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Old 11-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #1
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Default I broke the pitch fork I was using to dig up potatoes.... can it be fixed?

Ignore the dirty stove top ok? These are photos of the pitch fork I‘ve used for 3 years now digging out potatoes at season’s end. I think I paid around $10 for it at an estate sale up north. The 1 tine broke off the 1st year I had it. Then this year the weather turned early and I went out trying to dig up what was left of my taters and the ground was a little bit frozen and well…. I think you can see what happened from the last 2 photos. It was a great tool…. before I trashed it. The closest I can find to what I had is this pitchfork, Agway - Lawn, Garden, Pet, Bird and Farm Specialists | Rural > Farm Tools & Equipment > Forks > AGWAY PITCHFORK 10-TINE D-GRIP HANDLE. I’m sure I can buy a new handle cheaper than I can buy a whole heavier duty pitch fork and I don’t need all the tines anyway for digging up potatoes so I’d like to fix mine. What I can’t figure out is how to get the broken piece of the wooden handle out of that upper metal cuff part that it was inserted into. I thought about tossing that part on the burn pile to see if somehow it would burn out but figured I better ask if that was a good game plan or not. If you look close at the photos…. there are no screws or anything holding that broken piece in there. Did they use glue? I can’t figure out what’s holding that broken off chunk in there. Anywhooo…. I guess after I get help getting it out…. I’ll have to get my husband to drill through that cuff thing somehow so a new handle can be secured and held in place with screws, right?
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:00 PM   #2
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Take a large wood screw and screw it down into the center of the piece that is stuck in the tool head. Leave the head of the screw exposed enough to get the claw of a hammer on it and try to pry it out like pulling a nail. If that doesn't work you can take an electric drill to it and just keep drilling holes in it till it comes loose. Good luck
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recurve View Post
Take a large wood screw and screw it down into the center of the piece that is stuck in the tool head. Leave the head of the screw exposed enough to get the claw of a hammer on it and try to pry it out like pulling a nail. If that doesn't work you can take an electric drill to it and just keep drilling holes in it till it comes loose. Good luck
I like how you think, recurve! I was thinking of drilling it out, too, but your screw idea makes a lot of sense.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:22 PM   #4
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I think you'll have to use the multi-pronged approach[get it??] With the right attitude and a zen-like calmness try the drill operation a craftsman[machinist] would use and slow and steady will prevent broken bits and cut fingers.

It's not that I don't have confidence in your ability to get that hardwood out but getting tines secure and proper depth so that curved handle doesn't hold the wood even tighter might want to make you think twice about such Industrial age methods.

No the best bet is the Troglodyte era fire either play around with the handle all winter in the fireplace or go at it in a vice with a propane torch in the garage.

Another little trick is to soak it in Kerosene for a few days but then you'll want to start that combustion outside.
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