Sunday, June 3, 2012

Vintage Sunbeam Electric Lawn Mower Project

When I picked up the old TV cabinet a few weeks ago from Nick who posts over at Decades A Go Go, he also sold me this great vintage Sunbeam electric lawn mower.  I've been looking for a retro mower ever since I saw this incredible beauty I posted about a couple years ago.


I never knew Sunbeam made a mower, but a little research suggests these were made in the 1950s and into the 1960s.




Instead of having a single large cutting blade underneath, the Sunbeam has two small blades.  I tried it out in our front yard and it cut pretty well!




I plan to take it apart and clean and repaint it with the original colors.


The handle pivots in both directions so you can actually reverse your cutting path by walking around the mower and repositioning the handle to push back the way you came. I guess since you're relying on a long electrical extension cord this reverseable handle is intended to help you move the mower around while minimizing the chances of tangling the cord.




The push handle is going to be the biggest challenge since it's plastic and as you can see, it's really grimy. 
I'm hoping I can match that light blue color if I decide the handles need repainting. Stay tuned!



16 comments:

  1. Really cool! I have no doubt that you'll have it looking showroom new in no time flat.

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  2. That is going to be a really cool project! You should be able to get all that grime off the handles with some GoofOff, but try it on the inside (if you can take the handle off, that is) to see if it will melt that particular plastic. If you plan of using this after fixing it up, go with powder coating. Rattle can on the deck will last about 3 minutes near the deck exhaust. Maybe just get it bead blasted! It's probably aluminum and would look great polished up.

    Now I'm wondering how big a solar panel one would have to install in order to get rid of the cord! Maybe a small backpack full of Lithium Ion laptop batteries?

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    1. That handle appears to be held on with a couple of screws, should come off - I hope. I would like to keep the colors, but we'll have to see how it cleans up first. A backpack of batteries would get me some extra exercise too!

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  3. What a neat mower! with all the electric appliances it never even dawned on me they might have had an electric mower! Can't wait to see it done.

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    1. Me too - but it's been too hot here to even try working on it, let alone bother to cut dried out grass

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  4. I would try a magic eraser on the handle. If you still have to paint it go for the Krylon Fusion paint as it won't chip off. We've been using the fusion paint a lot around the house on some 70's finds, it holds up great.

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  5. I can't believe you found a vintage electric lawn mower! Wow! Maybe you could add some vintage rubber bicycle grips to the handlebars if the paint doesn't clean up. When the resto is finished, please take a pic of you moving in vintage duds like in the old ads!

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    1. Thanks Amber, I will definitely document the process

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  6. We have one just like this one. My hubby got it from a friend a couple yrs ago and he loves it, but we need the belts that go on the pulleys, and we cannot find them anywhere. Can you help

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    1. I measured the belt shown in the pictures here, and it is about 17 inches in circumference. No manufacturer name or number on the belt. Maybe with that measurement you can find something that will fit.

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  7. thanks, we have a part number, but no one can come up with anything as a cross reference. I did find an "18 inch" but don't know if it is the same. Maybe will have to send for it and see. I it turns out to be right, I will let you know. Again. thanks for the input. Like I said my hubby loves it. and he is mowing with 1 side . hurcharlie

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    1. Maybe try a vacuum cleaner repair shop?

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  8. pb12551@bellsouth.netFebruary 9, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    We found one in the garbage today. What kind of lubricant and oil do you need to use for the baldes, etc.

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    1. Congratulations. I have not finished painting the parts, sorry I don't have an answer for you, but if you figure it out please leave a follow up comment here.

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