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Peening an “Austrian” Scythe Blade with a Narrow Scythe Anvil
By Botan Anderson
A sharp blade is the key to success in using a scythe. A sharp blade cuts through grass with
amazing ease. It enables you to peacefully, and effectively harvest your own hay, control weeds,
clear pathways, etc. Mowing with a well-designed scythe with a sharp blade, is an enjoyable,
aerobic form of exercise. Mowing with a dull blade results in the all-too-common phenomenon of
compensating for the lack of sharpness, with sheer force and velocity. Violently hacking down the
vegetation like this, while invigorating at first, quickly leads to exhaustion. The erroneous
conclusion then is that mowing with a scythe is just too much work, and the tool is put away to
rust in the garden shed, and the bright idea of mowing by hand is abandoned.
In order to effectively utilize the Austrian scythe to it's fullest potential, one must learn how to
maintain the sharpness of the blade.
What is peening?
An “Austrian” (tensioned) scythe blade is sharpened by hammering the cutting edge thin on a
scythe anvil, and then honing it with a whetstone. If you could see a cross-section of the
miniscule cutting edge of a sharp scythe blade, you would see that it forms a very sharp, slightly
curved, chisel-shaped point. As you mow with it, that sharp point gradually gets rounded off. You
restore the sharpness of the point every 5 minutes or so in the field, by honing the rounded-off
edge with a wet, natural whetstone to re-form the acute angle of that sharp point. This cycle is
repeated until the metal of the chisel-shaped point has been worn back (by the repetition of
mowing and honing) to where the metal is so thick, that the whetstone can no longer effectively
re-form the sharp, acute angle of the original cutting edge. At this time the edge must be drawn
and thinned back out, with a hammer and anvil, until it’s thin enough for the whetstone to be
effective again. The process of hammering the edge of the scythe blade to draw and thin it out, is
I first learned to peen with a peening jig, and I was quite satisfied with the results from my limited
perspective at the time. Then in 2006, I attended the International Scythe Symposium in Canada,
and there I was amazed at how much sharper the free-hand peened blades were. The extra
sharpness made mowing delightfully easier! Many different methods of peening were represented
at this Symposium, by instructors that had mastered their techniques, and us students had an
opportunity to try whatever method interested us. All of them, quite frankly, seemed rather difficult
to learn, and that it would take a long time to develop the skill.
The next eye-opening experience that I had was getting to try out Instructor Neils Johansson of
Denmark‘s, large 500g Peddinghaus narrow anvil. I was amazed at how this high quality anvil,
made free-hand peening actually seem rather easy. Especially as compared to peening with the
small (250g), unhardened, Czech anvils that are commonly available here in the USA. I marveled
at this, and discussed with Neils what qualities the Peddinghaus anvil had that made it so much
easier to peen with. It came down to the overall size, the hardness of the steel, and the shape of
the anvil face. I, of course, immediately wanted one of these anvils! Neils informed me that he
had searched high and low for more of them, but Peddinghaus no longer made them. When Peter
“peening zone“ or“ Vordangel“). and present here. and I have never gotten a wavy or cracked edge from over-peening. and experimented with all the peening methods that I had been exposed to. He tried Niels‘ anvil at the Symposium. the technician for the Schroeckenfux scythe factory.com/adp/docs/freehandPeening. Experienced peeners can remove both these attachments. It is not well suited for a blade that has been heavily used. by the techniques I had learned at the Symposium. so that the original factory bevel has been worn back to a very thick. makes a similar one. An anvil without the proper radius. 11) for Schroeckenfux (SFX or Fux) that would make it even easier for a beginner to get good results with. will give you poor results and much frustration. and worn down by the overzealous use of a whetstone (instead of being peened).a. or use a heavier hammer. and a guide to keep the edge in the correct position on the anvil.html .Vido heard that we were looking for a source for these higher quality anvils. Bernhard Lehnert described yet another method of peening with a narrow anvil in his book. such as the one at http://www. would make it easier draw the metal out smoothly with the more aggressive method. however. and the sharpness lasts a long time. The peening method that I use is a very precise technique. (Fig. However. or a well maintained blade that still has a good primary bevel. and the expertly shaped anvil face. by reading Bernhard Lehnert’s book on peening entitled Dengeln. it was obvious to me that his method could be much improved and updated. he informed us that the Picard Company of Germany. and also from my own experiments. the more I realized that the method that Bernhard Lehnert presented in his book would be the easiest for beginners to learn. rounded edge. It is a synthesis of what I've learned. many more passes to bring out the edge. especially when starting out with a new blade that has a truly ready to mow factory sharpened edge. at the 2006 Symposium. Much to my surprise. This method. and good peening equipment. is best suited to either a brand-new blade. Since using this method. Ernst had never tried peening with a narrow anvil before. I decided to review what I had learned about peening (and brush-up on my German while I was at it). and he too was very impressed with how