We sell quality Austrian scythe blades that are made of a relatively soft compound metal that enables them to be kept incredibly sharp. Normal sharpening is done wih a sharpening stone, but after a day or two mowing you can reshape the blade by 'peening' it. This means using this anvil with a hammer to flatten out the edge of the blade.
The peening process takes advantage of the malleable nature of metal. Hammering the cutting zone draws the metal out, thinning it for easier sharpening.This beating also work hardens the metal and enhances edge retention. A whetstone is used to finish the sharpening but in doing so abrades the edge and wears it back so eventually you will have to re-peen to restore thinness.
Mounting the anvil - Can either be held in place on a vice or mouted on a section of wood.
Peening - You are using the hammer to redistribute the metal ever so slightly. Heavy hammer blows are unnecessary. A firm yet sensitive strike that makes a good solid sound is your goal.
Hammer & anvil — The cutting zone is drawn over the crown of the anvil gradually as the hammer strikes the metal. Coordinate the blade movement with the frequency of hammer blows. Try to keep the edge flat on the anvil crown. Set an easy sustainable rhythm and work the blade from the beard to the tip. Examine the results, and start over again. With good light you should be able to see the results of each hammer blow during the process. The metal will seem to expand forward and become thinner. As your edge approaches final thinness lighten the force of the hammer. Continue peening the blade's length as evenly as possible.
When is the blade finished? - Press your thumbnail on the underside of the cutting edge and slide it along (carefully), you should notice a barely perceptible wave as the edge deforms. At this point the edge is about the thickness of paper. If the blade has begun to crack or fissure you have over peened - very light corrective taps can mend slight problems.
Remember that most of a blades final sharpness is the result of good hammering, the whetstone only finishes an already sharp edge.
A magnifying lens is handy for examing your blade. It makes it easy to spot burrs and cracks as well as allowing you to see up-close the effect of your sharpening and peening efforts, especially when learning how to hone your blade.