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Bought 2 Scythes!!  RSS feed

 
Pearl Sutton
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YAY! Another section of Permies I can play in!
Bought these the other day, $50.00 for them both. The one lower in the picture has an angled thing at the neck so it sits tighter on the ground (don't know the words.) So does anyone have a "welcome to your beat up old scythe" site I can read? I can sharpen blades, have read about peening, so I know what that does. After that I'm making stuff up   The handles look like they'd move, not sure how, how do you learn where to set them for your height?  And at least one of the handles moves a way that can't be useful, Slides around.
Any wisdom or advice is VERY welcome!
 
Henry Jabel
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This video will answer most of your questions better than I can write them . As far as I know currently know an 'English Scythe' appears to be the same thing as an 'American Scythe' so you don't necessarily want to peen it like you would a 'European'/ 'Austrian' one.

Though there does seem to be evidence to the contrary if you read here:
Peening the “Unpeenable” blades

 
Benjamin Bouchard
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You have a couple of American scythes there, so don't even think about peening them! It's of little value to American blades and potentially mess them up very badly. The one with the "wedge"-shaped hardware is a Sta-Tite No.50~I.B.S. model. Check out the snath for any cracks, splits, loose bits, crushed spots, etc. and that check the blade for cracks, dings, warps, twists, bends, etc.

The blade will need grinding and honing and the tang angle probably needs setting. The snaths will probably need to have the weathered wood sanded off at a bare minimum and the nibs adjusted for your height, which may require resizing the bands, and (depending on your comfort level) you can probably stand to shave a decent amount of wood off the snath with a spokeshave or rasp. Just be sure to keep it true round in the process. You should be able to get the total weight of the snath down to 2lb 12oz or less. I usually like to go under 2lb 8oz for most mowing purposes.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Henry Jabel wrote:This video will answer most of your questions better than I can write them . As far as I know currently know an 'English Scythe' appears to be the same thing as an 'American Scythe' so you don't necessarily want to peen it like you would a 'European'/ 'Austrian' one.



English scythes are similar to American ones, but there are some distinct differences. It doesn't help that most English scythes in the past several decades have American snaths. But their care and feeding are similar. However, I'd caution that a lot of the info in that video doesn't represent best management practices for tuning or using neither English nor American scythes.
 
Henry Jabel
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Benjamin Bouchard wrote:
Henry Jabel wrote:This video will answer most of your questions better than I can write them . As far as I know currently know an 'English Scythe' appears to be the same thing as an 'American Scythe' so you don't necessarily want to peen it like you would a 'European'/ 'Austrian' one.



English scythes are similar to American ones, but there are some distinct differences. It doesn't help that most English scythes in the past several decades have American snaths. But their care and feeding are similar. However, I'd caution that a lot of the info in that video doesn't represent best management practices for tuning or using neither English nor American scythes.


That might partly explain why I find the European one a lot easier. Thank you.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Location: Zone 6a, on the edge of 6b
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Awesome!!
Thank you both!! I'm slowly getting through the video (keep getting interrupted)
Looks like he's making it slightly serrated, which is how I sharpen my little hand scythes, so they are most effective.
And I like the how to make it fit you, is that part correct? I'm 5 foot 2, and to me these feel like a 6 foot tall guy adjusted them. They just feel huge and off balance.
A bit of wood rot on the bottom of the longer bladed one, how bad of an idea is cutting off the bottom 4 inches and reattaching the had to good wood? Not sure what that would do to the curves.
And yeah, taking off some weight might help.
Cool!
This is why I love Permies. I showed that picture to a friend of mine, who isn't a old tools or gardener type, he said "What on EARTH are you going to do with THOSE?" um. I like them.
And here I get taught how to use them
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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He bends overmuch (as his tang almost certainly needs a greater angle bent into it), and the advise to be able to touch your toe to the tip of the blade is old myth that falls apart upon scrutiny. It totally changes in accordance with your blade length, and is usually much too closed. You never ever want a burr on your edge, as if folds right over and forms an artificial flat. A coarse stone is good, yes, to set a coarse scratch pattern that gives a very toothy edge that bites aggressively (especially waxy grasses that are difficult to cut) but the apex must always be crisp and burr-free. In fact, the number one cause of "dull" blades is from microscopic plastic deformation of the edge rolling a little and stropping it with a plain wooden stick draws out the deformed edge straight again without any abrasion being needed. You can usually do that 3-4 times before needing to use your stone.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Awesome!!
Thank you both!! I'm slowly getting through the video (keep getting interrupted)
Looks like he's making it slightly serrated, which is how I sharpen my little hand scythes, so they are most effective.
And I like the how to make it fit you, is that part correct? I'm 5 foot 2, and to me these feel like a 6 foot tall guy adjusted them. They just feel huge and off balance.
A bit of wood rot on the bottom of the longer bladed one, how bad of an idea is cutting off the bottom 4 inches and reattaching the had to good wood? Not sure what that would do to the curves.
And yeah, taking off some weight might help.
Cool!
This is why I love Permies. I showed that picture to a friend of mine, who isn't a old tools or gardener type, he said "What on EARTH are you going to do with THOSE?" um. I like them.
And here I get taught how to use them


Cutting the end off can throw all sorts of stuff out of whack, but I often come across scythes it's been done with (usually with the rest in horribly mangled shape as well.) If you're only 5' 2", though, you can probably compensate for any loss of bend in the neck by simply increasing your tang angle.
 
Pearl Sutton
Posts: 136
Location: Zone 6a, on the edge of 6b
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I just tested the bigger bladed scythe, with the wood damage around the head, standing on a 4 inch block. It feels like it fits right. So I think I'm taking the 4 inches of rotted wood off. If I can figure out how to get the head loose. The stud thing at the top is rusted badly. Not sure how to get it off, bolt is off, bracket is out, blade is off. Collar part is stuck solid, not sure how the stud is made, or how it should come out. Ill see if I can look it up. If it's just "pry it loose" it's rusted solid and I'll do rust removal.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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If you're talking about the one with the wedge-shaped heel plate then it's riveted and you'll have to drill it out and then re-rivet it when you reinstall it.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Thank you Can do that.
 
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