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Thread: Who else uses a scythe?

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    The one problem with many vintage ones, however, is that the scale is simply a little small for the taller modern man. If the entire scale of the piece were enlarged it would make for a fine fit. Fortunately I'm a modest 5'9" so many snaths are a fine size for me.
    I'm 6'0" and I wish my Craftsman scythe was a bit longer. The 3-position tang helps a bit. I set it so the blade is more open to thegrass. It seems to help me.

  2. #222
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    I'm 6'2". I haven't used my scythe yet, but I'm worried about the length. Seems short to me. Hopefully my ape-ish long arms will compensate some.

  3. #223
    I tend to set my grass blade more closed. The set of the blade will depend on your targets, technique, and profile of your particular blade.

    As far as snaths go, while I don't like the collar on them (not as much adjustability as I like) the present-production Seymour ones seem long enough. You can probably shave them down a little to lighten them up (they seem a little over-built to me.) Any negative reviews I've found have all been about the nuts supposedly being seized up on the nibs, making them impossible to move. This is almost certainly because the folks using them are neophytes who don't realize that scythe nibs are a reversed thread, so they're righty-LOOSEY lefty-TIGHTY.

    M3mphis: If you find yourself having to stoop at all, do it by widening your stance slightly and dropping your knees. Keeps the back upright so you don't experience undue strain.


    Baryonyx Knife Co. ~Condors, Moras, Deluxe Tramontinas, and More!

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  4. #224
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    Thanks, 42. I was just looking back and realized that I forgot that I had already posted pics of the scythe, though not after cleaning it up. I also was reminded that I paid 5 bucks for it!

  5. #225
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    That's a good picture Steve. One of mine is 806 Green with red painted tip and all.

    regards...Frank
    You can accomplish more with a kind word and a pick handle that you can with just a kind word!

  6. #226
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    Steve Tall...Just read through the link on your post. A few years back Mary (my wife) and I were traveling in England. We were on the A30 going from Salisbury to Cornwall. We visited 'Finch's Foundry' supposedly the last working
    water-driven forge in the world. The operator there gave us a demonstration. Exactly as you described. He also said this is where the term 'Nose to the grindstone' comes from. We could certainly see why.

    regards...Frank
    Last edited by Frank-New Zealand; 03-17-2012 at 12:39 AM. Reason: brain dead
    You can accomplish more with a kind word and a pick handle that you can with just a kind word!

  7. #227
    Hey 42, I'm looking forward to the tutorial. Dont forget the method to set nibs for your height. I recall reading it here but it would be super if it was compiled in one place. Here in VA the grass is greening up and is almost tall enough to practice on (at least over the septic tank fields!).must sharpen...must sharpen...

  8. #228
    Hahaha--I'll get it done up soon! Time is in precious demand right now but as soon as I get a moment I'll write it! I have some Special Grade items to do up tonight, but maybe after that and before the sleep madness sets in I'll start jotting stuff down.


    Baryonyx Knife Co. ~Condors, Moras, Deluxe Tramontinas, and More!

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  9. #229
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    As I have already posted, I already use a scythe since I was a kid. My granny tought me to use it. My main problem is; I´m a lefty so the regular haft / handle of a scythe is nearly useless to me. My uncle made me once a handle / haft for a lefty. During the years and not keeping it in a safe place the woodworm got in there. And the haft / handle was down

    I gonna make my own haft / handle for me, like I do with my axe-hafts.

    Kind regards
    Andi

  10. #230
    That's the one tricky thing with American snaths is that they have a compound bend to them, so they're a bit tricker to steam bend. I'm no expert on steam bending, but based on the number of patents I've seen for "improvements in snath bending machinery" it seems like it wasn't the easiest feat.


    Baryonyx Knife Co. ~Condors, Moras, Deluxe Tramontinas, and More!

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  11. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank-New Zealand View Post
    ... We visited 'Finch's Foundry' supposedly the last working
    water-driven forge in the world. The operator there gave us a demonstration...
    I'd like to see it. Here's a video from Finch's Foundry that gives an idea. Looks like a water-powered shear as well as the hammer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pv9rxaYyDg


    This big hammer is making a big scythe blade in Austria:


    photo from Sensenmuseum (Scythe Museum) Geyerhammer, in Scharnstein, Austria
    http://www.sensenmuseum.at/
    http://www.sensenmuseum.at/index.php...ent=34&base=35

  12. #232
    Cool site! Thanks for posting that!

    Don't think I'll be getting to that tutorial tonight, but I'll try to by early-to-mid next week.


    Baryonyx Knife Co. ~Condors, Moras, Deluxe Tramontinas, and More!

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  13. #233
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    That's great Steve. Had not seen it before. Looks like they have put corrugated iron on the roof since we were there.
    The rest of it is ancient. Almost at the end of the video it shows the grinding wheel with the board above. The operator puts a sack on that board and lies on it to do the grinding.When we visited it was early in the morning and we were the only ones there. The guy was very friendly and interesting.

    regards...Frank
    You can accomplish more with a kind word and a pick handle that you can with just a kind word!

  14. #234
    I'm working away at the tutorial as a Google doc right now. Let me know if there are any specific questions or issues you'd like me to address. A reminder that this is specifically for the American scythe rather than European.


    Baryonyx Knife Co. ~Condors, Moras, Deluxe Tramontinas, and More!

