Sunday, May 22, 2011

I have the make my own garden tools!

I currently live in an apartment not far from my shop. I don't have a garden, but there is a bit of a yard, and it grows a lot of grassburrs. If you aren't familiar with these, count yourself lucky. They are resilient plants and their seeds are little spheres covered with spikes that have microscopic barbs. These can easily drive deeply enough into unsuspecting flesh to draw blood and hurt like the devil to pull back out. The seeds grow in clusters, and when dry will scatter at the slightest disturbance, spreading themselves and attaching to anything mobile so they may come to soil further afield. These end up in my carpet, where they are suddenly encountered with my bare feet.

So I need to hoe the plants in my apartment's yard before they can produce seeds. I didn't have a hoe. The ones available for sale at Home Despot and similar stores are heavy, ugly, with blades at the wrong angle, likely as not made in Communist China, and generally unsatisfactory.

Good thing I have a power hammer.

This is what I forged out last week. It is forged from a single piece of scrap leaf spring that I had in my shop. I hardened and temepred it, and managed to find a handle to put it on (it was actually more difficult to find the handle than to make the head because stores expect you to buy a new tool rather than replace a handle, a sure sign of our degenerating civilization ;) ). It is held on by friction at the moment, but will be receiving a screw to help hold it on if it becomes loose.

It's lightweight, is at the correct angle for use, and is much more interesting and beautiful than what I could have found in a store. It's almost sculptural in form. And most importantly, it works well.


  1. Very cool, James! You could definitely find yourself a home in the martial arts weaponry market if you start making garden tools like an Okinawan hoe or kama, or if you started making sai/manji sai

  2. Ohh.. I like that! It's a beauty. You're right, much, much nicer that the shop bought stuff. As to the handles, it's hard to come by here too. I just make my own :-)

  3. Thanks, guys! I've had a couple folks tell me that they would buy one if I offered them for sale, so I'm going to figure up a price for them.