Scythian dreams

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Anna Kettle

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Jul 2, 2008, 4:00:15 PM7/2/08
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A couple of times each year I mow the little meadow at the end of my
garden and every time I roll out extension leads, get weighed down by
the electric strimmer which makes a horrible noise and the strimmer
line breaks and I curse loudly

To save the ears of my ladylike neighbour there has to be a better
solution and I've been considering getting a scythe for a while now.

It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include

Grass scythe (several of these)
Bramble scythe (hopefully dont need this)
Pea scythe
Scythe cradle
Allen scythe
scythette

I'm told that a scythe blade has to be kept very sharp so presumably I
will need some sort of honing stone too?

Anna
--

~ ~ Anna Kettle, Suffolk, England
|""""| ~ Lime plaster repair and conservation
/ ^^ \ // Freehand modelling in lime: overmantels, pargeting etc
|_____ / www.kettlenet.co.uk

John Rumm

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Jul 2, 2008, 4:27:56 PM7/2/08
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Anna Kettle wrote:

> Allen scythe

Probably not at all what you are looking for, but great fun! (if you can
visualise a clipper of the type you might use for a horse - now add a
petrol motor and scale it up such that the clipping bit is 4 foot wide!)

> I'm told that a scythe blade has to be kept very sharp so presumably I
> will need some sort of honing stone too?

Yup, razor sharp and they work really nicely. Personally I am quite
pleased with the petrol brush cutter.

--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
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| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
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S Viemeister

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Jul 2, 2008, 4:42:26 PM7/2/08
to
Anna Kettle wrote:

>
> I'm told that a scythe blade has to be kept very sharp so presumably I
> will need some sort of honing stone too?
>
>

When I use a scythe, I stop frequently to hone the edge. I wet the
stone by keeping it in a plastic holster with water in it. Once you get
the right swing and angle, it works very well. Good exercise, too!

Sheila

Cicero

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Jul 2, 2008, 5:24:05 PM7/2/08
to
On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 20:00:15 +0000, Anna Kettle wrote:

> A couple of times each year I mow the little meadow at the end of my
> garden and every time I roll out extension leads, get weighed down by
> the electric strimmer which makes a horrible noise and the strimmer
> line breaks and I curse loudly
>
> To save the ears of my ladylike neighbour there has to be a better
> solution and I've been considering getting a scythe for a while now.
>
> It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
> Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
> looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
> are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include
>
> Grass scythe (several of these)
> Bramble scythe (hopefully dont need this)
> Pea scythe
> Scythe cradle
> Allen scythe
> scythette
>
> I'm told that a scythe blade has to be kept very sharp so presumably I
> will need some sort of honing stone too?
>
> Anna

==================================
Look for a 'cigar' sharpening stone in a garden centre - used for sickles
so presumably good enough for a scythe.

Cic.

--
===================================
Using Ubuntu Linux
Windows shown the door
===================================

Roger

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Jul 2, 2008, 5:43:11 PM7/2/08
to
The message <486bdc0...@news.individual.net>
from n...@home.co.uk (Anna Kettle) contains these words:

> A couple of times each year I mow the little meadow at the end of my
> garden and every time I roll out extension leads, get weighed down by
> the electric strimmer which makes a horrible noise and the strimmer
> line breaks and I curse loudly

I have an electric strimmer that has remained unused for well over a
decade. If yours is anything like mine I am not surprised by your
reaction. A year or two ago I bought a petrol strimmer which has a
thicker line and performs much better but when I need to cut open areas
out comes the old scythe my father bought back in 1954 to clear our new
garden. I had to buy that a new blade a few years ago and I find the new
2 foot blade much easier to use than the original 3 foot blade.

> To save the ears of my ladylike neighbour there has to be a better
> solution and I've been considering getting a scythe for a while now.

> It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
> Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
> looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
> are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include

> Grass scythe (several of these)
> Bramble scythe (hopefully dont need this)
> Pea scythe
> Scythe cradle
> Allen scythe
> scythette

I am sorry but I don't have a clue about the various types of scythe.
Mine is (AFAIK) a traditional scythe with 2 handgrips on a long curved
shaft.

> I'm told that a scythe blade has to be kept very sharp so presumably I
> will need some sort of honing stone too?

Well sharp anyway. Any good iron mongers will sell you a suitable honing
stone.

