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Jen, the term "acoustic" is not original with me.  Years ago Martha and I read an article where a woman heard the sound of a push lawn mower which took her a moment to recall what it was.  She referred to it as an "acoustic" lawn mower, possibly because of the sound it made.  So, we started calling anything that was not motorized by that term.  A treadle sewing machine was an acoustic sewing machine, a hand cranked egg beater was an acoustic egg beater, the post drill in my shop was the acoustic drill, etc..

It has been a useful and accurate term.

Coincidentally, I went over to the house of my best friend's son the other day and he was out in the yard cutting it with an acoustic lawn mower.  I accused him of being seriously retro.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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On the 200 model they use thrust ball bearings throughout with a few hardened metal washers as space take ups.. 

The auto feed clutch is kinda funny because it's designed to slide straight in or out via the cammed action with the little gear sets on the bottom of the gizmo..  (not a great mechanical advantage).

It's interesting because the action of holding both the top ring (ratchet ring) and the bottom set ring is the action needed to engage and disengagement of the bronze jaws via the little gears on the ends of the bolts (planet/sun gear partial combo)..

My point is, it takes nearly nothing to completely jamb up the works..  Since there is no good way to add torque via either hand wheel unless a lever or such is used to hold the top ratchet wheel.. 

Those tiny little gears are supposed to move the cams around that 1/2turn from in to out.. 

The 201 I picked up few weeks back is not working either so frankly glad to have picked up this 200 to see exactly how it works and what are the correct take down steps.. 

The 201 is stuck in the open jaw position so will have to figure out have to move them to the inner postion to take it apart.. 

One thing about all these oldies..  And these jaw thread chucks is one can actually make and use any type thread they would like..  The jaw dies could be made from a brass or bronze acme nut and then soldered together.. 

With a metal lathe the screw for it can be easily made or modified as well.. 

This model 200 does not have a ball bearing between the threaded rod and top of the drill chuck shaft..  

It only has bearings that sit under the brass collar to push against..  This could be easily fixed as well.. 

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Mr. George N M,

The 'acoustic' hand mower may, indeed, be seriously retro. But it is a great and cheap exercise machine.

Folks try it, you'll love it.



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When I was a pup, I used a reel mower "acoustic" to cut my Grandparents lawn and could set up a rhythm with it. My grandfather taught me how to sharpen it with a file and it did a much neater job of cutting the grass over the power mowers. I wouldn't be able to use one on our place because they don't do well cutting rocks.:)

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Ifcw, we're you taught to make the swirl paddle square or slight bevel? 

I was taught sq, but have seen some with slight bevel.  


They do an amazing job at shearing or cutting the grass cleanly when setup right.

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I wonder if the bevel is what happens from wear.. "

My Mom when I was little bought a nearly new reel mower and I was designated user..  My brother never did anything.. 

As I mentioned earlier I was not much for understanding a lot of things and part of our raising was learning how to play chess and card games to learn how to count.  Cribbage, rummy, poker, blackjack.. etc, etc.. 

The usual bet was who ever lost had to do the choirs (wash dishes, mow the lawn, pull weeds in the rock garden, etc, etc). 

I kinda lived in my own world so by brother would cheat and my Mom would let him..  So, anyhow he never did anything. 

Thomas, those mowers will go through a 3/8" or little larger stick pretty easy.. The one I used did not like wet grass as the tires would slip and The other thing it did no like was clump grass (the really thick clumpy stuff).. 


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Yes, grass is is coated in dust which abrades the blades as they shear the grass, beveling them. 

Sheep make superior lawn mowers, unlike what cattlemen claimed, sheep don't eat all the way to the ground and pull the roots unless they're starving, just like cattle will. They crop to about 3/4" height and considerately wag their tails and spread the lawn raisins, they don't poop piles. 

In the day estates kept shepherds and flocks to maintain lawns, IIRC the White House employed about 200 sheep 3-4 shepherds and dogs permanently. 

In the few years we had a few sheep they kept the pasture beautifully cropped, though they eat: Alder, Willow, aspen, devil's club, dandelion, etc. even as shoots. The goats kept them down to the point most just gave up trying to grow in the pasture. 

So, that's Frosty's landscaping tip for Monday the 24th. Sheep to keep the: lawn and Goats to keep: weeds, gardens, flower beds, etc. cropped close and under control.

Frosty The Lucky.


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How to restore a pasture: goats who are more browsers and then sheep who are grazers.  Note goats consider anything planted on purpose by humans to be the most superior of foodstocks and will climb fences to get at your orchard and ornamentals!

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Goats are smart enough to know, plants humans grow ARE the best or we wouldn't grow them. Not putting in fences goat's can't climb doesn't speak so well for some humans though. 

The only time ours got loose is when some stupid human left the gate unlatched. The smart little stinkers would test the gate any time we opened one. We might forget but they didn't. Simple latches wouldn't work without a spring clip to lock them. They'd untie knots in chord or untwist wire. Really stiff wire with short twisted ends poked holes in their lips but they'd still untwist it. Spring clips or padlocks. 

Goats don't like wire fencing, chain link or ranch panels. Deb said they couldn't judge the height well enough to want to jump it. 

Jump on your vehicles? Oh yeah, no problem and they're nice and high with a better view. 

I really miss the goats. <sigh>

Frosty The Lucky.


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The process of field acclimation is pretty amazing.. 

usually it's goats to clear the brush and briar.. 

