Scythe Peening

Do you love mowing but not peening? Has the ease of cutting declined despite your best efforts with the whetstone? Is the idea of hitting your scythe with a hammer making you shudder? Do the family dread the noise every time they see your hammer and anvil? 

If this is you, why not have your blades professionally peened and sharped so you can focus on the pleasure of being outside with a razor sharp scythe.

Peening Scythes

Scythe peeningThe key to efficient, enjoyable scything is sharpness which starts with peening the blade. The edge of the scythe is hammered to draw out the metal to the correct thickness and angle. Without this, your blade will become stub-nosed and ineffective causing frustration to your mowing despite your best efforts to sharpen. With correct peening the edge can be fine enough to whisper through the most delicate meadow grass or tough to cut through weeds.

Peening a scythe is a skill that’s not quickly learned and for many people hitting their precious scythe blade is a daunting prospect; lack of care can cause waves, cracks and worse damage to the edge. With only a single blade or pair of blades, it is difficult to gain sufficient practise for real proficiency. Professional peening ensures your blade is in top condition so you can concentrate on the mowing itself.

peening equipmentI discovered peened while haymaking in France in 2001 and have since studied with the Canadian scythe guru Peter Vido as well as experts from Europe including Gerhard Wagner, ex-technical manager of the Austrian Schrockenfux scythe works. Each year I peen dozens of blades in preparation for my Learn to Mow courses, providing my students with blades which are sharper than from the factory. All this means I can bring your blade back to pristine condition. For most people a single peening will be sufficient for an entire season of pleasurable mowing.

Peening Service Prices

  • Cleaning the edge: 5p/cm
  • Peening the edge: 30p/cm
  • Small repairs (cracks, dents): £3.50 each
  • Larger repairs: price depending on situation
  • Postage & packing: £12

Notes:

  1. Please clean your blade before sending it to me. At least 5mm (preferably 1cm) of steel from the edge needs to be shiny and mirror-like.  Grains of dirt or rust left on are hammered into the blade during peening, ruining the edge. I recommend Garryflex blocks, the grey fine grit for final cleaning with coarser grits if your blade is very dirty – be sure to wear protective gloves while working on your blade.
    There is an additional charge if I need to clean your blade before I can peen.
  2. As standard, I will peen your blade so that the edge is thin enough to ‘run’ over a thumbnail. This is a fine edge which is superb for general mowing of grasses and fleshy weeds. Please tell me if you prefer a tougher steeper edge – as you use the blade the profile will change and the edge will be more able to withstand woodier plants so if possible keep the tougher work for later in the season or have a second blade for this purpose.
  3. All peening is done using the highest-quality Schrockenfux tall anvil and hammers designed specifically for scythes. Depending on the state of your blade I may also use a hand-powered peening machine for initial shaping but all finishing work will be done by hammer and anvil.
  4. I can peen small nicks and cracks in the blade’s edge to leave an almost invisible repair at the price above. If you have larger damage, please contact me for advice and to get an estimate on the cost for repair.

Learn to Peen

If you’d really like to learn to peen your scythe yourself, come on one of my dedicated courses. I will show you the pro’s and con’s of the various methods, explain the theory so you understand exactly what’s happening and teach you the methods to achieve success. These courses are suitable for complete beginners as well as those wanting to improve and can cover use of the jig, freehand peening using flat or narrow anvil as well as repairs. For more information visit the courses page.

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