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my scythe arrived!

 
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I just received my scythe 'outfit'' from Scythe Supply.
I did a little practice swinging in the living room to get the handles adjusted and now waiting on a warmer day to glue them in place.

Later I'll do a review in the Scythe Supply gear thread after I've done some mowing but just wanted to begin a thread.

In the past I've done a little uninformed  scything with an aluminum snath with a big long not very sharp blade and I was miserable.  I decided as with many tools that the problem was size and after reading in the 'scythe' forum here I was excited to find that scything should be a gentle task and I could buy a much lighter custom fit one.

Part of the 'outfit' is the scythe book and it is only reinforcing my thoughts on this  

The thing I'm most concerned about is peening but I think I can learn.




 
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Congrats on your new scythe! You may find it useful to play around with the grip positioning a bit before gluing them in place. For many folks the right grip will be most comfortable slightly twisted counterclockwise.

I'd caution you that The Scythe Book is full of a lot of marketing spin and myths, especially regarding the American pattern scythe, but even regarding the Austrian sort. Consider it like a Wikipedia page: a good place to start, but by no means the most trustworthy or comprehensive source. For a book on scything with the European style equipment I'd suggest Steve Tomlin's "Learn To Scythe". Also consider Scythe Connection's online works by the late Peter Vido.

I'm imagining that your mention of the prior experience with an aluminum snath makes it likely you were using an American unit that needed some fixing up to make it work properly. If you have any questions regarding that, then I've written a decent amount on the subject and have restored a veritable mountain of American scythes to proper working condition, so would be happy to give you whatever pointers you need. Having multiple units can be quite convenient!
 
Judith Browning
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Benjamin, thank you!
I'm happy to say I've read many of your posts here at permies that give me some perspective while reading the book:)
Originally, your information here inspired me to dig out the old aluminum scythe and see if I could get it working for me.
I saw at your web site I could get new handles so tried to get them off of that aluminum snath with no luck...and the whole scythe itself seemed really heavy to me...including a long blade.
Now, I think my husband is interested in it again... if he is ever allowed that twist of scything after his back fusion surgery we will likely be looking at restoration eventually...

And, yes, still adjusting the grip...the wood seems dry and the fit a little loose though...might slip a little paper around the tenon to hold tighter while adjusting.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Judith Browning wrote:Benjamin, thank you!
I'm happy to say I've read many of your posts here at permies that give me some perspective while reading the book:)
Originally, your information here inspired me to dig out the old aluminum scythe and see if I could get it working for me.
I saw at your web site I could get new handles so tried to get them off of that aluminum snath with no luck...and the whole scythe itself seemed really heavy to me...including a long blade.
Now, I think my husband is interested in it again... if he is ever allowed that twist of scything after his back fusion surgery we will likely be looking at restoration eventually...

And, yes, still adjusting the grip...the wood seems dry and the fit a little loose though...might slip a little paper around the tenon to hold tighter while adjusting.



Yes, I'd use a little bit of paper or plastic cling film to bulk up the end of the tenon while you play around with the positioning, for sure.

As far as the nibs (side handles) on the aluminum snath go, they're on a left-handed thread, so make sure to twist them clockwise to loosen them. If they're really seized up and penetrating oil won't break them loose, you can just smash the grips to crush them and break them off, then use a wrench on the formerly-recessed nut. If looking to fully remove them, use a flathead screwdriver in the top of the teardrop shape of the nib band and pry it open a little. Then it'll slip right off. If re-installing it in a different spot, use some pliers to crimp the top of the loop tight again. Just leave space in the top of the loop for the band to constrict when tightening the grips. If there's no space there then there's nowhere for the band to cinch into.

Total weight for an American scythe with a 30" grass blade of normal weight and an aluminum snath should be under 4lbs total, and the blade rides on the ground so it's not like you're holding it up in the air or anything. A certain amount of weight on the blade end is handy when cutting heavy vegetation because the material you cut is carried by the blade into the windrow, meaning it gets heaviest toward the end of the stroke and wants to bog down. A blade with a little bit of mass to it stores energy from the start of the stroke as inertia that's used at the end of the stroke to help with that extra load, so it smooths out how much energy you have to use across the stroke and helps keep you in the aerobic zone. It should be kept sharp enough that moving it at low speed will cut short grass easily, and the right hand serves as the pivot with the left hand making a drawing stroke almost like rowing a boat with an oar. This makes the snath a first class lever, so you have more mechanical advantage than if you were using the left hand as a pivot and pushing with the right hand, which is closer to the technique most folks use with Euro scythes. :)
 
