Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Scythe from CEC Hyderabad

10-November-2016

The below article is an old article, after trying out CEC scythe, I have stopped using it now, since more comfortable and internationally used Scythe designs are available now in India...Please visit
http://www.scytheindia.com/

Old Article

Cutting and controlling weed is an important activity in natural farming. I had seen Masanobu Fukuoka carrying a weed cutting tool with a long handle and thought such a long handled tool will be useful for cutting weeds. Fukuoka san carries two such tools, one short handled and one long handled. That tool was called Japanese Kama and later found that a tool called scythe exists which will be useful. See a picture of that tool.






I couldn't find any source in India to buy a scythe so contacted Alexander Vido of scythe works and got one scythe,it works well, but has some problems. It is very sharp and light weight but blade gets damaged when hit a stone or a hard branch which is there here and there through out the farm. Blade was bent,cut and I keep peening, sharpening but thought a bush scythe will be useful in these cases. Importing scythe was costly so finally came across CEC Hyderabad which makes scythes.Thanks to Balaji who gave this information on finding my previous blog post on scythe.

CEC (Centre for Environmental Concern) Hyderabad had imported scythes from Europe and studied it and they make it locally. Contacted Gopal of CEC Hyderabad and he spent the specification as

Stainless steel pipe welded to high quality hardened spring steel cutting blade. The Pipe is 4 ft with 16 mm diameter. The blade is 1.5 mm thickness, 90 mm width and 360 mm in length.

They make it to make the work of women laborers easy since benting and cutting weeds causes health problems (back ache etc) and allergic problems while coming in contact with some weeds.

I transferred 1200/- for this scythe and Mr. Gopal sent it to me. I fitted the scythe and started using it. It was not that smooth since it was little heavier than earlier scythe and also the snath was just 4 feet. According to the scythe experts it should be as tall as the person cuts. So I just put my earlier scythes wooden handle to this scythe and it works well now, even though it is little bit heavy compared to my imported scythe.

I am quite happy with this scythe's edge which is very strong steel and sharp. Hitting branches and small stones are all fine. I still haven't fitted handles for the snath and not really using it the way scythe is being used, since most of the cases there will be in between plants and there is no complete grass area to cut.

So anyone who buys this scythe should experiment a little bit and also fit a new snath. I use the same sharpening stones for making it sharp.


Here are some pictures: The one with steel handle is the scythe from CEC.





22 comments:

Yugandhar said...

Nandan...really appreciate all your efforts at learning and trying to walk the natural farming way. Your documentation helps people to learn too. Even though I do not comment or reciprocate to your email/blog posts, I do read them when you share. Appreciate your perseverance. Thanks for all that you do and sharing the info about scythe.

ಕುಕೂಊ.. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ಕುಕೂಊ.. said...

Hello Nandan,
Thanks for this great post.
It would be great helpful if you make a short video about how to use Scythe tool.

regards,
Kumaraswamy

Anonymous said...

we hav bought one simple scythe from coimbatore local shop. its a simple Lshaped type. one flat steel piece, 2 ft height and we can cut tall, soft grasses easily with that. but if we do it for more than an hour, the shoulder aches... Your post and pictures gave me good ideas now. If the handle is too long and strong but thin rod is used, the total wt reduces and will it make the cutting process easy and less painful ?

Nandakumar said...

Kumaraswamy,

Nice to hear from you after a long time...There are many videos about scythe in youtube. I am using scythe in a different way most of the time, since there are lot of shrubs, trees, branches in between


Nandakumar said...

Thanks Yugandhar..Please share your experiences with farming. I remember you had bought land some time back.

Nandakumar said...

It will be good if you can send some photos of that tool..True, if the handle is long, you get a leverage while cutting strong grass and bending your back for long time is not that good.

Steve said...

Here's a video that shows a scythe being used to trim around trees and obstacles. He even cuts some branches from the tree. The blade is shorter than the scythes used in open fields.

Note that he uses a slicing motion, instead of chopping with the blade. This makes it cut easier, and avoids damaging the edge. The blade is kept very sharp, and he doesn't need to use a lot of energy, so he doesn't get tired (instead, he says it is fun). For cutting the grassy material, the blade goes back and forth at ground level, without being lifted up.

