy it online for about 1/L and mix ti with wallpaper paste (basically just cellulose) to get the paste consistency
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hortimech
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Quote hortimech Replybullet Posted: 05 May 2012 at 9:40am
well, after thinking about this machine, I seemed to remember that Norlett bought Farmfitters. So, after a bit of web searching later, if you want a manual for your Norlett 19" rapier 35B grasscutter, go here: http://www.agrimanuals.com/norlett-mower-19-rapier-35b-grasscutter-operators-manual-6901-p.asp.

The other machine that I remembered was actually called a bushwakka, this was basically the rapier without the two curved side covers i.e. you could see the the disc going round, very good at cutting grass but not very safe.
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mikerecike
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Quote mikerecike Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2012 at 7:56am
yes you're right - it is a Norlett - found the remnants of a label on the engine - thanks to the link for the manual hortimech.
 
The blade is triangular with tringular tips bolted on as the cutting blades - think they are going to be a pain to remove and sharpen. 5 bolts in the middle holding it on - again they should be fun to unseize.
 
Thanks for the paint striping tips too folks - think I'm going to try and buy some dichloromethane and add some wallpaper paste. Thanks also for the blowtorch suggestion - that was my first thought and I will try that - just invested in a blow torch.
 
She's running beautifully now - cleaned carburettor (thanks to tuition of 'Donyboy' on Youtube (learnt so much from this guys videos - recommended)- starts first pull - and cut 3/4 of an acre yesterday. Not bad for something that was hours away from the crusher - am loving this.
 
Changed the points for magnetronic coil - (the little bakelite type rod that moves in and out against the cam was completely seized and so no points opening and closening.  
 
Changed the oil.
 
Stripped the handlebars and repainted
 
Repainted most of engine components - working my way down.
 
I knowthe colour scheme is not original but she's alive and well!
 
 
 
 
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charliesfergy
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Quote charliesfergy Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2012 at 9:25am
Is that an elec-start cowling on there?
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charliesfergy
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Quote charliesfergy Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2012 at 9:26am
just realised its for the vertical pull cord
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hortimech
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Quote hortimech Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2012 at 10:43am
Seeing that your engine was made on the 29th October 1974, your machine was probably built early 1975, 6yrs before Norlett was bought by Husqvarna and disappeared.
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mikerecike
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Quote mikerecike Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2012 at 11:14am
Ahh that's an interesting bit of the historical picture - thanks hortimech.
 
I also bought a Norlett 2 stroke lawn chief at the same time as the Rapier - I cleaned the points and carb and it is one of my best mowers - tiny yet extremely effective, folds up to nothing - brilliant design
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mikerecike
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Quote mikerecike Replybullet Posted: 21 May 2012 at 10:56am
Latest renovation pics - red oxide undercoat, tractol top coat. As you can see from wheels - this machine is earning its keep.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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pmackellow
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Quote pmackellow Replybullet Posted: 11 Oct 2013 at 5:20pm
I could do with one of these mowers for my current Multigardner project...

The Farmfitters version that is...

Collector of Tarpen, Wheelhorse, International Cub Cadet, Landmaster, Cooper Stewart, Farmfitters, Jobber, Jalo, Ro-lo, Sisis and literature
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