Instructables
Picture of Wear Edge for a Plastic Snow Shovel
Our plastic snow shovel works well, but I wanted a steel wear edge to handle snow "glued" to the concrete after freezing rain and to prolong the life of the shovel. We are somewhat "snowed in" right now, so I wanted to use materials in my shop. I chose to use some steel from an old bedframe because it is so hard and will wear very well.

In the photo the wear edge is not finished, but only ready for fitting.

Materials
  • Angle iron from a bed frame
  • 1/4 inch bolts and nuts
Tools
  • Angle head grinder, cutting and grinding wheels
  • Measuring and marking tools
  • Vise-Grip pliers
  • Keyhole saw with a fine blade
  • File
  • Flux core wire feed welder and 230 volt stick welder
  • Wrenches
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Make flats from angle iron

Picture of Make flats from angle iron
I had angle iron from a bed frame. I needed flat stock. I put angle iron in a vise and used a cutting wheel to make two flats from one angle iron piece.

Step 2: Mark and cut the shovel edge to make it straight

I cut one of the flats to length to fit the leading edge of the shovel. I used a pair of Vise-Grip pliers to hold that flat in place so I could mark a straight line across the ragged front edge of the shovel. 

Then I cut on the marking line with a fine saw. (Second photo. The saw is from a previous Instructable I did. In this Instructable I showed how I fitted a blade from a common reciprocating construction saw.) Use a file as necessary to make the fit between the edge of the flat and the front of the shovel fairly close.

Hi Phil. Making holes with a welding rod seems to add unwanted slugs to the steel surface. Why not using a carbon electrode for making holes?

Phil B (author)  technoDr Pardis5 months ago
I do not do a lot of welding and keep just one rod. Thank you for the suggestion and for looking.
spark master8 months ago

nice, I red through it once as I have been thinking of reedging my plastic shovels!

Did you grind the edge of the shovel like a chisel? If you didn't that would be helpful.

nice, heavy, but nice!

Phil B (author)  spark master8 months ago

Thank you. I did not grind the edge to make a "V" edge. I figured use over time will add a sharp edge. Without a sharpened edge the shovel still works very well. If there is a problem, I am getting more scraping from the bolt heads and the front edges of a couple of square washers than I expected. But, that, too, will wear into place over time. I need to be careful not to let the handle dip too low.

I think if you use large pan head type bolts and mount them with the heads down to the pavment, and use crown nuts with lock nuts up top , it would be nicer. (easier. less mechanical scraping on the pavement). But that is just a guess.

nice repair work regardless.

Phil B (author)  spark master7 months ago
If you are thinking of carriage bolts, they will require a square hole. Just getting the bolts back as far as possible from the edge reduces how much they might scrape on the pavement in use. Yes, the shovel is a little heavier. A narrower wear strip means less steel and less weight.

Nope, pan heads versus button heads . Pan heads are a flater profile head on a screw shaft. Many times they are used in say electrical panels to hold the cover/door on the panel. It allows for more metal over the faccia of the box kinda like having a built in washer. Here in the states the screw in a 1900 box(4 inch steel square electrical box) are generally button heads. Light fixtures (strip lighting) are also many times secured closed with pan heads. I hope you are doing better then me cause I am freezing my butt off today and I am in NYC area. bbrrrr

boatingman8 months ago
Hi, Phil. I wasn't questioning your word about the hardness of the steel. I am truly interested in knowing what type of bed frames they were. I could use a cheap source of really hard steel, if I can find them. That kind of stuff is really handy to have. I apologize if I came off like a troll.

Our local Goodwill sells bed-frames really cheap! They get so many turned in, because it seems every time someone buys a new mattress set, it comes w/ a new frame ... so what to do w/ the old one?! I went there one day to do just that ... turn in my old one ... and there was a huge pile lying back in the corner, like a bed-frame graveyard, or something. Check out your local Goodwill, boatingman! :)

Phil B (author)  praise_song8 months ago

I went to a Goodwill outlet today. They had four bed frames. The signs overhead said bed frames may be marked with a price. If not, pricing is per pound. I could not find a price on any of the bed frames, so I expect they go for about $ 1.39 per pound. I picked one up and guessed at the weight. If my guess was the least bit close, I would rather buy new steel, or watch the curbs on garbage day. (Before anyone accuses me of stealing, I would ask the home owner if I may have a bed frame set out on garbage day.)

Phil B (author)  praise_song8 months ago

Thank you for the hint about Goodwill as a source for bed frames. (I looked at your web page. We have two daughters and two grandchildren in Knoxville. We go there several times a year.)

Phil B (author)  boatingman8 months ago

Thank you. Forgive me if I sounded reactive.

I think I have had three bed frames, all since about 2010. Two of them were found in neighborhood dumpsters. One was given to me by someone who had no further use for it, and it had been given to her earlier by her grandparents. I do not know anything about who made the bed frames. The first one was used in this Instructable without any drilling, only cutting with an abrasive wheel on an angle head grinder. I really cannot say how hard the steel in that bed frame was. When I made this project (linked earlier) I discovered bed frame steel can be quite hard and slow to drill. I even stopped and sharpened my drill. My sister-in-law saw the garden tool rack and I had to make another for her, but I fashioned a work-around to avoid drilling holes. The steel for the shovel wear strip project came from leftovers after making the second garden tool rack. It was some of this same steel I used in a drilling test with a carbide tipped masonry bit and oil.

Bed frame steel is not required for this project. We were pretty much snowed in. I had been thinking about a steel wear strip for a while, and decided to do it so removing the ice crusted snow would be easier. That meant I needed to make do with what I had on hand. Any part in this project that needs to be drilled could be made from mild steel bar stock. But I did not have any and made do with the bed frame steel.

kbranham8 months ago

I used some bed frame angle iron in rebuilding a utility trailer. I used some for side rails, and for a ramp to load my motorcycle. I found them to actually be fairly easy to drill through with just my cheap twist drill bits.

tpisano8 months ago

I have also found in working with old bed frames, the steel was very hard and could not be cut with a hacksaw blade or easily drilled. It may be that as with everything else, they make things with cheaper material these days and the steel in newer beds is not as strong.

Phil B (author)  tpisano8 months ago

Thank you. Here is a link to the discussion I found on drilling bed frame material.

eryl8 months ago

I'll confirm that every bed frame I've ever come across was harder than mild steel. I always cut with a grinder, and drill with a lot of pressure and lubricant to save burning out the drill bit.

Phil B (author)  eryl8 months ago

Thank you for confirming my experience. I realize not everyone will have a 230 volt stick welder for making a hole by plug welding. But, I wanted to present it as a way to make a hole in hard materials.

boatingman8 months ago
What kind of bed frame are you talking about? I've drilled hundreds of holes in all kinds of bed frames with no problem. All that I've ever seen are made from mild steel. The makers don't want a high carbon steel as it is more brittle and could snap under the stress put on beds.
Phil B (author)  boatingman8 months ago

It was given to me as a cast-off. I had to drill a series of holes in bed frame steel for this Instructable and it took all day. I "googled" drilling in bed frame steel and found a number of people puzzling over how to do it. They were experiencing very hard steel in their bed frame stock. One of them suggested the carbide tip drill and oil. Good for you if you have softer material easier to drill. That has not been my experience at all.