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im always surprised to see companies like that still going. its great, dont get me wrong (I AM one of those companies hehe) but astounding that that can keep what looks like a dozen guys in employment on 21st century european wages making scythes by hand.

 

long may it continue.

 

 

anyway, i see your pictures of scythe factories and raise you

 

 

MOVING PICTURES!!!!!

 

this sheffield at some point in the 19-teens or 20's

 

great soundtrack too

 

hope you are well mate.

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also love that video because it shows the composit billets they are using, shear and wrought i expect.

 

but also they appear to be on the trip's sat on a stool suspended from the sealing and swing back and forth using their legs.

 

great old movie.

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The scythe, is making a big comeback here in the us. Many people with small lawns, and gardens, have learned about this great tool, and are buying, and using them again.

Great exercise, and very soothing. Now, I must admit I hated it when my grandfather handed that thing to me for knocking down a half acre of briers, and tall grass. But, if you have a tiny lawn, it's a very nice tool for the Eco conscious.

 

They need to catch on a hundred time more.

 

Mark

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That is really neat, I wish it was possible for more shops like that to be around in this age. All of that old time allure of the early industrial forge is there and perfectly preserved. I always wanted to make a scythe, although I don't think I'm to that point yet. Some day, I'd love to have a water powered shop..

 

John

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Beautiful stuff, thanks!

 

I have two scythes, in the heavy-bladed American pattern. I love to use them. B) I'd like to try the paper-thin Austrian ones, though, they look like a joy to use on grass.

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What's the HT like for scythes? The scythes I've used (only two), required almost constant edge dressing with a stone and any significant edge modification was accomplished by peening. Because of this, I assumed scythe blades were unhardened.

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According to the German text under Dan's linked photoset, those particular blades are fully hardened ("glass hard" is the term they used) then tempered back to a full blue. That would leave them at a soft spring-like hardness, say around 35-45 Rc-ish at a guess without knowing the steel. Soft enough to peen the edge without chipping, anyway.

 

My thick blades are fairly hard, the better to cope with the heavy brush Americans tend to use scythes on. My long one (about 28 inches) is soft enough to file with difficulty, and the short one (14 inches) is so hard I have to use the belt grinder if I want to dress knicks.

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According to the German text under Dan's linked photoset, those particular blades are fully hardened ("glass hard" is the term they used) then tempered back to a full blue. That would leave them at a soft spring-like hardness, say around 35-45 Rc-ish at a guess without knowing the steel. Soft enough to peen the edge without chipping, anyway.

 

My thick blades are fairly hard, the better to cope with the heavy brush Americans tend to use scythes on. My long one (about 28 inches) is soft enough to file with difficulty, and the short one (14 inches) is so hard I have to use the belt grinder if I want to dress knicks.

 

Thanks, Alan. How does the 14 inch scythe perform? I was told by a staunch fan of Austrian scythes that even 20 inches was too short.

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I'd agree. The short one hits you back. :rolleyes: Not enough edge length for the type of drawcut some things need, too heavy a blade, no life in it. But it was given to me by my father-in-law, so it stays in the garage. :lol:

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My Grandfather would use a stone for sharpening. I remember him telling me that peening it down a few times made the steel work harden very well, it seemed to stay sharp for a good bit, if you were not hitting many rocks. They were very old!

I spent a lot of time with that scythe, and a sickle!!!! Character building!!! Not to mention blister building. :(

 

Mark

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I too have a big heavy Anglo-American scythe (Nash). It is laminated wrought and shear, and is sharpened with a stone, not peened.

Scythes typically need frequent sharpening, whatever the type you have. I would like to try an Austrian scythe, though. I have no idea what the HT would be like on an Austrian scythe, but if they are going to be peened, I guess they are quite soft.

Pertaining to the photos, I think they are at least 35 years old. I don't think scythes are made like this any where in Europe any more.

-Dan

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http://www.rts.rs/page/tv/ci/story/17/%D0%A0%D0%A2%D0%A1+1/1110486/%D0%A1%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%BC+%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BD%D0%BE%3A+%D0%9A%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B8+.html

 

I know that the code for this link looks weird...But it should work...

 

Great video from the Serbian TV,on scythe forging.

 

(If you don't happen to be fluent in this language,welcome to the club(even with my complete command of Russian i understood maybe 2%...But it's some great stuff,one can take it kinda like the liturgy in Latin:))

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  • 9 months later...

There's a TV series called "Natural Heroes" on some PBS stations that had a nice episode called "Living Lightly" about making, using and maintaining scythes. Fun race between a teenage girl with a scythe and a man with a gas powered weed whacker. I can't find the entire episode online, but it still shows in re-runs on some stations.

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http://www.rts.rs/page/tv/ci/story/17/%D0%A0%D0%A2%D0%A1+1/1110486/%D0%A1%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%BC+%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BD%D0%BE%3A+%D0%9A%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B8+.html

 

I know that the code for this link looks weird...But it should work...

 

Great video from the Serbian TV,on scythe forging.

 

(If you don't happen to be fluent in this language,welcome to the club(even with my complete command of Russian i understood maybe 2%...But it's some great stuff,one can take it kinda like the liturgy in Latin:))

Jake,

Could you make out anything about the water and oil for the quench or the tempering to gray color?....about 1/3 the way through the video.

It seems to me that the temper was way over temp, but then again..they seem to have been in business for a while.

 

Ric

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In my journey for hand operated "machines" I found an American company of German descent between Chattanooga and Nashville TN that makes them in different styles. Great thing is an accessory tool set that has a peening hammer, small stump anvil, and a belt-clipped cup to hold your stone in water. It is quiet and peaceful to use them but sadly I still get out the gas monster for working rocky areas and near posts, ahh for a goat or two.

Denis

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ric,no,unfortunately i can't make it out either(i'm trying to consult my further-southern-slavic friends but without success yet).

 

On the tempering into the grey,(without actually knowing anything about it),want to think that it MAY have something to do with the work-hardening that the blade will later undergo,in the process of it's use and re-sharpening.

 

It's a mystery,the Work-Hardening,with the sythe being(as far as i know)the last remaining example of it's consistent use.

The principle is complex,and little studied in modern craft.

In the past it was used very extensively,and may well answer a number of archaeo-metallurgical conundrums if looked into by some competent folks.

(I've driven myself nuts trying to understand it even approximately,Verhoeven on dislocations,and beyond,is where it'll take one,WAY over my pea-brain's capacity...).

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  • 6 years later...
On 7/18/2012 at 2:05 PM, Mark Green said:

The scythe, is making a big comeback here in the us. Many people with small lawns, and gardens, have learned about this great tool, and are buying, and using them again.

Great exercise, and very soothing. Now, I must admit I hated it when my grandfather handed that thing to me for knocking down a half acre of briers, and tall grass. But, if you have a tiny lawn, it's a very nice tool for the Eco conscious.

 

They need to catch on a hundred time more.

 

Mark

I actually have two scythes with six blades currently.  I have a yard care business and they are awesome for overgrown weeds.  I have literally sliced through two inch thick milkweed stalks with my bush blade(the short,stubby, tan colored blade in the pictures).

Scythe blades.jpg

Scythes.jpg

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  • 8 months later...

@Josh BurrellIt looks like the mill pond that is still there on Rivlin Valley (by the kids park). Well worth a walk down there, Mousehole forge at the top (Hillsborough end).

 

Loads of old forge shadows as you walk down there (wheel pits etc). I had a good mooch earlier this year.

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