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Trouble??? What? A neatly trimmed yard? A husband in better shape? Saving money on yard maintenance? What woman wouldn't want that kind of trouble?


I have to agree. Off to the sawmill for a stick to make into a snath. My blade will be here eventually.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fastonline.org%2FCD3WD_40%2FJF%2F417%2F06-273.pdf&rct=j&q=the%20scythe%20book%20pdf&ei=jG4tTuPcCsfq0gHIqcDkDg&usg=AFQjCNHuGUvTWyPS4w6jFCCsrNxp9aa2HQ&cad=rja

some reading, took me about 2 hours to go through. The Scythe Book by David Tresemer There is a good illustration of the forging steps to make a scythe blade.

Phil
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I would love to learn more about their construction and use. I get sick of noise very quickly lately. Phil

If you go back to the link that Ric Furrer posted the guy is talking about steel with 7.5 points of carbon yet he is searching for 1075... isn't 1075 a steel with 75 points of carbon? 7.5 points of carbon would be less than half what mild steel (1018) has, near to pure iron... am I right?

I make my "Weed Warrior" sickles from J bolts which I believe to be around 1035. I leave them "as forged" and they are too hard to cold peen very much, I will peen them a bit to repair a nick though.

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"Trouble??? What? A neatly trimmed yard? A husband in better shape? Saving money on yard maintenance? What woman wouldn't want that kind of trouble?"

Well as I mentioned my scythe work ended up with surgery to my shoulder and a wife having to wait on me hand and foot over the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Only Thanksgiving where I have not blown my diet as I was on heavy pain medication as the surgery was done the day before.

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Well there you go Thomas. Forced to diet and unable to get out and into trouble! :) Seriously though I think you must have overdone things a bit... perhaps a wee bit off in your technique also? Knowing the type of guy that you are I would guess that overdoing things might be pretty well SOP for you. I do admire your energy and enthusiasms greatly! Just from what I know of you here, I can see that you are a man of far reaching interests and tremendous energy! I am privileged to know you!

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I've also been using an american pattern scythe to cut the grass, Really long in the backyard, just sprouting in the front.
Looking for a hand powered edger to finish up the job. The lovely wife doesn't balk at my using grim reaper tools to mow the front
lawn, but thinks pulling out the electric weedwacker to do the edging is wrong, just wrong.

short vid of working my back yard with the scythe

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My ebay blade ended up an American pattern blade, as expected in America. I built a straight snath with a rather aggressive wedge for it to have the correct angle. To say the least I found it effective...until my wedge spilt and the blade went floppy (bad thing) I was just using a U bolt to hold it together and it was working fine.

15 minutes to trim the weeds around the house. I haven't trimmed them in forever, so they were thick.

Yes, my wife is upset at me and I have not heard the end of it in the last 2 days.

Phil

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I am wishing I took pictures...

Since my radical wedge failed, I set up a joggle with my post vise to adjust the tang angle, in an eyeball measured sorta way, and had really good results. I took a piece of 3/4 round and a piece of 1/2 inch round and cold formed the tang to a new angle of approximately 30 degrees or there abouts.

I describe the metal as "soft" it bent with very little effort being squished into the joggle with the vise. I could not bend it by hand since it is about 5/16 thick, and a bit over 1 inch at the location of the bend.

I cleaned up around several trees with little effort...then the edge chipped rather severely, and continued chipping. After a regrind (since it is an American pattern blade) I am good for tomorrow and continued cleaning in the morning.

Maybe I will attack the cattails in the pond soon. Maybe I will order a new kit.

Phil

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Okay I got my book ("The Scythe Book" by David Tresemer). I have only skimmed it a little bit but I can already tell that it is WELL worth having. Just the pages about fitting the scythe to the cutter are easily worth the price of the book! I got mine from Alibris for $15.56 including shipping.

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Okay I got a little more read in "The Scythe Book" and in the addendum by Peter Vido he discusses the toughness of scythe blades and dispels some apparent myths about their construction. He says that the "American" and the "Austrian" style blades are both made in the same factory and from the very same steel and even tempered alike! He says the steel is .8 percent carbon (1080, maybe) and is tempered to about 47 to 48 HRC. This is in contrast to many of the things that I have read but does make sense to me. I am pretty happy with this book and even though I have much to read and study in it I am already prepared to recommend it to anyone with a serious interest in this tool. I find Peter Vido's addendum to be the best part of the book.

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  • 5 months later...

The old time Scythe, you know - the one the grim reaper carries, has fallen into disuse in many modern economies and youngsters just stare blankly when the term is mentioned.Still there is a rapidly emerging interest in these old and very efficient tools and a number of websites dedicted to them can be found.

I am pretty sure that the old time smiths made them in large numbers as they were known even in Biblical times.There were also a number of factories in Europe turning out scythes as late as the 1950's and there probably is till the odd shop in some remote country doing the same.

I have seen some excellent videos on them on the tube and the grace and elegance with which they are handled is a pleasure to behold.

Are there any Smiths out there who have made a Scythe recently.I would dearly like to hear from you.

Regards
The Bear

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I Know of one, Larry Cooper, a very tallented blacksmith whom I've lost touch with and am worse off for it. I believe he also makes a 'broad fork' - a kind of pitch-fork of unusual design. He can be found on the internet and works somewhere on the east coast USA.

I too have watched video of them being used and was amazed at the ammound of work done , seemingly with ease, by one man and his scythe. He certianly out performed a gas powered weed-eater.

Theres one type that I have made. It is about 14" long and on a one-hand handle, like a knife. Made out of a file. I made it after one that I found in North Florida, I found it where it had been sitting since probably 1940 where my wifes great grandfather sat it down. It works well for cleaning up fence lines, swinging it vertically instead of horizontally.

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I've forged a kama; but for a martial arts instructor who wanted one much tougher than the typical schlock you find at martial arts supply stores---or even the real ones still sold for gardening.

Here in the USA scythes are still sold in some of the old hardware stores.

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I'm sort of busy beating one out of a piece of leaf spring. I hope to finish it this month now that the powerhammer is up and running.

I read a lot about it before I started so I'm probably an expert, but since I've not finished one I can only call myself a consultant.

Vra maar as jy iets wil weet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have tried to use those serrated cutters with little success. Despite my formidable skills at sharpening tools of every sort... I have been unable to impart a decently performing edge on one of them. Thus they flay the weeds rather than cutting them... action similar to a dull brush hog but hand powered. NOTHING like the satisfaction I feel when using a well sharpened scythe that leaves a cleanly sheared path in it's wake!

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The reason they are called yoyos is because of the way you swing them. Back and forth. My grandfather taught me how to use it and we still have it. His father called it a yoyo. I think there is even a name stamped on the blade I will have to check. Will post a picture soon.

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The reason they are called yoyos is because of the way you swing them. Back and forth. My grandfather taught me how to use it and we still have it. His father called it a yoyo. I think there is even a name stamped on the blade I will have to check. Will post a picture soon.

Pop a picture up if you can.

I had the (dis)pleasure of cleaning up my mother in law's lot over the last couple weekends. Both her lawn mowers were down (now fixed) and it was the first mowing of the year...24 inch grass and taller. The scythe made short work in a large number of areas,( and I was NOT sprayed with pulp while clearing those areas like a weed whip would, and there was more than a little poison ivy around)

Phil
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