I’ve just taught the second of two Learn to Peen workshops for the Yorkshire Dales National Park. I’ve been teaching people how to mow with scythes in the park for a couple of years so it was thought that some specific peening courses would be useful to give some of those people confidence in peening which they could then pass on and spread through the networks we’re hoping to build here in the NW.
I recommend that everyone starts to learn to peen using the peening jig. This gives you the opportunity to learn to handle the blade and strike consistently with the accuracy built in for you. Once you’ve learned these basic skills and understand what is happening with peening, it is much easier to move on to freehand peening on the anvil if you want to.
We started out with a recap of what peening is, how to judge when to peen and how the jig works, then we set everyone up and the hammering commenced. When you know how to handle the blade and what results to look for, peening with the jig is a relatively simple operation but one that can produce excellent results including an edge that will pass the ‘thumbnail test’ for meadow blades. With some encouragement, checking and slight corrections to technique, everyone was peening well by the end of the days. Like mowing itself, peening is a skill which needs practise and time to master but these folk are off to a good start.