The traditional advice for using a scythe is to keep the heel down. What
that really means is that the blade needs to be kept parallel to ground
and as close as possible without actually grounding it. Easier with a
shorter blade. Don't get a modern sickle fitted with a golf club type
handle. Worst of both worlds.

Best of luck with your purchase.

--
Roger Chapman

EricP

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Jul 2, 2008, 5:53:09 PM7/2/08
to
On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 20:00:15 GMT, n...@home.co.uk (Anna Kettle) wrote:

>It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
>Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
>looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
>are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include

The only way to buy a scythe is by trying them all until you find one
that feels *right* for you. If you swing it as if using it, you will
immediately know that it is the one.

Don't immediately go for a light one, it should be balenced and the
weight is important as the heavier it is without discomfort, the less
wellie you will have to provide to cut.

As someone said they are really theraputic to use and can be
enjoyable.

The Medway Handyman

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Jul 2, 2008, 6:55:26 PM7/2/08
to
Anna Kettle wrote:
> A couple of times each year I mow the little meadow at the end of my
> garden and every time I roll out extension leads, get weighed down by
> the electric strimmer which makes a horrible noise and the strimmer
> line breaks and I curse loudly
>
> To save the ears of my ladylike neighbour there has to be a better
> solution and I've been considering getting a scythe for a while now.
>
> It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
> Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
> looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
> are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include
>
> Grass scythe (several of these)
> Bramble scythe (hopefully dont need this)
> Pea scythe
> Scythe cradle
> Allen scythe
> scythette

Presumably a 'scythette' is a female scythe ?

:-)


--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk

'


Mark

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Jul 2, 2008, 7:04:45 PM7/2/08
to

Anna Kettle <n...@home.co.uk> wrote in message
news:486bdc0...@news.individual.net...

> A couple of times each year I mow the little meadow at the end of my
> garden and every time I roll out extension leads, get weighed down by
> the electric strimmer which makes a horrible noise and the strimmer
> line breaks and I curse loudly
>
> To save the ears of my ladylike neighbour there has to be a better
> solution and I've been considering getting a scythe for a while now.
>
> It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
> Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
> looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
> are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include
>
> Grass scythe (several of these)
> Bramble scythe (hopefully dont need this)
> Pea scythe
> Scythe cradle

They are bloody hard work even after you have developed the Knack of using
them, and they don't have an engine!

> Allen scythe
That one does so is much more fun
http://www.lawnmowerworld.co.uk/prod01.htm

There is a much smaller version of the Allen with a B&S engine but the
makers name escapes me at present.

-

John Stumbles

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Jul 2, 2008, 7:25:30 PM7/2/08
to
On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 23:04:45 +0000, Mark wrote:

> There is a much smaller version of the Allen with a B&S engine but the
> makers name escapes me at present.

Villiers?

--
John Stumbles

I can't stand intolerance

Andy Dingley

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Jul 2, 2008, 7:56:13 PM7/2/08
to
On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 21:27:56 +0100, John Rumm
<see.my.s...@nowhere.null> wrote:

>Anna Kettle wrote:
>
>> Allen scythe
>
>Probably not at all what you are looking for, but great fun! (if you can
>visualise a clipper of the type you might use for a horse - now add a
>petrol motor and scale it up such that the clipping bit is 4 foot wide!)

If Boudica did the gardening for uk.rec.engines.stationary ....

(We've got one - terrfiying bloody thing to see it approaching)

Steve Firth

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Jul 2, 2008, 8:42:24 PM7/2/08
to
Anna Kettle <n...@home.co.uk> wrote:

> Allen scythe

If you're seriously thinking of such a thing and you have a large
meadowy area then it's probably worth looking at a Goldoni "Jolly"
two-wheeled tractor. They have a scythe attachment but can do a lot more
with the right attachments.

The attachments include flails (much better than a scythe for rough
grass), industrial strength brushcutter/strimmer, and even circular
saws.

"More than 50 implements including mowers, scythes, chipper, trailers,
brushes, hay raked, roller, dozer, snow blower, pump, saw bench and
cultivators"

http://www.bsgtractorsandmachinery.co.uk/

Follow links for "two wheeled tractor units" and attachments.

