Reclaimed Pitchfork

When rooting around for some garden tools, I came across this old pitchfork head. I like that the ferrule was all there and  it said Made in USA on it. So I needed a handle and my buddy Bruce gave me one yesterday that was from a snow shovel he scrapped. The object was to turn down the end of the handle to fit the ferrule but it was too long to fit in my lathe. I was going to get out the angle grinder and get it as close as I could but I was not sure of a good fit and pressing in the fork is the only thing that holds it together.
Well, since I only had to work on the one end, I took off the tail stock  and put on the steady rest on the end of the lathe. I had to turn it all the way to the end so I drilled and tapped it and put in a 3/8" bolt that I could hold it by to turn it. All was going well until I hit two embedded screws with the roughing gouge. It messed up the gouge a bit, but stripped out the thread inside. So, I dug out the screws and then drilled the end a little bigger and put is a 5/16" threaded insert and  finished turning it with a 5/16" bolt in the end. I took it off and on a lot but in the end it fit real well. I sanded the handle  and coated it with Helmsman  outdoor poly and pressed it all together. This one will go in the shed by the fire pit for pitching branches on the fire.

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day


nice restore jim. i see that (transloadit) watermark is haunting you too. ive let martin know about it. spam, looking for free advertising jim.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Looks like a fine repair job, Jim! I have a shovel that I’m on my fifth handle for, but it’s the one I’ve used to dig a dozen truckloads of chamisa out of our yard with, and once in a while I hit a root that doesn’t want to budge, and the (very dried out) handle snaps. I get about 3 snaps from a handle, just shortening the end up with a drawknife and popping it back into the shovel head, then drilling in the cross-pin that seems to be standard on the shovel handles I buy. Ain’t as pretty as your job, but it gets me back to work.

May you have the day you deserve!

Nice resto!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Jim, what I like about you is you never let these everyday problems slow you down. Nice fix. 
Well done reclaim.   


You'll be threatening revenuers and hog poachers in style now! Always thinking about clever ways to approach any task! 
Thanks for all the nice comments.

Hi Larry, I see that Transloadit on lot of post I make but I don't know what it means.

Hi Dave, make the end of the shovel real sharp and it may cut more roots!. Are you getting good hickory handles. That is what this one is. They are plenty strong!!

Hi George/Bruce. I love a challenge, especially if it is mechanical. I just stop the other projects when  I get the material to finish one like this and Git 'er done, as Larry would say!!

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

Hey Jim. Yeah, I’ve sharpened the end of the shovel, but chamisa have real stringy roots, and it’s better to chop into them, then pry up as much of the taproot as will come. That generally keeps them from coming back for a couple years. As for the handles, they come from Ace Hardware, and are the TrueTemper 48 (or 45, depending on the year) hardwood shovel replacement handle. Oak or ash would be my guess. They generally split on some short-grain, and I haven’t yet found one at my local hardware store with grain that runs full length without some runout somewhere along the way. Eventually I may turn my own if I find a nice piece of ash or hickory with laser-straight grain.

May you have the day you deserve!

Hi Dave. I had to remove a lilac bush this year. I started on one 2 yrs ago and it about killed me digging all around it to get at the roots.  We live next to McDonald plumbing and Shane came by ans said "would you like me to pull that out for you?"  I said I'd love it and he came back with a back hoe and chain and jerked it out in 5 seconds. I had another to do this year and did not even start to dig on it. I found Shane and asked if he had the backhoe out, would he pull this one too. It was gone the next day and he even too this one away in the bucket!! It is noisy in the morning living next to them , but there are a lot of advantages.
Say did you ever fix that handle on the hand drill??

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

I haven’t. Sounds like Kenny wants to take a swing at it, and it’s a Goodell Pratt, which was bought by MF so maybe it fits near his collecting… I figure I’ll pack it up and get it in the mail on Monday.

As for lilac, the trick we used when I was a kid was to wrap a log chain around the trunk at ground level, then back the tractor (an Allis Chalmers C) up as close as possible, then throw the log chain over the top of the tractor tire and tuck it in front of the tire. When you drive the tractor forward, it pulls the root right straight up, unless the root twists under the tractor tire and you need to come at it from the other side.

May you have the day you deserve!

Another slick trick is to chain around the base and loop the chain over a truck rim. Attach to the trailer hitch and pull. The rim directs the force straight up. Also good for removing fence posts.
Hi Dave/Bruce. I did see that trick with the chain over a wheel just recently but I don't have a truck and it would have to be in our yard doing the pulling. Shane brought the backhoe up their driveway and pulled it from there so quickly that I would still be searching for the stuff to pull it with a chain!

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

I use my backhoe to pop out 4-wing salt bushes. Even with that, there are some that just stall the hydraulics. I hate those bushes!
Hi Bruce, they must be real tough bushes!! Some times I wish I had a backhoe, but with the neighbors with all that heavy equipment, all I have to do is ask!! They put in a drains system in my front yard last year to keep the  water from pooling there and sinking the foundation all I paid for was the cost of the pipe and yard a good tip for the workers!!

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

Great restoration Jim....Very practical use for it.

Thanks, Cliff. I'll be using it in about a month when all the branches I trimmed dry up a bit so I can pitch them on the fire!!

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day