Benjamin Bouchard

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since May 23, 2012
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Recent posts by Benjamin Bouchard

Looks like a Seymour or possibly Redtenbacher Austrian-made American-pattern blade on an old H & T Manufacturing aluminum snath. They're quite unique units.
1 day ago
Yes, the biggest issue is mostly that if the pits are too deep they won't sharpen out and you'll have a Swiss-cheese'ed edge.

As far as the scythe goes, if there's a divot in the blade you may be able to pound it back to flat on an anvil surface. If a proper anvil isn't available, just use a sledge hammer face. Doesn't look like you did the blade any meaningful harm in working on it so far--looks like you only just scratched the surface, so you'll be just fine. The visual bevel width is just a rule of thumb, not a hard rule, as it's just the cosmetic result of having ground the edge at 7-9° per side rather than you actively trying to produce a bevel of that width. The given angle imposed onto different material thicknesses will produce bevels of different widths, so it'll vary depending on the particular thickness of the blade.

5 months ago
Knowing what I do of those Austrian made blades, you'll likely have the greatest success in shaping the bevel by draw-filing it. Trying to reshape a scythe bevel with a manual stone is technically possible, but would be quite labor-intensive.
5 months ago

Jordan Holland wrote:I agree the corrugated fasteners would likely be asking for trouble, especially on old wood. The collar wrapping around the end is what was originally designed to prevent splitting. If it does not fit tightly, I would consider shims of some sort to make it tight.

What usually works best for tightening the fit of the collar is to build up the end with some durable epoxy and then rasp it down to a snug fit. With cracks like in this case it's really very difficult to get wood glue to do anything of benefit, which is where a corrugated fastener driven into the end grain makes sense. On snaths where you have a slot cut in the wood itself to receive the loop bolt, things get more fiddly. Now that the fastener is in, that crack is fully secure and shouldn't ever split further.
5 months ago
Also, yes, that's still an American pattern blade despite being made in Austria. It'll be a "whole steel" (not laminated) blade in that case, so you don't have to be as careful about where the apex of the edge sits in the web.
5 months ago
Yes, that would be how you'd want to drive it in. Don't feel like you need to drive it to the full depth, either--you can risk causing a new crack if you drive it deeper than it can handle! Just gently tap it in until it feels like it doesn't want to budge any further, then grind/file it flush. You can shorten the width of it by either using a cutoff wheel in a dremel to cut it to length or by bending it back and forth with pliers until it cracks. You'll want at least 1-2 corrugations per side.
5 months ago
Also, looks like you've got a long way to go with sharpening the blade. The bevel should be about 1/4" wide on both sides presuming the blade is of typical thickness. 7-9° per side with the apex centered in the middle of the web (the flat span between the edge and the back. )
5 months ago
So, first things first, DO NOT PEEN THAT BLADE. American blades are beveled by grinding, and peening them can risk cracking them and/or in the case of laminated blades cause your edge to be comprised of cladding iron rather than the core cutlery steel.

With the corrugated fastener, it's meant to be used in the end grain, not across the grain. Try tapping it into the end of that log and you'll find it MUCH easier. You can gently grip it with some needle nose pliers to make it easier to drive in. If you were using a fastener across the grain you'd use a "Scotch" fastener, aka "wood joiner" like so.

Linseed oil/Danish oil benefits from repeated applications. The old rule of thumb is to apply every day for a week, every week for a month, every month for a year, and then once a year from then on out, but in my experience you don't need to do it nearly so much. Make sure to wipe off any excess, as too heavy of an application will begin to oxidize on the surface without seeping in and will make a tacky mess. Safely dispose of any rags or paper towels used to apply the oil either by burning them, disposing of them in a fireproof container, or by allowing them to dry completely in the sun away from flammable materials before discarding in the regular trash. The drying process can occasionally generate a lot of heat to the point where rags/paper towels can sometimes combust and start a fire.

5 months ago

Amanda La wrote:Thank you Benjamin. I suppose you are right that the parts will get wet again. Yes, I am sad to remove the patina. I started the vinegar thing before I read your reply (and vinegar is quite available to me) but I’ll probably stop it prematurely and just clean it with a wire brush or fine steel wool.

I’m not very optimistic about the cracks and will ask around for a welder. Good to know about the spare part you might have. How do I contact you should I decide to check that you have one?? I’m new to the forum.

Still waiting for the WD40 to loosen the handle but looks like I’ll have to make a trip to the store to get some penetrator oil and wood glue. Lol, I looked up what a corrugated fastener was and, well, I’ll have to ask around if anyone has one or stop at a construction site.

It’s fun and amusing to learn new things!

Thanks for the information. Any extra information is always welcomed.

You can reach me by email at if you end up needing a replacement part. I also have other replacement parts like nibs (the side handles) and so on, if it comes to that. Corrugated fasteners can be found at most hardware stores in the same place you find small wire nails, upholstery and carpet tacks, and so on. When you remove the parts from the vinegar make sure to thoroughly rinse them so you don't get left with any residual acid. Baking soda can be used to neutralize any that remains on the surface if you want to be extra sure. As far as the cracks go, brazing will probably be your best choice. If you have a wood stove shop near you, though, they may know of a local welder who's familiar with working with cast iron.
6 months ago