• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

What Tool Can't You Find?  RSS feed

 
Jerry Ward
Posts: 194
Location: S.E. Michigan - Zone 6a
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello,

I working on developing a business with my son making hand tools - High quality ones that you will buy once for life. My day job is product management and one of the rules is to first define the need, problem or work flow that you need to solve. So my question is what job do you have around a permaculture site that you do not have the right tool for? Or perhaps what tool do you use that you cannot find a high quality version of? These will be hand made using the blacksmith/woodworking/welding skills I learned many years ago before deciding to make a living in the computer/technology field and will be something you can pass down to your grand kids. However I will not be trying to duplicate something others already do well i.e. there are several high quality axe makers. In that case I will just provide reviews and a place to buy.

I've just started a website for this endeavor at Perma-Tools.com and invite you to check it out.

Regards,
Jerry
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
small pruning tools like sickets, sickles, etc.

Sourcing good sharpening tools and FILES would be a huge help.

A good dibble or other transplanting system at a good pricepoint would be nice, not sure if you can compete there or not. Better quality than the $30 ones from amazon, but not $120+ either.

You also could make good sheaths for your tools or others. One thing I think would be useful is something like a small messenger bag (think Indiana Jone's size) that has one big pouch (for seeds, transplants, or harvested forage) and a bunch of TOOL slots instead of pencil slots--pruning saw, pruners, trowel, sicket, weeder. Something you can grab and go, doesn't need a belt, and is unisex.
 
Jerry Ward
Posts: 194
Location: S.E. Michigan - Zone 6a
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What do you feel would make a good dibble? I could see casting them out of aluminium which would have a reasonable cost and last just about forever with any care level above full neglect. A set could be made of different sizes based on the size hole, something like small, medium, large. It would have a bulb like handle on the top and a blunted cone at the bottom to push into the soil.

R Scott wrote:

A good dibble or other transplanting system at a good pricepoint would be nice, not sure if you can compete there or not. Better quality than the $30 ones from amazon, but not $120+ either.

 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 265
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jerry - good idea. I like your approach of seeking input from within the multitude of homesteaders & permies who connect on the web.

It will be good when you add eye-appeal to your new web site (congrats on starting it!). Pics will definitely add something.

Here's a link to an entry I made on another site. It tells about this simple tool that I designed and made, mainly relying on an oxy-acetylene torch and a couple of metal-grinding tools (and of course an ash scrapwood handle). Amazingly, out of a dozen possiblities for weeding that we've collected from yard sales, this is the tool both my wife and I grab for soonest. When we make a work trade and people come to our place to help us weed, they grab this thing as their prime choice.

Another sign of its acceptance is that I've given a couple to long-time gardener friends for their birthdays, and they've been happy. It's such a simple tool that I'm almost embarrassed to show it, but it is appreciated. If it appeals to you, use or adapt & refine the design.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jerry Ward wrote:What do you feel would make a good dibble?


I don't know exactly. Strong, light, ergonomic. Depends on what you are planting, but cast aluminum sounds like a great start.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 265
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Er.... I just realized the link for the post about how I made the weeder (has a couple more - detail - pics too) isn't in my first post. Here it is:
http://www.sufficientself.com/threads/a-garden-tool-i-made.11553/
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6796
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
266
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The one I need right now is usually the one that can't be found.

Quality demolition tools are hard to find. Better than 95% of the bars sold for tearing stuff apart, are unsuitable for any task. The best I've found were bought at Lee Valley.
 
Michael Bush
Posts: 33
Location: Sacramento
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Before you go making tools, check out leevalley's gardening catalog and places like etsy and artfire. There isn't much you can make better or cheaper but what you can do is market better.

I speak from experience, I am a talented woodworker and have at times made marginal livings making gunstocks, sex toys, and kitchen utensils from wood.

You are going to be hard pressed to make something better than Japanese tools for either price or quality Hida Tool & Hardware. These are laminated steel blades with a very handmade look

I don't say any of this to undermine your efforts but to point out that what really matters is YOU are making it. Permies rarely have the money to buy high end hand made items, the market for that is yuppie high end garden boutiques. Case in point, that Hida tool is five minutes from a high end nursery where they sell those same tools for a 35% markup.

