What makes a good hoe?

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Jogeephus

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You would think a hoe is a hoe but I scavenged an old hoe blade from a barn and welded it to a piece of pipe and this hoe outperforms every other hoe we own. Arguements have even arisen over who uses this hoe. In an effort to make the other hoes equal, I have sharpened them, modified them and done everything under the sun to try and make them equal. But I can't. Any ideas on how to improve them? Or what's the deal here? Is it like a knife - determined by the metal or is it balance and shape of shank? I bought a chinese import this weekend and tried to modify it. It truly stinks.
 
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Jogeephus

Jogeephus

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jedstivers":1qiknqwf said:
You can get some pretty good ones in Memphis on Brooks Road. :lol: :lol2:

:lol2: I knew if I cracked the door that well .... :lol2: ... but seriously. I've known people who had their favorite hoes (oh boy here we go again) that they wouldn't let anyone else use. My grandmother was one. (not a hoe, but a person with this characteristic) She would not let anyone else use her hoe. It just seems that with such a simple tool there would not be that much difference from one to the other but there is. Just wondering why. (weeding the garden gives one much too much time to think) :oops:
 

Fred

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My Grandfather used to keep his hoe sharp with a file. He would have them sharp as a knife. I would think the old US made hoes were a better steel than the imports today. I wonder if you can even buy a US made shovel or hoe.
 

1982vett

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Jogeephus":23odg186 said:
I've known people who had their favorite hoes that they wouldn't let anyone else use. My grandmother was one. She would not let anyone else use her hoe. It just seems that with such a simple tool there would not be that much difference from one to the other but there is. Just wondering why. :oops:

Well I can think of or imagine two reasons. One is that she probably worked hard to keep a good edge on it and didn't want anyone to dull it. Second she didn't want anyone to break the handle.
 

jedstivers

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Jogeephus":2cubmwfb said:
jedstivers":2cubmwfb said:
You can get some pretty good ones in Memphis on Brooks Road. :lol: :lol2:

:lol2: I knew if I cracked the door that well .... :lol2: ... but seriously. I've known people who had their favorite hoes (oh boy here we go again) that they wouldn't let anyone else use. My grandmother was one. (not a hoe, but a person with this characteristic) She would not let anyone else use her hoe. It just seems that with such a simple tool there would not be that much difference from one to the other but there is. Just wondering why. (weeding the garden gives one much too much time to think) :oops:
Sorry but that one was was just too easy. Look for older ones at estate sales and things like that, the newer ones just aren't any good. I have a shovel that I have used since the mid 80's and I wont let anyone use it either. If you want a real sho-nuff hoe you can get the kind the penitentiary uses, they are called grubbing hoes and can really clean some stuff up but they will wear you down fast. My local co-op ordered mine.
 
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Jogeephus

Jogeephus

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SANDTRAP":160fsga0 said:
http://web.inetba.com/prohoe/productCat90506.ctlg

they make all sizes
also see the garden hoes
be very careful they are so sharp it will cut a toe clean off

Thanks for the link. Read where they used tempered steel from plow blades. Maybe that's the secret. The old hoe I have stays razor sharp. Its light too. This combination makes for some quick efficient work.

Jed, I got a few grubbing hoes and some teethed fire hoes too. These are good for heavier work but I'm really looking at the dress up work in the gardern in the spots the cultivator doesn't get. I'll carry a hoe when I walk the garden and rather than pullin a weed here and there I'll just give it a shallow slice on the top of the soil. On dry days you can just skim the top of the dirt and really do a number on the weeds without bringing up a bunch more seed to sprout.
 

jedstivers

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Jo, I always thought about but never did cut the blade of the hoe off but leave the goose neck part on the handle and weld a wing off of a small plow on it. Could weld it in the center or on one side for getting under plants easier. Plows can be heated and hammered out to razor sharp so I think this would work good.
 
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Jogeephus

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I think you are right. With the info I've gathered from this thread I'm thinking about doing the same. Got some scallop discs off an offset harrow that had a run in with a lightered stump which could be used to make several hoes. Its good metal. Just not good enough to stand up to a lightered stump.
 

grannysoo

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I've got an old one that is the best I have ever used. Let me find it and I'll try to get you a pic of it. Nothing new compares.
 
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Jogeephus

Jogeephus

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grannysoo":vjfp7r1w said:
I've got an old one that is the best I have ever used. Let me find it and I'll try to get you a pic of it. Nothing new compares.

That's how this hoe is. It slices through the ground like butter. Light. Accurate. Just a wonderful tool. I found the metal part hanging in an old barn. If it could only talk. You know we've got to be pretty simple folks when we think of a good hoe as one of life's simple pleasures.

jedstivers":vjfp7r1w said:
Jo, I always thought about but never did cut the blade of the hoe off but leave the goose neck part on the handle and weld a wing off of a small plow on it. Could weld it in the center or on one side for getting under plants easier. Plows can be heated and hammered out to razor sharp so I think this would work good.

