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Scythe blade warped while peening

 
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Vic Dupont



Joined: 01 Aug 2023
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 23 7:58 pm    Post subject: Scythe blade warped while peening Reply with quote
    

Hi there!

I warped my blade while peening it.

Several reasons could be the cause :

- it was my first time peening a scythe
- that scythe had never been peened, while used for decades, thus a lot of peening was required
- it had many dents, though not huge, and I tried to fix one until it disappeared
- I pounded on the center of the blade at some point

After doing some reading, it seems the most likely cause is that I pounded on the center of the blade, not only on the edge. I had seen that the edge was curling back on itself too much and wanted to straighten it. I thus pounded with the flat of the hammer, a bit everywhere, including in the middle of the blade. I think the warping appeared right after that.

Here are some pictures.









Do you guys think I might be able to straighten it?

Or is it that the cause of the warping might be that the metal was spread out too much, and thus won't be able to flatten?

Thanks a lot in advance for the help.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 44861
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 23 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

ooh give me a few mins to think that over, i like metal

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 44861
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 23 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

first thought, file the wonkiest wavey bits off first, give it a fine edge hone with a round stone and see how it looks and works

at the mo it looks as though you beat it a bit over its annealing limit for cold working on the edge

scythes are a bit odd in that they are quite soft until hit, smith secrets etc but it works for an easy field dressed tool

it looks an ok working tool, properly made from decent metal and probably tempered correctly it should be fairly easy for you to get it working, photo on the interweb etc

hi say hello, introduce yourself and tell us why you need a working scythe.

ps there are some who know the mowing stuff, i play with metal and let critters eat salad

we are not as grumpy as we might appear but these are troubling times.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 15277

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 23 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

You may be able to straighten it, but it looks rather bad to me. Worth trying anyway.

I am not very good at scything, but have done a little bit. Like Dpack, I would be interested to know more about you and what you are up to. Hope to hear more of you.

Vic Dupont



Joined: 01 Aug 2023
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 23 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Hi there!

Thanks a lot for the swift replies, and thanks for the warm welcome.

I am happy to introduce myself

I am Victor, from France. I live in the South of France but my family's house is in the East, in Jura, at 1100 meters of altitude.

I try as much as possible to live a life not depending on the outside. My goal is both to have less dependency on money and society, but I also find it way more fulfilling to know how things happen, to eat one's own food, to build one's own stuff etc.

Thus the scythe. I use it both to cut grass to cover our vegetables, and right now just to cut grass because here in Jura, it has grown so high

Regarding your precious advice, I'll start by filing it a bit, see if it gets back into shape.

Otherwise, Mistress Rose, how do you recking I should be able to straighten it?

Thanks again very much for the help and for the warm welcome!

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 8432
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 23 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Welcome my Pirate (husband) is a Victor like you

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 44861
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 23 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

hi i tried to post some thoughts earlier but i was having coms issues

dont use a grinder on the edge , a good half round file or "scythe stone" which are taperd abrasive stick type things is ideal, a vice or clamps helps to avoid wonky angles

work across and along the edge, at the same time slightly revolving the file/stone and trying to keep the edge evenly angled and thin and flat and strait
bad description, but dont work across the blade work along and across it in sections is the basic idea
if it feels right and looks right, and you still have your fingers, it is right

remove the frills and ragged bits of edge, try for a good-looking perfect curve that follows the line of the ridge from shaft to tip

then show us a snap, making it flat will be fairly easy and tapping a cutting edge is a bit tool and a lot of patience
we can go there later

ps scythes are rather soft metal with a cold worked hard edge and can be reshaped if the blade is twisted or bent etc with a tweak, press or soft knock in the right places fairly easily, tis more eye than force

they are made for field maintenance, be careful it will cut even before it is sharp if the edge is a decent basic shape

the metal i am playing with has a convex curve which is another level of shapes and angles at least your concave one will help you find the line if you get the angle and rhythm of fettling curved blades
they are a bit more tricky than strait ones, and most folk have no idea about them

secure the blade for filing, wrapping the bits you are not working on in newspaper or similar is a good health and safety tip that has been around for at least a thousand years, a folded strip will spiral around a scythe or katana a treat, secure the ends with tape or a tidy tuck

guess what im sharpening and polishing and restoring to respected and working?

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18404

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 23 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Good advice above.
Start by getting rid of the rough curly edge with a very coarse sharpening stone. That blade really is in quite a mess.
What kind of scythe is it ? Austrian or other (such as English) ?
Those are made of different metals, and are sharpened/peened differently.

If it is an Austrian-type scythe
Looks as though you have hammered far too hard and in the wrong places (such as the middle). A gentle repeated tapping is all that is required. Yes, it's cold forging, but really no need for the strength/power required for blacksmithing/hot forging.

When you have got rid of the messy ragged bits :
First pass : in a line along the blade edge of the scythe about 5mm in from the edge
Second pass : about 2.5mm in
Final pass : right on the edge.
In all cases, making sure the hammer stroke goes outwards towards the blade edge.
You are only working along the outermost 5mm edge of the blade. That's all you need to thin out.

Think of it like using a rolling pin to roll out pastry, but in one direction only (towards the edge). ETA : And just as the edge of pastry will become ragged if you roll it too thin, so will metal.

Peening is overrated, and mowers do it far too often. IMHO.

If mowing coarse grass, use the coarsest sharpening stone.
I like to mow my rough grass with a coarsely-sharp blade, so the smooth grass and weeds don't slip past the cutting edge.

Best of luck,

Last edited by gil on Fri Aug 04, 23 8:20 am; edited 1 time in total

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 44861
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 23 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

hi gil, hope you are thriving, the less is plenty is good advice about cold working

the micro rough but well angled sharp edge makes lots of sense for stems, breadknife rather than filleting knife

iirc my scythe stone is about 100 gt which is quite rough it seemed to work for convex brush hooks and sickles quite well

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 44861
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 23 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

ps i would have thought ultrasharp was correct for hi tech broadheads

tiny burrs from a sideways, two handed, file push towards the tip, along the flat edges of the 3 "wings" are considered to be best for making sure to cut slippery bits
a bit dark, but salad stems do have some things in common with critter innards when it gets to sliding out of the way

ditto breadknife for bread or tyres

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 15277

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 23 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Sorry Victor, but I don't know the answer. It seems as if Gil and Dpack know a lot more than me.

I know a little more about scythe handles as I have seen the English type which bends in several directions being produced. I work in the woods, so know a bit more about green woodworking that about metal.

May I say that your English is very good; a lot better than my French.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18404

PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 23 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

hi dpack, I'm fine. How are you ?

I only sharpen with the finest, smoothest sharpening stone when mowing soft flat meadow with the longer 'grass blade' I used for competition. Otherwise I use the two coarser stones, depending on what I'm mowing, and use a shorter stone blade or ditch blade which has a point on the end to prevent damaging the rest of the blade if you hit an obstacle - like a tree stump, a rock, or a tussock.

Your analogy of bread knife vs steak knife is spot on, at the micro level.

The finer the blade edge, the more easily it is damaged.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 44861
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 23 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

hi gil , im a bit poorly and rather limited in what i can do but i have found a few amusements i can manage in new ways

the micro rough edge makes lots of sense for practical cutting of stems and ting, a smoother more acute one for "perfect "leafy grass without rocks and tractor parts
soft stuff would tear rather than cut with a rough blade and probably stick to it thereby padding it for the next sweep(thinking of a chainsaw and kevlar or breadknife in cotton wool)

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18404

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 23 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Really sorry to hear that, dpack.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 44861
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 23 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

this is this, but it is different to what it was

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