A hand rake is a very useful tool to have in your shed, especially if you have a smaller garden or farm. These smaller rakes make tilling, weeding and other gardening tasks easier in smaller areas where a large rake won’t be able to fit.
So, in this article, we’ll take you through how you can create a sturdy steel hand rake out of rebar. In addition to being cost-effective, this rake will also be easier to use than other bigger store brands.
So, let’s gather the materials and start fabricating the rake.
What You’ll Need
Here are the items you’ll need to build the hand rake.
- 3/8” Diameter Rebar
- M10 Threaded Rod
- 2” By 2” Wooden Block
- Rust-Resistant Paint
Clean The Rebar
After sitting in storage for a while, the rebar can have rust and other impurities on its surface. So, you need to clean up the surface before you can use it.
Clamp the rebar in your bench vise. Next, go over the entire length of the rebar using a drill with a wire brush attachment.
Ensure you remove all the rust from the surface.
Cut Out the Tines of The Rake from The Rebar
While the rebar is still clamped in the bench vise, measure out and mark an 8” section from the rebar. Cut out the section using an electric hacksaw.
Be careful to use gloves and eye protection while cutting the rebar. Next, cut four more sections of the same length from the rebar.
Sharpen The Tines Rake’s Tine
Remove the drill attachment from your drill and place one of the rebar sections in its chuck. Make sure you tighten the chuck properly around the rebar to avoid it slipping out.
Next, turn on your grinder and rotate the other end of the rebar against the grinder. Continue doing this until the rebar’s end is ground to a conical point.
Remove the rebar from the chuck and do the same for the remaining rebar sections.
Weld The Tines Together
After sharpening the tines, place them back on the workbench. Arrange them in a semi-circular fan shape and keep an angle of about 15 degrees between each tine.
Also, make sure the end of each tine is touching. Hold them in place using a magnetic square. Next, weld them together on both sides.
Remove the squares and grind the welds until they are flush with the surface. The head of your rake is complete.
Bend The Tines
Clamp the base of the rake’s head in the bench vise. Heat up the middle section of one of the tines with a torch until it is red hot and pliable.
Place a metal pipe over the tine until it is over the red-hot section. Bend the tine by applying force on it using the pipe as a lever.
Bend the tines until they are slightly curved or at your desired angle. Do the same for the remaining tines on the rake’s head.
Be careful not to overbend it. Also, make sure all the tines are equally bent.
Cut A Handle for The Rake
Clamp the threaded rod in your bench vise. Measure a section about 10” long and cut it off from the rod with the electric hacksaw.
This will serve as the handle of the hand rake.
Attach The Handle to The Rake Head
Place your rake’s head on the workbench. Take the handle you just cut from the screw rod and place it at the base of the rake head.
Make sure the handle is straight and right in the center of the rake head’s base. Weld the handle and the head of the rake together on both sides.
Grind the welds until its flush with both surfaces.
Cut Out a Wooden Handle For The Rake
The wooden handle is going to go over the screw rod to make the rake easier to handle. First, take a 15” long wooden block and trim down its cross-section until it is 1.5” by 1.5”.
Next, mark a spot in the center of the wooden block at both ends. Place the handle in a lathe and fire it up.
Turn the handle in the lathe until it has a circular cross-section. You can also taper the handle at different points along its length to make it more ergonomic.
After turning the handle, sand it to give it a smooth surface all around.
Drill A Hole in The Wooden Handle
The hole in the wooden handle is where the metal handle is going to screw in. First, drill a pilot hole in the center of the wooden handle with an M3 bit.
Next, widen the hole with an M10 bit, so the threaded rod will be able to fit in perfectly. After drilling the hole in the wood, apply some wood varnish.
This will give it a better look and protect it from the elements.
Paint The Rake
Place the rake flat on the surface and spray it with any rust-resistant paint of your choice. After the first coat dries, add another coat of paint to its surface.
Attach The Handle to The Rake
Once the paint dries, it’s time to attach the handle to the rake. First, insert a nut and a washer on the threaded rod.
Next, screw in the wooden handle after the washer. Make sure you screw the handle in tightly. After screwing in the handle, tighten the nut and washer around it to form a tight bond.
Now, your rake is complete.
If you followed those simple steps above, by now you’ll have a simple sturdy rake perfect for your yard work. So, take it into your garden, farm, or lawn and test it out to see how easy it makes your work.