Note that his snath (handle) has 2 grips attached. It's important to have at least one grip attached (for the right hand), so that the blade can be easily controlled.

Here's the video link:
http://youtu.be/DbSxLWqOdwM

If the link doesn't work, you can go to youtube.com and search for
"gardening with scythe 1"

Steve said...

Please see my comment above, with reference to that video demonstration. With a long handle (snath) having at least one grip attached, the scythe can cut while the user's back is in an upright, straight position that is less tiring. With a sharp blade, the effort will be minimized. Here is a video that demonstrates these principles:

http://youtu.be/yzmrLFHRaTY
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzmrLFHRaTY

If those links don't work, then you can go to
www.youtube.com
and search for
"Trimming grass with a Scythe" by kaivido

Shreesh Ponkshe said...

Nandan - thx for the post. Very relevant for me ... I too struggle with weeds especially post monsoons. Looks like I will be able to experiment with this only next year. Meanwhile, I use a brushcutter - it works well too, especially considering I have 20+acres of fruit plantation to manage. Steve - the videos you pointed out are very helpful too, they gave me the real idea of how to use a scythe. Thanks.

Nandakumar said...

Thanks Steve for the insight. I also realized one grip should be there for the snath, since I made a snath from local wood branch, not sure how to put the grip, will be trying it out soon.

Shreesh - I also have a brush cutter, but it is not useful during rainy season when the grass is wet. I use it when I need a clean walking path or some times before sowing seeds.

Do you grow any cover crop for fruit plantation?

Regards,
Nandan

Steve said...

Instructions for making a one-grip snath can be found here:
http://scytheconnection.com/making-your-own-snath/

The grip can be made from a tree branch:
http://www.scytheconnection.com/adp/snathmaking/img/grip3LG.jpg

The end of the grip is shaped into a rounded shaft that fits into a hole drilled in the snath:
http://www.scytheconnection.com/adp/snathmaking/img/grip5LG.jpg

After finding a good position for the grip, it can be glued and "pinned" in place (with a thin nail, for example).

This photo shows a good way to hold and swing a one-grip snath. Note the location of the grip, and the position of both hands. The woman keeps her back straight and keeps the blade on the ground.
http://www.scytheconnection.com/adp/snathmaking/3images.html

Steve said...

Another way to make a one-grip snath is shown on this page from my blog:
http://scytheconnected.blogspot.com/2014/06/russian-wrap-around-grip.html

This is the Russian-style "wrap-around" grip. It is important (and perhaps difficult) to tie this grip tight enough so that it is attached solidly without any movement.

Perhaps someone could experiment with making this type of grip from bamboo? The goal would be a solid grip attachment with no movement and no flex during use.

Nandakumar said...

Thanks Steve, will use that information to make a grip. If a grip is made, then only one problem remains, the weight of the Scythe which is on the higher side. Actually this Scythe has two pieces one is steel part and another iron part for reinforcement, CEC said, it is heavy because of the reinforcement. I have asked CEC to reduce the weight, once that is done, it should be a perfect tool.


Regards,
Nandan

Raj said...

Why don't you grow cover crops to suppress the weeds?

Nandakumar said...

Raj,

Saw this comment now...Yes, I grow Pureria now to supress weeds..but still in small scale.

Regards,
Nandan

Napoleon Escobar said...

Nan its me from costa rica and canada too. we would like to receive some info from your scythe experience in india please chek our web page in www.facebook.com/GUADANA2016. EXITOS CON TU NUEVA EXPERIENCIA DE VIDA.

Nandakumar said...

Nice to hear from you, Napolean. Let me know what information you would like to get from me. Scythe from CEC Hyderabad is heavy and is not that useful, but I use Scythe from Alexander Vido and it works great...


Regards,
Nandan

Yogender Kumar said...

How can we get this?

Nandakumar said...

Hi Yogendar,

You can contact anantchaturvedi355@gmail.com to get a scythe..Blade will be imported and snath/other fittings are local, but it works perfectly fine.


Regards,
Nandan

Unknown said...

hello sir plz give full knowlege for scythe project
my no is 9760354747

Nandakumar said...

Hi,

Please contact www.scytheindia.com, you can buy Scythe.


Regards,
Nandan