Instructables
Picture of Weeding hook
P8310795xx.jpg
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.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1:

Picture of
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.

Step 2:

Picture of
P8310771xx.jpg
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).

Step 3:

Picture of
P8310778xx.jpg
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.

Step 4:

Picture of
P8310782xx.jpg
P8310786xx.jpg
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.

Step 5:

Picture of
P8310792xx.jpg
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.
galadriel2 years ago
If you don't have the metal bar handy or you don't feel up to cutting and bending metal, there's another way to manage this pretty easily.

From the size this appears to be, you could get the same effect with a horse's hoofpick, usually less than $1, found at farm/feed stores and horse/livestock supply stores online [I'd include a link or several, but it feels tacky to put commercial type links on instructables]. It's the same shape and about the same size, I think, though in smooth metal. Hoofpicks do come in a variety of types, but the simplest type looks just like that.
nicolas3141 (author)  galadriel2 years ago
Yes, the tool described is not a new invention and similar things are available commercially, but my home-made version is slightly larger and somewhat heavier duty than most hoof picks. Also the tip of the hook is sharpened the other way, ie at 90 degrees to the way hoof picks are usually shaped. These subtle differences are the advantage of making it yourself to suit the need exactly, and hence it works noticeably better.
These are hoof picks (two separate words).