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  1. #1
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    Trail trimming 500 BC style!

    I got a new toy in the mail yesterday and put it to good use last night. I trimmed the trail that going threw the filed north of old beathpage rd. It took about an hour. I took a lot of brake and I was learning as I was doing it and I was much faster at the end then when I started. It was a great upper body work out. the trick is to use a swiping, cutting movement, not a hacking swing. also to keep it very sharp and it cut easy. I got an 18" brush blade. it would good for thing kind of thing. the big "Grim Ripper" 26"-30" blades are for grass and crops.







    These work gloves are mandatory when using a scythe*


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  2. #2
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    I've been thinking one of those would be great for keeping brush off the tread. Power trimmers are too noisy, hot and shake the hell out of you. What did that one cost?
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  3. #3
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    I got the hole kit form scythesupply.com. it was bout $200 but I got more then just the scythe.
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  4. #4
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    Yeah. Looks like it's around $140 or so for that setup. A bit pricey for something I wouldn't get to try out first, but still might be worth it.
    '12 Soma Analog SS
    '10 Transition TransAM
    '07 Felt F1X
    '97 Schwinn Mesa SS
    '89 Fuji Saratoga
    '86 Fuji Club

  5. #5
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    ya, I was thinking about getting one for over a year. the price was putting me off. I cant say how well this one work over any other because it is the only on I have ever used. I know there is some one on here that uses a alumina one and really like is, but I think it is more then the wood one but I am not 100% on that.
    2012 FatBack with BFL tires
    2010 Specialized StumpJumper FSR Expert
    2006 Specialized RockHopper

  6. #6
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    It does a great job. So is it the last of the bronze tools or the first of the pre-Roman iron-age ones?

  7. #7
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    We need a Retro-Trailbuildng forum.

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  8. #8
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    I own a couple of curvy-wood-handled models. I like them a great deal better than that style; its chief downfall is fairly short lifespan because the joint where the extension joins the haft will eventually fail.

    If you live near a rural farming area, a farm supply or hardware can get you a "Snath" (handle) and "Scythe" (blade). best quality Aluminum handles are around $60, steam-bent ash wooden ones $75; I like the wood better. A brush scythe blade will be around $75 as well. You'll also need either a sharpening stone or a sharpening anvil and hammer, depending on how the scythe was designed to be maintained.

    They can be very frustrating to use in some situations: they work well in open situations but need room to swing. When farmers used them to cut hay and grain, they advanced a step at a time up the field, momentarily planting their feet, swinging about 20% from the waist, 30% at the shoulders and the rest from the arms in a decreasing-radius arc.

    It can be a brutal workout.

    I prefer the kind swung like a hockey stick for trail work on uneven ground

  9. #9
    I build my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    We need a Retro-Trailbuildng forum.

    Francis?
    Huh?

    Trail trimming 500 BC style!-p1010006-2-2-.jpg
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  10. #10
    I build my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyM14 View Post
    ya, I was thinking about getting one for over a year. the price was putting me off. I cant say how well this one work over any other because it is the only on I have ever used. I know there is some one on here that uses a alumina one and really like is, but I think it is more then the wood one but I am not 100% on that.
    I paid $5 for mine in a used junk shop. The snath sells for about $50 and the brush scythe like the one you have (shorter and stronger than a grass scythe) sells for about the same, $50.
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  11. #11
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    I love it!!! I will assume you need to have a fairly clean trail corridor (not hidden gems in the brush like rocks, stumps and limbs) to make it worth your while?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit Ridge Guy View Post
    I love it!!! I will assume you need to have a fairly clean trail corridor (not hidden gems in the brush like rocks, stumps and limbs) to make it worth your while?
    It does work well (as fast as a string trimmer) and yes, a hidden stump will pull your shoulders out of their sockets.
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  13. #13
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    WaltDizzy who posts here and I use a Seymour brand scythe made in Austria that's light and strong. They make a few models and I've bought wood and aluminum handle. They are very worthwhile tools - especially the heavier AL handle with blade I think is a bush model. I can cut stuff a string trimmer will not cut.

