Saxon Peening Station

I’ve been sent some photos from Michael Stibane in Germany of his peening station which his great-grandfather, who was a cartwright, produced and sold.
Peening is done on a flat anvil and by altering the string on the upright pole, the angle of the blade on the anvil can be altered. Peening with the scythe blade and snath attached is common where they are joined together using a simple collar and wedge. Fitting and securing them is more time consuming than with a modern collar so once the blade is set up correctly and fixed, they are kept together so as not to disturb the arrangement.

Michael says:

The can is for water. I learned, while peening, you have to apply water from time to time to the point of the blade you are peening. So I dip the hammer into water every ten or twenty strokes. Grandpa told me, it tempers the steel. Seems logic to me: hammer-steel-deformation-heat-water-tempering :) .

As far as I know the peening station is not traditional for my area (Eastern Ore Mountains). Most of our people here have a flat anvil on a wooden stand with a peg. They stick it into the ground on a slope, sit down on the grass face to valley and start peening away with snath attached.

I’m not sure about the tempering theory for the water but I have seen knifemakers wet their hammer while forging which then gives the steel a ‘polished’ surface.

Follow the link to see all the photos, including measurements, of the peening station.

peening bench

Michael also sent me a link to a Hay Camp taking place in the Eastern Ore mountains near Dresden  July 6th – 22th 2012. If you go, please email me a report!

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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