Rip out weeds more easily with a simple tool that allows you to get them out by the roots so they don't spring up again when you turn your back.
You will need about 450mm (18") of steel rod or bar, 8-10mm (3/8") diameter. I used 10mm mild steel rebar.
To form it the tools you need:
- hacksaw or some other way of cutting it to length.
- a hammer and something to beat against as an anvil.
- tools to bend it, at least two of: a length of steel pipe and/or a large wrench and/or a vice and/or a clamp.
Put 40mm (1.5") in the vice and use the pipe to bend it a bit more than 90 degrees. Alternatively, put the steel rod into the pipe (or vice) so that only 40mm sticks out and then use a large wrench to bend it (while holding the pipe with your foot).
Move the steel rod so that the new hook plus about 50mm (2") are sticking out of the vice (or pipe). Use a large wrench (or woodworking type clamp) to put a slight bend in the rod, in the opposite direction to the main hook bend.
From the hook to the other end of the rod should be about 400mm (16"). Make a bend (in the opposite direction to the hook) about half way along, to form a handle of about 200mm (8"). Start by making a sharp right angle bend, then close it down as far as you can with your bending tools. Finally compress it in the vice or beat on it with a hammer until the bend is tight enough to form a comfortable handle. The handle should be 40-45mm deep at the bend, tapering to 25-30mm deep towards the hook end. Make it to suit the size of your hands.
Now sharpen the tip a little by beating it with a hammer. You don't want it chisel sharp because it will just wear down too fast, but if it tapers down to around 3-4mm (1/8") at the tip that is perfect.
All of that hammering might have caused it to twist, so now is the you can remove any twists and adjust the curves to get it just right. You may want to try it out and then tweak the angles after that.
The key points of this design that make it work so well:
- the angle of the hook is at 90 degrees to the line from the tip of the hook to the back of the handle.
- the handle tapers gently towards the hook.
- the tip of the hook is tapered slightly.
If you wear gloves to garden, then your weeding hook is ready to use. If you prefer to garden without gloves you will find it more comfortable if you bind the handle with string. Or perhaps paint/dip it with some kind of rubberised coating.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy.