Before and After: Extreme blade repair
This is one example of an extreme blade repair. The deep tear is filed and peened to smooth the edge as much as possible.
It's important to know when to stop working/peening the blade; over-peening the blade can make the edge brittle and warped. A large repair will have to be addressed over multiple peenings, meaning that the blade will be repaired, used, peened, used and peened again, and so on. The edge is drawn out further with each peening, and the corners of the repair area are filed back. So the repair is less concave after each peening.
This blade will need to be used with caution, as it may be easy for material to get hung up in the repair area. While extreme damage, such as this half-inch tear, will never be totally peened out of the blade, the repair allows the blade to remain in use.
To prevent blade damage, use the right blade for the job and check for obstacles. This damage was caused by using a grass blade to mow mature cocklebur, a job better suited for a bush blade or loppers. Before mowing, survey the area for obstacles. Rocks, barbed wire, stumps, or uneven ground can cause damage to a blade. Most blades will need to be repaired at some point. But it's easier to prevent damage, by taking the time to look for obstacles, than to repair damage.
Check out our blade repair video, or reference The Scythe Book, addendum, chapter VIII, Repairing the Damaged Edge, for more information and visual aids.