Picture of Pipe Tools, Garden Shovel
I picked up some 10' pieces of 1.25" galvanized chain-link fence pipe for $1 each at a garage sale once. I can't believe how many uses these things have, from making a pole saw to making the shovel listed here. The walls of the pipe are sturdy but not too thick for easy working.

Garden Shovel

I used a hack saw, tin snips, a file, pliers and a hammer to make this shovel.

1 piece of 1.25" dia. galvanized fence pipe.
Maybe some duct tape for comfort.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Mark and Cut Pipe

Picture of Mark and Cut Pipe
Mark a "T" like in the picture. Clamp the pipe and use a hack saw to cut the "T".
For the cross cut, don't go too far into the pipe or you'll lose strength in the tool.

Step 2: Bend and Shape

Picture of Bend and Shape
Open the pipe with some pliers and then a hammer to shape it a little.

Mark a "V" shape on the blade and cut however possible, I used tin snips.

Step 3: Clean and Make Pretty

Picture of Clean and Make Pretty
File or grind the sharp edges and smooth it out.

Wrap the handle with duct tape for better grip.

Drill a hold in the handle for hanging on the wall or mounting to a longer wooden handle .
Erfunden4 years ago
Moved into a new apartment with some dirt out front, thought of this instructable and decided to make a trowel and start gardening. The last couple of trowels I've bought have ended up bent rather quickly from the New Mexico dirt so I found a nice thick pipe to use. Check it out!
robbtoberfest (author)  Erfunden4 years ago
That looks pretty heavy duty; I'm glad it's working well for you. That's for posting the picture.
Turnip1234 years ago
 This is so going to be my hygiene trowel for backpacking now. You're the best.
frankfarms5 years ago
This was in Farm Show Magazine
admiral0016 years ago
this is a really good idea!. not something I've seen before
lazlow697 years ago
Gotta say, Robbtoberfest, your instructables are really doing it for me. You've got some solid ideas and quick and dirty approaches that make it easy to get into and fun. How about tin snipping one side a bit on the shovel to make a back saw on it, real subtle but enough to grab little roots or slash some small brush when getting into the ground? Just throwing it out. Keep on with these, much appreciated.
basscadetz7 years ago
great instructable, great for so many uses. from gardening to gifts to survival tool! I have 2 ideas. at the ends of the T and the joint drill a hole first. the metal will then be less likely to split on those bends. with the holes there you can abuse the hell out of it, and the mild steel is less likely to split, and will bend back easily id think? on the adding a film cannister for matches etc. i use a mini m&m's container. twice the size! great for bandages and aspirin, and anything else you can stuff in there. i gave you a + for this one. thanks
otterstedt7 years ago
Great idea, thanks!<br/>I instantly made my own garden shovel after I found your instruction.<br/>Mine is made out of a somewhat bigger stainless steel pipe. See<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="">my first edition</a> and <a rel="nofollow" href="">the enhanced edition</a> in my blog.<br/>
inquisitive7 years ago
Wow-awesome instructable! I want to make a set from different sizes of pipe for myself and my gardener buddies---will have to keep on in the car for emergencies too! I will use film canisters for matches, etc in the hollow for a little survivor tool---a girl can never be too prepared!
robbtoberfest (author)  inquisitive7 years ago
Good idea with the film canister. I've also made one with a serrated side for sawing roots. Putting some fishing tackle in the handle would be cool too.
robbtoberfest (author) 7 years ago
Just found out this thing is great in the tackle box. I use it to dig up worms and as a fishing pole holder; stick it into the ground and put the pole into the handle shaft.
Very nice! Solid and original. Making stuff out of pipe rocks. My uncle gave me a splitting maul he built from heavy-duty pipe welded to a concrete buster. The tip was then ground down to a sharp point. I call it "the widowmaker".
Vendigroth7 years ago
that's...brilliance! a piece of mundane pipe gets hacked into a trowel. It's simple, easy and i like it
awoodcarver8 years ago
Nice!!I pan for gold and am always losing my small shovels this should save me a few $$$ , I can use smaller pipe to dig in cracks in rocks aka crevicing
mud_dann8 years ago sir have just inspired me to lots of things..thank you very much
Austringer8 years ago
Sweet. I'm not sure how hard you could make it since the posts are probably just mild steel. Most of the shovels you can buy are probably just mild steel truth be told. Since there is still a good deal of curvature left in the center of the blade it probably has plenty of mechanical strength as is. If you do try to heat treat it, since it looks galvanized, do it outside on a windy day. Zinc poisoning is unlikely to kill you but the headache will make you wish you were dead.
dyermaker88 years ago
Maybe heat treat/oil quench for a little more tempering to keep it from bending/losing its edge??? I love it!
crapflinger8 years ago
great! but can you make a pipe out of a shovel? hehe really well done...
robbtoberfest (author)  crapflinger8 years ago
I'll leave that instructable to the experts ~~~ : )/
Nice instructable! Man, I love metal pipes. They are so suprisingly useful! You can use them to make a wide variety of items!
theRIAA8 years ago
it looks a lot better in quality than anything you can buy..
Sgt.Waffles8 years ago
Ive never seen that done before. Thats awesome! I am going to favorite it and go find some pipes. Good work. +
HamO8 years ago
Nice job, well done pix, good instructable. Thanks for sharing.
sam8 years ago
Sweet. I made chisels out of pipes when I was a kid. I recently made an emergency roughing gouge out of one too..