Judith Browning
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As far as the nibs (side handles) on the aluminum snath go, they're on a left-handed thread, so make sure to twist them clockwise to loosen them. If they're really seized up and penetrating oil won't break them loose, you can just smash the grips to crush them and break them off, then use a wrench on the formerly-recessed nut. If looking to fully remove them, use a flathead screwdriver in the top of the teardrop shape of the nib band and pry it open a little. Then it'll slip right off



I was twisting them clockwise (once corrected after first trying counterclockwise)...I tried some penetrating oil and then just gave up...they are actually adjusted for my husband so maybe just as well I couldn't move them.  I'll have to weigh each scythe now and see if there is any difference at all.  The old blade is quite long...at least 30" I think.

I got a 22"  'ditch' blade for the new one even though I plan to mow 'lawn' and 'edges' there are a lot of plants other than grass growing in it.
 
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Oh my this is useful information!   I've inherited a couple of scythes but the wood is quite damaged on one of them.  I'm inspired to dig around a little bit more to see if I can refurbish them for use in the spring.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:Oh my this is useful information!   I've inherited a couple of scythes but the wood is quite damaged on one of them.  I'm inspired to dig around a little bit more to see if I can refurbish them for use in the spring.



Replacement snath blanks are available for retrofitting vintage hardware to. Only one size, so there's some vintage hardware that's too big for them, but in 95% of cases, it's a match. Just have to shave 'em down from the fairly chunky starting dimensions. I will caution you that it takes me about 8 hours of labor to restore a vintage snath (not the blade) even with my level of experience and some specialized tools at my disposal, but it's doable! It can just be a challenge if you don't have a clear picture of your end goal.
 
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Good on you!

I've really enjoyed my scythe outfit from Scythe Supply.

Let me tell you this:  The scythe is a perfect example of the old adage that says: "Let the tool do the work."

It really is worth it to learn to scythe correctly.  When you do it right, you'll feel worked but not overly tired*.  If you do it wrong, you'll feel overwork, sore, and bushed.

Think "zen", if you will.  There is a certain "place" where you are scything correctly and it almost seems to good to be true, because it isn't difficult.  It just flows.

But it is true.  Proper use of the scythe means a lot less work than most people think.  My wife was watching me scythe and said it to me: "Wow, John you're really working hard!".  But, I wasn't.  I noticed the same thing when watching Youtube videos.  They really look like they are working harder than they are.  What the person above said about 'leverage' is true.  With a scythe, leverage either works for you or against you. Either way, leverage is very powerful.

As for peening, watch some Youtube videos, and relax.  Lots of easy, small hits is the trick.  No need to bang away.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEqAmrc4H3k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn70UfJcULI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTMfUlmZtnE

Cheers!
-John


* = couch potatoes will feel overworked, but that's our dang fault!

 
John Todd
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Wanted to say, about fitting the handles:

Smack them on real tight (no glue), and go out and make practice strokes.  You'll very quickly learn where the contraption is 'pulling' your tendons and muscles.  Correct to avoid that!

My handles are slightly cantered and not perpendicular to the snath.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Also, you probably already know this, but only to peen your Euro blades. You can mess up a nice American blade doin' that.
 
Judith Browning
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I got out a few times yesterday and today just to try a little movement in order to get the handles set comfortably before gluing.  Somewhat difficult because assuming I become better skilled I can't be sure now what is optimum comfort?  Anyway, they are marked to glue now....

I caught myself 'hacking' rather than slicing sometimes and for some reason holding it above the ground.  
I have to keep reminding myself to let it ride on the ground and relax my arms....otherwise it feels comfortable and like the snath is the correct length.

Sometimes the blade would embed in the thatch of the grass...I think I'm tilting the toe down when I try to make it ride on the ground?

I am still tightening the screws that hold the blade on.  The first time I didn't check them and when I stopped noticed the blade was loose and the screws were quite unscrewed and I had tightened them just before beginning.  Today I have the wrench with me and have had to tighten them frequently and move the blade to a more closed position as scythe supply suggests....eventually the metal will embed in the wood and stay in place?

Once the handles are glued in place should I linseed oil the whole thing? That is what we usually do with tool handles here.  I think the book said linseed oil and turpentine.

Just in case someone is hesitating to learn a new skill later in life, I'm 68 and I think this is going to be something I can enjoy for a long time yet.  