I made one today out of a scallop disc. Cut it out and turned the bevel side up.(second version) Welded this to some 1/2 pipe and filed a razor sharp edge on it. It is now the second best hoe I got. :banana: Now if I can only figure out how to make a left-handed version so I can weed the garden too. I hate seeing He Sweetnessty having all the fun. ;-) :nod:
 

hurleyjd

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Jogeephus":5ze5wrz9 said:
You would think a hoe is a hoe but I scavenged an old hoe blade from a barn and welded it to a piece of pipe and this hoe outperforms every other hoe we own. Arguements have even arisen over who uses this hoe. In an effort to make the other hoes equal, I have sharpened them, modified them and done everything under the sun to try and make them equal. But I can't. Any ideas on how to improve them? Or what's the deal here? Is it like a knife - determined by the metal or is it balance and shape of shank? I bought a chinese import this weekend and tried to modify it. It truly stinks.
Check this link out this is the best hoe I ever used.

http://www.lehmans.com/store/Outdoors__ ... AMH5?Args=
 
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Jogeephus

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hurleyjd":3jssgic2 said:
Jogeephus":3jssgic2 said:
You would think a hoe is a hoe but I scavenged an old hoe blade from a barn and welded it to a piece of pipe and this hoe outperforms every other hoe we own. Arguements have even arisen over who uses this hoe. In an effort to make the other hoes equal, I have sharpened them, modified them and done everything under the sun to try and make them equal. But I can't. Any ideas on how to improve them? Or what's the deal here? Is it like a knife - determined by the metal or is it balance and shape of shank? I bought a chinese import this weekend and tried to modify it. It truly stinks.
Check this link out this is the best hoe I ever used.

http://www.lehmans.com/store/Outdoors__ ... AMH5?Args=

Thanks.

Blade is set at a precise 70° angle to cut parallel to the ground when user is upright

This is very important to me. On the one I made it took a couple of attempts before I found this angle. Makes a lot of difference though.
 

msscamp

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Jogeephus":24h4odhw said:
You would think a hoe is a hoe but I scavenged an old hoe blade from a barn and welded it to a piece of pipe and this hoe outperforms every other hoe we own. Arguements have even arisen over who uses this hoe. In an effort to make the other hoes equal, I have sharpened them, modified them and done everything under the sun to try and make them equal. But I can't. Any ideas on how to improve them? Or what's the deal here? Is it like a knife - determined by the metal or is it balance and shape of shank? I bought a chinese import this weekend and tried to modify it. It truly stinks.

I think it is a combination of the size and shape of the blade, type of metal the blade is made up of, and the balance and weight of both the blade, as well as the handle. When all of those things come together, it "fits" just right and is so easy to use! I had a shovel that performed like the hoe you're talking about. Unfortunately, my helper broke the handle out it last summer. :( I know how to replace a pitchfork handle, but I'm not quite sure how to go about replacing a shovel handle due to the rivet. Any suggestions?
 

1982vett

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msscamp":1djtbxy8 said:
I had a shovel that performed like the hoe you're talking about. Unfortunately, my helper broke the handle out it last summer. :( I know how to replace a pitchfork handle, but I'm not quite sure how to go about replacing a shovel handle due to the rivet. Any suggestions?
Drill out the rivet and replace with a bolt.
 
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Jogeephus

Jogeephus

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1982vett":2dbt0jda said:
msscamp":2dbt0jda said:
I had a shovel that performed like the hoe you're talking about. Unfortunately, my helper broke the handle out it last summer. :( I know how to replace a pitchfork handle, but I'm not quite sure how to go about replacing a shovel handle due to the rivet. Any suggestions?
Drill out the rivet and replace with a bolt.

That's how I'd go at it too. We have a pretty good hardware store several miles from us that still carries replacement handles and such too. I like the hickory or ash ones myself.
 

mnmtranching

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I think in the old days guys took better care of their hoes. Made better use of them. Careful to keep them scoured like their plows. 1 bottom and 2 their livleyhood depended on it. Didn't have all the horsepower and modern equipment. Keeping a shinny rust free tool saved a lot of back ache.

Side note; I don't believe you can get an American hoe any more their all Chinese. At least that's what they say. :frowns:
 

msscamp

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1982vett":wrwkypbd said:
msscamp":wrwkypbd said:
I had a shovel that performed like the hoe you're talking about. Unfortunately, my helper broke the handle out it last summer. :( I know how to replace a pitchfork handle, but I'm not quite sure how to go about replacing a shovel handle due to the rivet. Any suggestions?
Drill out the rivet and replace with a bolt.

I'll give that a shot, thanks! :)
 

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