DIY Plug Digga Spade plans with stick on template and instructions

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Greenhornet

I'm going to make one tomorrow, do the serrations on one side make a difference in hard ground or is it only usefull in soft soil.

Thanks
Darren
 
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Hi Daggy,

Nice fish in the Avatar.

Yep the spade blades are plenty hard enough for the task, no need to try to improve on it as you said.

The serrations are not for soil penetration, the purpose is for 'cutting' light weight roots that are in the ground
from tuff grasses and trees near by and can be a bugger to get past with a smooth edge.
Serrations can be on one or both sides, I put the serrations on the left-hand side thats all.
You may not want them at all.
Just push it into the soil and wiggle a little from side to side, extract and press down in the next place and repeat.

No difference in hard or soft soils, for hard compacted stone filled soils you really need a pick.
The place you detect really tells you what tools you need to use.

AND you need to be conscious of the potential damage you can do with a tool like this in an urban setting,
dig holes with one of these in a manicured park, someone WILL get strange/funny/ticked off and that could spell
the end of detecting parks, so 'sensible use' is the first thing to think.
Council sprinkler systems dont like these 'diggers'.

Saying all that, they are a GREAT tool and cheap enough to damage, wear out or break and just replace it.

I hope your build is all you want it to be and is an enjoyable experience for you with the end result
being a great tool.

Cheers.
 
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Thanks Greenhornet

I like the idea of the serrations on roots, great idea.

Yeh I would never walk into a park with a spade but I have permission to a couple of privately owned historical sites. One is a juice mill that was built in 1895 and was closed in 1915 due to a shortage of cane but the ground is so dry up here that I haven't even been chasing coins.
This is why I am making one of your spades, just for this site as I don't think there will be many coins but I'm hopping to fin a few relics.

Thanks
Daggy
 
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Thats my daughters in the avatar holding a 120cm barra that we caught in the burnett river last year.
 
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Daggy said:
Thanks Greenhornet

I like the idea of the serrations on roots, great idea.

Yeh I would never walk into a park with a spade but I have permission to a couple of privately owned historical sites. One is a juice mill that was built in 1895 and was closed in 1915 due to a shortage of cane but the ground is so dry up here that I haven't even been chasing coins.
This is why I am making one of your spades, just for this site as I don't think there will be many coins but I'm hopping to fin a few relics.

Thanks
Daggy

Never fished for Barra, it sort of looked like our southern Mulloway similar sizes and appearance, hope the girls caught it, that would make a great memory for them.

The 'digga' is basically a knock off of many different ones out there but expensive to buy, I just had to work out how to make it easy for anyone to do.

It's great that you have the opportunity to search a few friendly historical sites, I reckon that you may be surprised what you will find, do let me know how it goes please,
Kato my daughter would be in like Flynn to search sites like that. :D
She loves history, we have quite a collection of horse shoes.
 
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Daggy said:
G'day hyperscott

I make knives and do all the heat treatments myself and can tell you that you will ruin the steel on your spade if you try to harden and temper yourself.
The steel in the spades are already treated and will be a medium carbon steel.

If you really feel the need to do it yourself you are going to have to heat the blade in a large fire or forge until it's just past cherry red ( or non magnetic, test with a magnet on a stick )
If you want to make it harder than what it was, quench it in water (ambient temp) but if you quench in oil it will be about the same as it was when you bought it.
Sump oil will not add carbon to the steel, that happens at a molecular level.

The easiest way to temper your blade without a furnace, is to crank the oven in your kitchen to about flat out or 300 celsius. Make sure there is no oil or any other contamination on the blade or the missus will tear you a new one! leave the blade to soak in the oven for an hour, take it out and let rest on the sink to cool naturally (best done when missus is away) and you cant go wrong.

Good luck
Darren
Hello Darren how are you? You said you make knife. I was interested in doing that sometime in the future. Is there special steel you need to buy for knife? Or just mild steel can be hardened by heat treated? Can stainless steel be hardened? I am interested in making another small hand digging tool possibly with stainless steal.
Please let me know. Thanks :D
 
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All steel can be made harder but it's how much hardness you want that makes the difference.
I make my knives from old chainsaw bars. They are made from "02 tool steel" the intructions I gave is for 02 but will serve for high carbon as well and for medium carbon you can do a super quench with ice water and get a very hard steel but it wont be perfect!
My main kitchen knife is made from an old "Molbilco" chain bar and still has the rust pit holes in the top of the blade to show it 's age.
People are amazed how sharp I can get it in a few strokes on the steel.

I had lost contact with carbon steel from working at the abattoir's for few years.
Make a knife out of a good piece of carbon steel and you will be supprised how it reacts, onions will make it change colour. But ease of sharpening and the hardiness of the edge will make you go f##k
 
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Daggy said:
Make a knife out of a good piece of carbon steel and you will be surprised how it reacts, onions will make it change colour. But ease of sharpening and the hardiness of the edge will make you go f##k

I have a soft spot for knifes and can confirm what you have said about carbon steel blades, we have two in the kitchen.

This is good stuff.

Daggy, would you consider doing a DIY with templates and pic's for making a knife like I did for the 'plug digga' and post it in a new thread? :Y:
I reckon I would like to try that, I have a nearby source for chainbars, in fact maybe 2 sources.
I did not know that about the steel in the bars.

