Who else uses a scythe?

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Thanks, super helpful (and insightful)! Yes, my reference was Rixford. Here are some pieces, all Rixford

zyCZs3q.jpg


BLZrSBF.jpg


PcR0ryU.jpg


So, from your description, the top two grass scythes may be c pattern on the top and g on the bottom? Does the length complicate the interpretation (the bottom piece being slightly shorter)? The two bush scythes seem to be fairly consistent in curve.

I did mention that this was part I, right? When looking at the Rixford 1887 catalog, I'm trying to figure out the Western v New England patterns, etc. Boy. I was happy enough figuring out the Dutch v not Dutch, but there is sooo much more.

Thanks again!
 

FortyTwoBlades

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Length doesn't really complicate things--it's mostly the shape of the curves. A blade can be a single uniform curve or a compound of two curves, with a stronger curve being at one end or another. Western blades were extra broad and heavier than New England patterns across their full length, while Dutch heel blades were wider at the heel only. Weed, bramble, and bush blades follow their own conventions, independent of grass blades, and lawn blades were short blades with a grass blade build.

Where are you referencing the Rixford 1887 catalog?
 
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Very helpful, thanks.

The University of Vermont have a few copies of the 1887 catalog in their archives. I spent some time there gathering scans/pictures (you might remember the NWT receipt where Rixford got unmarked scythes from them).

f8oTrbn.jpg
 

burninatorzw

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Glad I found this thread. I have an Austrian scythe and, just watching YouTube videos for techniques, this thing does way more way faster than weed whackers.

More fun to use, more precise, no noise pollution in the neighborhood. Just an all round excellent and fun tool.

Edge needs repeening, so I gotta learn to do that but will be great to get it back up in running condition

Well, since there isn't an agricultural tools section this seems like the best place. Who else is lucky enough to own and use one of these beauties? No cords to yank, no noise, no gas, no fumes--and it's faster than a weed whacker and easier to use than manual push mower. There's a bit of a learning curve involved (and little info on the American pattern on the 'net) but it's a wonderful, simple, and efficient tool for mowing, haying, and clearing weeds, tall grass, or light brush.

Found mine at a local store that specializes in antique tools for only $25. :cool: Ignore the handle positions in the first pic. That's how they were when I bought it. The second one shows them adjusted to where they SHOULD be. :D

View attachment 232710 View attachment 232711

EDIT: For those just finding this thread, click HERE for the present version of my guide on the use of the American scythe. The link will be updated as changes are made to the document. Old posts in this thread may not reflect my current thoughts or opinions.
 

FortyTwoBlades

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You can pick up some thin mild steel sheet and cut it into strips to practice peening on. It's a great way to get a feel for it without risking ruining your actual blade.
 
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Watched several videos on You Tube with folks using scythes to harvest hay (?) on very steep slopes. I think it was in Switzerland as they were speaking German, but could have been Southern Germany, Austria or even Northern Italy, where they speak German (used to be part of Austria). Had some large lawn mover types machines, but with large metal wheel extensions, attached to the wheels and sticking out about two feet so the machine could be used on pretty steep slopes. Looked like the scythe handles were pretty straight. Several scenes of men with hammers, truing the edge of the blade, and one I had not seen before. Looked like a hand pump for a water well, except they put the blade into the device, then pushed a long lever on the side down, move the blade forward a small amount, push the lever down again. I am assuming it was a press type operation to true the edge of the blade. John
 
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Thank you, I'm sure you are correct. It's a match to the featherweight grass trimmer. There are traces of red paint on the handle.
5LBMys0.gif
 
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FortyTwoBlades

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The Featherweight does use a different ferrule on it--more of a rectangular shape rather than a round ring. So I think the kind you have may have been a transitional model made between the two.
 
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FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri,

I'm in a process of making a new snath for one of my scythes and wondered, if you may have nibs available anytime soon? Been thinking of making them myself from threaded rod but there would be likely some heat treatment required, in order to bend the eye. Is there another way to make the metal part? I do have a lathe.
I'll also need to make or buy a hafting collar for loop bolt she uses.

Thanks

V
 
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We've got nibs on order at present and they should be here in about a week. Manufacturing properly functioning nibs yourself is technically possible but kind of a pain in the butt.

Thanks for the reply. I'll be certainly interested in both and probably hafting collar as well.
Most things I make or build are in that category ;)

V
 

Bladite

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i am looking forward to once again attempting to master the edge on my scythes... got the slow powered water wheel. time. a variety of found blades, one bought local at ACE (common hard steel)

none of them good at grass, but weeds, wheat, brambles, that's good.

esp raspberry and prickers. hate you :D
 

FortyTwoBlades

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Starts off with a photo of him, his name and born 29 June 1927 died 15 August 2014, and the film was made in 2018? John

The film was a composite of footage that was taken back in something like 2007 or so, if I'm remembering right.
 
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The film was a composite of footage that was taken back in something like 2007 or so, if I'm remembering right.
Speaking of films, FortyTwoBlades, I recall watching an online video about the Arti plant two or three years ago and it featured some scythe blade manufacturing scenes. Did you link it here in this thread somewhere or do you know about that video? I don't recall how I found it and I'd like to share it with Alexander Vido. How is the Arti American pattern blade project coming?
 
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