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I Forge Iron

Shovel Trouble

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I got a few shovel blades for fire place sets but I'm having trouble attaching the blade to the handle stock. I tried to spread the end and attach with rivets but did not spread it out enough and it seems like it would be to thin if I spread it out any more. I finely just spread it out then arc welded it together. Looks like junk so I'll shorten the handle and will use this one at my forge.
A late though did come to me to possible split the end of the handle about a 1/2 inch then turn and flatten that and attach with rivets?
Any ideas would help as I'm still learning.

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Use a half on and half off blow on the near edge of the anvil to form a step on the handle stock of a suitable length, this will also spread the stock sideways and you can then continue spreading it sideways with a fuller or the cross pein if you have one, then dress it flat.

The step can be fitted at the edge of the shovel rim, and the remainder forged to fit the shape of the profile of the shovel head, then rivet it on with the handle on the outside of the shovel pan

Just one way, there are many more, Good luck with it

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Thanks folks these are some good ideas I'll try today. I am using 3/8 stock for the handle and I did try the half on half blow on the anvil edge I was shown that in my last class. But I never thought of using the ball pein instead of the cross pein or of building up the end before spreading it out. These are all good ideas and well worth trying out so I'm writing this all down and will give it all a go. I'm going out now to light up my fire.
Thanks again help like this makes me glad I found this sight. I do appreciate it.

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After using a half face blow to isolate some working mass for the rivets you can do an easy lateral (widening) draw on the horn by laying the stock in line with the horn and using the hammer face. Place the shoulder down on the end of the horn and make half horn(?) blows to keep the effect isolated where you want it.

Something else that can sometimes help if rivets want to loosen up on a rather active joint is to give the handle just a little convex contact surface by giving it a gentle tap while laid over a gap. The angle made at the bottom of the step and face will work if done with some discretion. A gentle tap in a wide swage will make a nicer convex curve. Doing this after the holes are punched and dressed is FAR easier. Remember the shoulder made with the half face blows? This will make a natural stop for setting the convex curve EXACTLY where you want it. Hmmmm?

The idea is for the slight (And I MEAN S-L-I-G-H-T) convex curve to provide a little spring tension when flattened COLD as the rivet is peined and making a nice solid joint. Think a similar service as a "lock washer" provides.

Another solution that's even simpler is to just fold a little stock at the end, forge weld it and forge it flat to make a nice wide place to rivet to the shovel blade. I think I've mentioned before I don't enjoy upsetting for extra width and would rather forge weld for the added mass ANY DAY.

But that's just me.
Frosty the Lucky

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