John Rumm

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Jul 2, 2008, 10:52:54 PM7/2/08
to

I remember one of the lads at my school finding a big one of these in
one of the gardeners sheds and deciding to rebuild it as an exercise.
Managed it as well - seemed to delight in tuning it up so it propelled
itself so fast you could hardly keep up with it. Making sure you were
behind him when using it was well advised!

meow...@care2.com

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Jul 2, 2008, 11:10:37 PM7/2/08
to

FWIW my experience was about the opposite. I initially went for a
small short handled thing, comfortable and easy to swing about, and it
works. Chap got me to try a full length 2 handed one, and I found it
impossible at first, but with his encouragement I persevered, and once
I got the hang of it it really worked much better. I dont know a lot
about scythes, but after that I'd go for a big heavy long 2 handled
one. Despite being less easy to get the hang of, they cut more ground
per hour with less energy.


NT

David

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Jul 3, 2008, 3:44:10 AM7/3/08
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On Jul 3, 4:10 am, meow2...@care2.com wrote:
> On Jul 2, 10:53 pm, EricP <er...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 20:00:15 GMT, n...@home.co.uk (Anna Kettle) wrote:
> > >It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
> > >Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
> > >looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
> > >are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include
>
> > The only way to buy a scythe is by trying them all until you find one
> > that feels *right* for you.   If you swing it as if using it, you will
> > immediately know that it is the one.
>
> > Don't immediately go for a light one, it should be balenced and the
> > weight is important as the heavier it is without discomfort, the less
> > wellie you will have to provide to cut.
>
> > As someone said they are really theraputic to use and can be
> > enjoyable.
>
> FWIW my experience was about the opposite.

Mine too. Only time I ever tried was when I was younger and not as
fit. Did about 3 hours of scything and the next day I felt as though
I'd been wrung out by a giant.

On the other hand. the bit of land above us could do with a bit of a
tidy and I think the small grass hook will do the job - was thinking
about buying a strimmer, but as usual, the group gets me thinking of
other ways of doing things. The bit of land isn't very big and is on
a very steep slope with stumps etc. so a scythe isn't an option.

If you do buy the scythe, don't forget the leather gaiters, smock and
broad brimmed hat (straw in mouth optional) Oh, and an earthenware jug
of cider.

D

Mary Fisher

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Jul 3, 2008, 6:53:24 AM7/3/08
to

"EricP" <er...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:rutn64t4cmsfotvh7...@4ax.com...

> On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 20:00:15 GMT, n...@home.co.uk (Anna Kettle) wrote:
>

>
> As someone said they are really theraputic to use and can be
> enjoyable.

Also they are quiet and free to run and don't damage the environment.

Don't take up much space either.

Mary


Mary Fisher

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Jul 3, 2008, 6:54:14 AM7/3/08
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"David" <readt...@mailinator.com> wrote in message
news:3e4fae39-ddc7-4907...@c65g2000hsa.googlegroups.com...

D

That's Anna's everyday work gear!

Mary


The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 3, 2008, 7:42:17 AM7/3/08
to
Anna Kettle wrote:
> A couple of times each year I mow the little meadow at the end of my
> garden and every time I roll out extension leads, get weighed down by
> the electric strimmer which makes a horrible noise and the strimmer
> line breaks and I curse loudly
>
> To save the ears of my ladylike neighbour there has to be a better
> solution and I've been considering getting a scythe for a while now.
>
> It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
> Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
> looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
> are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include
>
> Grass scythe (several of these)
> Bramble scythe (hopefully dont need this)
> Pea scythe
> Scythe cradle
> Allen scythe
> scythette
>
> I'm told that a scythe blade has to be kept very sharp so presumably I
> will need some sort of honing stone too?
>
> Anna
Yes, and wear stout boots up to the knees at least.

I've seen a frog neatly bisected by a sharp sickle..

There is an art to scything, and I haven't got it. I use a motorised
strimmer.


The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 3, 2008, 7:44:51 AM7/3/08
to
Mary Fisher wrote:
> "EricP" <er...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:rutn64t4cmsfotvh7...@4ax.com...
>> On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 20:00:15 GMT, n...@home.co.uk (Anna Kettle) wrote:
>>
>
>> As someone said they are really theraputic to use and can be
>> enjoyable.
>
> Also they are quiet and free to run and don't damage the environment.
>

Tell that to the grass. And the bisected frogs in it.


Prat.