And as an FYI, maple is not the best tool handle, it rots and it isn't as shock resistant as things like ash and hickory I cannot recomend two books high enough, both cheap and FULL of good permie information and both of which would provide you with a wealth of both knowledge and inspiration

A Reverence for Wood by Eric Sloane

A Museum of Early American Tools by Eric Sloane
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 212
Location: New Hampshire
15
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R Scott wrote:
Sourcing good sharpening tools and FILES would be a huge help.


Good files are easy to find from jewelry tool supply companies. Jewelers use all sorts of shapes and sizes of files every day. Here are a few of my favorite companies. I used to be a jeweler and I have ordered from all 3 of these companies regularly.

http://www.ottofrei.com/home.php

http://www.riogrande.com/Home

http://www.gesswein.com/

 
Jerry Ward
Posts: 194
Location: S.E. Michigan - Zone 6a
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael Bush wrote:Before you go making tools, check out leevalley's gardening catalog and places like etsy and artfire. There isn't much you can make better or cheaper but what you can do is market better.



Yeah I don't plan on trying to make something that is already out there in production by another company and I wont be quitting my day job. However if I can find that un-filled application and design a tool to fill it I will take a shot at it. Also this is as much to teach my son some hard skills as anything and I would consider it a hobby. You never know I might make more money off of a web site that serves as an index/review site of what is out there than actually producing and delivering a hard product.
 
James Burnette
Posts: 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to find a scythe in a store. Granted it would probably be junk. I will have to end up hitting some yard sales and craigs list. For an original item I just saw on youtube a combination of an ax and a pickaroon. What a great concept.
 
charlotte anthony
pollinator
Posts: 298
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thisl is not a hand tool, but someone on the forums might have a use for it. on my first farm we used a tobacco planter that looked like this for our 15 acres of cabbage plants.

i am on the conservation agriculture list serve and they have a lot of good stuff there.

Subject: FW: New No-till Tobacco & Vegetable Transplanter

Hi Amir and Jeff:

Thought you might enjoy this Pennsylvania home-made product.

For better no-tilling,

Sjoerd

From: Jeffrey Graybill < jsg18@psu.edu>
Reply-To: Jeffrey Graybill < jsg18@psu.edu>
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015 1:46 PM
To: " L-FFC-TEAM-PSEXTENSION@LISTS.PSU.EDU" < L-FFC-TEAM-PSEXTENSION@LISTS.PSU.EDU>
Subject: New No-till Tobacco & Vegetable Transplanter

No-till enthusiasts,
Here are some photos of a no-till transplanter which I designed along with a colleague from the Lancaster CD and a local Amish shop.
Used it for the first time yesterday planted some broccoli on an Amish farm.

Jeff

Jeffrey S. Graybill, MS, CCA
Agronomy Educator
Penn State Extension
1383 Arcadia Rd, Room #140
Lancaster, PA 17601
717-394-6851
cell:717-615-2324
Email: jsg18@psu.edu,
http://lancaster.extension.psu.edu/
Twitter: @Lanc_ext_jeff
extension.psu.edu


Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce




 
charlotte anthony
pollinator
Posts: 298
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
okay the pictures are not here, do not know how to do that, please email me if you want the pictures. i saw the attachment place, but do not know how to get them on my computer so i can attach them.

victorygardensforall@gmail.com

this is a machine that goes behind a tractor. 2 people sit on the seats. the machine punches a hole in the ground, one of the people puts the plant in and the machine waters the plant. quite nifty.

the conservation agriculture people have millions of acres in cultivation with no till in india, south america, africa, some in the u.s. it actually started in the u.s. they still want to use chemicals but they are know the real value of the soil is in the microbes and so they want to keep the microbes.



On Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 11:57 PM, Amir Kassam <amirkassam786@googlemail.com> wrote:
CA-CoP CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
for sustainable production intensification

Dear Subscribers,

Please see herebelow the new no-till tobacco and vegetable transplanter made by Jeffrey S. Graybill, Agronomy Educator, Penn State Extension, forwarded by Sjoerd Duiker.

