However I'm up for making one but would need instruction and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all of you for helping me be more self sufficient!
Thanks Jay. I had no idea the process of making them would be so extensive.
Maybe my terminology is wrong about this tool. What I need is the kind with the long handle and blade at the bottom. Something you would use to take grain down at ground level without bending over. Thanks for the replies.
Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Mike C.,
Have you found a real "peenable" European scythe at "fleas markets and junk stores," or are these the lesser (and way too heavy) forged North American "ditching" scythes?
Also, being a Bladesmith, do you know of anyone hear in the States or Canada that are making real "field" or "traditional" scythes?
Blythe Barbo wrote:[...]it truly is more about finesse and getting into the zen than about brute strength.
Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Ben,
I guess we both have to own that our views maybe a bit subjective. :
Nevertheless, as a facilitator to the use of traditional tools (scythes and sickles being some of them) and not the "vendor" of same, I focus on its historical application, and ease of use.
Perhaps the "weighty" North American versions are not monsters (don't think I personally called them that...sorry if I did) but they do not have the history, finesse or edge taking and holding capabilities of the traditional models. These later points are not subjective, but based on 40 years of on and off use, centuries of description in application, and testimony of countless folks that have hours behind both types. I have spoken to so many "road men" (our roadways had been mowed by scythe for a long time,) that would "give a finger" to have a...."sleek European model over the stone busters we normally swing" (that was just one quote for several) that I have to stress to readers, talk to real long term users before you make a choice in what to purchase.
Thank you Blythe, I have seen many small folks, including children, wheeled blades over a meter in length with speed, grace and endurance, which simply would not be possible for there size using an American Snath and blade system.
They do have the history. They do have the finesse. And they very often have (providing a quality blade) SUPERIOR edge holding capabilities.
I can even go over the science of that bit if you'd like... In fact, continental blades were well known in North America and could be found in most major hardware catalogs...However, in spite of this, they never really caught on here...I personally feel that there is a reason why the American pattern is the sort found hanging in just about every old barn. The American farmer was quick to adopt technology and methods they considered superior.
And it's very possible to have an American scythe that IS too heavy. Note that I did not say that weight should be disregarded--merely that the style is inherently a heavier one but not necessarily a more tiring one if well tuned and used properly.
I have yet to speak to someone who knows how to use an American scythe properly that holds complaint with it, and I know several individuals with a great degree of experience with both styles that prefer the American...
Likewise remember that just because a fellow has done something a certain way for a great length of time does not mean they are doing it properly.