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A garden tool I made

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by Joel_BC, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Jan 8, 2012
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    I designed this as an alternative to the common three-fingered small garden claw. There may be tools like it on the market, but not in my region. For weeding, we use a rototiller and hoe for the broad-scale work. But a lot of the work of weeding gets down into small spaces right around the desired plants in a vegetable or decorative bed. The tool I made digs right in there.

    The business end of the tool is made from 1/4″ mild-steel rod. I cut a piece about 8″ long, heated about half of it into the glowing-orange heat range, and used a piece of 2″ diameter steel pipe as a form for shaping it. Having clamped the section of pipe into my bench vise, I used a hammer to coax one end of the hot steel rod into a sort of question-mark shape (reheating the rod as necessary while I worked on it).

    I used an oxy-acetylene torch for the heating, though you could use a blacksmithing forge for the purpose.

    [​IMG]

    After making the basic shape, I heated the very end of the rod and hammered it to a taper, which causes a slight flaring at the tip end of the profile. So, once the taper was basically established, I did a bit of grinding (using a bench grinder, and a belt grinder) to remove any burrs and to give final shape to the tip.

    Two views of he tip:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    When I was satisfied with the metal portion, my focus shifted to making a handle. I chose a piece of ash wood a 5″ section of an old broken shovel handle. I shaped this into a comfortable handle using a coarse belt on my belt grinder. Once I was happy with the feel of the shaped handle, I drilled a 5/16″ hole about 2″ into the appropriate end, and cleaned it out well. I coated about an inch and a half of the shank-end of the shaped steel rod with a fairly thin layer of epoxy glue, and pushed it fully into the handle. Excess oozed out of the handle, so I cleaned that off. Then I let the glue set and cure for about 48 hours.

    Once the bond was strong, I just cleaned up the finished tool. I rubbed some vegetable oil into the handle so that it would have a bit of resistance to the moisture thats everpresent with both sweaty working hands and garden soils.

    I wasnt sure just how much use this tool would get. But I now find myself using it about three times as much as I use a standard garden claw or a trowel.

    A person who was helping us for a few days with weeding our gardens and who had her choice among maybe a dozen tools said this one-finger gadget wound up being her tool of choice. So I felt like my design and tool-making effort succeeded. Not that I see myself as "a fine tool maker"... I'm not, but I admire those who are. But this was satisfying.
     
    crealbilly, tortoise and Beekissed like this.
  2. Jan 8, 2012
    Mattemma

    Mattemma Lovin' The Homestead

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    Nice tool. I would use that in my garden.
     
  3. Jan 8, 2012
    FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Super Self-Sufficient

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    very cool

    a giant sized hoof pick

    I have tons of those in smaller version LOL

    nice!

    also a weapon ;) ;)
     
  4. Jan 8, 2012
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    Hadn't thought of it as a weapon... :gig A bit small, maybe?

    Glad you like it.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2012
    FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Super Self-Sufficient

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    ;)
    lol aimed in the right spot on a person damage could be huge ...hmm...Joel the Ripper :lol:
     
  6. Jan 8, 2012
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    :lol:
     
  7. Jan 8, 2012
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    Aww, man... you vicious gals!

    It's what we call "bloody-mindedness" up here in Canada. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Jan 8, 2012
    FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Super Self-Sufficient

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    :lol:

    ah, shows intent. :thumbsup
    you go!!
     
  9. Jan 9, 2012
    BrandedX

    BrandedX Power Conserver

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    Pretty nifty. :)
     
  10. Jan 9, 2012
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    Pretty easy to make. Works well.

    Do you do any metal work, BrandedX ?
     

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