The art of green woodworking for garden tools

The art of green woodworking for garden tools

So, how does he put it all together? There a couple of steps to the process that Paul undertakes to make these beautiful rakes.

– Making the tines – start with a log, cut to 6in, split into square pegs using a froe (splitting axe) and hand mallet to make square pegs (20mm x 20mm), bashed through a metal tine cutter they come out round – literally square pegs into round holes! (The tines must dry and shrink for a couple of weeks before they are inserted into the rake head.)

– Making the handle – harvested straight rod of green timber – (Paul prefers European Ash or Blackwood) is tidied up and made round. Head end of handle is split, and metal collar installed around the handle about 400mm from the base to prevent further splitting.

– Making the head – Green wood head is hand cut to size and the holes for the tines and handle drilled with a hand drill. Tines are malleted into the holes, and as the head timber dries, the holes will shrink around the tines, holding them firm.

– Knocking it together – literally….. using a mallet.

– Once the work has been completed, the timber commences drying, which causes the wood to shrink, sometimes up to 10%. It is this action that secures the tines firmly to the rake. “You can slow down the drying process to prevent your work from warping and shrink too much, we just wrap it in brown paper bags”. As the fibres are aligned and not cut throughout the process, the wood doesn’t split when it dries.

– This is next level “grow your own”! Making your own timber gardening tools, sustainably, by hand, using weedy tree species that have been removed from the environment and turned into something you are likely to use in the garden for life – that’s really special.

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