Need some convincing about why scythes are a worthwhile investment?

The evolution(?) of the whipping stick

Some time ago, Benjamin Bouchard of the Baryonxy Knife Company suggested using a “whipping stick” instead of honing with a stone. The idea here is that the timber realigns any teeth from a micro-burr, without removing any steel. So it gives you a few more minutes’ mowing before it’s time to hone again.

While I tried it and found it moderately beneficial, I was never sold on the idea enough to bother carrying a stick as well as my stones. And I suspected that the super-fine nature of our ceramic stones means that it operates something like a whipping stick anyway.

But I got talking to Jeff Keys recently and he was saying that he used a whipping stick “religiously” – and he also uses our ceramic stones religiously. He was so intrigued and impressed with the results that he decided to take it one step further and bought himself a hunk of leather to make himself a scythe strop. He kindly cut off a chunk for me to give it a try too.

Since so many mowers are reporting good results with a whipping stick, I thought I’d better give the strop a run.

Here’s mine – I’ve modelled it on a whetstone shape, and stretched the leather tightly over it. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs (and stands up to ‘natural selection’)…

Closed for now so we don't have to keep going to the skanky post office.