Dateline: 6 May 2015
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The above tool is a short-handled garden weeder I made a few days ago.
The handle is modeled after a hatchet handle. I cut the outline on a 1" thick cherry board and carved it with a utility knife from there. The blade is the same spring steel that I use in my Whizbang Wheel Hoe blades.
The handle is very comfortable, and the tool is attractive, but it is not a practical short handled weeder. That's because the handle style is best suited for chopping and the blade is not in any way a chopping blade. It's supposed to be a lightweight soil slicing blade. Also, the handle is too long for convenient operation. It puts too much stress on the wrist. I had to make the tool before I realized all of this.
I will probably make another tool similar to this but with a much shorter handle and probably a little narrower blade. The idea is to create a comfortable tool for slicing through the soil in my garden beds, to quickly cultivate, before the weeds get established.
Yes, I have long handled hoes that will do this, and some short handled tools too, but it's always nice to have another useful tool in the weeding/cultivation arsenal.