> Don't take up much space either.
>

Slightly MORE than a strimmer, actually.
> Mary
>
>

George (dicegeorge)

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Jul 3, 2008, 8:28:45 AM7/3/08
to
yesterday a passenger wiped condensation
off the inside of my car windscreen with her hands,
she had on 6 rings,
now there are scratches on the inside of the windscreen
which show up at certain angles to the sun,
how can i polish them off?

--

[george]


stillno...@gmail.com

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Jul 3, 2008, 8:35:19 AM7/3/08
to

Jewellers Rouge perhaps ? or ask at a windscreen repair
shop...Autoglass? then hand the bill to your passenger .

Phil

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Jul 3, 2008, 8:38:45 AM7/3/08
to
On 3 Jul, 13:28, "George \(dicegeorge\)" <dicegeo...@xxxhotmail.com>
wrote:

Use a scythe.

Mary Fisher

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Jul 3, 2008, 8:46:10 AM7/3/08
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"Phil" <philip_b...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:4d78aa97-a130-4663...@56g2000hsm.googlegroups.com...

Use a scythe.

On the passenger.

Mary


Mary Fisher

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Jul 3, 2008, 8:47:11 AM7/3/08
to

"George (dicegeorge)" <diceg...@xxxhotmail.com> wrote in message
news:g4iglq$2kuf$1...@energise.enta.net...

You had condensation on your windscreen at this time of year?

What WERE you doing?

Mary


stillno...@gmail.com

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Jul 3, 2008, 8:55:58 AM7/3/08
to

Trust you .....lol

Message has been deleted

Rod

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Jul 3, 2008, 11:13:43 AM7/3/08
to
stillno...@gmail.com wrote:
<>
> Jewellers Rouge perhaps ? or ask at a windscreen repair
> shop...Autoglass? then hand the bill to your passenger .

As used by the oft-mentioned Rouge Traders? :-)

--
Rod

Hypothyroidism is a seriously debilitating condition with an insidious
onset.
Although common it frequently goes undiagnosed.
<www.thyromind.info> <www.thyroiduk.org> <www.altsupportthyroid.org>

gilli

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Jul 3, 2008, 2:44:46 PM7/3/08
to
On 2 Jul, 21:00, n...@home.co.uk (Anna Kettle) wrote:
> A couple of times each year I mow the little meadow at the end of my
> garden and every time I roll out extension leads, get weighed down by
> the electric strimmer which makes a horrible noise and the strimmer
> line breaks and I curse loudly
>
> To save the ears of my ladylike neighbour there has to be a better
> solution and I've been considering getting a scythe for a while now.
>
> It happens that there are loads of scythes in my local auction on
> Saturday so I might go and bid. Does anyone know what I should be
> looking for in particular? Does one buy a scythe to fit the person, or
> are they general purpose items? The lot descriptions include
>
> Grass scythe (several of these)
> Bramble scythe (hopefully dont need this)
> Pea scythe
> Scythe cradle
> Allen scythe
> scythette
>
> I'm told that a scythe blade has to be kept very sharp so presumably I
> will need some sort of honing stone too?
>
> Anna
> --
>
>             ~ ~            Anna Kettle, Suffolk, England  
>  |""""|    ~            Lime plaster repair and conservation
>  / ^^ \ //     Freehand modelling in lime: overmantels, pargeting etc
> |_____ /                        www.kettlenet.co.uk

HI,
I would choose the scythe which allows you most effectively to adjust
the
hand holds to accommodate your height and reach and style of swing.

Good footwear and a studied appropriate posture are important
particularly when starting.

Check new prices..quite high now..might be worth buying two different
ones if the
price is right.
There was an article on scythes in Smallholder mag a few months back.

I wish you best of luck..I expect it to be a satisfying activity once
you get the
technique needed for you.

The Natural Philosopher

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Jul 3, 2008, 3:57:21 PM7/3/08
to
No, just wait until the windscreen falls to pieces.

And next time leave a tart like that at home.

The Medway Handyman

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Jul 3, 2008, 4:46:39 PM7/3/08
to

You have lead a sheltered life Mary. Female passenger, lots of jewellery,
steamed up car....

Andy Dingley

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Jul 3, 2008, 6:52:11 PM7/3/08
to
On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 13:35:19 +0100, stillno...@gmail.com wrote:

>Jewellers Rouge perhaps ?

Rouge is soft and won't touch glass. You need cerium oxide here,
probably on a Dremel with a hard felt bob. Small quantities are
available cheaply from http://www.quicktest.co.uk (they sell excellent
magnifiers too).