 
Benjamin Bouchard
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When you tighten one screw it can often relieve pressure on the other, so make sure you've checked that both are snug before getting back to mowing. If the blade keeps slipping it's probably because the blade is getting snagged on things and being yanked out of position. Try to make sure you're taking a swath only a few inches deep and it'll relieve strain from the blade. Definitely keep the wrench with you!

Indeed, setting things up as a beginner can be a challenge, and this is one of the reasons why adjustable snaths are usually preferable to fixed-position ones like the Scythe Supply units. If you're "lancing" the ground then you're probably tilting the toe of the blade down. Try to keep the heel of the blade down, instead.
 
Judith Browning
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Thanks Benjamin...

I'm tightening the screws alternately and what feels like very tight to me.  When I tighten the lower one though it tries to move the blade from the closed angle so I've had to keep moving the blade back and tightening some more.  

I saw in another thread where you recommended a pin along with the glue for the handles.  My woodworker husband is doing the gluing so I'll see about that also.

and then I might just practice some more before gluing........just to be sure

 
Benjamin Bouchard
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It can help to make a little wooden wedge to stick between the outside edge of the tang and the ring wall. It'll keep the blade from creeping backwards like that.

I do have some rings in development that are made for 1-1/4" diameter-ended snaths that have the set screw on the top with a captive bearing plate that work like the loop bolt on an American snath and lock the blade completely in place. Many Nordic snaths use similar rings.  
 
John Todd
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Yes, the end down there will work it's way loose frequently until it gets "broken in".  After a little while it'll stay locked in place like it should.  I always take the wrench with me into the field.  If I hit something or snag on a clump of grass, it is possible to knock it out of angle.  Then I need the wrench to fix it.  Which is then followed by a quick stoning!

Also, don't advance too much when scything.  I like to take 2-3" bites.  More than that and I tend to slow down slower than the blade can cut.

My preferred angle is just slightly above closed, as in, very slightly open.  Still looks like a closed hafting angle until you look closely at it.

I never oiled my handles or anything on the snath.  The handles have a darker, 'coated' look after 4 years of use.

 
Judith Browning
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Thanks John!

I'm still stuck in handle placement...the lower one seemed correct slightly clockwise but I read where many set it slightly counterclockwise, so I'm going to try that later today.  Did you end up with both of yours off from perpendicular one way or the other?

My movement is still less than ideal so even when standing still and swinging I'm not cutting well.  
When moving forward I am occasionally getting a nice pile of grass off to the left but not cutting all in the path of the blade, just pushing some of it over it seems.
I'll try even smaller bites.  The 'grass' where I'm practicing is kind of clumpy.

Did you end up pinning your handles along with gluing them? How have they held up after four years?





 
John Todd
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Once you determine the correct angles, draw a pencil line across on the handles down to the snath.  This straight line will be your guideline when gluing and tapping them in for good.

I only glued them.  They have never shifted.  I used "Gorilla Glue" for wood.  Lots of glue on both sides, use a pad and a hammer to GENTLY tap them down super-solid.  Wipe off the excess glue.  Check the guideline for alignment and correct if needed.

Let them cure for at least 48 hours!

Both of my handles are cantered - but I don't want to tell you which way as not to influence you.  Gotta do this one yourself, I'm afraid.  But you'll get it.

Also, scythes cut better on wet grass, so try scything in the morning when the dew is still there.  Also, dead or dry vegetation is harder to scythe and may not be the best indicator of what's going on.

 
Judith Browning
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John Todd wrote:Both of my handles are cantered - but I don't want to tell you which way as not to influence you.  Gotta do this one yourself, I'm afraid.  But you'll get it.



Well, right or wrong they are glued now...going to wait another day or so for the glue to set as it's raining and pretty humid even in the house.  

I ended up with the lower handle canted just slightly counterclockwise and the upper handle canted even less to a clockwise position.  

I felt like I was getting the movement right by the time I gave up and glued...it cuts nice and I even honed a couple times...slowly and carefully

There are a lot of grassy areas here waiting on me to mow...


 
Judith Browning
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I have three areas I'm trying to mow and they all are a bit different...

The first is mostly fescue and a bit of chicory and a few other plants but they are mostly low growing.
The fescue though, is a foot or so long, laying over and taking more strokes to cut.  
I feel like I'm letting the blade ride on the ground but by the end of the stroke, much of the time, the blade is riding on the laid over grass rather than cutting anything.  
If I try to lower the blade I end up in what I think is thatch, burying the blade and it stops the stroke.

The other area has less grass and more dead, tall, gone to seed things....no heavy stems just dried and stringy.  I think the blade is cutting it and not just 'pulling' it off the stem.  

