Over the winter, when there’s not doing so much scything I’ve been organising the NW Scythe group (“The Gang” as Edward calls us) in coppicing some neglected hazel at Haybridge Nature Reserve. When you’re cutting in amongst the stems, a pruning saw is the thing to have and I’m a big fan of the Silky Oyakata saw which I’ve been using for years but suddenly couldn’t find. I had a spare blade for it though so decided to make this fixed handle from, fittingly, a piece of hazel. The original has turned up again but this is still a handy tool and a much cheaper way to get a top quality pruning saw.
At the other end of the scale, I’ve been cleaning up and refurbishing my two-man crosscut saws. I bought a couple recently and have been waiting for an opportunity to try them out which came when Ian & I started taking down a dead eucalyptus in his garden. This saw is 4ft6in long with ‘champion’ teeth – a combination of wide almond-shaped cutting teeth and rakers to clear the sawdust which was designed particularly for hard timbers. Either working together or singly with one of the handles removed, it’s a brilliant tool; the long cutting stroke and weight of the blade make a good strong action that cuts efficiently through the logs – more fun than a chainsaw.
A comprehensive and practical guide to working with an Austrian scythe. Perfect if you cannot attend a course or as a reference guide following tuition.