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Where can I get a good inexpensive Sythe?

                      


Joined: Jun 23, 2011
Posts: 5
Hi,
I saw one of Paul Wheaton's youtube videos on sythes and got to wondering where could I find one anyone have any ideas? I've already checked amazon and ebay but I'm looking for something that won't break the bank yet will do the job (ikn maybe somewhere under 40-50 bucks?)

Thanks for any help you can give.
Brice Moss


Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
    
    2
you're talking about a peice of forged steel two foot long and a handle that needs to fit you well to work, adjust your expectations for a new product into the $150-200 range. and know that you are going to spend a bit more on a peening jig or anvil, and whetstone to keep the blade in shape.

this thread contains several links to companies selling scythes online. http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/2172_0/homestead/scythe-vs-string-trimmer

if you just want to try one out you may be able to find a used one, if you live in farm country try some thrift or antique stores, sometimes they have a stack of them in the corner
                      


Joined: Jun 23, 2011
Posts: 5
Thank you for responding. l'd like to get my hands on one to see how it feels before buying a new one. I'll keep looking for a used one or something priced fairly low just for starters.
Brice Moss


Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
    
    2
you could try posting up in your local regional forum and see if you could find someone living near you who already uses one
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
MrsAMiller wrote:
Hi,
I saw one of Paul Wheaton's youtube videos on sythes and got to wondering where could I find one anyone have any ideas? I've already checked amazon and ebay but I'm looking for something that won't break the bank yet will do the job (ikn maybe somewhere under 40-50 bucks?)

Thanks for any help you can give.

Mine cost $119.00 from Lee Vally tools.  It comes complete with a blade (55CM) a snath, a whetstone and a waterproof stone holder.  The snath is adjustable.  If you don't like it I bet you won't have trouble selling it.  I bought two Hickory Bow Staves last night and am going to make two custom adjustable snaths because I fully intend to get a 90CM blade for harvesting hay.  The Lee Vally scythe is not the best but will serve me well until I can afford a better one.  Then it will become a "ditch" blade.  I learned how to use a scythe when I was a youngster back in the '50's.  I had forgotten how well they work for cutting tall grasses until Paul reminded all of us.
PS
I so not completely agree that the very hard steel blades of American Scythes cannot be sharpened effectively but learning the angle may take some time.  I have a true temper sickle that came with a 36" hickory handle.  I sharpened that blade so sharp that grass sees it coming and uproots itself LOL.  Actually getting used to such a tiny angle when sharpening takes some practice.


"When there is no life in the soil it is just dirt."
"MagicDave"
Ken Peavey
steward

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2221
Location: FL
    
  58
I dropped $160 for mine.  30" seymour hay scythe, hickory snath, and the iron connector thingamajig.  The snath is a big one, curved in three dimensions, with a head about 3" thick.  Handles are adjustable in any position to fit your desire.  It's a peach.  My mower broke down last week, not sure what the problem is.  So I'm relying on the scythe to keep the grass out front down.  If it grows too much, I let the bull out.

Cheap is a term that does not often accompany the term Good.


Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
http://farmwhisperer.com
                      


Joined: Jun 23, 2011
Posts: 5
Thanks to all for your very helpful suggestions. I am also curious to know how a sythe would do on a lawn. Where we are right now that's the main thing that we have to cut. When we move we'll have to deal with taller grass and thicker brush so if a sythe would do well on "mowing grass" we'd probably end up needing two types.
Thanks so much again for responding to my inquiry.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
Ken Peavey wrote:
I dropped $160 for mine.  30" seymour hay scythe, hickory snath, and the iron connector thingamajig.  The snath is a big one, curved in three dimensions, with a head about 3" thick.  Handles are adjustable in any position to fit your desire.  It's a peach.  My mower broke down last week, not sure what the problem is.  So I'm relying on the scythe to keep the grass out front down.  If it grows too much, I let the bull out.

Cheap is a term that does not often accompany the term Good.

I sold my rotary mower and bought a push reel mower 10 or 12 years ago.  I bought the scythe last year.  I sold my push mower in May.    I have 1/2 acre of Alfalfa growing and am hoping to get a 90CM blade before it is time to harvest my first crop.  I can do it with this 55CM but I would rather be able to take a bigger bite on each sweep.  I am ripe with anticipation of my hickory bow staves arriving.  I set up my carving bench in the yard this afternoon and then honed my draw knives and wood chisels.  I haven't shaved a stave in a really long time.  Maybe I will find nice Osage Orange stave to build another bow, some Port Orford cedar blanks for arrows and go deer hunting this fall too.  It surely seems as if I was born 2 centuries too late.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
MrsAMiller wrote:
Thanks to all for your very helpful suggestions. I am also curious to know how a sythe would do on a lawn. Where we are right now that's the main thing that we have to cut. When we move we'll have to deal with taller grass and thicker brush so if a sythe would do well on "mowing grass" we'd probably end up needing two types.
Thanks so much again for responding to my inquiry.

This video should answer your question about lawn mowing although that Snath is too short for that guy using it.  He should have to flex his knees but not bend over like that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru-k6sCxyBg

That may be what he prefers but I like standing erect as though I were doing an exaggerated walking motion like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njHsmhAEoq4&feature=related
Ken Peavey
steward

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2221
Location: FL
    
  58
It surely seems as if I was born 2 centuries too late.

+1
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
PS:  Using a scythe is actually rhythmically relaxing.  Let the tool do the work.  If it is sharp is will cut through even thick grass like a hot knife through butter.

http://www.scytheconnection.com/adp/video/series1.html
                    


Joined: Jun 01, 2010
Posts: 18
Ken Peavey wrote:
Cheap is a term that does not often accompany the term Good.


I second this sentiment especially w/regard to mowing.  I can only recommend two vendors: Botan Anderson @ http://onescytherevolution.com/ and the Vidos @ http://scytheworks.ca/ .  Neither of these vendors is cheap.  I mow about 20 acres a year, own >10 blades, and now make my own snaths.  The Vidos have been particularly helpful and their website http://scytheconnection.com/ is an invaluable resource for mastering the scythe.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
I bought a "cheap" scythe and am sorry I wasted my money.  Last night I decided to invest in something I can be happy with while I "dance across the yard."  I am still planning on building two snaths with the hickory bow staves I ordered.  That way I can adjust them to fit different blades for different cutting chores.  If you have one snath and a couple of blades every time you change blades you have to set it up for that blade.  I am thinking about advertising "silent organic lawn care" to generate some extra income plus it will give me more greenery to keep my compost pile hot and it could also be more food for my rabbits.  Having three different scythes will allow me to be more efficient with my time.  After looking through the blades a Scytheworks and deciding on a snath the total comes to $190.  That seems fair for a lawn mower that never needs gas, oil, or a tune up.  
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15227
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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