There is little rest even during winter for scythes, except on rainy and snowy days. This is the best time to check if the blades require more attention than the regular peening and cleaning. This is when we take care of more serious repairs. It is wise to disassemble the blade from the snath if we are not going to use it for a few days, especially those humid days, because we all know that humidity swells wood. If the blade still attached,
the ring will not allow to expand naturally the part of the snath that is covered (by the ring itself) as a result, it will become tight and weaken the wood at that point. This is obviously something to consider all year round, every time the snath gets wet.
Winter is a good time to grab an axe and a brush axe
and trim trees, clearing and eliminating all those saplings and new trees growing around stones and fences. And of course, at the same time we always look for those branches that might become a potential handle for axes, hay rakes, forks, etc.
Because during winter most trees do not have leaves, it is easy to spot what we have to cut and where. Also the whole process is easier since, without the leaves, brunches are much lighter. Meanwhile growth is almost stopped during winter, and the wood gets tighter and harder. As a result, the wood we cut at this time shrinks less that what we cut in late spring or summer.
Speaking of winter projects, here is one of mine: attach some handles on these totally different brush axes.
The big one is called a kaiser or sling blade (yes, like the movie), and is double-sided, with a sharp bevel on both sides and weighing about 750 grams. You can easily cut, with one stroke, branches the size of an arm. It is a terrific tool.
The little one weighing 430 grams, has a hook that, (no is not for scratching your back) when you are cutting brush, allows you to hold back the tangled branches that sometimes fall toward you and position them at the right distance for the next stroke.
Untill the next project, lets take the shirt off, relax and watch soccer…
That is a good photograph of the scythe blades.
The third blade from the bottom, is that one narrow through use or was it made that way?
Joe, that one was my father’s last blade. When I saw it a few months ago it was very rusted and I still in the process of restoring it. it has a LOT of use!!! and the little waves you see near the point, it is where the honing stone landed every single time, (very consistent on the same exact point)
Good observation Joe.