Garden forks, often used to loosen compact soil, occasionally need repair when the handle splits or breaks or the tines become out of shape when hitting hard objects. Handle replacement and straightening the tines are common repairs for the do-it-yourself homeowner and gardener. Maintaining garden tools on a regular basis will extend the life of a garden fork.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Garden fork
- New handle
- Wood glue
- Rubber mallet
- Wood screw
Cut the broken handle off with a hacksaw, close to the metal eye that holds the handle in place on the garden fork.
Unscrew the wood screw through the metal eye with a drill and remove it from the handle.
Pry the remaining old handle pieces out of the eye with a flat screwdriver.
Apply a generous amount of wood glue in the metal eye. Press the new handle into the eye. Place the garden fork in a vice and turn the handle clockwise to hold it tightly. Pound the handle into place with a rubber mallet.
Drill a hole into the handle through the opening of the eye. Insert a wood screw in the hole so that it goes almost entirely through the new handle. Tighten the wood screw with a drill.
Place the metal eye of the garden fork in a vice and tighten the clamps to hold it firmly.
Place vice grips on the bent tine of the garden fork. Clamp the vice grips handles together tightly. Bend the tine back into its original shape with the vice grips.
Continue this process to bend each tine into position.
Tips and warnings
- Garden tool handles are available at hardware stores, tool stores and home improvement centres.
- The strongest wooden replacement handles are hardwoods and are more expensive but will last longer than cheaper handles.
- Handles that are larger around than the eye require sanding with a rasp to remove a slight amount of wood so that it will fit in the eye.
- Always clean garden fork tines after using it with water from the garden hose to remove all dirt and debris. This will keep the tines sharper and cause less bending due to old dirt on the tines.
- Maintain the wooden handle on a garden fork by oiling it to keep it lubricated. This will keep the handle from becoming dry and splitting or breaking while in use.
- Do not sand large amounts of the handle with a rasp to fit in the eye. A loose fit can be dangerous to the user of the garden fork.
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