Rise of the scythe

Some inspiring and amazing videos…

The End of Cheap Oil and Rise of the Scythe:

A Good Scythe at Work

I used to have a hard time using the scythe for any length of time.  These videos made it look so easy, so I did a bit of research, and tested my theories this weekend.  Here is what I learned:

  • Allow the back of the blade to drag on the ground.  All this time I’ve tried to hold to keep the blade from hitting the ground.  With the blade in the air, If you hit a large clump of grass, the handle pulls against your hand and you have to fight to keep it up.  If you allow the blade to brush the ground, when you hit a clump of grass, the blade pushes against the ground, so you don’t have to fight it, just keep pulling.
  • Use your legs to turn your body, pulling the scythe with your left hand, guiding it with your right.  Being right handed, I want to do the opposite, pull with the right, but that is much harder.  If you use your legs to turn and pull with the left hand you will be surprised how much more you cut.
  • Keep the tip of the blade down.  As you turn, the tip of the blade wants to tip up.  Keep it down, close to the ground.  According to this page on www.scytheconnection.com, the snath (handle) can be adjusted so that the blade rests in the proper position.
  • Working first thing in the morning, while there is still dew on the grass is much easier.  I found a few patches in the shade, that still had dew and compared it to dry grass in full sun, only a few feet away, and the difference was quite noticeable.
  • Proper sharpening makes a huge difference.  I’ve always sharpened the blade perpendicular to the cutting edge.  Once I started running the stone parallel to the cutting edge, it stayed sharper and cut longer.  The odd thing is that when I first started sharpening this way, the blade got duller, then it began to get sharp again.  Maybe, sharpening perpendicular gives the blade an rough edge like a serrated knife, good cutting some things, but not good at staying sharp.
  • The snath (handle) should match the user.  See this page on how I changed my handle to suite me better.

More scythe resources at www.scytheconnection.com

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