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Published on May 10, 2014
To some of you it may appear as if over the years Peter Vido has, with regard to peening, presented mixed messages. On one hand he has fussed about the exact shapes and surface finishes on faces of hammers and anvils, and criticized the products sold by some companies that do not meet those high standards. On the other hand, he suggested that -- if given an emergency -- a scythe blade can be peened on the surface of a steel boot scraper with just about any ordinary hammer.
On April 1st, I walked out to see what piece of steel is sticking above the still generous amount of snow covering this geographical niche of Canada, something of a shape that a scythe blade's edge could be serviced at on. An inviting contraption -- a 1946 Farmall H tractor -- caught my eye...
The blade was a brand new specimen with the sort of edge finish that may well represent the global average offered nowadays -- sporting those steep micro bevels. The hammer used was a no-name brand of 16 ounce carpenter claw-style. (I did not search through our stock of various 'non-peening' hammers; this was one of the two close at hand and the one with a somewhat less banged-up face). Other than slightly smoothing the face (with the synthetic stone) I did no re-shaping of it. The worn ice cleats scattered over the chain rings in various positions and angles provided an interesting 'experimental peening playground'.
Had there been grass to mow around that tractor we'd have shown how a blade peened on such an inappropriate set-up can actually cut.