I made a snath for a new scythe blade that a friend gave me for my birthday. I had planned on making it out of a solid piece of ash, but the tree I thought was an ash turned out to be an elm. The wood was too far gone so I had to change plans.
|The completed snath and blade. I finished the wood in ordinary spar varnish. There are actually 21 pieces of wood total!|
I remembered a piece of clear Douglas Fir sitting in the basement rafters, so I decided to use that for the project. I already had a good scythe that I liked, so I used it as a pattern. The fir was cut to length and then ripped on the table saw thin enough to make the required bend. I made a jig on the workbench, glued things up, and clampled the pieces together. I think the main part of the snath was 6 pieces thick.
|I began by making the straight piece, with a bend towards the bottom. I used my workbench for the straight part, and clamped on a jig for the bend at the bottom. It's a mild bend, less than 15 degrees.|
For the lower handle I had to rip the pieces thinner, to make a sharper bend. I did this in a separate lay-up. I had to glue on extra small pieces to make the snath thicker in the area of the handles, and where the blade attaches. I used attachment hardware from an english-style scythe.
The handles are some clear wood from the elm tree that I had hoped to make the snath out of originally. I shaped the handles and then put a 7/8" diameter on the end. The snath had 7/8" holes drilled in at the appropriate locations, and the handles were glued in place. The entire snath is held together with ordinary carpenter's glue.
|Here is what it looked like after a good shaping and sanding. I think it is plenty strong but only time will tell. It's a little fancy for something that is supposed to be workmanlike, but I enjoyed this project.|