easy it was too peen with. A more aggressive peening technique. with the interchangeable 3 blades. and is the least likely to cause damage to your scythe blade.k. The more I thought about. If you’re a beginner you can still use my method with a very dull blade. was Ernst Schoiswohl. or inappropriate hammer.scytheconnection. and quickly get good results with. Hammering Skill: . and a high-quality hammer and anvil are essential. but it will take many. as will a cheap. These methods would be challenging for a beginner. Peening Methods: When I returned from the Symposium. this method is easy to learn. He’s the designer of the adjustable Swiss snath. This method was my next revelation in regard to peening. without creating deep grooves. and/or one that is too soft. This eventually inspired Ernst to design a new type of narrow anvil (see Fig. A more aggressive technique would bring out the metal much quicker. An absolute master at peening with a cross-peen hammer and a wide anvil. and now we are all carrying the Picard anvils. This culminated into the peening method that I use. would most likely be more suitable for re-creating the primary bevel (a. however. It’s an anvil with a support platform upon which you can rest the rib of the blade. my blades have been wonderfully sharp. but they will still appreciate the exceptional hardness of the steel. I believe that with good instruction. and you have to hit quite a bit harder.1) Another person who was impressed by Niels’ Peddinghaus anvil. very effective. An anvil with a wider radius (9mm). that I sell. Our interest in these anvils quickly spread to all of the Scythe Network retailers.
Harder than the scythe blade. The new SFX (see Fig. you might be able to regrind and polish. All things considered. I suggest getting a scrap piece of 2x4 and a box of small nails [1". you are removed from feeling/seeing the direct result of your actions. Assembling new bee-hive frames is also good hammering practice (and more productive!). I have not had good success with the commonly available. but the fact they are still too small. and very rounded back-and-forth. but in my experience. though. but you can see and feel the direct result of your action. not your peening hammer. and finish. Choosing a Scythe Anvil: The very precise peening method that I recommend. If the radius is too small.Even though I claim that my peening method is almost as easy as using a peening jig. is for what’s known as a “narrow” or bar anvil. It is difficult to determine their hardness.1 1/4" finishing nails are a good size] and practice hammering the nails into it. and be very hard. With a peening jig you also have to move the blade through the jig very evenly. but a lot more sensitivity and consistency with the hammer. but with a much shorter stump. but ideally a little smaller. The disadvantage is that you need to have a very large stump to do that (especially if you are 6'5” tall like me!). striking the blade. without bending the nail or dinging up the wood. from normal to wide. I do not consider the peening jig that much of an advantage for a beginner. 11) anvil has come in a variety of radii. The advantage of a tall anvil is that the anvil can be mounted in the same stump that you are sitting on.1) was recommended to me by Peter Vido and is the best that I’ve used so far. This may be true. unless you really don't have any hammering skills. Your peening hammer should only be used for peening!) When you can smoothly hammer the nails into the wood. and is even harder than the Picard. like with the short anvil. I have not been able to find a suitable hammer in any store in my area. The face of the anvil must be slightly rounded from left-to-right (as when it is mounted in your peening stump and facing you). Rounding off the anvil face with a mill file will help. over the years. The Picard scythe hammer (see Fig. 250g. If you have not used a hammer much before. How rounded should it be? It should have at least the radius of an American dime (10mm). it is very difficult to get good results. but it requires that you to hit with a lot more force than you do when free-hand peening. This creates an extremely stable base for the anvil. unhardened. You can also mount a tall anvil on a separate stump from your seat.1) are a premium quality scythe anvil. in order to develop the coordination and feel for hammering. making it difficult to keep the blade in place (a cheap hammer does not help either!). and not hard enough. when you peen with it. free-hand peening on a narrow anvil requires less force. the edge of the blade will curl dramatically. It’s a . The anvil must be made of very high quality steel. You need to hit with a consistent force with either method. narrow anvils produced in the Czech Republic. the face of the hammer to a more conducive shape (just slightly convex). The small size makes them awkward to use. If you can't hit a nail. you will be ready to try peening your scythe blade. By contrast. The new SFX anvil is also available in a tall (16cm) version. which with some jigs is difficult to do. The softer steel makes the blade bounce around a lot. Choosing a Hammer: You may have read on other websites. A peening jig requires much less accuracy. unless you have the tools to reshape and polish the face. They have a very nice “normal” radius and excellent hardness. that you can use any common carpenters hammer with a narrow anvil. but they all have a face that is too convex. and over-peened edge. and the flatness of the narrow anvil face quickly results in an unevenly. which is then in turn. The Picard anvils (see Fig. in my opinion. If you have the equipment. neither method will be easy. And because you are striking the cap. you do have to have some basic hammering skill. (Use a carpenters hammer for that.
