The Hoe Handle

It has been a long winter without much turning, though I have found some time to work in the shop of various projects. (More about that in coming posts.) So this spring I discovered that I “had” to get back to turning, I had pushed it aside for more pressing matters as long as was possible.

This was not really a surprise. But what was surprising was the satisfaction derived from performing a very simple repair. A couple of years ago, the head came off a scuffle hoe that I often used for weeding in beds. The handle was in good shape except for the hole that held the head of the hoe. It had become split and worn too large.

It would have been easy to run to the store and buy another hoe, if they had what I was looking for, but what do I have woodworking skills for if not to be able to use them for just this sort of thing?

I pulled off the metal that surrounded the business end of the handle. The hoe handle was too long to fit between centers, but I could grab the end with my scroll chuck and support the off end in the center steady. I carefully measured the inside diameter of the metal tip, the length of shoulder needed, and the length of the taper. I cut the shoulder, used a parting tool to cut a tenon of correct diameter that marked the small end of the tenon. I then used a skew chisel to turn the taper.

I cut the handle off at the end of the new taper. Drove the metal into place, which proved to be a good fit. I drilled the hole in the end of the handle and pounded the head of the hoe into place. As added security, I pinned the metal surround to the handle. It had been secured with a dent. I also pinned the hoe to the metal surround.

Yes, it was a simple job. But the satisfaction of a job well done is immense.


About Ellis Hein

I am a woodturner and the author of The Woodturner's Project Book. I have a life-long interest in the gospel preached by George Fox and the early Quakers. You can see some of my material on that subject at
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