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Preparing your new scythe

The blade

We checked out the edge of your blade and dressed it as required. This may have included taking off some of the edge if it appeared too thin for general use, then filing, coarse honing, and fine honing.

That means the edge may well be exposed metal, whereas the rest of the blade will still have lacquer on it, which prevents it rusting in transit. The lacquer does tend to ‘grip’ on grass, on the underside of the blade, so you may prefer to scrape off the lacquer. At very least you should remove the lacquer to about 5mm in from the edge, on both sides of the blade, to prevent the lacquer fouling your whetstone.

We’ve found that the Falci lacquer wears off fairly quickly in dewy grass, so expending the effort to remove it all may be unnecessary. If you want to remove it all, your options include:

  • scraping it off with an old knife, or back of a knife, or similar;
  • sanding it off with a hand block or similar;
  • using a solvent – methylated spirits works quite well (but still requires some ‘elbow grease’) and lacquer thinner works very well (in Australia, the ‘Diggers’ brand range includes a lacquer thinner, available from hardware stores – but it’s another expense and is very potent).

The snath

The snath is pre-oiled lightly, but you may like to stand the ‘business end’ in a small container of linseed oil overnight to soak up some extra oil (sanding a tiny bit off to expose the grain will expedite this process). This will ensure moisture from wet grass is repelled. The snath has come a long way… you may as well look after it.

Next step… fitting the blade.