Then insert the spike and pound the top of the anvil with a piece of firewood until it is firmly in place. When peening either end of the blade on the anvil. Remove the blade from the snath. and which will make it easier to guide and peen the blade evenly.7). or Dengelstock (Fig. and a very effective shape to the hammer face. The anvil goes into the same stump that you are sitting on. Use a sponge with a scrubbing pad and some dish soap. Then set the spike in the hole. 2. My lightweight traveling peening stump and seat. followed by 400. further clean the edge of your . Use the rust-eraser and/or the maroon colored scrubbing pad to clean the anvil face. The spike at the bottom of the dengelstock is wedge shaped and doesn’t need a pre-drilled hole. you support the opposite end of the long blade with the top of your thigh. where you want it. A clean blade will slide smoothly over the anvil surface. on a narrow anvil. The Picard hammers that I now sell are polished to a mirror finish. to the mass of the stump. the block or stump that your anvil sits in (see Fig. so that you can raise and lower the level of your thigh by raising or lowering your heels. The advantage of this is that you add your own mass. you may need to notch out the top of the log that your anvil is in. NEVER USE A HAMMER FOR THIS as you might damage the anvil surface. to accommodate scythe blades with a higher tang angle. Other brands of scythe peening hammers may have tiny striations on the hammer face. This hammer makes good results much easier to achieve.3). and push it down firmly. all you need is a stump big enough to sit on and tall enough for your feet to just reach the ground (Fig. A home set-up should look like that. which will result in more accuracy and consistency when peening.nicely balanced hammer.12 inches in diameter. and then polish it with 600 grit. Hardwood is best. Dry carefully.6. The tall version of the SFX anvil does need a pre-drilled hole. is pictured in Fig. Ideally this stump needs to be about 10 . and anchored in the ground several inches. and is available pre-polished to a mirror finish. To mount your anvil into the wood. Your seat needs to be at a height that enables your feet to be flat on the ground. Otherwise they have a tendency to wiggle. place a scrap piece of 1”x2” lumber on top of the anvil face. To mount these anvils in your stump. This keeps the blade level and supported. but should be more heavy-duty as in Fig. Use it wet. Setting up your Peening Block or Stump: The anvil has a tapered spike at the bottom which needs to be set into a stump or block of wood. 4). creating an extremely solid base for the anvil. These should be polished off with 350 grit wet/dry sandpaper (the black kind). 1). Cleaning the edge: Cleaning the blade is the next step. first pre-drill a hole. I prefer to wash it first. while seated (see Fig.6) needs to be at a height that enables you to support the blade with the top of your thighs. on the left side of the anvil. Then instead of pounding it in place with a piece of firewood (which might damage the wings of the peening guide). If you are using a short anvil (see Fig. Since the blade is peened upside down. that I use for demonstrations. you need to pre-drill a slightly under-sized hole for the anvil spike. I usually ship both sizes of SFX anvils. with excellent hardness. with a piece of firewood. Keep the anvil surface clean as well. If you are using a tall anvil. fully assembled with the support anvil and guide plate attached. Next. If it is really dirty with plant sap and dirt. Just pound it into the stump. Another stump can serve as your seat. Never use a hammer to pound an anvil in place. and pound the piece of scrapwood with your peening hammer.
