Making Your Garden Tools More Efficient

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About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (41 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

I do a lot of digging - I mean a LOT!!! I have about 4 acres and do most of my stuff by hand so anything that makes my tools better is good!

Now when digging I find that my instep gets sore, so let's improve a fork (or a spade if you wish)

This is pretty simple, all you need is a couple of nuts, bolts and washers, some angle bar, a drill and some spanners

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Step 1: Get Your Materials

So I found a piece of Angle metal in the scrap bin at work (aluminium in this case but Iron would work too) and cut it into 2 equal bits.

They are about 110mm long and it's 40mm angle

Bopped a couple of holes in them and found some nuts, bolts and washers in the "when you going to throw all that useless crap away" box!!

Step 2: Bolt It All Up

As it says ^

The hammer was for a bit of "technical adjustment" so it sat level with the fork top bar.

Obviously if you are doing this with a spade you need to drill a couple of holes in the spade too!

Step 3: And There It Is!

2 advantages

1. More comfortable on the foot

2. More force can be applied to get the fork into the ground

BTW if you are left handed (footed?) put it on the other side.

Hope you like

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    13 Discussions

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    bluenz

    3 years ago

    Haha, I had a brother like that, he used to pull things apart to see why they were working so well, but wasn't so good at putting them back together again.
    Yes, Kiwi born, but spent many years in Aus, but now living in VN, one place you really need a mig, and some mechanical knowledge,

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    bluenz

    3 years ago

    I'm lucky enough to have a welder, I weld angle on my shovels as well as strengthening them, like the spades you buy these days, the are thin and flex a lot, eventually breaking, I also weld a piece of angle to the heads of my axes and sledgehammers, protecting the handles for when your aim is just a little off.

    3 replies
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    buck2217bluenz

    Reply 3 years ago

    I have a welder too, however by using bolts this is removeable for left footed users

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    bluenzbuck2217

    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm ambidextrous , so it's on both sides, but I'e never had a left handed person borrow my tools yet. I can't find nyloc nuts here either, so I usually end up " double nutting " or welding the nuts on bolts, mind you, the humidity where I live rusts them on pretty quickly.

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    buck2217bluenz

    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm only ambidextrous in as far as I can bugger something up equally well with either hand!! Your user name --you a kiwi? (I'm a pom with a kiwi passport!)

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    tennesseecherokee

    3 years ago

    Sorry for the errors in grammar. I know angle is spelled this way. Tough to proofread on a tine cell phone screen.

    1 reply
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    buck2217tennesseecherokee

    Reply 3 years ago

    There used to be a series on BBC about nurses called Angels so fair enough (oh and *tiny ;-) )

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    tennesseecherokee

    3 years ago

    As a retired emergency room nurse, i was going http://youtu.be/uAEphHf0P-cto suggest rounding off the corners of that piece of angel iron but i see someone beat me to it.
    Great idea

    1 reply
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    buck2217tennesseecherokee

    Reply 3 years ago

    I've been using this for about 2-3 years and it hasn't bit me yet (unlike so many of my other tools) however "elf 'n' safety" in all things. BTW was there a reason for the youtube insert?

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    ToyMaker

    3 years ago

    Large face palm here, as in "why didn't I think of that".

    WELL DONE!!!

    When I install this mod on my digger this spring I'll extend the angles to the full width of the tool. This is because when I fork around in the garden for any length of time I switch feet at odd intervals.

    I'll round off the corners a bit too, reducing the count of incised ankles and shins.

    1 reply
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    buck2217ToyMaker

    Reply 3 years ago

    Good ideas but as yet I haven't injured myself using it (originally made it about 2 years ago ) Also I'm not an ambidextrous digger - I fall over if I try left footing it