Ever since I bought a house, I’ve found myself doing too much yardwork, and not enough woodworking. I decided I could use yardwork as an excuse to woodwork. Rather than buy a $45 aluminum landscaping rake that I would probably only use 4 times in my life, I decided to use the old rake handle I found in the yard when the snow melted and a 2×4 to make my own.
The first step was to remove the broken end of the existing handle:
With this done, I started shaving off the end with my trusty Stanley 51 Spokeshave to get it down to 3/4” or so. This being my only large-sized bit, I basically had to make the handle be the size I had. The shaving to get the handle down to the right size is actually what took the most time on the whole project.
Then it was onto the boring bit (hah! nobody’s ever made that joke before):
Here’s the mostly finished shaved end of the rake handle. Funny how the wood doesn’t look like it was abandoned in the winter when you take off the outside edges:
I then cut a thin wedge into the end across the grain using my dovetail saw:
With that ready, I cut out the rake side, though I plan to use the flat side for grading work as well. Just crosscut down to a line at roughly 2” intervals and used a coping saw to pop out the waste:
The last step was to hammer the rake head onto the handle, and then drive a maple wedge into the gap to get it stuck on there good. In testing, I stood on the head, and pulled, but it didin’t come out. Should be fine for moving a bit of freshly tilled dirt about tomorrow:
And just to be safe, I cut the wedge off so it couldn’t be bludgeoned from the side and come loose. Thus ends the tale of how I made a crappy rake in 2 hours with hand tools. Hopefully my Rake entertained you all a bit.
Now hopefully I can stay out of the yard soon, as I just bought a bandsaw and I really would rather use it to clean up all the old maple flooring I’ve got so I can laminate a new benchtop. We’ll see if the gods of entropy are forgiving this month.
-- -Tim, Salt Lake City, UT, USA