John Todd

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since May 02, 2016
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Recent posts by John Todd

I got mine from Scythe Supply.  I'm in the USA, though.

I just wanted to chime in about Scythe Supply's quality and customer service.  I'm very happy with the outfit I got and support after the sale.

Had mine 5 years now.  Never a problem, even after the blade ate a T-post.  It still was repairable by me at home.

As for the grips coming loose, you're supposed to glue them in with good wood glue.  Mine have never budged at all.

Dry fit the grips and go take a few swings.  Adjust as needed and take a few more swings.  My handles are not actually 90 degrees out from the snath, but cocked slightly.  Fits me like a glove.
7 months ago
Once you determine the correct angles, draw a pencil line across on the handles down to the snath.  This straight line will be your guideline when gluing and tapping them in for good.

I only glued them.  They have never shifted.  I used "Gorilla Glue" for wood.  Lots of glue on both sides, use a pad and a hammer to GENTLY tap them down super-solid.  Wipe off the excess glue.  Check the guideline for alignment and correct if needed.

Let them cure for at least 48 hours!

Both of my handles are cantered - but I don't want to tell you which way as not to influence you.  Gotta do this one yourself, I'm afraid.  But you'll get it.

Also, scythes cut better on wet grass, so try scything in the morning when the dew is still there.  Also, dead or dry vegetation is harder to scythe and may not be the best indicator of what's going on.

1 year ago
Yes, the end down there will work it's way loose frequently until it gets "broken in".  After a little while it'll stay locked in place like it should.  I always take the wrench with me into the field.  If I hit something or snag on a clump of grass, it is possible to knock it out of angle.  Then I need the wrench to fix it.  Which is then followed by a quick stoning!

Also, don't advance too much when scything.  I like to take 2-3" bites.  More than that and I tend to slow down slower than the blade can cut.

My preferred angle is just slightly above closed, as in, very slightly open.  Still looks like a closed hafting angle until you look closely at it.

I never oiled my handles or anything on the snath.  The handles have a darker, 'coated' look after 4 years of use.

1 year ago
Wanted to say, about fitting the handles:

Smack them on real tight (no glue), and go out and make practice strokes.  You'll very quickly learn where the contraption is 'pulling' your tendons and muscles.  Correct to avoid that!

My handles are slightly cantered and not perpendicular to the snath.
1 year ago
Good on you!

I've really enjoyed my scythe outfit from Scythe Supply.

Let me tell you this:  The scythe is a perfect example of the old adage that says: "Let the tool do the work."

It really is worth it to learn to scythe correctly.  When you do it right, you'll feel worked but not overly tired*.  If you do it wrong, you'll feel overwork, sore, and bushed.

Think "zen", if you will.  There is a certain "place" where you are scything correctly and it almost seems to good to be true, because it isn't difficult.  It just flows.

But it is true.  Proper use of the scythe means a lot less work than most people think.  My wife was watching me scythe and said it to me: "Wow, John you're really working hard!".  But, I wasn't.  I noticed the same thing when watching Youtube videos.  They really look like they are working harder than they are.  What the person above said about 'leverage' is true.  With a scythe, leverage either works for you or against you. Either way, leverage is very powerful.

As for peening, watch some Youtube videos, and relax.  Lots of easy, small hits is the trick.  No need to bang away.


* = couch potatoes will feel overworked, but that's our dang fault!

1 year ago
I tell you from experience ... all those things can be cooked in a pressure cooker.  As for the foaming, put some oil in there before you lock it down.

And there have been times I've forgotten the oil, and when I released pressure, hot foamy "bean water" spewed out and ran down the sides.  A bit of a mess, not something to repeat, but not dangerous.  Just be sure to clean the lid/valves afterwards.

EDIT:  And never overfill it!  Some things do expand, so cook in smaller batches.
2 years ago
This is very interesting.  Can you tell me more of what you've learned or done since posting this?
2 years ago
I got mine at Scythe Supply.  Never an issue, and always friendly customer support.  I bought one of the outfits.

A ditch blade sounds right for what you are saying, but keep in mind, nothing ever works in real life as good as it does in our heads.  That's why I started with a ditch blade 3 years ago, but this year I added a bush blade for the heavier stuff.  The lighter stuff was heavier than I thought.

And yes, they absolutely must be made to his measurements.

Hope this helps!
2 years ago
This thread keeps getting awesomer and awesomer!  

Keep'em coming, folks!

Let's start throwing in links to pages/articles/videos on non-canning preservation.  We could turn this thread into a mini library.


2 years ago