My mowed areas are looking like a bad haircut
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IMG_5035-(2).JPG
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Benjamin Bouchard
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It's possible your edge isn't keen enough. It should be kept thin and sharp enough that even pretty slow strokes will cut the grass, and it should be so across the full length of the blade, including the very tip. Often as supplied from the factory the toe of the blade is a little on the thick side. If you have a medium or fine cut file I'd try laying it as close to flat on the blade as possible without the file reaching so far as to be stopped by the raised lip of the spine, then tilting it up just a little (about 15°) and making a single stroke down the length. Look at where the scratches of the file are. If they're confined to the shoulder of the edge and not reaching the edge itself, the edge angle is greater than 15°, and so even if it's sharp, it's too thick to penetrate the grass with ease. If it reaches the edge, but examining the apex of the edge under bright light (edge up, facing you) reveals any shiny reflective spots, the edge is just totally dull there and needs to be sharpened until those reflective spots look like they just vanish into nothingness. A crisp, clean apex is what you're looking for.
 
pollinator
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Good morning Judith
Thank you for sharing this inspirational story about your new scythe. We had an antique scythe here many years ago, I don't know where it went. That's probably okay as it wasn't customized to fit anyone here anyway.
I'm eagerly reading and mowing vicariously through your stories.
Brian  
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Brian Rodgers wrote:Good morning Judith
Thank you for sharing this inspirational story about your new scythe. We had an antique scythe here many years ago, I don't know where it went. That's probably okay as it wasn't customized to fit anyone here anyway.
I'm eagerly reading and mowing vicariously through your stories.
Brian  



Odds are good it was probably an American scythe, in which case it would have been adjustable. You'd have to get the tang angle adjusted by someone with a torch or induction heater for your height, but the nib (side grip) positions slide to fit. Adjustable European snaths are a fairly recent invention, overall, though some did exist as of roughly the 70's, I believe.
 
Judith Browning
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Benjamin Bouchard wrote:It's possible your edge isn't keen enough.  



Thank you...
That is very likely.  I paid a bit extra to have the blade come sharpened and I had assumed peened also?.  I've been honing occasionally and thought it was enough but I'm certainly not getting a nice easy cut fast or slow.  

There is no rush to cut these areas since nothing is growing now so I'll spend some time following your advice for checking the edge.

Sharpening the blade was what I knew would be the biggest challenge for me using a scythe.  
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Judith Browning wrote:

Benjamin Bouchard wrote:It's possible your edge isn't keen enough.  



Thank you...
That is very likely.  I paid a bit extra to have the blade come sharpened and I had assumed peened also?.  I've been honing occasionally and thought it was enough but I'm certainly not getting a nice easy cut fast or slow.  

There is no rush to cut these areas since nothing is growing now so I'll spend some time following your advice for checking the edge.

Sharpening the blade was what I knew would be the biggest challenge for me using a scythe.  



I've heard from (and seen video of) a number of folks who paid for that service and while technique was often still an issue, it was clear that the edge wasn't even close to being properly fine. Scythes literally have the same kind of edge angle as straight razors, and keeping it similarly keen is critical to the ease of mowing. Even a little dulling greatly influences performance.
 
Brian Rodgers
pollinator
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Benjamin Bouchard wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:

Benjamin Bouchard wrote:It's possible your edge isn't keen enough.  



Thank you...
That is very likely.  I paid a bit extra to have the blade come sharpened and I had assumed peened also?.  I've been honing occasionally and thought it was enough but I'm certainly not getting a nice easy cut fast or slow.  

There is no rush to cut these areas since nothing is growing now so I'll spend some time following your advice for checking the edge.

Sharpening the blade was what I knew would be the biggest challenge for me using a scythe.  



I've heard from (and seen video of) a number of folks who paid for that service and while technique was often still an issue, it was clear that the edge wasn't even close to being properly fine. Scythes literally have the same kind of edge angle as straight razors, and keeping it similarly keen is critical to the ease of mowing. Even a little dulling greatly influences performance.


