Replacing Handles on Garden Tools Part II


Since the original post on this theme, I have come across a few tool heads that were destined to be thrown away, and couldn’t help but rescue them. These tools still have a lot of life left in them, and it may help some of you to see these examples of the replacement process.
First, and easiest of all is the level head garden rake. This rake is useful in similar situations as a “bow” rake because of the hard teeth, but the back of the head is flat which is helpful when preparing a seed bed, Anyway, the handle was broken off and the head was so loose in the stub that it was nearly able to spin completely around. After removing the head from the stump of handle, I just used a hand sledge to pound a new handle on it. Good as new.
Second is the spring leaf rake. This head is a bit better quality because of the round spring that helps to flex the tines, as well as the bracket that holds the head on the handle. I’m not sure how the previous owner broke the handle, but the head is nearly brand new. To replace the handle, I unscrewed the wing nut and pulled out the bolt which holds the modified washer. Next I slid the new handle into the slot until the taper end of the taper was about a half inch below the bracket. Then I drilled a hole through the handle by using the bracket holes as a guide. Finally, I slid the bolt through the bracket and the new handle, added the modified washer and screwed the wingnut back on. All set for fall.
The last, and most challenging project is the broken shovel. This is a “deep socket” shovel which is supposed to be better supported than a standard socket shovel. In reality, the handle just breaks higher up. The moral of the story is that you should use a shovel for digging soil, not prying rocks and roots. To remove the head, I hacksawed the tops off the two rivets, then pushed them out of the holes. Then, because the lower portion of the handle bends inside the socket thus preventing a straight push out, I drilled out the lower portion of the handle using a 7/8 inch spade bit.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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1 comment
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 19, 2014

    In our very disposable culture, I love that good garden tools should last a lifetime, even if you have to replace a handle now and then.

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