B1-7RS with wheel clutches

s/n 102993 built 4-9-48

The B1-7 production started in May 1947. The gas tank mounted air cleaner easily identifies this model. Also, there are 3 handlebar-mounted levers instead of the 4 that are on the B1-6. Everything else remains the same as the B1-6. The "RS" means that this one came from the factory with the reverse unit.

I purchased this machine from a gentleman who had it for many years as a future project. He realized that he had too many "future projects" and approached me at the 2004 Thresherman's Reunion at Kinzers, PA. Actually my first interest was a Roto-Ette Model T with a sickle-bar mower that he had for sale as well (That is also mine now and on my webpage). After I got it home I discovered that the reverse unit was missing most of its gears. Since the previous owner never got around to working on it, I believe he was unaware of the missing gears. Well, fortunately I had a B1-6RS with a locked motor to donate its reverse unit. After cleaning the carburetor, sediment bowl, and installing another magneto, it is now a running machine. The torpedo shaped muffler is the original style for the B1-7.



There is quite a story behind this mower. It was first offered to me when I bought my very first Rototiller in 1977. I really had no need for this type of mower at the time. However, after I bought the second running B1-6 from a co-worker, I began thinking about some attachments. I remembered the farm where the fellow took me to see the sickle-bar mower. I figured if the farm had not been sold, the mower would still be there. Sure enough, it was still in the tobacco shed exactly where it was back in 1977. The mower's original owner and his father had both passed away, so the owner of the farm (a close relative) said "take it along, I wouldn't know who to give the money to if I sold it to you". It was in pretty good condition so I mounted it on the second B1-6 and did a little mowing with it. It was quite a handful to control.

Now the mower is on my B1-7RS. It is much easier to use with the reverse gearbox and wheel clutches. One thing that should make mowing easier is disengaging the left wheel "hub locking pin". Since the sickle-bar is on the right, the tiller pulls to the right because of the resistance created by the cutting bar. With both wheels driving, it is difficult to steer the machine left. I have not tried mowing with the pin disengaged, but it sounds like it should work. This advice is given in the instruction sheet for this mower that an eBay seller was kind enough to send me.

For more photos of the B1-7RS with attached mower go to My Photo Album

A video of the mower in action can be seen here