Buildin tool handles 50 years ago. [preachin too at no extra cost.]greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
When hoe or rake handles had to be replaced on the farm years ago we just didn't run to town and buy one. We would select a nice straight hickory or ash sapling 2 or 3 inches in diameter. Peel the bark off and lay overhead in the tool shed of the barn. These would be cut and left to cure so one would always be ready when needed. Sometimes they would "cure" for a year or so before one was needed. When it was-all that was needed to do was to fit it to the tool.
Whittlin it down to fit was always a slow and ardous task makin sure it fit perfectly. Shaped, fit, and sanded to a slicknes and smoothness that was no comparison to the "store bought" handles. If it had little twigs/limbs that once were attatched to the trunk--those were especially worked on. Just a simple bump on the handle would soon ruin the skin on an old gnarled hand and makin blisters.
The final fit into the tool was accomplished by soakin the tool end-in water for a few minutes. Slide it in and drill a small hole through the handle and shank of the tool. Insert a rivet or a small bolt to secure the handle in position. Nothing anymore aggrevatin than workin and have the handle to fall out.
Pick axes, double bitted axes, shovel/spade handles were always needed too but not nearly as often as hoe and rake handles.
Handles for the two man crosscut saws were seldom needed as those handles were not often broken unless the tree just happened to fall on it. When they were needed a fresh cut, green one worked fine.
After a handle was installed it was rubbed with neatsfoot oil to keep it from drycrackin, rottin'n or termites. Motor oil would work fine too but some folks liked to paint their handles to make'm look better.
Times have changed quite a lot since those days. I no longer cut poles for handles although ole jeep does on occasion. About all I do now is cut sassafrass that has had vines growin around it and makin kinda spiral tree. Makes for a nice walkin stick or crutch!
Speakin of crutches---Everybody needs some kind of crutch. I chose Jesus Christ over 40 years ago for my crutch. Ain't regretted it -not once! Old hoot. Matt.24:44
-- old hoot gibson (email@example.com), May 06, 2002
Hoot- I have a couple of tools with broken handles, and a couple of broken tools witn GOOD handles. Can you tell me how to get the rivet loose so I can swap handles??? :)
-- Terri (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2002.
KEEP on preach'en Hoot, WE ALL NEED IT!!!!!! Later Travis
-- Jerry Travis (email@example.com), May 06, 2002.
Nice story Hoot. I have a couple of old hoes that were my Dad's favorites. I haven't used them in a while because they both need new handles. I think I'll go cut a couple of ash saplings and start them curing. Terri, I've always just ground off or filed off the rivet heads.
-- Murray in ME (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2002.
Terri, if the rivet heads are sunken, so you can't get a file or grinder at them, you can use a centre-punch to make a starting hole for a drill (so the drill won't wander off-centre), then drill far enough to remove most of the rivet head, then drive the rivet out (say using a nail as a punch). Just driving far enough to be able to get a grip on the rivet from the other side would probably be good enough.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), May 06, 2002.
Now, Stan, the thread said preachin on the label. Would you be upset if you opened a box of Cheerios and found it had *gasp* Cheerios in it? :)
-- Terri (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 07, 2002.