Practice on a wineglass first.

EricP

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Jul 3, 2008, 7:04:41 PM7/3/08
to
On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 20:57:21 +0100, The Natural Philosopher <a@b.c>
wrote:

Perhaps he likes tarts. The jammy ones are delicious!

George (dicegeorge)

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Jul 3, 2008, 7:12:16 PM7/3/08
to
http://www.lowimpact.org/topics_scything.htm
http://www.lowimpact.org/hackney_course_outline_scything.htm
The course is run by Simon Fairlie of Chapter 7.

We use Austrian scythes - the blades are recognized around the world as
being of the highest quality. They are lighter, nimbler, more elegantly
formed and easier for the novice to sharpen, yet no more expensive than
traditional English scythes. However if you have an English / American style
scythe we can advise you how to set it up.

--

[george]

~ [g] ~
~ geo...@dicenews.com ~
~ 07970 378 572 ~
~ www.dicegeorge.com ~
~ (c)2008 ~
~ ~


"

geoff

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Jul 3, 2008, 7:13:31 PM7/3/08
to
In message <gnmq64hmu0udrccam...@4ax.com>, EricP
<er...@blueyonder.co.uk> writes

Shall we leave your menstrual fantasies out of this ?

--
geoff

Andy Hall

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Jul 3, 2008, 7:43:37 PM7/3/08
to

Not bad. Only took three posts to get to base level this time :-)

At least nobody has suggested the use of AG to fix the screen (or the tart)..


Chris J Dixon

unread,
Jul 4, 2008, 2:41:01 AM7/4/08
to
George (dicegeorge) wrote:

Wouldn't it be just fate if you got a big crack in the screen too
;-)

Chris
--
Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
ch...@cdixon.me.uk

Have dancing shoes, will ceilidh.

stillno...@gmail.com

unread,
Jul 4, 2008, 7:15:42 AM7/4/08
to
On Fri, 4 Jul 2008 00:43:37 +0100, Andy Hall <an...@hall.nospam>
wrote:

Err....I think you'll find I did mention AG in my first reply :-)

Anna Kettle

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Jul 5, 2008, 4:20:00 PM7/5/08
to
On Fri, 4 Jul 2008 00:12:16 +0100, "George \(dicegeorge\)"
<diceg...@xxxhotmail.com> wrote:

>http://www.lowimpact.org/topics_scything.htm
>http://www.lowimpact.org/hackney_course_outline_scything.htm
>The course is run by Simon Fairlie of Chapter 7.
>
>We use Austrian scythes - the blades are recognized around the world as
>being of the highest quality. They are lighter, nimbler, more elegantly
>formed and easier for the novice to sharpen, yet no more expensive than
>traditional English scythes. However if you have an English / American style
>scythe we can advise you how to set it up.

Thankyou all for your comments - and I may be speaking to you again
George ...

I collared several old boys* at the auction room and had them
demonstrating scythe swinging actions. Loadsa fun! Also was given some
good advice to avoid any scythe with woodworm holes in it. Several of
them had hairy tales to tell about Allen scythes so I am glad that my
meadow is small enough that I'm not even tempted

I was outbid on a couple of the grass scythes but I was privately
offered a scythe by one of the old boys and according to its owner it
is better than any of the ones in the auction, has been sitting in his
garage for ages and will cost me just twenty pounds, so if all goes
well I will be wielding a scythe by next week

*Thats a Norfolkism

Anna
--
Anna Kettle


Lime plaster repair and conservation

Freehand modelling in lime: overmantels, pargeting etc

Tel:    (+44)  01359 230642
Mob:  (+44)  07976 649862
Please look at my website for examples of my work at:
www.kettlenet.co.uk  

George (dicegeorge)

unread,
Jul 7, 2008, 6:48:14 AM7/7/08
to
simon fairlie is the expert on scything, not me,
i know him through
http://www.tlio.org.uk/

Chapter 7 is partially supported by the sale of hand-forged Austrian
scythes, which are lighter and easier to sharpen than conventional English
sythes - click her for a link to www.thescytheshop.co.uk to find out more
about these fine tools

--

[george]

~ [g] ~
~ geo...@dicenews.com ~
~ 07970 378 572 ~
~ www.dicegeorge.com ~
~ (c)2008 ~
~ ~


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