Would a chainbar be suitable for making a field digging pick if shaped properly?
 
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Greenhornet_au said:
Daggy said:
Make a knife out of a good piece of carbon steel and you will be surprised how it reacts, onions will make it change colour. But ease of sharpening and the hardiness of the edge will make you go f##k

I have a soft spot for knifes and can confirm what you have said about carbon steel blades, we have two in the kitchen.

This is good stuff.

Daggy, would you consider doing a DIY with templates and pic's for making a knife like I did for the 'plug digga' and post it in a new thread? :Y:
I reckon I would like to try that, I have a nearby source for chainbars, in fact maybe 2 sources.
I did not know that about the steel in the bars.

Would a chainbar be suitable for making a field digging pick if shaped properly?

I don't actually use a template for knife making, that way I can be assured that each knife is unique.

A chain bar would be great for a heavy duty pick or digger. When you choose a bar, only use the solid ones. A lot of newer bars are three piece's spot welded together to make them lighter.

I start by lighting a fire large enough to make enough coals to turn the entire bar cherry red. Once the temp is hot enough, cover the bar in a good layer of coals and then cover the whole pile in sand or dirt. Leave for two days to cool down and the bar will be fully annealed and as soft as mild steel.
Draw your design on the bar and cut out with an angle grinder and then a bench grinder if you have one to smooth any sharp edges.

This is the hard part if you don't have a forge and anvil to thin the bar out.
Hand filling. Don't try to finish your blade in one day, there's a lot of metal in a chain bar and you will get sick of pushing that file for hours on end, and spend a few bucks and buy a good file (not cheap Chinese crap). You can use a linishing belt but it takes a lot of practice to get an even result and if the blade gets hot and changes colour it will harden and make life hard when your going through grades of wet and dry to finish.

Try a small one first and let me know if you need advice. Once you have your blade shaped the way you want I'll talk you through the next step, preparing the handle and finishing the polish.

Good luck
Daggy
 
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Daggy this is good stuff and should be an individual DIY project section.

Would you mind if I asked the Moderators to put it into its own thread?

Say... DIY chainbar to knife how to.

I have plenty of fire bricks - a pallet of them ! So making a forge is easy.
What do you use for the coals? Timber, brickets, coke?

I will look into getting a collection of chainsaw bars first, probably soften them and cut out some knife shapes first,
will probably make some larger heavier knifes as a start (easier to make smaller, but impossible to make larger). LOL

Large choppers for butchering.

I'll get the shape and get back to you for the next step. ;)
 
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Yeh you can do that if you like

A forge is one thing but a good anvil is another, around $300 second hand. Best thing in a forge is coal, but I don't know where you would buy it!
The best part of forge working a blade is that it save's a lot of time thinning the steel down to a usable thickness and you bypass the annealing process.

Daggy
 
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I understand the anvil costs, $300 would be very cheap here in SA. Seen them go for mega bucks!

Kato and I looked into blacksmithing, an artisan club, and could still sign up if it was a growing interest, they put together a workshop
about 20km from us, easy drive, fee's are not bad.
Coal is pretty much non existent from a retail outlet, but I may still be able to source some, I was thinking coke with a forced air blower.
But you need an anvil - I do know where one is but it is damaged, and may be obtained for free.
 
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Cruiser, how did it go?

Write and tell us how it went, if it was successful, how confident were you doing it etc

Good feed back for the forum.

Dont know if you can upload pics, if you can, please post some of the job.
 
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R.I.P. My Croc Digga......so I thought....

On Friday I was digging, I felt something odd with my digga. I looked closely and I discovered it was cracked in half!!!!!! Well it was cheap but I did not expect this dramatic failure..... :mad:

Today, I pulled out my welding machine and weld it. I should have used higher power setting as carbon steel is much harder to melt. It looks dodgy but did the job. It should be fine for a while I hope. :D

1490352094_img_20170324_181220_1.jpg

1490352127_img_20170324_183844_1.jpg
 
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Holy cow Capa, you must have been levering on something solid to do that.

Your spade isnt really that thick but I reckon you have put it to good work so far,
these are for digging plugs mate, not lifting car bodies out of the ground.

:p :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :Y:
 
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Just finished today's project,my plug digger.Cost all up was $10 for a cutting wheel and a flap disc.Love the satisfaction you get when you make something yourself and the fact that something that has been sitting in the shed for 5 years doing nothing is now going to be useful. Happy with how it turned out.Thanks for the template Greenhornet.
1490503119_img_1216.jpg
 
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Greenhornet_au said:
Holy cow Capa, you must have been levering on something solid to do that.

Your spade isnt really that thick but I reckon you have put it to good work so far,
these are for digging plugs mate, not lifting car bodies out of the ground.

:p :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :Y:
Yeah I think it got caught on the rock or metal piece... I will make another one. I dug today and digga held in one piece. 8)
 
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Eldorado said:
Just finished today's project,my plug digger.Cost all up was $10 for a cutting wheel and a flap disc.Love the satisfaction you get when you make something yourself and the fact that something that has been sitting in the shed for 5 years doing nothing is now going to be useful. Happy with how it turned out.Thanks for the template Greenhornet.
https://www.prospectingaustralia.com/forum/img/member-images/5682/1490503119_img_1216.jpg
Very nice one! It looks like cyclone oz one? It looks strong!
:Y: :Y: :Y: :Y:
 

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