A Prototype Garden Tool

Dateline: 6 May 2015

(click for larger view)

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.


Gail said...

Great inventions are made with trial and error.

Anonymous said...

Look up Hook and Crook hoes. They are the best hoes ever. Made and sold up there in your neck of the woods.

Herrick Kimball said...

Thanks for mentioning the Hooke N' Crook hoe. It is similar to the Ploskorez hoe out or Russia, but heavier. I've considered getting one.

David The Good from FloridaSurvivalGardening.com said...

Nice work on the handle.

I can see how the ergonomics might be wrong. Hmm... perhaps rather than the stirrup blade a sharply angled thin strip of steel might work. A 45 degree to the handle, rather than a 90, with a lot less neck on the blade. Blade style more like this, but even thinner and more tightly angled for drawing: http://www.agriculturesolutions.com/images/stories/virtuemart/product/PROHOE_Rogue_Gar_4f9561629256c.jpg

Anonymous said...

Interesting thought. It looks like a great idea.

Maybe a handle parallel to the blade with a brace that comes back over the back of your forearm. Think wrist rocket slingshot. Would give you leverage to dig but keep your wrist in line with the working motion.

Anonymous said...

I purchased a Hula-Ho 35 years ago and I use it just about every week to weed around the rose bushes. Very handy item and definitely a back saver. It is now sold through Amazon.

SharonR said...

This makes me think of this quote from "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder:
"There was no time to lose, no time to waste in rest or play. The life of the earth comes up with a rush in the springtime. All the wild seeds of weed and thistle, the sprouts of vine an bush and tree, are trying to take the fields. Farmers must fight them with harrow and plow and hoe; they must plant the good seeds quickly.
Almonzo was a little soldier in this great battle. From dawn to dark he worked, from dark to dawn he slept, then he was up again and working."

Isn't that a great quote from that little book? It's full of good things like that. I have a feeling your hand weed whacker will soon be the best thing next to a good rain to loosen those stubborn weeds.