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Aluminum Snath MOD  RSS feed

 
Ronnie Paulini
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Hi everyone

Here I'll be talking about American snaths, the curved ones.

I'm planning on buying my first scythe and I came up with an idea that might save me some money.

Since the wood snath is more expensive, why not buy the aluminum and fill it with sand?
Question for those with aluminum snaths: Does it look like this can be done? Popping the top, or drilling a hole, then filling up with sand, or something else, to get closer to the weight of the wooden snath?


I did some very rough calculations on the volume of the hollow inside of the snath and the weight of dry sand and came up something that would fall slightly short of the weight of the wooden type. I just don't know how it would work in the real world.
 
Roy Hinkley
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Location: S. Ontario Canada
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You might consider just filling the bottom 1/3 or so with something like lead shot for more oomph in the swing.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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A good wooden American snath for grass use should only weigh 2lb 12oz or less with all hardware included, and preferably less than 2lb 8oz. The chief functional advantage of a wooden snath over an aluminum one is the increased strength of a thicker wooden one, but the weight is a side effect rather than an advantage. One generally wants a snath as light as is consistent with the required strength, and any additional weight coming from blade selection.
 
Ronnie Paulini
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Thanks for the responses.

There was a problem with my calculations.
I was going by a wrong spec. The Seymour SN-1 Snath on Amazon has a 6.6lbs spec. That must be wrong. I see 2.2lbs and 2lbs 11oz elsewhere. The price though, on Amazon, it's better than on other sites.
So really, the difference between alum/wood snaths seems negligible.

Referring to the first response: Lead shot, steel shot, would be a nice way of making it heavier, but again, based on both types being close in weight, I think adding sand and/or metal shot inside would only make the scythe set up manageable by powerlifters... and who knows if the momentum can lead to deformation of the snath.

Now, if ounces are crucial, the slight difference in weight can be adjusted using saw dust instead of sand.


So far I'm gravitating towards the wood.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Seymour builds the wooden snaths overly heavy and they have all sorts of problems with them. You may have noticed that they cost significantly more through my site (Baryonyx Knife Co.) than through other sources, but that's because I have a special arrangement with Seymour where I purchase the raw unfitted components and do all of the tuning and assembly myself, part of which involves drastically shaving them down to a much more reasonable weight. I actually charge less than minimum wage for the hours that go into putting together a No.1 snath the right way. I tried getting Seymour themselves to make improvements in their own assembly, but they're sadly not interested.

Again, though, I'm curious as to why you'd want the extra weight? It's usually best to use a heavier blade rather than a heavier snath, providing that the snath is strong enough for the work it's being asked to do. Making a snath stronger often means making it heavier--especially with wooden ones--but that's not because the weight is the desirable quality. 

The good news is that there's nothing wrong with Seymour's components--just the general lack of care in how they're being put together. When properly fitted and slimmed down to a true round cross section and uniform taper, they can be a truly excellent snath. It's just that the crooked collars and sloppy factory assembly make for a lot of headache.
 
Ronnie Paulini
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Here in PR we have some heavy weeds. I read and heard heavy scythes carry the momentum needed for thicker weeds.
Now with the hurricane and its damage, things involving the development of my land have slowed down, but I'm still inclined towards the wood and will eventually get one.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Generally if you want to use a heavier unit and don't require additional strength in the snath itself it would be best to just use a heavier blade. Vintage blades were made in all manner of weights, and while I recommend an American blade between 1lb 8oz to 1lb 12oz for general mowing, you can easily find blades 2lb+ with extra broad and/or thick webs if you see fit to use them. Depending on the build, such blades were often considered "Western weight" or "railroad pattern" as the mix of rugged vegetation in the midwest and west coast caused demand for broader and heavier blades than the New England and Yankee patterns, and the railroad crews maintaining rights of way alongside the tracks needed particularly rugged blades for chop-and-drop vegetation management.
 
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