Long in the Tooth?

digit(ID/WA)May 19, 2011

Not if it's an olde garden tool!

Two of the most useful gardening tools I have:

. . . but, they're almost wore out!

I'm not sure why the photo makes the 4-prong cultivator tines look so much longer than the rake's. They are between 1/2" and 1" longer and so short that I feel like I'm using a toy out there in the garden.

The rake has lost 3/4" of it's teeth if the information for a comparable model is a good indication. It's mostly for leveling and doesn't get much work "digging." It still has another year or so left to it. I've got another garden rake but it's got a wider track and does too much bouncing over my rough & rocky ground.

I'm rather fond of that simple 14-toothed rake. That fondness will last until my work with it becomes ineffective. Then, like the cultivator, I'll find another to do the job. After all, it is the work that I enjoy and the tools that are helpful in doing it.

  • What can you do with what you've got and,

  • What can't you do without?


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    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 9:37AM
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david52 Zone 6

Every now and again, I'll go to an estate sale / auction held at one of those generational farms. There will be an enormous collection of older hand tools - shovels, rakes, hoes, scythes, etc.

The old tools sell for about what the replacement cost is today - a good irrigation shovel will fetch $50, even if the wood is white with weathering and the blade rusty. A good sign, when picking out which of these tools is a really good one, look and see if the handle is freshly duct-taped so the user won't get splinters from the old wood.

Re sledge hammers / wood splitters - I have one of each with fiberglass handles. Process is to bury the splitter into the wood as far as you can with one swing, then whack on the blunt end of the splitter with the sledge hammer until the wood splits. I never have had very good aim with either, and so the ends of the handles, sticking out beyond the metal part, are so beat up they look like a broom. I have to tap down the head so it won't slide down the shaft, worrying that the top end is so frayed that it will no longer hold the thing, so then have to position myself, considering what might happen if the head flies off in mid-swing and hits a window, and so on. Maybe I should pop for replacements. One of these years.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 11:14AM
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I have a neighbor who is supposedly in construction. I say supposedly because he seems to usually be working for relatives who have other, non-construction businesses. They probably collaborate to find jobs for him.

Also, supposedly because he has such a strange attitude towards his tools. I noticed that he was out pruning the other day - with tin snips. They were left in a wheelbarrow which had several inches of rainwater in it.

He was inspired to take out a bush a couple of weeks ago. Landscaping work nearly always consists of ripping something out. For some reason, he whacked off the top of the bush with his chainsaw. Two weeks later, the chainsaw is still out on the lawn. Yes, all that rainwater fell on his saw.

I decided to save his bolt cutters for him once - another pruning job. Picked them up off the ground and hung them on the fence. They stayed right there thru the winter, until he had another pruning job! Apparently, they have now been replaced with tin snips.

Everything he uses is like this! He drops it and walks away. He has a shovel that has stood out there 12 months of the year for, at least, the last 5 years! Perfectly good shovel - no wear but it isn't worth much now.

I will spare you a photo of my oldest shovel. I picked it up and started using it the other day. Even tho' it no longer has a point, I immediately remembered why I liked using it. Hard to throw these things away when they have served me so well for so long!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 6:54PM
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david52 Zone 6

I must have 6 different shovels, and one of them gets used 98% of the time. The one with the smallest, pointiest blade.

The others get used for specialty stuff like skimming the top 1 inch of dried algae/dust off the dried out pond, or a sharp, square heavy one for cutting roots, and one that has inadvertently been semi-retired and now serves for gopher whacking, what with an initial gopher whack, 10 years ago, resulting in a split handle that was sorta put back together with electrical tape.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:18AM
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