mm by mm.). By isolating the motion to just one joint. wrist and elbow joints held fixed (but responsive. because the metal is very thin here. you end up with too much of a "hollow ground" shape on your edge.k. continuous line.38. rust-eraser type. to smoothly and evenly draw out the metal. Good form with your hammering motion is very important in order to achieve precise results. Avoid that. and guide the blade. and grip the blade firmly. and the edge is placed at the top of the radius (the back-and-forth curve of the anvil face). because then. narrow) anvil. This matte finish is highly desirable. rubber sanding block. you keep your upper and lower arm at a nearly right (80-90 degree) angle. until you have peened the entire edge of the scythe blade. 1. with a medium-grit.2mm) with the hammer. if you are just touching-up a recently sharpened blade. The hammer marks should join together in a solid. and holding it still. The Drawing Hammer Strike The first hammering technique that I use is the "drawing" or pulling hammer strike (“Ziehender Dengelschlag” p. when you strike the edge of the blade with the hammer. but more importantly. For the “Drawing “ hammer strike.com/watch?v=wP9t2rjxhEE ). Rub the edge with the rubber sandblock before each pass so that you can see your new hammer marks. Otherwise. Clean the edge on both sides.). mm by mm. You firmly tap the edge. and extremely sharp cutting edge. it creates a matte finish on the metal. and to hit it on the back with a wide-faced hammer.youtube. and from beard to tip.7. This draws out and thins the metal at the edge of the blade. and it will curve up too much. A beginner's edge or the edge of an all-purpose blade should be kept very narrow. PeeningOriginally all scythe blades were probably peened from the top. and be very weak. ( see my YouTube video: http://de. Later. towards you. Traditionally this "pulling" strike is done straight on. Imagine that your shoulder joint (the glenohumeral joint to be precise) is a ball-joint from which your L-shaped “mechanical” arm swings. and you swing from the shoulder joint. to form a thin. on a wide anvil. This will take several passes with a dull blade. Sandflex is a good brand. You develop a feel for it after some practice. much greater precision is possible with your hammer strikes.& 8). also called the “Glancing Blow“ in the U.2mm wide (see Fig. This required tremendous accuracy with a hammer. If you go too far forward though. You strike the edge of the blade while pulling the hammer toward you. you repeat until the metal edge is the desired thinness. to remove all the grit and eraser crumbs. So when peening with a narrow anvil. The accuracy then comes from positioning the edge in the correct place on the anvil.5 . no more than 1. The blade edge is kept at the very center of the top of the radius or slightly (just a hair!) past the top. and move the blade slowly. dirt. as you incrementally peen the entire edge of the scythe blade. One pass will do.Bernhard Lehnert. along it's length.K. actual cutting edge of the blade (0. toward you (Fig. the hammer strikes are visible as shiny marks on a matte background (see Fig. until you've peened the entire edge. Peening is a matter of methodically tapping the very thin. and then wipe the edge with a rag. 5.a. and press your . This makes it very easy to tell where you have been hitting.9).blade by rubbing both sides of the edge. Dengeln. Subsequent passes are then often needed. and rust. the blade is placed upside down on the anvil. This removes any remaining sap. just a hair past center.10) .5. mm by mm. Not exactly rigid or locked. incrementally. and with a crosspeen hammer. and if you have skipped any areas. it was discovered that it was much easier to peen a scythe blade laying upside-down on a bar-peen (a. and incrementally. You hold the blade on the anvil with your left hand. It is not a hard hammer blow. Hold the edge solidly in place by curling your fingers up and under the blade.
