Repairing Gardening Hand Tools, by Christian Souljer

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Being able to plant your own vegetables during hard times will be greatly desirable. In order to do this, a preparedness person should have multiple duplicates of commonly used garden tools. Gardening tools such as rakes, hoes, and pitchforks often break at the connection between the handle and the head. The wood becomes aged and with downward pressure/force – the wood can break away and or the tool head can just become loose and fall out. This occurs mostly on older tools where the wood has shrank but can also occur on the cheaper imported garden tools. I recently had to repair two of my older tools (heavy rake and hoe) which both broke when planting this year’s garden.

If replacement handles are not available, most of the tools can be repaired to useable condition by the following method:

1) Clean the metal tool head area that goes into the wood with a wire brush and coarse sandpaper.
2) Clean out the wood handle “socket area” using a small foxtail file or cylindrical wire brush or sandpaper on stick, etc. Try not to remove any wood – just clean the wood surface.
3) Mix up a batch of thick epoxy or JB Weld, etc. and use some kind of tape (masking tape works well) to bridge up the area where the wood has been chipped out or broken off).
4) Fill the handle “socket” with epoxy, and insert the tool head. Don’t forget to install the tool head cone before installing the tool head. Adding some additional epoxy to the tapered portion of the handle and the inside of the cone will further strengthen the connection between the handle and the tool head.
5) Wrap additional tape around the bottom of this cone to keep epoxy from leaking out, and then store the tool with the head up until the epoxy has hardened for at least 24 hours.

If the handle has become cracked or broken, the wood can be wrapped with copper or iron wire over the entire length of the crack/break, then twist the wire using pliers to get and maintain a tight wrap. Epoxy or tape over it (epoxy is best). This will add great strength to the wood in that area. Also, the handles can become splintered and or the varnish can crack and be hard on the hands. To resolve this – sand and re-varnish or oil stain, or wrap a rubberized tape around the handle in the working areas to provide a splinter free grip.

A little oil will help in keeping rust from forming during storage (as noted in previous SurvivalBlog posts). It is a good idea to keep all your tools and equipment in ready condition. You never know when you will need them.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on July 17, 2007 10:42 PM.

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