NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe  (Read 1172 times)

GribinIsaf

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Montgomeryshire
    • Gribin Isaf
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2019, 09:24:03 am »
Further to peening Chris - still not cheap but less than 60 Euros here:

https://scythecymru.co.uk/product/peening-jig/

- but I guess carriage to France may make it nearly that cost!

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2019, 10:48:51 am »
Thanks for that link- the video is particularly helpful. With the current exchange rate it would work out cheaper I think, but postage from the UK to France can be problematic, to the extent that some suppliers won't ship here.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2019, 12:14:18 pm »
I have an old style scythe, often tempted for an Austrian, just the price is a bit daunting.
Confused as to your description of whetstones Chris, any chance of photos ?
I seem to remember a stone crumbling when it got wet, I now use a cigar shaped stone, probably only a cheapy thing from years ago, quite coarse and I never wet it.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 12:17:17 pm by Penninehillbilly »

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2019, 12:43:10 pm »
postage from the UK to France can be problematic, to the extent that some suppliers won't ship here.
Why????
I send parcels to France every day!!!
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2019, 01:10:50 pm »
They are both the same size P, about ½" thick and 8" long in a lozenge shape, the 4 straight thin sides are used for the sharpening. One is from a charity shop in England and the other is French, still made in the Pyrenees near here (last manufacturer left in France).They are natural stones which last about 4X as long as Carborundum equivalent. The water acts as a lubricant and stops the microscopic pores in the stone from clogging up, which then means it doesn't sharpen. I don't know if you can use Carborundum stones with water? I also have a cigar stone which is incredibly coarse and has never been used by me- don't know what they were for?


The coarser the stone the rougher the edge, so 100 grit will be OK for rough stuff with a short blade and grass needs a very fine edge so a 400 grit stone. So really my 400 for hay is unnecessarily fine (and I was told when I bought it that 200 would be OK), but I do use it for other blades that need it.


You will often see Ebay or Amazon ads with 'doesn't ship to France' . I suspect the problem may be the Post Offices' arrangement with La Poste?

GribinIsaf

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Montgomeryshire
    • Gribin Isaf
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2019, 08:01:55 pm »
Scythe Cymru have France on their drop down list of postage destinations - not cheap though

Penninehillbilly - you can see pictures of the sort of sharpening stones Chris is talking about (I think) here:

https://scythecymru.co.uk/sharpening-stones-and-stone-holders/

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2019, 08:30:41 pm »

You will often see Ebay or Amazon ads with 'doesn't ship to France' . I suspect the problem may be the Post Offices' arrangement with La Poste?
I would think those sellers probably don't send abroad at all
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2019, 06:56:32 am »
My stones are the shape of the Rozutec on the link. The sharpening edges need to be straight I think, to get a consistent angle along the edge- I can imagine the curved stones being difficult to use because you would need to twist your wrist as well as draw down straight. The strokes are overlapping diagonal and initially, because the blade is curved, the contact of the stone isn't full, just on the edges. Sure as time goes on the stone will wear to the same curve as the blade.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2019, 10:31:43 am »
Thanks Chris and 'Grib',
May look at Austrian scythes again, the old one is too heavy for me, not used it for years ?

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2019, 11:34:05 am »
If I remember correctly Penninehillbilly, the Austrian Scythe is about half the weight of an English one, so that's the way to go if weight is an issue. To be honest the issue I had was the abdominal work needed when the blade starts to drag at the end of the cut. That somewhat put me off the idea in the first week as it was painful, but now I don't notice it at all. Still hard work though.


Problem here is shortly after sunrise the dew burns off and cutting stops as the blade sticks with sap. I'm going to try and extend the cutting time each morning by washing the blade every few metres or so with a sponge and water. This may also work when there is no dew at all which, at the moment, means I cut with an extended hedge trimmer- works really well but it's heavy.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2019, 01:23:28 pm »
the issue I had was the abdominal work needed when the blade starts to drag at the end of the cut. That somewhat put me off the idea in the first week as it was painful, but now I don't notice it at all. Still hard work though.


The trick is to buy a blade the right length for your frame and fitness!  I've just bought my first Austrian scythe, and have opted for a 55cm ditching blade.  If I get into it and want to, I could progress to a 60cm or 65cm at a later date, and a grass blade if I find I want to actually mow. At present I am wanting to manage docks, thistles, and rushes, and the shorter ditching blade is better for that.  But there would be no shame in having a short blade for grass, if that's what suits your frame and fitness.

The chap who gave us some tuition when we went to collect the scythe did emphasise that cutting when the grass (or plants) is moist was far easier than later in the day.  And that one should mow only for as long as one's level of fitness allowed, so only for half an hour or so at first, building up with practise.  Of course I enthusiastically scythed on for over an hour the following afternoon (when scything is hard work in the dry heat) and did pay for it a bit the next day!  lol

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: My experience of using an Austrian Scythe
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2019, 11:40:55 am »
No dew at all this morning and the hay is dry right to the ground, it's Sunday so it's our policy not to create machinery noises- I thought I'd give the sponge and water wash a try. It was a complete success! Extended the scything period to 2 ½ hours, which was the point at which the sun came out- it gets too hot to work very quickly afterwards. I also thought the dry hay cut easier than wet, which contradicts what I have read.

 

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