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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Hand tools with broken wooden handles

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Author  [Modern View]

07-04-2013 05:59:21

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After breaking 3 brand new spade handles in about as many days (no, I was not abusing them), I gave up and made a steel handle. 1" pipe, telescoped onto 3/4" pipe, telescoped onto 1/2" pipe, all of it welded together, and then the 1" pipe welded onto the spade. Used the "D" handle from the broken wood handles. That spade has stood up to use and abuse for over 5 years now. I recently found 2 more spades with broken handles, so I now own 3 spades with all steel handles.

My long handle limb loppers recently got a pair of handles made from a TV antennae mast.

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Stan in Oly, WA

07-04-2013 09:16:57

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 Re: Hand tools with broken wooden handles in reply to RustyFarmall, 07-04-2013 05:59:21  
I've repaired several tools that way, including one pair of long handled loppers with 1/2" steel pipe. The TV antenna mast sounds like a better fit for both size and weight, and I even had one, but I didn't think of it.

What you want in a tool handle is light weight and strength, which is why wood is often ideal. In a striking tool like a hammer, axe, pick, or even a spade, a wooden handle also absorbs some of the impact instead of transmitting all of it to your hands, and arms and shoulders. Steel is great for strong, but lacks these other critical qualities. How are your steel handled spades for use? Heavy adds up. I used to own a 20 lb. sledgehammer which would have been perfect for some demolition jobs except that I couldn't swing it more than a few times without having to stop to catch my breath.


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07-04-2013 11:21:08

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 Re: Hand tools with broken wooden handles in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 07-04-2013 09:16:57  
Surprisingly, the steel handles do not add that much weight. My wife does a lot of flower transplanting, etc., and has used one of those steel handles spades a lot more than I have. She has no problems at all, even with the "spaghetti arms" she claims she has.

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