The Packing Hammer Strike . and work your way back to the beard.fingertips against the back of the anvil (see Fig. is that it makes it much easier to have a more comfortable posture. It depends on how much you’ve mowed with it.com/watch?v=hPXdn6nnzT0 If your blade only needs a touch-up peening. mm by mm. Therefore it will take at least a 2-3 passes with the diagonal pulling strike to sharpen the edge with the new shape. How true that is. If you have a vintage blade that was peened by Peter Vido. You strike the edge of the blade. My “Diagonal Drawing Hammer Strike” Technique . See my YouTube videos: http://de. “Gut gedengelt ist halb gemäht!” (“Well peened is half-mowed!”) I prefer to do the pulling strike at a slight diagonal. to touch up your blade often. and how skilled you are at honing. and work my way back to the beard. For a duller blade. You have to keep moving the blade back in the opposite direction that the hammer is slightly pulling the blade. you are gradually drawing out the metal at the edge by only hitting the very edge with the hammer. when swiging on the diagonal. the more passes you will need to do. and you swing it from the shoulder joint in a direction that is at an approximately 50-55 degree angle to the blade. Your arm is held so that your forearm and upper arm form a 80-90 degree angle. I also like to rest my left forearm on the blade (whenever there is room). you get a slight “back-and-forth" (ruckzuck) motion of the blade on the anvil. The thicker that the metal at the edge is to start with. especially when peening with a tall anvil. drawing the metal of the edge toward you and slightly to the right. There is a German saying. one or two passes with the “Drawing” hammer strike may suffice.com/watch?v=wP9t2rjxhEE & http://www. I’m not sure. My own variation is to start at the tip of the blade. you have to gradually “draw” the metal out with successive passes. and a touch-up peening would probably require just one or two passes with the Diagonal Drawing Strike. and will be very easy to keep in position. you may need to repeat it a few more times. Therefore. both in terms of mowing performance. incrementally. This makes it much easier to peen a smooth and even line. "go with the flow".Start at the tip of the blade. The disadvantages are that you lose the self-feeding effect. but this is enhanced by the diagonal hammer strikes. is that the edge will fit the curve (radius) at the top of your anvil. and it also makes it awkward to support longer blades with your right knee. I'm slowly moving the blade from left to right. it will have been peened on a narrow anvil. He said that it brings the metal out faster and more in harmony with the construction of the blade. 2. If your blade was sharpened by the factory (Mähfertig) it will have been peened from the top with a bar-peen hammer (a machine actually). rather than waiting until it is really dull. This makes it harder to keep the blade in position. I say.8). When switching to peening it upside-down on a narrow anvil you create a somewhat different edge. The advantage of this is that it's easier to smoothly guide the edge of the blade over the anvil face. “like a glove” (because it was originally peened on a similar anvil). Your other option is to rotate the anvil to be perpendicular to your hammer. while you are moving it back to the left. If you look at my videos. of course. and to advance the blade smoothly. when peening the beard end of the blade. in (almost) the same direction that the hammer is slightly pulling the blade with each stoke. from left to right. When working from beard to tip with a diagonal stroke.youtube.youtube. to keep the blade in solid contact with the anvil face. The hammer is slightly pulling the blade to the right. The diagonal aspect is something I heard Peter Vido bring up at the 2006 Symposium. and in terms of peening. Since with the “Drawing” strike. but one definite advantage to striking at a diagonal. it is much less work. The nice thing about having a blade that was initially peened by myself.
