Stainless border spade modification

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Dave Lowe
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Stainless border spade modification

Post by Dave Lowe »

Went into Wilkinsons store the other day and they had £26 SS border spades in the sale for £5, so I naturally purchased three !
I had got one in the sale a few years ago that had a 3 inch/ 75mm shorter handle so decided to modify that one instead, made a template out of paper, taped it to the blade and lightly spray with rattle can black paint to show where to cut, used 1mm blade on a angle grinder, and finished off with flap wheel on the grinder and files, making sure not to over heat the metal, I scuffed up the Stainless as I am going to spray it black, don't like bright things when I detect, one reason I have never purchased a yellow Garrett LOL I was going to bolt a thick alloy bar on the top as someone on here done to their modification, for more area for your feet, but could not find my carbide drills and a normal HSS bit would not touch it.
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by arfur_sleep »

Looks good a real mean looking beast ::g

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by PinkFloyd »

Can I ask why you’ve put serrated sides on it, are you planning to saw something or do you just want it to snag and not go through the soil smoothly ?

Neat cutting/grinder work though ::g

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Oxgirl36 »

Brilliant, quality job ::g
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by sweepstick47 »

That should make short work of tough grass roots and all manner of others you're likely to encounter. It will be worth considering a protective cover to prevent potential damage/injury whilst being transported. Catching knuckles on the serrated edges is a definite........ouch! :-O

A very nice job ::g
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Ten pence! »

I put serrations on a spade I modified a few years ago, and managed to mangle no less than two hammered coins that got caught in the cut outs. B|

They do look cool but I do not think you gain much or even anything by having them.

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Dave Lowe »

Ten pence! wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:03 pm
I put serrations on a spade I modified a few years ago, and managed to mangle no less than two hammered coins that got caught in the cut outs. B|

They do look cool but I do not think you gain much or even anything by having them.
I wont have a problem then as I don't find any hammered coins !

I made this for detecting in the woods. I have a large area of woods to detect in, I am always having trouble with roots, somehow the finds a lot of the time are underneath roots for some reason. I guess as the roots grow the finds slip underneath, as I stated I have three more spades to use elsewhere !

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Oxgirl36 »

I decided serrated edges were essential when I got my spade. I can’t remember why. I wouldn’t bother again now but it does make them look more ‘metal detectory’ (that term doesn’t really exist does it? =)) ). I don’t like gardening so not getting it stolen by the husband for gardening duties, and not being mistaken for a gardener digging in the middle of a field ( :-/ ) can only be a good thing in my books.

It looks cool. Better than wearing camo, which really doesn’t make sense if you are legit :D 98;
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Oxgirl36 »

And I don’t detect in woods where it would make a lot more sense and be very handy ::g
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Dave Lowe »

PinkFloyd wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:33 pm
Can I ask why you’ve put serrated sides on it, are you planning to saw something or do you just want it to snag and not go through the soil smoothly ?

Neat cutting/grinder work though ::g
Its for the woods I get trouble with roots a lot, some of the most expensive MD spades sold have these serrations, I doubt if they would go to the trouble of making and marketing them if they did not work correctly, whats the point of making something to sell if it does not work ? Anyhow I will give it a go, I have only lost a few pounds if it does not function as I hoped, and have another three spades in reserve !

As to the cutting/grinding I have been working with metal for over 50 years, I am 70 now and not as good as I was what with the arthritis in my hands, years ago it would have been perfect....

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Pete E »

Dave Lowe wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:05 am
Its for the woods I get trouble with roots a lot, some of the most expensive MD spades sold have these serrations, I doubt if they would go to the trouble of making and marketing them if they did not work correctly, whats the point of making something to sell if it does not work ? Anyhow I will give it a go, I have only lost a few pounds if it does not function as I hoped, and have another three spades in reserve !

As to the cutting/grinding I have been working with metal for over 50 years, I am 70 now and not as good as I was what with the arthritis in my hands, years ago it would have been perfect....
I bought an Evo spade with such serrations thinking they would be the right thing to get , but to be honest, they are a waste of time on roots..The problem is you cant really get any sawing action going to make the cut..Same goes for the serrations on the small hand diggers/trowels..I tend to use a standard SS border spade now and just keep the edges clean and reasonable sharp.

If you detect in woodland to any degree, the handiest thing you can carry is a pair of good secateurs ....Not sure what the answer is for *really* large roots, but we probably shouldn't be cutting those anyway?
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Dave Lowe »

Thanks Pete E for the input, like I said if it don't work I have only lost a few pounds, I wanted it mainly for very small roots, I would never cut anything larger. Sometimes I cant get the lump I have dug out of the hole for small roots hanging onto it, mostly ivy, I agree with the comments about the hand trowel, I made one and that didn't work, mind you I put it down to being old n weak LOL, secateurs is a good idea I might try that thanks.