Hi Benjamin
Thanks for the tips. I'm really curious where the ranch scythe went. I'll rummage thoroughly  through our old log barn next time I'm down the hill. I'm curious what sharpening a scythe to the extent of which you write looks like. Do you create a special workstation for sharpening? I still have what my father called a sickle stone which I used on all sorts of sharpening jobs. It is no longer flat nor does it have  parallel surfaces top and bottom, though. I recently replaced it with a new whetstone of  1000/6000 grit for sharpening plane and chisel blades.
Is sharpening frequency for a scythe similar that of a chainsaw where it gets sharpened every time we use it?
Thank you for all this information sir.
Brian
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Brian Rodgers wrote:
Thanks for the tips. I'm really curious where the ranch scythe went. I'll rummage thoroughly  through our old log barn next time I'm down the hill. I'm curious what sharpening a scythe to the extent of which you write looks like. Do you create a special workstation for sharpening? I still have what my father called a sickle stone which I used on all sorts of sharpening jobs. It is no longer flat nor does it have  parallel surfaces top and bottom, though. I recently replaced it with a new whetstone of  1000/6000 grit for sharpening plane and chisel blades.
Is sharpening frequency for a scythe similar that of a chainsaw where it gets sharpened every time we use it?
Thank you for all this information sir.
Brian



Sharpening takes place in two stages: beveling, and honing. Beveling is done differently depending on if you're dealing with an American or European scythe, while honing is nearly identical between the two. American scythes are beveled by grinding, which is only typically done 1-3 times per season, barring accidental damage, while Euro scythes are beveled by peening, which is done every ~8 hours of use. American blades do not need to be honed so frequently as Euro blades due to their more wear-resistant steel, and can usually mow 3-5 times as long before needing an in-the-field touchup.

The best tool for grinding an American scythe is a large-diameter water-cooled wet grinder, and this is a video I made showing that process. Honing is covered from 8:00 onward.


However, you can also use a resin-bonded A3 grinding point in a drill or die grinder to do the job. You won't find these at your local hardware store--the typical grinding points there are formulated to be slow-wearing, which means they generate more frictional heat in use than ones that more readily shed grit to expose fresh cutting surface. Resin bonded grinding points made for grinding thin sections of hardened steel without overheating them do exist, but they're used in industry rather than the commercial retail market. I was able to source some (though I'm waiting on a refill shipment at the moment) and while they don't produce quite as nice of a geometry as a wet grinder does, they're much less expensive and do a good enough job for most folks.

 
Judith Browning
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Finally set up my peening jig on a nice sassafras log.

First time peener...I read a lot, watched videos and have a handy woodworker with much experience sharpening tools but not peening other than rivets.

BUT after peening and then honing, I think it is less sharp than before...

What I think happened is that my strike was too light because I was trying not to strike too heavy?

I was aware of the edge and kept it flat on the anvil and listened for the deeper sound...
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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When using a jig, the edge gets mashed into the center post, so while it does thin the bevel, it destroys the edge. Use a coarse stone after peening to put the edge back on. If holding the blade edge up and sighting down its length under bright light, there should be no shining, reflective spots along it. Any shining spots on the edge are dull spots that are wide enough to reflect visible light, and those regions should be sharpened with a file or coarse stone until it is brought back to a crisp apex. Make sure to feel both sides of the edge with your thumbnail to detect any rolls in the edge, as well, so you don't just go filing/sharpening one side only when there's a roll on the other that's actually making the visual flat.
 
Judith Browning
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Hi Benjamin, I was hoping you might be around...thanks!

I'll be back after I've given sharpening another try then.
 
Judith Browning
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I give up for today.....

It does not seem like I'm getting anywhere.  

I've been lazy about learning to sharpen things as I have an expert in the house.  I think I peened it ok...might have held too firmly against the post though as there was more of a 'roll' along the edge than I expected.  I did find a courser stone and tried to sharpen, including smoothing the places where I could feel an edge with a fingernail ....finished with the fine stone and tried it on some foot high grasses.

I'm clearly not there yet
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Judith Browning wrote:I give up for today.....

It does not seem like I'm getting anywhere.  

I've been lazy about learning to sharpen things as I have an expert in the house.  I think I peened it ok...might have held too firmly against the post though as there was more of a 'roll' along the edge than I expected.  I did find a courser stone and tried to sharpen, including smoothing the places where I could feel an edge with a fingernail ....finished with the fine stone and tried it on some foot high grasses.

I'm clearly not there yet



Once all light is eliminated from the edge, go over it a few more times just to be totally sure you've brought it fully to an apex, then give one or two light passes of a fine stone (helps crisp up the apex so there's not a ragged burr without erasing the toothy scratch pattern of the coarse stone) then strop with a whipping stick. Should be good and sharp then.
 
Judith Browning
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After watching another video to see just how hard they were hitting with the hammer, I ended up repeening...realizing my hammer stroke was too light to do anything the first time (which was actually two or three times with each cap).
Afterwards I spent a lot of time with a fine stone as I don't have a courser one at the moment.....