The center-post of the jig actually squares off what is supposed to be your cutting edge. such as a White (SchwarzWeiss) Bregenser. than one peened with a peening jig. it just thins and work hardens the metal further. with the sanding sponge each time. Dengeln). p. .) Traditionally the intention of this hammer strike was to make the metal more dense. The artificial whetstone would remove so much metal that it would ruin your peening.k. Once the metal at the edge is the desired thinness/sharpness with the pulling hammer strike. This increases the accuracy and uniformity of your peening. you first use an artificial whetstone to more aggressively remove the “squared” edge. Blacksmiths used to call this “packing” the metal. So skip that step. natural whetstone. the “Topping Blow“ in the U. but this time with a straight on.39. or a guide roller (Führungsrolle) can be helpful with keeping the edge in the right position.a. Great accuracy and consistency are possible this way. and work your way incrementally. and to create a tapered edge. Then start peening at the tip. Final honing Finish the blade by gently honing it with a wet. In actuality.. for the entire time it takes to peen. so that it is in line with the very center of the top of the radius. . (“Klopfender Dengelschlag“ p. you can look it up on-line at http://www.html . or the Bergamo whetstone. and straight downward (no pulling) hammer strike. This sharpens and work hardens the edge further. and is more restful for the hand holding the blade. (see my YouTube videos: http://de. It gives the blade a very sharp. rub the side of the edge that you will be peening. and move on to a soft and medium-fine grit natural whetstone. Because the metal of the edge is drawn out against the center post of the peening jig. with a straight-on. and the sharpness last longer. It can be very tiring for your left hand. The Scythe Book .Berhard Lehnert. and the motion is isolated to your elbow joint.scytheconnection. Therefore when honing after peening with a peening jig.youtube. to the beard. or the “Klopfender Dengelschlag“ in Germany.K. If you don’t have the book. (a. Wipe the edge clean with a rag. Before you do the final passes. You can also see my video demonstrating this technique on YouTube at http://www. Dengeln). you make the final finishing pass or passes. and durable cutting edge (see "Schnitthaltigkeit". instead of a pulling hammer strike. hard. The guide plate on the SFX anvil. This technique is described very well on page 146 of The Scythe Book . Then you use a medium grit natural whetstone to smooth out the metal. will result in a sharper point.youtube. For this hammer strike. a Gasau. however. You hit the edge in exactly the same place as before.com/watch?v=A1Gfm96yX9Y ) A more advanced technique would be to pull the edge of the blade. Imagine that your forearm is the rigid arm of a mechanical trip hammer and your elbow is the hinge it operates from. and enable you to start the final honing with a finer whetstone. and straight down hammer strike. so that you can see the new hammer marks that you make. describes how to hone a blade after peening with a peening jig.com/watch?v=FlvMxYbwxiw .com/adp/docs/peening. your wrist and shoulder joints remain fixed (but responsive).com/watch?v=LpL8hvZ-1hQ and http://www.The next hammering technique that I use is the “Packing Hammer Strike“. the edge doesn’t fully taper out into a sharp “chisel” shaped point. to hold the edge of the blade in such a precise placement. and to create the final cutting edge. Focusing the peening to an even smaller area like this (right at the point). mm by mm.youtube.Berhard Lehnert. back a hair. A free-hand peened blade needs much less honing.39.
Brace the hand holding the tang against your body. Use a light but firm touch.OneScytheRevolution. too shallow. I prefer to gently use the softer whetstone stone.scytheconnection. Then I use the flat side to remove the burr. Remove the burr only with the finest stone you are using. Eventually. with a wet whetstone. see “Repairing the Damaged Edge” on page 156 of the 2 nd Edition of The Scythe Book. Using a soft stone followed by a harder.html . with the cutting edge facing away from you. For updated videos of the above techniques. Hone from beard to tip.Hold the blade by the tang. and listings of upcoming scythe workshops see www. This technique would be very challenging for a beginner however. or peening zone. which needs to be wiped off with a rag. I still like to use a fine and soft stone (such as the La Saurat). on both the cutting edge. after much use. is so soft that it leaves a kind of clay-like slurry on the blade.com .com.com/adp/docs/bladeRepair. and go straight to doing the final honing with a very fine stone. Botan Anderson © 2008 www. They are sharpened by first honing them with an artificial (corundum) whetstone. Experienced peeners can skip the the more medium gritted stones. followed by a natural whetstone. For Further Study To learn how to repair small cracks. The edge of the bush blade has a steeper bevel than the grass blades. Expert peeners can even skip this step. and you will not be doing much of anything. and let the stone do the work. like with a worn back grass blade edge.scytheconnection. usually. then follow with the Rozsutec stone. and then you have to peen out the primary bevel. or go to http://www. the metal gets worn back to where it is too thick. like the La Saurat.html . before honing the blade with a very fine and hard stone. so you hone them at a slightly steeper angle. for example.com/adp/docs/freehandPeening. like the Rozsutec or Doppelbock. To learn about more advanced peening techniques required to restore the primary bevel of a very worn down blade see http://www. at first after peening. and to remove the burr. and just quickly hone the blade like they do in the field. Use the shape of the whetstone to feel for the correct angle that you need to hone the edge at. followed by a very hard and fine-grained whetstone. If you are a beginner start with a soft stone. and you will dull the edge. or grind the edge like an American scythe blade. to finish. The La Saurat stone. I then use the Rozsutec or a Doppelbock. Too steep. finer stone is a common technique used to sharpen woodworking tools to a fine edge. I like the natural blue Bregenzer or Angelo stone for this.OneScytheRevolution. Bush BladesBush blades are not sharpened by peening. and place the tip in a stump.
