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dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33030
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 06 10:16 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

swing step

deanom



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 93
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 06 8:48 pm    Post subject: Plastic Reply with quote    

Gil

My description of the bottle was not good. It's just the normal plastic container that supermarket milk comes in. Available from 1 pint up to 6.

If you can't find something suitable just take a little bucket/ container with you and leave it close by. The water is important, mainly because it helps to stop the particles of metal clogging up the stone. The blade will be sharper as a result.

You're right about trying to explain an action verbally. That's why I haven't published an article on the site yet. Thinking about doing a "why" article, rather than a "how to" one.

The peening jig is a really good way of starting. The price is not excessive. Downside is like most of the anvils sold over here, it needs mounting in a block of wood, which makes it less portable. Luckily, most of the time you don't need to peen where you are working. I have a field version which I found in a barn in France. I had seen one previously, and was gobsmacked to see one rusting in a barn. If you decide to ignore the jig, go for the narrow anvil, with a normal hammer. It's easier! Blade face down on the anvil, hammer the underneath. If you end up with the narrow hammer, and wider anvil, other way round. Wide, flat surface always against the bottom of the blade.

For anyone other than Gil reading this, please do not be put off. It's much easier to do than it might seem when you read this, and The Scythe Book explains it really well.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 06 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for the milk carton ID, Deano. Know exactly what you mean now.

Agree that The Scythe Book is very clear. And it's a good read.

4th outing today : almost finished the track (it's long) : definitely getting a better rhythm / swing now, cutting a less deep swathe and whetting more often.

Unforeseen problem : the cat hates the noise of brushcutters and keeps well away when I work with one. She has no such dislike of the scythe and tried to accompany me. Shut your domestic animals in the house while you are mowing, for their safety and your peace of mind.

deanom



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 93
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 06 9:15 pm    Post subject: Pets Reply with quote    

Luckily all (nine) dogs out of the way when mowing. Not all frogs and toads so lucky. Most escape unscathed, but at least I get the chance to check to see which ones should survive, and which need a quick death. A tractor doesn't give that option.

Really glad to hear that it's going so well. It isn't that difficult, and so much nicer to use than a machine.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 06 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Scythe Advice Reply with quote    

deanom wrote:
Last year I mowed 1 1/2 acres three times by hand, and this year I've just made hay from 1 acre. All my weeds are cleared with it (whenever I have time), and if I decide to grow my own wheat and barley, I will use the scythe for that too.


Thinking about this, how have you store the hand mown hay? It would be great to hear how you get on with groing your wheat and barley as that's something I would consider groing as well. Do you plan to grow for bread/beer and/or for animal feed?

deanom



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 93
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 06 7:53 pm    Post subject: Hay Reply with quote    

I didn't store this batch, as I don't have any animals yet. I gave it away to someone in my village.

I intend to store it in a rack, which I will have to build. I am planning on a simple frame, with a weldmesh floor, and removeable weld mesh panels for the sides. I have all of the bits here, I just need to sort it all out.

The wheat and barley is a thought for next year. I want some for bread and beer making, and for animal feed. For this I will need staddle stones, to sit the supporting beams on top of. I have no idea if anybody still makes any that would work.

Like everything else, so many things to do, and not enough time/money.


gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 06 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Now Deano's article is up, I'd completely agree that mowing with a scythe is addictive.

Another month on, and several more mowings, and it really is easy once you get into the swing of it. I've got a large heap of hay in one of the sheds which I am intending to barter with my neighbour.

deanom



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 93
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 06 7:25 pm    Post subject: Brilliant Reply with quote    

Gil

I'm really pleased to hear from another addict.

How did you store your hay?

If you've made hay there before, how do you think it compares with machine made hay?

Did you get set up with a peening jig, or did you get a small anvil?

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 06 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hay was raked and barrowed, and is at present spread out on sub-base floor of shed, so not properly stacked or owt. Will be good to get it shifted to my neighbour. I usually use it for kindling winter bonfires, not for feeding.

Difference from machine-made (though hard to tell as this year was such exceptionally good haymaking weather) is that the scythed hay seems lighter, crisper, more intact, neater [not chewed up, likewise the grass has recovered more quickly].

I ended up with both a peening jig and an anvil. Haven't tried either yet, as I'm in full swing of harvesting and processing fruit and veg, and also setting up a related business, so have not mown for three weeks or so.

deanom



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 93
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 06 5:17 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote    

Excellent

Just spent two hours helping somebody with a brand new set. Two hours later, most of which was him peening his blade, and off he went. Happy.

Sally Too



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 2511
Location: N.Ireland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 06 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

OOOh now this is interesting... just bought a scythe last weekend... still getting the knack though!

Sal

deanom



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 93
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 06 7:22 pm    Post subject: How's it going? Reply with quote    

Not been on the site for a couple of weeks and noticed your post.

How are you getting on with your Scythe?

Please feel free to ask questions, if something doesn't seem to be going right, but if you're mowing grass, be aware that it is tougher to cut now than in the spring.

Hope that you enjoy using it as much as I do.

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