Cothi Bridge show 2022

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    A few photos from the Cothi Bridge Vintage Show recently, Philip Swain and myself put together a small display at short notice, and Philip added the Scythe peening anvil and stool from one of the junk stalls, a rare find, a lucky day !

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by hortiman.

    It just goes to show that the stuff is still out there, but it helps if you know what it is when you see it! Many people would have walked past things like that because they don’t know what they’re looking at- a display like this at a local show can really turn up some hidden gems afterwards with people clearing out sheds because they’ve seen something similar!

    Well done for a great display with some really unusual items.


    The stallholder smiled and said ‘If you can identify that, I will reduce the price’, so I surprised him and said what it was, his surprise didn’t reduce it much though.
    Some years ago I found an Edwardian postcard of a man in a field hitting his scythe with a hammer. That set me off on a journey of research and I discovered in the history of sharpening scythes that mowers frequently peened the edge of the blade to strenghthen the steel so it would continue to produce a sharp edge. Bear in mind there were no cigar shaped carburundum stones then and many mowers used a wooden riff smothered with grease and sand for regular scythe sharpening in the field.


    I never knew that, Philip. If I’d seen someone hitting a scythe with a hammer I would have guessed he’d just injured himself with it and was getting his own back!

    Congratulations on an excellent find and matching background story. I wonder how many of these have been thrown away in ignorance.


    This would be a good item and story for an article in The Cultivator. Maybe a photo of the item on one age, guess the object. Then answer and background story on another page.


    The peening hammer is used on the blade only when the sharpening has worked back on the width of the blade, at that point the blade gets thicker, by penning all you are doing is thinning the blade again.
    Just remember sharpening a scythe blade is not like sharpening a knife blade, its putting a sharp edge which under close looking is a saw edge, and just remember its only the first 3 inches that cuts, the curve and the length of the blade is for removing the cut grass away from the next cut.

    I for one use scythes every day in my working life

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