Blade Peening Services

International Peening Day at the start of this month aimed to highlight the importance of blade peening and scythe maintenance to get the best from your scythe.

Some time ago, Michelle of Scythe Cymru put out a request for more experienced practitioners to offer a blade peening service; recognising that peening is a practical barrier for many folk who are striving to develop their scythe proficiency. Phil has for some time offered a peening service

I felt unable to offer a peening service myself at the time; mainly because my old bones and tendons cannot manage that amount of peening without getting RSI tendonitis. I calculated that over one weekend I delivered 20,000 hammer blows to peen a batch of blades just for my courses the following week! (at around 125 blows per minute; 1250 blows per peening run).

Inspired by Colin Close’s experiments (see past windrow editions for details), I have now built myself a peening machine.  It delivers more like 2600 bows per minute with no strain on my arms – in fact both hands free to hold and guide the blade.  It is very noisy so ear defenders a must. My latest version was ‘launched’ and demonstrated successfully here as part of International Peening Day 2022, here in Norfolk.

IPD ‘rally’ of machines: Colin’s machine centre, My machine right, Mary’s bench-mounted version left

My machine is built around a Schröckenfux peening Jig paired with a 650w variable speed SDS hammer drill mounted in an old heavy duty wood milling router frame. It has foot actuated lever which controls the drill height and pressure above the jig.

Based on this I am now able offer a blade peening service

I am still very keen to encourage newcomers to get themselves peening, so, rather than just offer a peening service where I remotely peen blades, I encourage folk to bring their scythe and blades in person to my workshop.  Within these scythe clinic sessions, I aim to demonstrate and demystify peening as well as get their blade sharp. I hope people will leave sharper -encouraged to give peening a go themselves when they get home.

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