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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Ancient Tools

To day I got a package from BC canada It contained two tools for harvesting agricultural crops. One tool is a scythe blade the other is a sickle. I will be using the sickle to harvest the barley, oats, wheat, and rye. The scythe is for mowing grass for hay. Both tools were made by hand in Europe and are made the European way. The scythe blade was made 40+ years ago in a German scythe factory. The factory is no longer running but there is still a supply of new never been used blades. I'm not sure when the sickle was made but it is an old European style. Both blades are kept sharp by peening the cutting edge and honing it with a whetstone. The American stile scythes and sickles were kept sharp by grinding the cutting edge of the blade on a rotating sharpening stone and then honed with a whetstone also. This wasted a little bit of steel each time it was sharpened after much use the blade became to thin to sharpen any more and was thrown out. Peening the cutting edge draws the steel thin instead grinding it thin this is much less wasteful and the blade under proper care and use can last a life time. Another difference in the European scythe compared with the American is in the snath (proper name for a scythe handle) it is straighter and lighter weight then the American which is heavy and has a S curve to it.
Also I planted the clover seed today. It is raining and I hope this will help settle the seed so it sprouts good.
Here is a wealth of information on the European scythe at http://www.scytheconnection.com
Also here is the link to the website of the man I got My scythe from http://scytheworks.ca/
A close up view of the scythe blade. The pattern of dots are hammer marks this keeps the blade under tension so it dose not bend when in use
The scythe blade it is 85 cm long
The sickle
Three beautiful Canadian postage stamps that were on the package!
And a bunch more in memory of the 2010 winter Olympics at Vancouver Island!


Miranda said...


That is SO cool!! That sickle looks really scary! :-) And i can't believe they were both made by hand!! WOW! Thanks for showing us your new tools!


Anonymous said...

Your picutures and post make these tools as lovely as the music I hear when your out in the field giving them a life.