    The farmer's coop near me sells the handle for $50ish, and blade around $80.

    These metal handle Seymour models are the strongest I've ever seen.

  14. #14
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    Trail trimming 500 BC style!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyM14 View Post
    I got the hole kit form scythesupply.com. it was bout $200 but I got more then just the scythe.
    I love using a scythe. Wish I had found scythesupply.com before I bought mine through the local hardware store. Could have had a custom fit one rather than the one size fit nobody model for the same price. I did buy the peening anvils and hammer from them, and use it to also sharpen my hazel hoe, McLeod, mattock and other tools. Get a better, more durable edge without removing any material.
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  15. #15
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    I gave up on string trimmers a couple of years ago. The string wraps around woody brush and breaks off. The faster cutting of a string trimmer is almost completely negated by frequent re-threading the string spool.

    We also have poison ivy and wild parsnip and the string trimmer is a highly efficient way to spray myself with puree of these gems.

    It is a lot of work to swing a scythe for hours on end.

    Walt

  16. #16
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    Trail trimming 500 BC style!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    I gave up on string trimmers a couple of years ago. The string wraps around woody brush and breaks off. The faster cutting of a string trimmer is almost completely negated by frequent re-threading the string spool.

    We also have poison ivy and wild parsnip and the string trimmer is a highly efficient way to spray myself with puree of these gems.

    It is a lot of work to swing a scythe for hours on end.

    Walt
    Yup. I like not throwing junk into the air, too. Better for my allergies. Having the cut grass/brush just drop to the ground is nice. Easier to clean up, if needed at all.
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  17. #17
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    Scythe would neat to use, but I just don't have that room to swing one. I have a Stihl FS250 with a brush knife and a cutting blade. The cutting blade is for when I have to brush out areas with saplings under 4". The brush knife is for everything else. I might try out a beaver blade. I hear they can handle up 4" saplings and are faster to sharpen.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  18. #18
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    Trail trimming 500 BC style!

    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher View Post
    Scythe would neat to use, but I just don't have that room to swing one. I have a Stihl FS250 with a brush knife and a cutting blade. The cutting blade is for when I have to brush out areas with saplings under 4". The brush knife is for everything else. I might try out a beaver blade. I hear they can handle up 4" saplings and are faster to sharpen.
    The brush blade Chevy has does not require much of a swing to use. A 4" sapling would be extreme, though.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    I gave up on string trimmers a couple of years ago. The string wraps around woody brush and breaks off. The faster cutting of a string trimmer is almost completely negated by frequent re-threading the string spool.

    We also have poison ivy and wild parsnip and the string trimmer is a highly efficient way to spray myself with puree of these gems.

    It is a lot of work to swing a scythe for hours on end.

    Walt
    This past weekend I was too lazy to drive 2 miles to get my scythe, and too dumb forgetting long sleeves. The Kombi with sickle bar cuts back thick stuff but the string trimmer "used with care" still left me with a puree of nettles, poison ivy and wild parsnip. Calamine lotion and white shirts are looking as bad as bare arms.

  20. #20
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    Trail trimming 500 BC style!-20130708_145153.jpg

    $26 + A ridiculous amount of sweat
    = Low cost low maintenance trail upkeep



    And yes, I did bartape my "weedeater"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusheleven View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    $26 + A ridiculous amount of sweat
    = Low cost low maintenance trail upkeep

    And yes, I did bartape my "weedeater"
    Good to hear that scythe works for you. We got rid of ours because the blade bent repeatedly from hitting woody stuff. In my opinion, the $150 or so for a real scythe was money well spent.

    Walt

  22. #22
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    Trail trimming 500 BC style!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    Good to hear that scythe works for you. We got rid of ours because the blade bent repeatedly from hitting woody stuff. In my opinion, the $150 or so for a real scythe was money well spent.

    Walt
    A real scythe produces a lot less sweat, too.
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