Then pigs to uproot everything..  

Then sheep or cows.. 

I know a bunch of old farms here that reclaimed the pastures using this method.. Takes a few years but one is generating new goats, sheeps, pigs in the process.. 

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Frosty, great idea.. :)      Go out and bust up some cast iron scrap after taking time off with the sledge..  That will get them muscles working..  :(   

I spent yesterday cutting up the wood I hauled home from one of my customers with the Stihl 045 Super 21" bar..  About 3/4 cord I wreckon..   

Still feeling pretty good today but was a little tender after working on horses most the day and then doing the wood.. 

I love the fact that I can burn just about anything out there to have heat in the shop.. 

The 200.5 is nearly a completely different beast compared to the 200..  

My experience with oiled brass or bronze has been good..   Usually I never have problems like I did with this drill.. 

I can only imagine it was moved around outside a good deal before it made it to me..   there is not one rust marker anywhere..   No lines from being against a board when mounted.. No rust lines from sitting in a bucket of water..  Nothing.. 

But, there is rust in every joint  and at every oil hole..  So what ever it has seen in the past it was exposed to weather a very long time.  Overall it looks like it has had very little use. 


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9 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

That will get them muscles working.. 

Uh HUH. More likely make them stop for a few days. 

I was lucky mine was heavily goobered with heavy sticky old OLD oil. 

I think a lot of the rust damage is just condensation over the decades. Otherwise there would be signs of immersion or where it was in contact with something, etc. An even coat of rust tells me it was uniformly in water and air contact. Says condensation to me.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yup but for that to happen it would have to be against something and that would leave a tell tail sign..  Any object placed against wood or dirt would show up..    this thing is rusted so evenly the only thing that makes sense is it being turned or rearranged a time or 2 over the last hundred years.. 

the table spindle is from another drill as is the table spindle clamp.. 

Every joint has the same level of rusting..  While I would agree in condensate, condensate has a tendency to puddle or run off to the lowest spot..   

This is very puzzling from a forensics standpoint..  

The 2 older units freed up easily and don't have nearly the rust depth at the joints.. Primarily just lack of lube.. 

The 200 on the other hand looks like it was left in a sand blaster where every there was a hole or in-between body to shaft joints..   I'll take some better photos later. 


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It just dawned on me that the wear I am seeing could be partially in response to glass beading some point in the past and then left outside.. 

there was no oil or grease nor accumulated oil/dust mixture anywhere..  This would account for such high rust in between joints because they were all ready worn from blasting. 

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Condensation isn't always heavy enough to run and as rust develops running becomes less likely. A gravel surface doesn't produce contact surfaces like a piece of wood, dirt, concrete floor, et. A few pin points of contact where water can infiltrate easily leaves a uniform surface patina. 

A flat object will restrict air flow under it so the underside will develop less condensation, etc. etc.

A corner that's easy to paint yourself into is thinking one effect goes for everything. Some of the rust formations you're describing only occur under certain conditions. A post drill doesn't have large flat surfaces to show the marks UNLESS its bolted to something on them. Or one is partially submerged, buried, etc. 

Sure I'd expect to see rust lines but wouldn't be too surprised not to. I have a small one that was on the floor of a good friend's Father's old shop for something like 50 years before Gary dug it out and brought it back for me. That one has a couple dirt lines where the paint weathered differently under the dirt.

I never really thought of this kind of thing s forensics before. Thanks, I find that suitably pretentious sounding to use around new guys. :ph34r:

Have you tried a 50/50 ATF and Acetone soak? Soaking beats spraying or brushing any day.

Frosty The Lucky.


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Frosty I guess you missed the post with photos showing it all apart. 

I've worked on maybe 100+ pieces of old iron blacksmithing goodies and machines over the last 40 years.. 

In all that time frame I've worked on items pulled out of rivers,  buried in the ground, in old cellar holes, in old factories, etc, etc..  

In all these years I have never seen an old blacksmithing item no matter where it was pulled from that has had the extent of rust and seized everything.  

You might not agree but that's ok..  

All my points are valid.. I've worked with many an item with condensation damage and it's nothing like this.. I can't think of a place except maybe someplace where the dew point is low and cloud moisture is constant that this type of corrosion would be as significant as this was..   Not 1 drop of oil, grease or lubricant anywhere.. 

I keep writing the same thing but apparently not on the same timeline/frame..     


forensic science


Medical Definition of forensic science

: the application of scientific principles and techniques to matters of criminal justice especially as relating to the collection, examination, and analysis of physical evidence : FORENSICS

I'll condense the photos here for your purview..  Not one piece of it would turn. 20210522_150806.thumb.jpg.30524cf43b37a321f1f0b2bd22171b28.jpg






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Ah, I remember the pics and how many things you've rebuilt, I got carried away. I thought you said it was uniformly covered in rust without contact lines. I've seen that happen and was describing one of the conditions under which it can occur. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Jennifer:  Since you live in a near coastal area could it have been in an environment where it was exposed to salt air or water?  That might give an different rust signature than fresh water, liquid or condensate.  Just thinkin'.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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14 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Not 1 drop of oil, grease or lubricant anywhere.. 

The possibility exists that sometime in the distant past, someone started to restore it and only got as far as de-greasing it with a caustic solution of some sort. Then something happened and they never got back to it.

I had that happen on an old Civil War musket that had the prettiest rust brown finish on every metal part. Took weeks to get the lock apart without damaging it.

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