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Thread: Who else uses a scythe?

  1. #441

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    Please do! I still need to get pics up of the one I nursed back to health.


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

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  2. #442
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    I found a blade 42" from tip to tang. Fits my Seymour just fine, but it seems a little extravagant. Does anyone know if this was for a special kind of crop, or for a show-off mower?



    I'm a little behind on this thread, hope I'm not repeating a question somebody's answered.

  3. #443
    Those are all some exceptional-looking blades! A 42" blade like that would be for cutting a very broad swath through lighter grasses. For reedy stuff you'd probably want a bit shorter. Looks like it would be a heck of a haying blade!

    Love that Dutch-pattern blade 3rd down. The heavy beard does a great job of finishing off a difficult stroke in thick growth.


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

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

  4. #444
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    Those are all some exceptional-looking blades! A 42" blade like that would be for cutting a very broad swath through lighter grasses. For reedy stuff you'd probably want a bit shorter. Looks like it would be a heck of a haying blade!

    Love that Dutch-pattern blade 3rd down. The heavy beard does a great job of finishing off a difficult stroke in thick growth.
    Thanks for the info. That 3rd one is pretty much unused, though it came from an antique store. Made in Maine, I forget by whom.

  5. #445
    I'm going to guess it's Dunn Edged Tool Co., North Wayne Tool Co./Little Giant, or Emerson & Stevens.


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

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

  6. #446
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    I've tried to use a scythe on several occasions since getting one a few years back. Getting the hang of the whole process - from mowing to peening.... especially peening - has been tough for me. At the recommendation of Peter Vido, I tried my hand at making my own snath... the first one broke before too long, but was a learning experience. Second one is holding together, but still seems awkward. I can't imagine the skill the ol' timers must have had to mow golf courses and palatial grounds with 'em! Luckily for me, it's not my sole mowing implement... I mostly intended it to be a silent alternative to the whipper-snipper, but I actually find myself more comfortable using a Facli billhook, or a sickle for more short-term cutting... after goin' over the property with a noisy zero-turn mower!

  7. #447
    Mmmmmm Falci... For up-close trimming work I find a sickle very handy. And there's something very satisfying about the "scrunch" sound of a big fistful of grass getting neatly sliced by the pull of the blade.


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

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

  8. #448
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    I'm going to guess it's Dunn Edged Tool Co., North Wayne Tool Co./Little Giant, or Emerson & Stevens.
    North Wayne was it. That's the one that admonishes me to sharpen both sides because the steel is in the middle.

  9. #449
    Haha! Thought the toe of that blade looked familiar. And yes--on American scythes you want to sharpen both sides equally.


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

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

  10. #450
    Join Date
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    Here are a few scythe blades I've found recently. The top 2 are 30" grass blades. The bottom 2 are brush blades, 18" and 16" respectively. Both grass blades came to me badly rusted and pitted. The one I've cleaned up is still plenty good enough to use. I expect the other one will clean up about the same.




    I found a manufacturers stamp on the clean 30". It looks like a tree or maybe a cotton plant.




    The smaller brush blade is a Banko made in Sweden. Not sure what the 67 stamp means. It's not the length in centimeters.


  11. #451
    Nice finds, dude! The blade with the little berry bush on it is a Seymour--they still use that tang stamp. Looks to be of MUCH nicer quality than their present production, though!

    I need to post the pics I took of the blades a pal of mine from the boards (not sure if he minds being identified or not) was kind enough to snag for me. One's English and the other is Austrian. The English one is nice in that it's a fairly old one from before production switched over to the "patent tang" method where they riveted the blade to a separately manufactured tang and spine. It has a nice gentle angle to the tang just like it should. The Austrian one has a very thin and light blade something like a hybrid between a typical European and American pattern and was user-modified by cutting the tang off and brazing it back on at a better angle. To help take strain off of the brazed connection they also took a section of rod and brazed it to the top of the tang to make a shelf that butts up against the end of the snath so strain goes to the rod before it goes to the tang. The run of the blade is perfectly parallel to the ground now which, combined with the light thin web of the blade, makes for a PERFECT lawn maintenance blade.

