Friday, 13 July 2018

Grim Reaper II - Friday the 13th

I ordered an Austrian scythe clamp off Amazon, thinking it would be of a suitable size to clamp the blade for my English scythe, but, alas, it was too small by a midge's nudger, so I effected a temporary bodge with a couple of exhaust clamps. 

Not the most elegant solution, but it works - I'll see if I can get a couple that are a tad smaller to make it look more aesthetically complete. I tested it on the field and it now just requires some proper sharpening, following which I'll dismantle it and paint the snath in a suitable Farrow and Ball country colour - French grey, or something similar. I did the blade edge in a silvery grey and the chine black.

Here's a photo of a man outstanding in his field...

It does have a tendency for the point to dig in, but that is just a matter of practice and the fact it's what we experts call a 3 foot blade, which is the longest (and hence heaviest) you can get. It's good to see Hay's great-uncle Sid's blade back in action after what must be at least 50 years out of service.

The bad news is that the grass in our field has flattened in many places and that makes cutting it very difficult. It has formed a thick, dense mat and hand scything is perhaps not the best method of cutting it. Even the sharpest blade would have problems. Cutting young grass isn't a problem at all and I could easily use the scythe as a (slow) lawnmower.

Unfortunately, one of the cats decided it would be a good idea to make a hidey-hole from the cut hay. I must be careful when pitchforking the hay not to spear a cat or two.

At least I managed to scythe the common before midday and then bale the hay in the afternoon...

Obviously, the common was cut by a tractor with attachment - the whole thing was done in a day. they usually leave the hay to dry for a few days, turning it a couple of times, but it's been so dry that this wasn't necessary this year. Also, there wasn't as much hay this year as usual, by a long chalk.  Would have liked them to come into our field and save me a job but, due to the size of the equipment, there's simply not enough room to manoeuvre the equipment down the lane and into the field.

Next on the fixing list is the peat cutter, but we don't have much in the way of peat hereabouts.


  1. It looks like an old hay knife used for cutting into the stack.

  2. Turning the cut grasses is termed "tedding" is it not? I speak as a crossword puzzle activist.