Remembered to order: from Lee Valley

One of the things we found after moving here, was my father’s scythe, hanging in the old garden shed. I remember my father showing me how to use it, long ago, when our rag tag collection of lawn mowers happened to all be broken down at the same time. The lawn got so tall, my father used the scythe to cut the grass.

I wasn’t very good at it, but my dad made that thing sing!

I was very happy to see the scythe still here, and would love to be able to use it, but we have not found a sharpening stone for it. I can’t even remember what my father used to sharpen it. I’ve been looking for a scythe sharpening stone, but they aren’t available locally. No one carries scythes, either, so that’s not surprising. I did finally find one at Lee Valley, and after much forgetfulness, finally remembered to order one, last night.

Images belong to Lee Valley.

This is a “Water Stone for Traditional Austrian Scythe”. The Austrian scythe is what Lee Valley carries. It is not what we have. I think I prefer what we have, as the handle has a curved, ergonomic design.

Since this is a wet stone that gets used frequently while cutting, I needed one more thing.

A “Watertight Holster for Scythe Stone”. This holster can be clipped onto a waistband, pocket or belt, and water kept in it. The water not only keeps the stone appropriately wet, but any grit on the stone will get washed off as well.

In some areas of the outer yard, a scythe is going to be the only way we can cut the grass and weeds. We haven’t done it since moving here, and it drives me nuts, because it’s such a fire hazard.

Which means we’re going to have to get into the swing of scything!

Here’s a video I found that shows both how to sharpen the blade, and how to use the scythe.

You can definitely see why keeping the blade really sharp is going to make a huge difference! Can you imagine trying to do that with a dull blade? šŸ˜€

We’ll have to be super careful using it in the outer yard, though. The ground is uneven, and there may be rocks or sticks hidden in the grass. I would hate to finally be able to use the scythe, only to break it on a hidden rock somewhere!

So the order is in and still being processed. There’s no real hurry, since we can’t even get into the garden shed, yet. The main thing is, it’s ordered and will be here when we need it.

The Re-Farmer

4 thoughts on “Remembered to order: from Lee Valley

  1. I scythe cut roughly 1000 lbs of hay a year for my nags.
    It’s a lot of work. And I’m pretty darn proud of being able to do it.
    You might have to peen the edge, but I’d try honing it first before that (which is what the stone you ordered will do).
    If it needs to be peened, ScytheWorks has a kit on their website for it.
    I’m pretty sure Botan Anderson sells one too.
    Don’t use a grinder. So many people think that’s the best way and all it does is mess up the temper of the steel. Found soooo many gorgeous old scythes on FB marketplace where guys thought a grinder was the way to sharpen and now they’re useless because they won’t hold an edge. šŸ˜„

    I’d love to see a picture of your scythe…I have a serious love for them. šŸ™‚
    I have an older ditch blade with an aluminim snath for cutting rougher stuff like brush and small trees, and an ancient grass blade on an even older wood snath that’s my main worker for hay.
    I long for a good hay blade. And a snath that fits me!
    One day I’ll find one to refurbish. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fear a grinder might have been what my dad used. I won’t know until I dig it out. I remember it being used often, when I was a kid. I know know that many a good blade was ruined that way!!

      It’s possible we already have the tools to peen it, but the sheds are such a disaster, it would probably be easier to buy them, if I need them!

      Also… That’s a lot of scything you do! Awesome!


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