Peening bench/ station

At the peening workshop, I discussed the importance of having a good peening station for your work.

For consistent, accurate peening everything needs to be stable and solid with the force of the hammer blows being transmitted down to the ground. If you, the blade or the anvil are unsteady the whole process becomes a problem. Either set a good block of wood on the ground and bed it in well or, preferably, set it into the ground about 18″ so it’s not going anywhere. A more portable option is a peening bench which is held steady by the user’s weight. Whichever you choose, set the height so that the blade can be supported by your legs when it’s on the anvil.

I have been travelling to Austria to learn about mowing and this year had peening instruction from two experts

Here is the peening bench of Gerhard Wagner who was Chief Engineer at the Schroeckenfux scythe factory in Austria. Note how the anvil is turned so the scythe edge is aligned with his hammering arm. Also that the seat is comfortable; an important consideration if you’re going to be peening the blade regularly.

Gerhard Wagner peening

Adolf Staufer, who worked his whole life at the Pieslinger scythe factory before it closed, has a bench simply made from sawn softwood. See how he narrowed the top so the scythe tang doesn’t foul on the block. Adolf has two anvils here, one for peening and one for making repairs – more on that in another post.

Finally, an old peening bench similar to Gerhard’s. This design is very commonly seen in museums.

About Steve Tomlin

I am a greenwood worker and scythe tutor. I carve spoons, bowls and other products from locally sourced greenwood. During the summer I teach scything around the UK.
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