Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Scything  (Read 276 times)

sandspider

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Bristol
Scything
« on: June 27, 2020, 09:17:21 am »
Hi all

Toying with the idea of getting a scythe to mow a bit of paddock, the odd edge of garden etc. I don't want to spend lots of money in case it's not for me. Is there any point buying any scythe that's roughly the right size for me and giving it a go? Or for it to work does the scythe need to be fitted to me properly? Can anyone recommend a place to get advice, and a functional scythe at a reasonable cost?

Thanks.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Scything
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 12:05:32 pm »
https://scythecymru.co.uk/


I think this is where we bought our scythe. We had previously used 'any old scythe' but decided to get one which fitted us both.  If your scythe is wrong for you then it is difficult to get a good sweep, and hard on the back - you would certainly have no chance of doing a day's work with a badly fitting scythe, and even for just fettling your edges it would be unnecessarily hard work.  I can't see prices on the website, but it didn't break the bank
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Scything
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 12:36:54 pm »
If the scythe doesn't fit properly, isn't set up to cut properly the type of undergrowth you want it to and is too heavy, I am sure you will decide scything isn't for you very quickly Sandspider.


I bought an Austrian Scythe in France which came with French instructions obviously, so relied heavily on information kindly provided by Simon Farlie in Dorset, who also sells Austrian scythes. My blade cuts hay well, but nothing too heavy and nothing much finer. Sharpened simply with two grades of whetstone works well for me. You need to be aware that there are effectively three types of blade and edge, none of which will do everything.


We are now setting aside areas and cutting them very late to benefit the insect life. With our equipment the only way to cut those areas is by scythe, which seems to be very good exercise for my back.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Scything
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2020, 02:20:11 pm »
We have an Austrian scythe, bought from our local reseller (see Simon's Scythe Shop website for more info, including a list of all the resellers across the country), and think it an excellent purchase. 
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

sandspider

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Bristol
Re: Scything
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2020, 04:15:05 pm »
Thanks all. I was hoping I could get one scythe to do meadow, weeds, brambles, even small trees; sounds like that's not going to be possible. I already have a small tractor and topper, but it's not subtle on corners, and I have a brush cutter, but they're both noisy and fuel consuming and a bit of a chore to get ready to go.
The price for a starter scythe kit seems to be £120 plus, so possibly not worth it. Will keep my eye open for a second hand one that's fairly suitable and give it a try, appreciating that it wouldn't be as good as one that's ideal for me.

GribinIsaf

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Montgomeryshire
    • Gribin Isaf
Re: Scything
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 04:48:33 pm »
I was hoping I could get one scythe to do meadow, weeds, brambles, even small trees; sounds like that's not going to be possible

I got a scythe with  two blades from https://scythecymru.co.uk/

Absolutely brilliant - big blade for the meadow and a "ditch" blade for rough work.
An Austrian scythe comes adjustable so you can set it up to fit your height

« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 08:12:37 am by GribinIsaf »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Scything
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2020, 05:34:03 pm »
Thanks all. I was hoping I could get one scythe to do meadow, weeds, brambles, even small trees; sounds like that's not going to be possible.

You might need 2 or even three blades, and to learn how to adjust the blade, but the snath is the same for all uses.  So yes, with the Austrian that is exactly what you do : one snath, and a blade or blades according to the work you want it to do.  We have a short ditching blade and manage all that we want to do with that.  If I was going to cut a meadow for hay I would probably buy a short grass blade, (which would be longer than the short ditching blade but not as long as a bigger / stronger person would manage.)  And I decided to not get a bush blade but to accept that some things I simply won't manage with my scythe, and that thickets of docks or reshes I have to go at a little bit at a time.
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

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Scything
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2020, 06:48:50 pm »
Hi all

Toying with the idea of getting a scythe to mow a bit of paddock, the odd edge of garden etc. I don't want to spend lots of money in case it's not for me. Is there any point buying any scythe that's roughly the right size for me and giving it a go? Or for it to work does the scythe need to be fitted to me properly? Can anyone recommend a place to get advice, and a functional scythe at a reasonable cost?

Thanks.
I bought my scythe from ebay for £30 and its fantastic! Don't waste money on £200 stuff thats exactly the same
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.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Scything
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2020, 07:34:45 pm »
Hi all

Toying with the idea of getting a scythe to mow a bit of paddock, the odd edge of garden etc. I don't want to spend lots of money in case it's not for me. Is there any point buying any scythe that's roughly the right size for me and giving it a go? Or for it to work does the scythe need to be fitted to me properly? Can anyone recommend a place to get advice, and a functional scythe at a reasonable cost?

Thanks.
I bought my scythe from ebay for £30 and its fantastic! Don't waste money on £200 stuff thats exactly the same

Well unless you got an Austrian for £30 off eBay (in which case, Well done!  :D), it will not be exactly the same.

The Austrian snath has lots of adjustment and is very ergonomic. 

If you have managed to find a cheap scythe that is the right size in every direction for you and is comfortable to use, I am very happy for you, but I don't think you can expect that every scythe everyone buys off eBay will fit its buyer so well, sadly.  ;)
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

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Scything
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2020, 11:44:55 pm »
We have an Austrian scythe, bought from our local reseller (see Simon's Scythe Shop website for more info, including a list of all the resellers across the country), and think it an excellent purchase.

Oops yes, that's where we got our scythe, not the link I gave further back.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

sandspider

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Bristol
Re: Scything
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2020, 01:42:38 pm »
Many thanks, all.
£30 on Ebay would be perfect, but I fear you got lucky, Macro! Didn't think I'd fine one to fit. Will keep my eyes open and see what I can find.

 

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