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  15. #235
    A rough draft so far--only the fitment and tuning of the scythe has been addressed.

    A Primer on the Selection, Use, & Maintenance of the American Scythe

    Fitting the scythe to the body: The first important step to ensure success with the American scythe is to test-fit the snath to your body. Modern snaths produced by Seymour Manufacturing are sized to the average modern man, but many vintage snaths will be on the small side for the taller American of today. Fortunately, the first step of tuning your scythe is very simple and can be performed in the store from which you intend to make your purchase.

    Adjusting the Nibs: First, check the nibs to make sure they may turn freely. The nut at the top of the nib runs on a left-directional thread, so rather than the old adage “lefty loosey, righty tighty” it’s “lefty TIGHTY, righty LOOSEY.” This is important as you don’t want to make an already tight nib even tighter--especially when rust may be involved. Once the nibs have been freed you may adjust them to their proper position for your height. Stand relaxed with your feet shoulder width apart and the scythe standing upright on its head next to you (blade end on the ground.) While standing thus, bring the lower nib to the level of your hip joint (NOT the highest point of your hips!) and tighten it gently in place. Now rest your elbow on the nib with your fingers outstretched. This marks the position of the upper nib.

    Now, re-assume the relaxed stance you employed to find the first nib, but now hold the scythe by its nibs at the three o-clock position with the blade resting on its spine. adjust the rotation of the lower nib until you achieve balance in the “rock” of the blade’s spine--i.e. the point where the spine is resting on the floor should be equidistant from the point and the beard. It is important to note that this point DOES NOT correlate with the height of the point and the beard from the ground, as the nose of American scythe blades commonly lift slightly to avoid burying the blade in the dirt on bad swings and to assist with the scooping motion used at the start of the cut.

    Once this balance is achieved, adjust the rotation of the upper nib to where you are most comfortably able to lift the blade off the ground by pushing down on the upper nib and allowing the lower nib to roll in your hand as a pivot. This initial adjustment is all simply to get you in the ballpark for your particular scythe configuration, and you will likely find yourself making further adjustments while using the scythe for extended periods. Listen to the tool and it will tell you how it wants to be used. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your adjustments!

    Selecting a Blade: The blade you choose is the next most important thing for you to consider after snath selection, and they generally come in variations on the following styles:

    Grass blades: The most common variety. Typically long, thin, and light as a feather. The “run” of the blade (or the set of the web) tends to be either parallel to the ground or only slightly lifted. A blade of this style in medium length will usually be capable of handling everything from fine lush grasses to (with practice) heavier woody plants like goldenrod, but they are more prone to damage than other varieties due to their light build and long blades, which can compound the leverage of a bad cut and damage either the blade or the snath. They are, however, both the most commonly available blade style as well as the most versatile.
    Bush or Brush blades: These blades are shorter and heavier, with a much broader blade, and are intended for clearing young woody growth ranging from goldenrod, burdock, and thistles up through very young saplings. They are robust in the spine and have a steep upward set to the web to allow the edge to cut with an upward shearing stroke along the grain of growth.

    Ditch blades: These blades are the shortest and heaviest of the lot with the steepest run of the blade--many times simply having the web set in the same plane as the tang! These work best for the task implied by their name--clearing ditch overgrowth. They are not recommended for anyone not performing a similar task, as they are completely inappropriate for general mowing duties.

    Once a blade is selected, the mounting process will depend on the collar system used by the snath, but most make use of a loop bolt through which the tang is passed, and a series of holes for receiving the bent end of the tang. These are used for adjusting the hafting angle of the blade, allowing you to make the angle more open or closed. A more closed angle is generally recommended as it minimizes strain on the blade and snath and cuts more aggressively though it narrows the swath of the cut. An open angle is used in fine grasses and clear ground, and is advantageous when clearing a large area as it maximizes the reach of the blade. A heavy patch of oiled leather or rubber may be inserted between the loop bolt of the snath collar and the blade tang to provide a more secure fit and prevent wear on the parts.


    Baryonyx Knife Co. ~Condors, Moras, Deluxe Tramontinas, and More!

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  16. #236
    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    A light scythe alternative is the "grass hook." Seymour makes a decent one, and a nib can be attached to the handle to make it resemble a straight-snathed single-handled European scythe.

    I bought one of these a few weeks ago and I love it; super light weight, silent, and effective. I ordered one of the Seymour aluminum snaths and a couple of blades, since that should blow away the grass hook. Weeds and grass are exploding here so it should be fun.

  17. #237
    Give 'em hell, dude! What blades did you get?


    Baryonyx Knife Co. ~Condors, Moras, Deluxe Tramontinas, and More!

    "To live at all is miracle enough."
    — Mervyn Peake

  18. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    A light scythe alternative is the "grass hook." Seymour makes a decent one, and a nib can be attached to the handle to make it resemble a straight-snathed single-handled European scythe.

    Another option for a second handle on that tool is an Ezimate.

  19. #239
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    A rough draft so far--only the fitment and tuning of the scythe has been addressed.
    Very good rough draft. I can't wait to read the whole document.

  20. #240
    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    Give 'em hell, dude! What blades did you get?

    I got a bush blade and a weed blade. The product descriptions were not very detailed but I've got acres of weeds and bushes so weed and bush blades sounded like good bets.

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