Thekla McDaniels wrote:Thanks Benjamin.
Is there a snath that would be easier and simpler for a beginner? Or a better scythe? I think part of the difficulty for me is that the shape of the snath creates so many variables. Maybe that's what you mean by overbuilt. The curves allow for so many options in what angle the blade crosses the ground. And there just does not seem to be a placement for the handles that balances everything in relation to everything else. It never feels like the blade is floating through its arc. There is angular load on my wrist to try to keep the blade moving parallel to the ground.
I don't mind buying another snath, or both a scythe and snath, but I don't have any idea what would be a good beginner's snath for light use, cutting grass, for a 64 year old woman in reasonably good condition. Even if I had one of everything, I still would not know where to start.
I ended up with this set because I went to the local hardware store, and had to pick something out of what they could order. No one there knew anything about it, and they still don't.
Pia Jensen wrote:isn't it something that ought be custom built according to the user's build? like fitting the suit or bicycle?
Thekla McDaniels wrote:
I guess I can start trying to adjust my handles appropriately.
Thekla McDaniels wrote:Hi Benjamin,
Your post came up after I posted my comments to Pia. I am not attached to wooden, and think it's a bit much for me to modify my snath. You are right though, the thing is thick and heavy!
I wonder what you think of the straight snaths, and the holes drilled almost every inch so the handles can be moved. Was that something done by the people teaching scything to group after group of beginners? Would that be likely to break because of all the holes? Is there an advantage to the curves?
I'll read what you have said carefully and check that angle.
Charles Kleff wrote:Not to sound combative, but doesn't a good electric string trimmer use a whole lot less energy than a scythe? I saw one of those videos where it was a side by side race between a person with a scythe and a person with a string trimmer and while the scythe clearly won, the man (who looked like he was in much better shape than me and probably knew what he was doing) with the scythe looked beat after doing his 15x15 area while the person with the string trimmer looked like they could go on all day. I am all for exercise normally but when you have a lot of chores you need to conserve your strength.
Additionally, I may have missed the post where it was discussed but don't most people only use string trimmers for areas that are hard to get with the lawn mower? I hate mine but for what I need it for (that last inch next to the house or between roots on my big ol' oak tree) it does get the job done. When it comes to flat open ground I use my lawn mower (one day I would like it to be electric as well) and feel as though I could mow faster than a person can use a scythe while using less energy.
I guess I am very confused because I feel like there is a sentence somewhere that I missed that says something along the lines of "for cutting grass without mowing it, scythe versus string trimmer". If I am in error (as I believe I may be) please let me know and I will amend my post because short of a mower I would 100% choose a scythe for clearing open grass such as in a demonstration.
Charles Kleff wrote:Additionally, I may have missed the post where it was discussed but don't most people only use string trimmers for areas that are hard to get with the lawn mower?
Leah Sattler wrote:I think my favorite part would be the quiet part. I despise intrusive noise. I think it was in one of tolstoys books where there were one or several bits about the quiet meditative work of mowing with a scythe. its seems it could be a peaceful repetitive, satisfying and healing sort of work. maybe I am just being a bit dramatic/romantic though
Bobby Clark Jr wrote:I got my scythes from The Marugg Company in Tracy City, Tennessee. We lived close enough to go and pick them up at the factory there. They measured me and custom fitted them to my height and arm length. I had used an American style before and it was heavy and awkward to use, required stooping over to get the blade lined properly with the ground. But the Austrian style is comfortable and very easy to use. I use a sickle when I need to do close work, got it from Marugg too. They have changed hands now and I think it is online only now.
Maureen Atsali wrote:Well... reading this thread has been very educational and informational... but I am thoroughly intimidated. I had always thought a scythe was a simple tool... turns out its quite complicated! Perhaps that's why I don't see any around here, even though we don't have any machines. We use a "slasher" to cut grass and light brush, it is just a curved blade, sharpened on both sides, used in a swinging motion. Its lightweight, but still tiresome and not very precise... and can be a bit dangerous in the wrong hands! And it throws grass and debris everywhere. (I have feared for my solar panel, because sometimes stuff hits the roof.) We take it to the machine shop and have them sharpen it with a grinder once a month. "Peening" sounds really hard and complicated!
Benjamin Bouchard wrote:It amuses me when people talk about the scythe as if it's an all-or-nothing solution to vegetation management. It's an incredibly versatile tool that fits well in the arsenal alongside other tools and methods. It won't be a magic bullet for everyone's circumstances, but it's a lot more capable than most give it credit for.