Almost every avid gardener or home improvement junkie has broken a shovel before. At no fault to the user, shovels with wood handles have a tendency to break after years of usage. After coming into contact with dirt, water, & sunlight, the wood’s strength deteriorates over time and may even begin to rot in some places. Thus, it’s no surprise that regular usage of an old shovel frequently leads to it breaking. While there are ways to help prevent this, chances are, anyone reading this post has already broken their shovel. As a result, we’re going to first show you how to repair a broken shovel. Then we’ll give you some tips on how to prevent your other shovels from breaking.
Removing the Old Handle
The hardest part in fixing a broken shovel is removing what’s left of the old handle. First, any pins or rivets locking the handle in place need to be removed. One way of accomplishing this is to use a punch and hammer to drive the rivet out with force. However, this method takes several attempts and is incredibly noisy for anyone around. The next option is to drill out one end of the rivet so it can be pushed through the other side with the punch and hammer. This is generally the path we take as it’s a bit quicker, but it does produce some metal shards that can be difficult to clean up. Also, you always run the risk of breaking your drill bit since you’d likely be cutting steel. Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to wear protective eyewear & gloves. Once the rivet has been removed, you can proceed with extracting the handle from the shovel. If the wood is truly rotted, the handle will generally slide right out. However, if the old handle broke from excessive force, you may find that you have to drill out the remaining wood.
Installing the New Handle
This is the step that allows for a little more artistic freedom. If your old shovel handle is in working condition, you have the option to reuse it at a shorter length. While this is the most eco-friendly option, we have a few other ideas that also fairly sustainable. For example, we up-cycled an old scooter handle to replace the handle on a kid’s shovel. Also, we successfully transformed a broken lacrosse stick into the handle of a pitch fork.
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