Amir Kassam
Moderator
e-mail: amirkassam786@gmail.com
URL: www.fao.org/ag/ca

-----Original Message-----
From: Sjoerd Willem Duiker <swd10@psu.edu>
To: Amir Kassam <kassamamir@aol.com>; Ronald J Esdaile <rjesdaile@gmail.com>
Sent: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 18:57
Subject: FW: New No-till Tobacco & Vegetable Transplanter

Hi Amir and Jeff:

Thought you might enjoy this Pennsylvania home-made product.

For better no-tilling,

Sjoerd

From: Jeffrey Graybill < jsg18@psu.edu>
Reply-To: Jeffrey Graybill < jsg18@psu.edu>
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015 1:46 PM
To: " L-FFC-TEAM-PSEXTENSION@LISTS.PSU.EDU" < L-FFC-TEAM-PSEXTENSION@LISTS.PSU.EDU>
Subject: New No-till Tobacco & Vegetable Transplanter

No-till enthusiasts,
Here are some photos of a no-till transplanter which I designed along with a colleague from the Lancaster CD and a local Amish shop.
Used it for the first time yesterday planted some broccoli on an Amish farm.

Jeff

Jeffrey S. Graybill, MS, CCA
Agronomy Educator
Penn State Extension
1383 Arcadia Rd, Room #140
Lancaster, PA 17601
717-394-6851
cell:717-615-2324
Email: jsg18@psu.edu,
http://lancaster.extension.psu.edu/
Twitter: @Lanc_ext_jeff
extension.psu.edu


Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce



 
Jack Edmondson
Posts: 240
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to see a good American made drawknife, both right angle handle and a low angle handle. Currently to get a good drawknife one has to go with Veritas, a German company. Good wood working files are gone from the market from my understanding. I will have to check out the links given above. I don't think there is anyone making riffle files anymore. I have only been able to find them at antique shops or flea markets. However, to be honest, I am not sure how many people actually know what to do with a riffle file any more, since woodworking is strictly a power tool business now.

I think from a permiculture stand point a line of timber/rough wood shaping tools would be great. The only company that is making a froe that I know of is Gransfors Bruks. If you check out their catalog you will see a lot unique tools that are all made in Northern Europe and are ghastly expensive. Yet, none of them are high tech. A good blacksmith could make them domestically far cheaper. I will say they have high quality in their products and they are made to last a life time.

Bruks catalog
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2619
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
507
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I buy standard hoes and modify them so that they can be used properly: As a knife and not as a hammer. Then I have to modify them so that the handle is long enough that they can be used standing up instead of bending over.
 
ben harpo
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd like to have a counter rotating tine cultivator that was bigger. The classic version is the "garden weasel". It has cast aluminum tine wheels in interlocking pairs. Most versions have 6 tine wheels in three pairs which cover about a 7" swath. It is the fastest tool for a quick cultivation of a fairly clean garden bed. It dislodges small weeds and leaves a nice broken up finish. It can level up a closed surface much better than a rake.

I want one with a dozen wheels covering about 14". More weight would be a good thing, somewhere between 5-10lbs for the head to spare some of the pushing down. And of course a nice long handle. It would be nice to have one for a wheel hoe as well.
 
Michael Newby
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
134
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jack Edmondson wrote:Good wood working files are gone from the market from my understanding. I will have to check out the links given above. I don't think there is anyone making riffle files anymore.


It's a stone sculpting supply house, but they have a pretty good selection of rifflers at The Compleat Sculptor.
 
Jay Angler
Posts: 139
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jack Edmondson said:
Currently to get a good drawknife one has to go with Veritas, a German company.


To quote this Wiki page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Valley_Tools - Lee Valley also has a manufacturing arm, called Veritas Tools. In other words, these tools are engineered by Leonard Lee's team and I've got one of those draw knives. We had a problem with a Lee Valley product once which my husband found a solution for and the end result was a phone call from Mr. Lee himself and later a tour of their research and development operation in Ottawa. I can't swear they don't outsource some of the Veritas parts manufacturing but for the most part, if it's got the Veritas label, it's Canadian.
 
It's exactly the same and completely different as this tiny ad:
Jacqueline Freeman - Honeybee Techniques - streaming video
https://permies.com/wiki/65175/videos/digital-market/Jacqueline-Freeman-Honeybee-Techniques-streaming
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!