    I've got the pics--I just need to brighten them a little and get 'em up on Photobucket. I have some pics of a nice little grass hook, a pitchfork, and a massive all-steel wood auger to post as well!


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

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

  12. #452
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    Cool thread.

    Looking for axes in New England I see about 5 scythes for every axe. Go figure.
    John Frankl

  13. #453
    Man--I need to look where you're looking!


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

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

  14. #454
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    ...
    I need to post the pics I took of the blades a pal of mine from the boards (not sure if he minds being identified or not) was kind enough to snag for me. One's English and the other is Austrian. The English one is nice in that it's a fairly old one from before production switched over to the "patent tang" method where they riveted the blade to a separately manufactured tang and spine. It has a nice gentle angle to the tang just like it should. The Austrian one has a very thin and light blade something like a hybrid between a typical European and American pattern and was user-modified by cutting the tang off and brazing it back on at a better angle. To help take strain off of the brazed connection they also took a section of rod and brazed it to the top of the tang to make a shelf that butts up against the end of the snath so strain goes to the rod before it goes to the tang. The run of the blade is perfectly parallel to the ground now which, combined with the light thin web of the blade, makes for a PERFECT lawn maintenance blade.
    ...
    Here's a photo of those two blades. Found them at a garage sale, the asking price was a buck each, so I passed them on to FortyTwoBlades. The top one is made in England by T. Waldron.


  15. #455
    I'll try to clean up the pics I took (they came out a little dark so I just have to lighten them) and get them up. Thanks again, man! I really appreciate it! I just need more dang snaths in good shape!


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

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

  16. #456
    Ok--finally got the darn pics uploaded--there were a lot of them!

    Starting with the Austrian blade mounted on my snath (if anyone is able to find out who the manufacturer of my snath is let me know--I've found the patent for it, AND found it in old catalogs but never seen a name alongside it!)

















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

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

  17. #457
    The English blade:





















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

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

  18. #458
    More:



















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

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

  19. #459
    And for fun, the aforementioned grass hook, pitch fork, and wood auger:

























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

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

  20. #460

    Cool

    Thank you for initiating a discussion about the scythe and other simple, useful tools. While I personally have no experience using a scythe, I am intrigued by them and hope to follow up on some of the references and links provided here.

    As a Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa (formerly Western Samoa), I lived in a village and saw where a scythe and other simnple tools would be very useful. Every Samoan village has a central square ("malae")
    where ceremonies and communal gatherings take place. In a humid, tropical climate like that of Samoa, the grass grows very quickly and must frequently be trimmed by young men using machetes (bush knives) with constant bending over as the grass is trimmed. It seems to me that the scythe would be a perfect fit for this job, as it is relatively inexpensive and requires no fuel or expensive maintenance.

    Unfortunately, importation of scythes is not done there and development experts do not seem to be familiar with them. Also, Samoans and other Pacific Islanders seem to only want the powered weed whackers and chain saws that they see being used in the USA, New Zealand and Australia. There is a resistance to adopting the simpler, less expensive solutions used in earlier times.

    My ancestors came from Norway and were immigrants to Wisconsin in the 1800's. My father grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin before World War II and drove horses, used brush hooks and was familiar with scythes. Unfortunately, the idea that "most modern and most expensive is good" colors the attitude of many peoples is developing countries.

    While I have no real experience with the scythe, I had limited success introducing introducing the tubular frame pruning saw (36 inch blade) to several Samoan families, there does seem to be an initial resistance to the adoption of the simple, older, less expensive tools. I suppose local peope in developing countries do not know know that early Ameicans cleared land for farms and cut down forests (the Paul Bunyan stories come to mind) using the simple tools that some of my ancestors grew up with. Such is the power of television and of Intenet advertising.

    At one time, I borrowed and read an interesting book on scythes. I think it was called "The Scythe Book" but I do not know an author, publisher or copyright date. This book might be worth searching for.

    Faiaoga ("schoolteacher" in Samoan)
    Last edited by Faiaoga; 10-15-2012 at 04:15 PM. Reason: spelling and grammar

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