Wise, Miserly, or Cheap - It is the viewpoint of the beholder

Submitted to Community Café

I grew up the son of a machinist, mechanic, builder, an accomplisher. Through the family we had too many activities with farms and agricultural operations. When it broke, you considered fixing it. When it could not be fixed you considered keeping it for parts for something else. That pile of rusting metal on a farm is not junk. It is spare parts without a use identified yet.

The other day I was pulling sage brush and tumbleweed - we live in a desert area. The rake pulled apart. And, as always, if it breaks, it was and should still be, my favorite. Why else would I be using it?

Off to the workshop the next day. It was only 93 degrees for a high so it was work in the yard for a while then work in the workshop. First, measure the tang of the rake. A bit over 3/8" wide and 5/16" thick and about 4 1/2" long. So, drill two 1/8" holes about 1/4" apart, just enough to leave wood between them. Then start enlarging them to 3/16" then 1/4" then 5/16" going from left to right about 1/2" deeper with each try. Have to keep the holes from becoming one too early.

With a small, sharp chisel trued up the holes from double-round to rectangular and made sure the tang fit nicely. With that, measure for the bolt and locknut assembly to hold it together replacing the old rivet. First hit with the 1/4" hole was right on. (That is not normal.) Back together and back in use losing a total of about 5" of handle length. I can work with that.

DIY - many definitions. Mine includes repair, reuse, remanufacture, refit.

Wise, miserly, or cheap? I fixed it and hope to get another thirty plus years of service out of this rake. This rake was purchased probably in 1980 when we bought our house in Kingsville, Texas. Stationed there as a jet instructor for Student Naval Aviators.

I have a newer rake that has the "hoop / loop" type attachment. Do not like it, it pushes the brush away rather than pulls it.

Things I learned from my Dad include 1) you do not leave wooden handled tools out in the sun or weather if they are not being used and 2) you do not put them away wet. This rake was 35+ years old and still in service. Maybe Dad was right.

Thanks,

Rex