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Anyone knows about scythe ergonomics?  RSS feed

 
Sergio Santoro
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Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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Hi, I once saw a youtube video about how to calculate the inclination of the blade and the distance of the pegs on a snath all based on the person's tallness and arm length.

I can't find that video any more, but it wasn't very detailed either.

Can someone else help me? I have a stick, I made some pegs and I was donated a blade that I can't wait to use. I just need to know at what distance to put the pegs from one another and from the blade, or from the other end.

Thanks!
 
allen lumley
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Sergio S. : That would depend tremendously on whether you are using a true Snath, (your stick ) and whether it was homemade, or the general European model
(nearly straight ) or the English model Snath with several compound curves !

Personally I would look for U-Tube Videos that show 'Peening' of the blade and work backwards (or forwards ) to a video posted by the Same person showing
how to use Your scythe. -then look for positioning of the handles !

I have a perfectly good Scythe that is useless to me as I an left-handed !

A series of U-Tube Videos with Resent and favorable comments is much like a good Poker hand, 3 (or more ) of a kind beats 1 0r 2 "Wild Cards"/videos !


For the Crafts ! Big AL
 
Sergio Santoro
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Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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Well, I found this one, even if mine is not American.

 
allen lumley
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Sergio : The 1st picture in 42 blades Series of U-Tube videos is of the English pattern, which is generally the most common type of Scythe used in the U.S. .

This is why it gets called the American Scythe, however the European Scythe is often Regionally most common :

I still am not clear as to whether you are telling me that you have The almost straight European Scythe ( This is the one that The Grim Reaper is usually shown with !)

I selected the 42blades videos as this is a well made series. Link below :



[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/user/FortyTwoBlades/playlists?view=1&sort=dd[/youtube]

There is a difference between the two types and it will be worth your time to isolate the type you have, it is even possible that the Two Parts of your present system

are not a match.

If adjusted to your build and carefully sharpened, and seasonally peaned- you should be able to easily out perform a gas-powered weed-whacker ! Good Luck Big AL
 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 256
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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I haven't seen the links yet, but to answer your question, my snath is just a relatively straight branch or maybe the trunk of a very young tree that one of the peones cut for me. The blade comes from Finland, and that's about all I know.
 
Sergio Santoro
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Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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OK, I found the info I needed in this video, should someone else be in my situation.

 
Emmet Van Driesche
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Location: massachusetts
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I would like to add that it is quite possible to mount certain types of European blades on an American or English snath. There is a variety of blade called TOPS sold by Scytheworks that has a tapered tang allowing it to fit into the ring bolts of American and English snaths. I have one just like this, and find it a good fit. HOWEVER, I have adjusted it over the years, first switching to a very thin handle, then raising the nibs as far as they would go and changing the left hand nib so it points backwards, giving me a better snath angle and more comfort and control.

This is a good setup, but still a little too short for me, so I have just made a wildwood snath that allows me to have a more upright stance.
Don't let the orthodoxy stop you from innovating!
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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allen lumley wrote:Sergio S. : That would depend tremendously on whether you are using a true Snath, (your stick ) and whether it was homemade, or the general European model
(nearly straight ) or the English model Snath with several compound curves !

Personally I would look for U-Tube Videos that show 'Peening' of the blade and work backwards (or forwards ) to a video posted by the Same person showing
how to use Your scythe. -then look for positioning of the handles !

I have a perfectly good Scythe that is useless to me as I an left-handed !

A series of U-Tube Videos with Resent and favorable comments is much like a good Poker hand, 3 (or more ) of a kind beats 1 0r 2 "Wild Cards"/videos !


For the Crafts ! Big AL


Actually, the snath is distinctly American. Not English. The American snath evolved out of the English style, and, after a number of significant innovations (including the recurved design, twist-to-tighten nibs, and loop bolt blade fastening--all of them American inventions) was shipped back across the Atlantic and sold in the UK for use with English blades (which are, again, distinctly different from American ones, though more similar to them than they are to continental European blades.)

Also, I would like to add that the scythe, as a tool, is not "handed" and uses both sides of the body in fairly equal proportion. The fact that the standard arrangement is cutting from right to left does not make it an inherently right-handed tool and even though I'm right handed I could easily switch to a mirrored scythe after just a few minutes of adjustment. I actually sometimes flip my scythe upside down and use it "left handed" when cutting low-lying canes, as it orients the blade nearly vertically so it can easily cut them.

The general rule of thumb for the spacing of the grips or nibs (depending on your snath pattern) is to have the lower grip positioned so that when the snath is stood upright (blade end on the ground) next to you, it is at the height of the hip socket. The upper grip is usually positioned one cubit above this--that is to say, a distance equal to the span of your elbow to outstretched fingertip. I personally take something of an inverted method and set my upper nib (I use the American pattern) at a height that brings it tight under the armpit and then set my lower nib a cubit down from there. The results are almost identical, but I find this method easier for people to accurately measure instead of searching for an accurate hip joint measurement.
 
Hans Quistorff
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Placement of the handles is only a small part of scythe ergonomics. I am privileged with a background of father to son instruction that traces back to Europe and untold generations. Some were short some were tall some had long legs and short arms or sort legs and long arms. The formula that was worked out was first to set the lower handle with the blade flat on the ground and the handle across in front of the hips. I like the handle pointing forward, so that it never catches on my body. With the thumb pointed forward, the handle should naturally fall into the palm of the hand. This is your control handle it will determine how high off the ground and whether the tip is up or down. The upper handle is the power handle so it is positioned the same but with a slight bend in the elbow.
Now the critical part, the angle of the blade to the handle. Fallowing the above steps the blade should be at the correct angle to the ground but not necessarily to the arc of the handle as it is swung. The fallowing steps seem to work both for safety and getting the correct arc. Hold the blade just off the ground with the tip in front of the right foot. extend the right leg to try to touch the tip. There should be between a hand width and a foot of clearance, as you bring the handle in front of the foot there should be about the same clearance. put the right foot down and extend the left leg the same clearance should continue. Make any needed adjustments where the blade is attached to the handle.
Now the ergonomics of the swing. This is where my training as a massage therapist come in. the principal muscle that should power the scythe is the latissimus dorsi. [ often shortened to lats ] They are attached under the upper arm and pull back to the lumbar spine. The right one brings the handle back until the tip of the blade is pointing forward. move the left foot forward the depth that you intend to cut on the swing then pull with the left one until the blade is pointing back then bring the right foot forward and use the right one to swing it back. Then repeat. Gradually all the muscles will work synergistically together but if you start out trying to chop with your arms you will get a rough cut and tire very quickly.
I will include The video I have posted previously of my scythe collection but note the the demonstration at the end is not a mowing stroke but a nimble stroke reaching for weeds on uneven ground.
 
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