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gma2rjc 05-17-2009 07:38 PM

Yard tools
The handles of some of my yard tools are getting a little rough (shovels, rakes, clippers etc.). I'll probably have to sand them, but is there something I can do to the new tools to keep the handles from getting this way in the first place?

JCAHILL4 05-19-2009 05:58 AM

Either they are getting wet or they are made from a cheap wood. Most of mine are very old and worn in, smooth where they are gripped all the time. I know that doesn't help you much. My advice would be to start with sanding and keep in mind the more you use them the better they will get.

ratherbefishin' 05-19-2009 08:12 AM

A couple coats of marine varnish works well. When you buy new ones, look for white ash handles on things like rakes, hoes, and shovels, and fire tempered hickory for things like mattocks and axes. Basically, that means buy USA made:thumbup:

DangerMouse 05-19-2009 08:43 AM

2 Attachment(s)
i've been replacing some rotted tool handles with Ipey.
(for instance) this flat shovel, it adds a LOT of weight for chopping!
and all i do is oil it like the back porch with boiled linseed oil.
it's ALWAYS left out in the weather....


gma2rjc 05-19-2009 09:48 AM

I didn't describe it very well. The handles don't really have splinters, but the wood has little splits in it going along the grain.

Great suggestions! How long do I need to boil the linseed oil?

Would the marine varnish or boiled linseed oil work on a regular deck?


Basically, that means buy USA made

ratherbefishin' 05-19-2009 09:52 AM


Originally Posted by fast1 (Post 275508)

"Ipe" is a Brazilian hardwood, most commonly used for decks. Spendy stuff, but well worth the money. It lasts forever.

Mouse, did you make that from left over decking or did you find a source for handles?

ratherbefishin' 05-19-2009 10:10 AM

gma2rjc, I'd go with varnish on the handles. It'll last longer, but either will work.

And yes, you can use either on a deck. Buy the linseed oil already boiled. Don't buy raw and try to do it yourself. Oil has to be redone more often than varnish, but it's a lot less work on something like a deck where appearance is important.

DangerMouse 05-19-2009 11:06 AM

i have lots of scraps left over in different shapes/sizes, yup.
made that one from a 2x2 length on my trusty table saw in about ten minutes.
ipe is correct spelling, though ipey is seen a lot too, but it's still Brazilian Walnut.......
and it's super strong too. i put a ton of pressure on it using it to mix cement.


Scuba_Dave 05-19-2009 11:37 AM

I used some 3/4" conduit for my rake :thumbsup:

DangerMouse 05-19-2009 11:41 AM

i replaced the wife's rake handle with heavy duty aluminum tube too! lighter and strong for her.


jomama45 05-24-2009 11:11 PM

The boiled linseed oil is the best bet IMO. Fast, cheap, easy & effective. As a matter of fact, I think BLO is one of the most forgotten or under-appreciated cans in the paint aisle. For years, people used the stuff for this vey use, & I know masons would always use it on there levels to protect & keep them stable.

majakdragon 05-25-2009 10:34 AM

I think the sun takes a big toll on yard tool handles, plus rain. I have two long handle shovels I bought at the same time. My Son left one out in the yard while the other got stored in the shed. You would think the one left outside was 100 years old. I have mostly switched to fiberglass handles.

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