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I Forge Iron

Specific question about shovels

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It's all done.   I've made some tree-planting shovels in the past but this one is my masterpiece.  It is a beast

27 inches long and 1.5 Kg.  

If I work my hardest I could be putting 250 000 trees in with this shovel this summer.  I'll post some update photos at the end of this summer to show how it weathered the storm.  
Thanks to all who showed interest and offered advice!  







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I've heard of and used short handle spades but . . . :o Deb has a larger key chain!

Do you have any videos of these things in use? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around what kind of advantage a spade that short has. Even if it was just weight packing it around that's negative leverage if you with it pry at all.

Frosty The Lucky.


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On ‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 10:06 PM, Frosty said:

Going to  take another shot at it. Spades and shovels are at least medium carbon steel and doing what you wish isn't a just heat it and bend it operation. The sockets are hardened tapered, curved, thin wall tubing with a slit full length. The original bend is done in a closed die forging press, about 1:44 in the video below. Also note the professiona blacksmith using tools specifically designed to make shovels spends about 2x the time forging the socket than the blade.

Frosty The Lucky.


Are they?  That's good news. I usually end up with busted ones that people are tossing for general purpose steel and the handles to cut down for hammers.  Silly me, I never thought to test what obviously must be a hardening steel.  I forsee numerous repurposings in my very near future....

You wouldn't have much leverage with that thing, but if it was soft enough ground or you pushed it two handed....there's times I definitely would have prefered that shovel to the standard issue E-tool.

Last random thought, anyone ever try the Bealer method of cutting and welding two sheets together to form the shovel and socket? Might be faster than forging and rolling.

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If your shovel is too long you have to bend your elbow or twist your torso in an unnatural way.  You already have to reach into the dirt anyways so it helps if you are already bent over far enough to reach the ground(which you likely won't be if you are working with a longer shovel). 

Here are two examples of tree-planting.




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