Beginning to mow

Before you begin:

Good to oil the snath and grips, this will help to keep it more waterproof and last a long time. We use a mix of oils (linseed is a bit heavy on its own, so we add some rice bran oil to thin it down a bit- that helps the oil to penetrate too.

KEEP EVERYTHING TIGHTLY SCREWED, SO THERE IS NO MOVEMENT IN THE SET UP. That way you will avoid damaging your scythe.

Before you begin mowing each time, whet the blade (ie use the whetstone on it) to align the molecules on the very thin edge of the blade,. Mowing first thing in the morning, before the dew is gone, is the most rewarding time for mowing. The vegetation is open to being cut, unlike in a sunny afternoon, when it jsut wants to bend over. Then it is hard to cut.

Every few minutes, or as you feel it not slicing so nicely, stop and whet the blade again. Only you can determine when this is needed as it depends on the quality of the grass, how fast you work, how wet the vegetation is etc. As you gain experience you will also gain confidence!

When you finish each time:

Clean the blade (we usually remove the balde from the snath).

You can wash and brush to get all the dirt off. Dry it before you hang it up in a safe place. If it will be a while before you will use it again (even if you think you will be doing it everyday!) it is a good idea to oil it lightly. On a daily basis we use cheap cooking oil- like rice bran oil- but if it is going away for months, it is better to use a light mineral oil (like sewing machine oil) to prevent rust. Hang it in a dry airy place.