LumberJocks

Future Projects #1: Hoe Handles out of what?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Ocelot posted 08-27-2017 01:55 AM 747 reads 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Future Projects series no next part

!

I was using one of my favorite hoes today, and was reminded that the handle is in sad shape. I have several hoes made by Rogue / Prohoe which are much better than any I’ve seen in local stores. Unfortunately, some have been left out in the weather – in some cases all winter. The handles are 60 inch ash and are not rot resistant.

Long hoe handles are not seen at my local stores either.
If I order replacements, they cost about half the cost of the tool, and shipping on long things is also high.

So, I was thinking of making some – preferably from rot resistant wood.

Black locust and osage in straight grained lengths are not to be found around here. I thought I would use sassafras, which I have previously bought at Hobby Hardwood, but upon looking at their web site found they were out.

So, I considered white oak which would be fine, but heavier and rougher than ash.

But then I wondered if I could use cherry since I have a couple thousand bf.

Much to my surprise. I found the wood database reported cherry as very rot resistant. I never considered using cherry for outdoor projects. So, we may soon be the only folks in town with cherry hoe Handles.



26 comments so far

View Andre's profile

Andre

1396 posts in 1585 days


#1 posted 08-27-2017 04:06 AM

We used to use Tamarack a lot back on the farm for fork handles, apparently when Alberta was first surveyed Tamarack was the wood of choice for their pegs.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1848 posts in 2417 days


#2 posted 08-27-2017 12:09 PM

I’m not familiar with tamarack… But of course I want some :-D

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

223 posts in 312 days


#3 posted 08-27-2017 12:21 PM

white oak, hickory, hard maple, ash (use the straightest grain you can find)

I would try giving it as much linseed oil as it can absorb. let it dry a couple of days and do it again, It won’t cure rot, but you might put off having to replace it, at least a while.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3676 posts in 2013 days


#4 posted 08-27-2017 03:05 PM

I vote for Osage Orange (common hedge). You could plant the hoe handle in the ground at the end of the row and it will be good as new for about 100 years, no finish needed. The metal would rust away, but the wood will still be strong. Take a walk through the woods and look for a tree with a 6” diameter trunk or branch of appropriate length, harvest it and split out some blanks. You would be able to get about four, at least. An appropriate curve might even help make it ergonomic. If you polish the smoothed handle with wax if will stay silky smooth for a long time. Of course the more you use it the smoother it will stay…

DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com Any contact lens that slips from the eye will acquire the ability to camouflage itself as it falls to the ground.

View Andre's profile

Andre

1396 posts in 1585 days


#5 posted 08-27-2017 03:29 PM



I m not familiar with tamarack… But of course I want some :-D

- Ocelot

Also goes by Larch? common tree around here, soft pine like needles that fall off in the fall, have one in the back yard.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

7923 posts in 1265 days


#6 posted 08-27-2017 05:17 PM

Alder.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

9759 posts in 1619 days


#7 posted 08-28-2017 09:14 AM

Cherry would get you some purdy handles, Ocelot! I know another woodworker that has so much mahogany he uses it to stake the tomato plants in his garden! Oh, to have such ‘problems’.

-- God bless, Candy

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1848 posts in 2417 days


#8 posted 08-28-2017 12:21 PM

Cherry it is. Now I have to decide whether to order a half-round or roundover bit or to use my Chinese hollow planes. Closest plane radius seems to be about 11/16 inch. I was thinking 1 1/4 diameter. I’m leaning toward using the hand plane after cutting octagonal sticks on the bandsaw. The round the top end with a rasp. Not sure how to shape the conical lower end.

View Ron Aylor's profile (online now)

Ron Aylor

1590 posts in 426 days


#9 posted 08-28-2017 12:26 PM


Not sure how to shape the conical lower end.

- Ocelot

Do you have a drawknife?

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

9759 posts in 1619 days


#10 posted 08-28-2017 01:14 PM

A really big pencil sharpener! Or, as Ron suggested, a draw knife/spoke shave.

-- God bless, Candy

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1848 posts in 2417 days


#11 posted 08-28-2017 02:21 PM

Yes. I have spokeshaves and a draw knife. Maybe I’m making this too hard, but I want a very precise fit in the socket. I’ll use construction adhesive to make it stay put.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3676 posts in 2013 days


#12 posted 08-28-2017 08:55 PM

Ocelot, if you get a precise fit on the socket, construction adhesive is not needed, likely won’t stay, and will interfere with future replacements. Get a fairly close fit on the taper to socket, push it in and wiggle just a little, the high spots will transfer to the handle taper and you can file them off the handle. Repeat until the handle does not come out easily because it is seating uniformly all around. Then heat the socket over a low flame, dip the taper in cold water briefly, and drive the hoe onto the handle by holding the handle with hoe in the air and striking the butt of the handle on something very solid. If it continuously wiggles loose, then the socket is too flimsy, maybe split, and the only thing I’ve found that works is a pair of bolts. Good luck.

DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com Any contact lens that slips from the eye will acquire the ability to camouflage itself as it falls to the ground.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1848 posts in 2417 days


#13 posted 08-28-2017 09:22 PM

Dan,

That sounds like a sensible approach to shaping the handle to fit. Thanks.

The manufacturer (Prohoe) said this – in an email 2 years ago.

We would recommend you use an outdoor deck adhesive. We use exclusively PL Premium which is available at Lowes, Home Depot and Menards among others.”

Apparently that’s what they use at the factory. I’ll have to figure out how to remove the old handle and adhesive.

I’m going to have a close look at them. There are two styles : Garden and Field. The field hoe has a socket. The garden hoes may have a ferrule now that I look at the photos on Prohoe.com

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3676 posts in 2013 days


#14 posted 08-29-2017 12:31 AM

If it’s a ferrule, by all means use an adhesive, even an epoxy.

DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com Any contact lens that slips from the eye will acquire the ability to camouflage itself as it falls to the ground.

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

223 posts in 312 days


#15 posted 08-29-2017 02:25 AM

The only time you need an adhesive is when the handle does not fit.
If someone else has used adhesive, the easy way is heat. heat only the socket. a mapp gas torch works well for this. I’m not sure if propane gets hot enough. (anything hotter than that is fine) It will stink so do it outside.

If the handle is broken off drive a screw into the wood. when you heat the socket you can use the screw as a handle to remove the wood.

You will need to repaint it then done.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com