until the edge is thin enough to deflect over the sliding cross-peen end of the hammer. The metal is left a little thicker at the tip to make it stronger. A very tapered out edge. and when peening just the edge. The cutting edge has a blunt area near the tip.FAQ: Where do you aim with the hammer? You press the edge down on the anvil. This is kind of hard on your thumbnail. and strike the area of the edge that is in solid contact with the anvil face at the top of the radius. with the Packing Hammer Strike. Should I peen that too? No. The “triple-peened” blades that I sell have a more sturdy. a scythe blade's edge for cutting grass. if you hit a stone or a woody stem. and slide it back and forth. while simultaneously sharpening the edge even further. when it comes to “run over the nail” thinness. will be very sharp and the sharpness will last a long time. so that it will not get damaged if you hit a rock. Then you can work-harden the edge. See video at http://www. there are “many shades of gray”. That is the edge would deflect when you pressed your thumbnail to it. and rocked it back and forth.youtube. however. it will result in a good combination of sharpness and durability. and how much of the edge is peened out. How can you tell if the cutting edge is thin enough? Traditionally. For advanced peening. was peened until the edge was thin enough to "run over the thumbnail". It depends on how hard you press.com . Botan Anderson © 2008 © 2015 www. hollow-ground taper. from peening 3-5 lines in. I press the hammer up against the edge. leave it the way it is.OneScytheRevolution. but it is very vulnerable to major cracks and tears. as outlined in this manual.com/watch? v=gPKGnqykmxk . so I prefer to use the cross-peen end of my peening hammer for that. instead of rocking it. I recommend using the Diagonal Drawing Hammer Strike.
Final honing . If it is sticky and gritty with plant saps and dirt. with a wet whetstone. then follow with the Rozsutec or other fine and hard stone. 3. More advanced peeners can place edge at the very top of the center of the radius of the anvil. Keep the anvil surface clean as well.Do 1-2 passes from tip to beard. which will make it easier to guide and peen evenly. 4. Isolate motion to just the elbow joint.Do 2-3 passes from tip to beard. If you are a beginner start with a softer medium grit stone. Hone from beard to tip.Create a matte finish on the edge that you are going to peen. and let the stone do the work. too shallow. Place edge of blade. The hammer strike draws and tapers the metal out toward you. 5.Hold the blade by the tang. Work your way mm by mm. a hair past (towards you) the very center of the top of the radius. and clean it. together form an 80 degree angle. Hold your arm so that upper and lower arm. and place the tip in a stump. Use a fairly light touch.Remove blade from snath. The hammer marks should join together in a continuous line. Sandflex rubber sanding block. but with solid contact. Brace the hand holding the tang against your body. Isolate motion to the shoulder joint. Straight Down Hammer Strikes . Use the shape of the whetstone to feel for the correct angle that you need to hone the edge. and it further sharpens and work hardens the cutting edge. and you will not be doing much of anything. before each new pass.OneScytheRevolution. The hammer strike is straight down. Experienced peeners can skip this step. Use the rust-eraser and/or one of those maroon or green colored pot scrubbing pads. by rubbing it with the rust-eraser. Imagine that your forearm is the arm of a mechanical trip hammer.com . Diagonal Pulling Hammer Strike . wash it with dish soap and a scrubbing pad. and just quickly hone the blade like they do in the field. to clean anvil face. Work your way mm by mm. down the entire length of the blade. Dry carefully. and you will dull the edge. 2. with the cutting edge facing away from you. The hammer marks should join together in a continuous line. A clean blade will slide smoothly over the anvil surface. from tip to beard. Remove the burr only with the fine stone. Botan Anderson © 2008 © 2014 www. Too steep. and thoroughly. Clean blade and anvil . Step by Step Review 1. Create a matte finish . down the entire length of the blade.