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Pete E »

Dave,

Can you do stainless welding? If so, you might want to add some wider "treads" (is that the right term?) ie the part where you foot pushes against on the spade...that is a very worthwhile mod especially if you wish to wear light footware in the summer..

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by TheAndyA »

Pete E wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:39 pm

I bought an Evo spade with such serrations thinking they would be the right thing to get , but to be honest, they are a waste of time on roots..The problem is you cant really get any sawing action going to make the cut..Same goes for the serrations on the small hand diggers/trowels..I tend to use a standard SS border spade now and just keep the edges clean and reasonable sharp.

If you detect in woodland to any degree, the handiest thing you can carry is a pair of good secateurs ....Not sure what the answer is for *really* large roots, but we probably shouldn't be cutting those anyway?
I find my Evo Digging Tool (with serrations) very handy for cutting through the clumps of grass roots. ::g
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by PinkFloyd »

Dave Lowe wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:05 am
PinkFloyd wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:33 pm
Can I ask why you’ve put serrated sides on it, are you planning to saw something or do you just want it to snag and not go through the soil smoothly ?

Neat cutting/grinder work though ::g
Its for the woods I get trouble with roots a lot, some of the most expensive MD spades sold have these serrations, I doubt if they would go to the trouble of making and marketing them if they did not work correctly, whats the point of making something to sell if it does not work ? Anyhow I will give it a go, I have only lost a few pounds if it does not function as I hoped, and have another three spades in reserve !

As to the cutting/grinding I have been working with metal for over 50 years, I am 70 now and not as good as I was what with the arthritis in my hands, years ago it would have been perfect....

Looks great ::g

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Dave Lowe »

Pete E wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:05 pm
Dave,

Can you do stainless welding? If so, you might want to add some wider "treads" (is that the right term?) ie the part where you foot pushes against on the spade...that is a very worthwhile mod especially if you wish to wear light footware in the summer..

Regards,

Peter
I have no gas at the moment, retired , and I have no arc welding SS rods, I am going to put a thick aluminium bar across the top, I made the bar and shaped it, and will fix it with button head stainless 5mm bolts, but could not find my carbide drills when making it to drill through the stainless, HSS drills will not touch it. I tried even though I knew it wouldn't work ! I am in a right mess at the moment as last year they wanted to build a house where my workshop is, so I moved /sold loads, then they were refused planning x 2, so I cant find nothing as everything is all over the place !!!

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Decodetector »

think this is pretty awesome ! currently perusing ebay for a boarder spade to trim

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Oxgirl36 »

Decodetector wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:27 pm
think this is pretty awesome ! currently perusing ebay for a boarder spade to trim
I believe Home Depot has a great one reduced from £30 to £5 if you are looking for a value one ::g
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by jarrett »

Nice work.

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Easylife »

Nice job, I modified one similar but without serrations as my spare spade. On my pasture as I walked past a huge old tree in the hedgerow I got a sweet coin-like signal, but just 1" down my spade hit a 2" root so I started to walk away as I didn't want to dig a crater on pasture but then curiosity got the better of me and I really needed to know what that good sounding target was beneath that big old tree so returned with determination. Fortunately my main spade that I drag around is both strong and heavy so easily enough chopped that 2" root right out for the beneath reward of a blank copper coin. :))
I think that a sharp pointy or rounded spade end is the most beneficial feature. ::g
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Dave Lowe »

Went out with the modified spade today in the woods, it is much better that when I used it standard, it leaves a nice plug when a lot of the time before at the corners small roots used to stop me getting the plug out, so I am pleased, didn't get a lot today though ! just a 1775 George third 1/2 p that I think is a counterfeit, and a little buckle that turns out to be medieval, I was going to bin it, thought it was a 1950s kids shoe buckle at first !
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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Decodetector »

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:31 pm
Decodetector wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:27 pm
think this is pretty awesome ! currently perusing ebay for a boarder spade to trim
I believe Home Depot has a great one reduced from £30 to £5 if you are looking for a value one ::g
ha har.....just discovered a stainless one in the garrage ,,obviously of no use in the garden lol .now where did i leave my grinder

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by FUBAR »

Cool bit of kit.😁

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by Dave Lowe »

Just a follow up to the spade mod, the next one I do, I am going to leave the sides straight, as I sometimes find when you cut out the earth plug, roots hang onto it in the corners, I think its because the angled sides are missing cutting the corners, we shall see !
And remember when cutting with the grinder use eye protection, and take it nice and easy so as not to overheat the temper of the metal, try a damp rag on the main spade away from the edge you are cutting to cool it down, mine has stayed sharp and I have not had to put a new edge on it.

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Re: Stainless border spade modification

Post by PinkFloyd »

For roots, if it was me id cut the tiniest tight cuts along the edge , get it like tennon saw

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