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  1. #1
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    Default New Teeth in an old Deuce of Spades

    I bought a Deuce of Spades trowel a few years ago, and just recently noticed that they now appear to come with serrations or "teeth" on the digging edges -- something I wished they had had when I first bought mine. Is it possible or advisable to file or Dremel some teeth into a titanium trowel like this at home? 12 times out of ten I wish I could cut through little roots a little easier, but not going to spend more money on a second trowel.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  2. #2

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    For the cost of a new trowel, it may be worthwhile to cut teeth into your trowel with a Dremel tool (or file them in as an "in-camp" chore) and see how they work. My guess is the experiment will depend on the species of plant, shrub, or tree roots that are being cut through and the factory edge may prove more usable for the variety of root conditions in long term. However, necessity being the mother of invention I would certainly give it a try.

  3. #3
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    My Deuce of Spades is made from aircraft grade aluminum not titanium. Might be easier to cut.
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  4. #4

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    May end up looking like it needs braces. You could try to put an edge on it though, much like a long handled shovel has. Not sure how thick your trowel is and not sure the angle to use. Too shallow and it would be prone to chipping.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah starting to think it's not worth the effort of even thinking about it. And I sure can't afford braces for it!
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    Just a thought - what would you pack it in, so that it doesn't gradually saw/abrade away whatever it's next to?

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    I expect it will take about 3 minutes to do a pretty nice job with and corner of pretty much any file. And, it would save weight!!
    Now, whether it makes any performance difference is a good question.

    Please do it and show us pictures.
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  8. #8

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    Sounds like you need to purchase several trowels, make a different modification to each one, and post a Trowel test Part 2.

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  9. #9
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    Just a thought - what would you pack it in, so that it doesn't gradually saw/abrade away whatever it's next to?
    Northern quilted my favorite tp.

  10. #10

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    Pictures show 4 small notches in the trowel. I wonder if they really help in cutting through small roots, of if it is just an unsubstantiated claim.

  11. #11
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    If you shaperened the points it would make a nice self defense weapon as well ,always thinking multi purpose.

    But for small roots I would think instead of points on the end, I think a better way to cut through roots would be to make one edge serrated. You dig your little hole and any roots you saw through.

  12. #12

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    This shovel didn't look quite like I imagined when I looked it up. This shovel has a user manual. They suggest flipping it over and using the handle to score out the top plug in the dirt. You might want to be a bit careful applying any type of edge, particularly what I suggested earlier. I did not think you would be gripping the digging side! Not sure that would be effective thinking further as the shovel doesn't have the same weight as a long handled shovel nor the torque. You might be surprised what you can cut through with a well maintained shovel. You maybe could grind out those 4 corner shaped teeth with a bench grinder but I am not sure whether that is a completely safe grinding procedure. Not sure you can have your piece touch the grinding wheel side. There are other ways listed though for cutting titanium if you search. Just four teeth, I suspect you could get them cut into it.
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  13. #13
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    A user manual for a trowel. Huh...never saw that before.

    It was an idle thought on an idle day. I think I'll just go on digging like I have been (without a user manual) and call it good.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    . . . You maybe could grind out those 4 corner shaped teeth with a bench grinder but I am not sure whether that is a completely safe grinding procedure. . . There are other ways listed though for cutting titanium if you search. . .
    Alligator, the Duce of Spades is Aluminum, not Ti. Either way, the little notches cut in the updated version are tiny and would be very easy to reproduce with any standard file, in seconds, in either material. And a grinder, with a well dressed edge on the wheel, would also work.

    Now, go dig and drop that duce!
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  15. #15
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Would it be more comfortable on the hand and would you be able to apply more force if the handle was curved or 90'd ?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Alligator, the Duce of Spades is Aluminum, not Ti. Either way, the little notches cut in the updated version are tiny and would be very easy to reproduce with any standard file, in seconds, in either material. And a grinder, with a well dressed edge on the wheel, would also work.

    Now, go dig and drop that duce!
    OP said their version was titanium, just going by what was stated. Figured a file would do it, but I have found over the years that when purchasing standard, aka readily available files, that the quality generally sucks for when you need the file for metal. Cheaply made and little selection usually at the big box stores. So I bought a bench grinder but I really don't use it that much. About as much as I use my angle grinder, which on reflection would also work. Both are perhaps overkill for the job at hand but when you use the tools, they are much easier to justify to your significant other.

    I have another hobby related tool tip. If you have a hobby that requires a special tool, it is very helpful to identify (and perform) a home repair which uses said tool to help justify its purchase. You're welcome.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    ... when you use the tools, they are much easier to justify to your significant other. ...If you have a hobby that requires a special tool, it is very helpful to identify (and perform) a home repair which uses said tool to help justify its purchase. You're welcome.
    You have to be a fan of "Home Improvement". That sounds like a Tim Allen line right out of "Tool Time".Tim Allen 03242021.jpeg

    "To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." - T.S. Eliot

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    . . . when you use the tools, they are much easier to justify to your significant other.
    Mmm. Deep wisdom . . .
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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