Adjusting the hafting angle

Check the hafting angle and adjust so the tip is 1–3 inches lower than the beard. The longer the blade, the more angle required*. To do this quickly, put one knee to the ground. Use this as a pivot point for the the top handle of the snath. With the scythe on the ground straight in front of you, mark the position of the blade's beard (the inside point of the edge). Pivot the snath clockwise and note the position of the tip as it aligns with the mark.

Halfing angle marking the spotHafting angle positon #2

The mark can be anything you can spot as a visual reference point, like a pebble, blade of grass or any identifiable feature that won't disappear on you when you look away.

Loosening the clamp screws Tightening the clamp screws

Loosen the blade locking screws, tilt the blade position to achieve the correct point/beard relationship, then check using the above procedure before tightening the clamp.

A safe way to tighten or loosen the bolts is to hold the back of the blade and point the snath away from you. This puts you behind the cutting edge and the snath will offer resistance to the leverage of the key.

Tighten the screws firmly and evenly, but don't overdo it. Don't exceed moderate pressure or you risk damaging the ring clamp and the snath.

* This is a basic position. A more open angle between snath and blade works well in very easily mowed grass, whereas a more closed angle is efficient in tough grass.

Contributed by Henrik Jørgensen, chairman of Strøgårdsvang Høslætlaug, Denmark.

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