And....I worked until I got almost no reflected light along the apex...

So, I tried it just to give myself some encouragement...much improved and now I feel like I'm close.  

With my fingernail I can feel a very small indent near the edge  on the back side in a place or two still...is that from pressing too much against the post while peening? Should I try harder to remove?    
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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I'd personally suggest getting yourself a coarse stone. The edge dinging against the post is just something that happens inevitably because the metal is being stretched out by the peening cap and that causes it to push into the post even if it wasn't contacting it entirely before. You'll be spending all day with a fine stone trying to reapply an actual edge to the freshly formed bevel, and a coarse stone or a file will get you there way faster.
 
Judith Browning
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You'll be spending all day with a fine stone trying to reapply an actual edge to the freshly formed bevel, and a coarse stone or a file will get you there way faster.



That's exactly what happened...I used the fine stone that I bought with the scythe..

I don't think I can buy one locally, will have to order.  My husband had some but we thought they were all too large.

I had all winter to get this together and did other things instead thinking there was plenty of time...now the grasses are growing and I'm impatient.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Judith Browning wrote:

You'll be spending all day with a fine stone trying to reapply an actual edge to the freshly formed bevel, and a coarse stone or a file will get you there way faster.



That's exactly what happened...I used the fine stone that I bought with the scythe..

I don't think I can buy one locally, will have to order.  My husband had some but we thought they were all too large.

I had all winter to get this together and did other things instead thinking there was plenty of time...now the grasses are growing and I'm impatient.



Any hardware store should have a chainsaw file. That'll do the trick in a pinch, though it's not the ideal compared to a coarse stone. For filling that particular role, however, it'll work just dandy.
 
Judith Browning
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Benjamin,  I'm looking at stones at your web site... this one says 'ultra coarse' ...would it work? too coarse?
http://www.baryonyxknife.com/bymscst.html

I would like to order two from your site....a coarse one and something even finer than my 'medium' one from scythe supply that came with the 'kit' that is now called 'the dragon stone' but was called a Bregenzer stone  https://scythesupply.com/equipment.html#dragon-stone
suggestions?
advice?
 
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Judith Browning wrote:Benjamin,  I'm looking at stones at your web site... this one says 'ultra coarse' ...would it work? too coarse?
http://www.baryonyxknife.com/bymscst.html

I would like to order two from your site....a coarse one and something even finer than my 'medium' one from scythe supply that came with the 'kit' that is now called 'the dragon stone' but was called a Bregenzer stone  https://scythesupply.com/equipment.html#dragon-stone
suggestions?
advice?



The Manticore is excellent for restoring the edge after jig peening, as well as for rapid corrections of damage out in the field. The Arctic Fox is the finest of our stones. :)

 
Judith Browning
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The Manticore is excellent for restoring the edge after jig peening, as well as for rapid corrections of damage out in the field. The Arctic Fox is the finest of our stones.



thanks! I sent an order for those two.  

It's raining anyway and I think I can wait to finish sharpening until they get here
 
Judith Browning
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My new stones are here...and yes, the coarse one made all the difference.
Only one band aid later and I have my scythe cutting so much nicer
Thanks Benjamin!

I am surprised how smoothly so many grasses cut but not bermuda grass.  It is about a foot tall in places and the blade just does not slice through it as neatly as Johnson grass and chicory and clover.

I also think I over peened in the end and ended up with a more fragile edge after sharpening that cut well but soon had a lot of 'bur' along the edge...sharpened some more and now it seems fine.

Now I've sharpened my sickle also, no peening.  This is the year of lush growth here with so much rain.  It seems like all we are doing is 'chop and drop' over and over...sharp tools keep my shoulder from hurting.




.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Judith Browning wrote:My new stones are here...and yes, the coarse one made all the difference.
Only one band aid later and I have my scythe cutting so much nicer
Thanks Benjamin!

I am surprised how smoothly so many grasses cut but not bermuda grass.  It is about a foot tall in places and the blade just does not slice through it as neatly as Johnson grass and chicory and clover.

I also think I over peened in the end and ended up with a more fragile edge after sharpening that cut well but soon had a lot of 'bur' along the edge...sharpened some more and now it seems fine.

Now I've sharpened my sickle also, no peening.  This is the year of lush growth here with so much rain.  It seems like all we are doing is 'chop and drop' over and over...sharp tools keep my shoulder from hurting.




.



Makes a night and day difference, doesn't it?
 
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