Scythe

I've just bought a scythe from Lee Valley Tools in Canada and I would like to use it and care for it properly. Unfortunately there were no instructions provided with it, assembly or otherwise.
There are a number of websites that provide general information about scythes or instructions specific to a given product, but nothing relevant to this Austrian manufacturer ('Fux' I beleive).
Anybody have some insight?
Cheers, Greg
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Yeah. Buy a farm tractor and a sickle bar mower. Hang the sythe on the barn wall. (We did.)
You can cut yourself off at the knee by using a sythe wrong or you can put one hell of a lot of hay up by hand by using one correctly. I can't tell you on the Internet how to use one -- I'd need to show you.
Jan
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wrote:

Their web site has 800 numbers for both USA and Canada, as well as e-mail contact addresses. Seems to me as if this would be the place to start.
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Oh sure, make it easy for me ;)

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Gerg wrote:

Which hammer and anvil did you buy for sharpening your scythe?
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I bought a scythe from Sycthe Source - http://www.scythesource.com / They also sell a pretty good book called "Scythe Book". I didn't buy the book from them, but (surprisingly) found it in my local library - it describes everything about the use and care of a scythe.
--
Joe
http://www.joekaz.net /
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I have seen several references to this title on the web. Don't hate me, but I couldn't justify the cost of purchasing the book (or an anvil) yet. I had searched our local library without success, but tonight I was able to request this book from another library in Alberta.
I have contacted Lee Valley Tools, and they have been very cooperative, but failed to address my concerns about the scythe.
After one day's use, the ring clamp has become bent. I assume that this is because the pasture I am cutting has areas of dense/wet grass. I beleive that this grass is difficult to cut and is covering the blade at the beginning of the stroke, thus preventing the remainder of the grass from being cut withing that stroke. The result is that I am using exessive force to complete the stroke and forcing the blade out of the correct hafting angle (repeatedly) and still failing to cut the grass effectively (sigh). The ring clamp is bearing the majority of the force and is not up to it.
My gripes are as follows: o The clamping screws on the ring clamp are not sufficient to hold the blade in place when meeting resistance o The ring clamp is not rigid enough to withstand the force o The tang is thin and allows too much freedom of movenent within the clamp
I know, you will all yell at me and tell me I'm probably an idiot and shouldn't be using such a wonderful tool if I'm just hacking at the grass. I would partly agree seeing as I have little experience using a scythe.. it's not a common subject. I am making an attempt to learn, but, I should expect a tool to withstand a certain amount of expected stress without failing.
Cheers, Greg
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J. Del Col wrote:

Guess what Japanese smiths use for anvils.
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There was no wedge with the scythe. I had tried using a piece of wood, but I didn't know wedges were supposed to be used. Sounds like a good idea though :)

Have you ever cut packed/trampled wet grass? Did you just use shorter strokes, or do you have any other tips you could offer?

What's one or two arteries anyway. I've got lots ;)
Cheers, G.
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It should have had at least one with it. Go back to where you got it and ask for a scythe "key." (I found out that's the proper term) The folks at the store might refer to it as a wedge.

Well, I wouldn't try to cut trampled grass, but I have cut my way through plenty of wet grass. Really tough grass, weeds, etc. might require the shorter, wider brush scythe. I haven't needed one yet.

The chaps or leggings made for chain saw users might not be a bad investment if you plan to do a lot of scything.
Good luck.
J. Del Col
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Gerg wrote:

Greg, a scythe can be a very efficient tool, but it is also very dangerous to handle if you don't know what you are doing . . . back in my ER days in CO, I had to care for more than one person who'd been trained in the use and still had managed to stick the blade into his anatomy. So, please, call your local agricultural extension office, and find someone to teach you how to use it properly. Then, never, ever, use it when you are alone.
Chris Owens
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