HOW TO REPLACE A GARDEN SPADE WOODEN HANDLE

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Good quality garden tools should last a life time and older tools tend to be made of better steel so, when the wooden handle breaks it seems a pity to discard and replace it with new. I actually found this  good quality  steel spade, minus its wooden handle, which had been thrown away.  Handles tend to break where the spade meets the handle so you may well have to dig out the remnants of the handle left in the tube which houses it.

Usually handle is riveted to the spade and so you will have to remove the rivet to get at the remaining wood.  To do this you simply have to drill into the head of the rivet. Use a centre punch to make a mark in the centre of the rivet head by tapping it with a hammer – the small indentation you make  prevents the drill tip skating all over the place.

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Drill out the head of the rivet.

Drill out the head of the rivet.

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Next simply use a punch to knock the rivet out.  The easiest way to get the remaining wood out of the spade tubing is to use a flat bit or an auger bit but make sure you have allowed the wood to dry out first.

Garden tool handles are often made of ash for strength and long life.

Garden tool handles are often made of ash for strength and long life.

Once you have the hole cleared you are ready to insert the new handle.  Garden fork and spade handles are pretty standard and ready tapered to make a snug fit to the tool. Line it up , insert in the hole and then , holding the handle give the spade a few sharp taps on a solid surface so the handle fits tightly. Next you need to secure it with a rivet which can be easily made from a wire round head nail. First drill a hole through the handle using the previous rivet holes in the metal as a guide to size. Push the nail through the hole and mark it leaving about a quarter of an inch of the cut side protruding the other side.  You then place the assembled handle on a hard surface so that you can tap the protruding end of the nail with a hammer and flatten it over to form your rivet and hey presto- job done!

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simple rivet made from a cut off round head wire nail.

simple rivet made from a cut off round head wire nail.

 

insert the nail rivet through the existing hole.

insert the nail rivet through the existing hole.

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The re handled spade. I rubbed down the wooden shaft with wire wool and then coated it in boiled linseed oil. You could of course use exterior clear varnish – to get a great finish water down the first coat with white spirit so it is adsorbed into the wood.

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