You are not logged in.

  • Register to access all forum features  

#1

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
07 November 2016 11:18 pm

Hi Members,

I'm new to the site, but enjoyed the hobby since I was about 18 and now with kids at 54, a renewed interest.

We have all seen these for sale, some are expensive, some reasonably priced for the quality.

Here I am providing you an easy alternative to make your very own from a new spade or an old spade in the shed
if you have a spare one.
I installed the long handles, to originally short handle spades.

1478519239_optimized-img_0072.jpg

I have designed and made these, so simple to do, and a great tool in the kit for the field if you are a coin hunter
or treasure hunter.

For this instructional I made another 'plug digga' yesterday for pics and Kato my off-sider.
It took more time to make the template and take the photos, than to do the cutting and grinding.

Give it a go and show me your NEW "plug digga" when you are done, cheers and enjoy.

IMPORTANT - READ THROUGH CAREFULLY BEFORE STARTING, AND UNDERSTAND THE TASK.
USE SAFETY GEAR FOR EYES, EARS, BODY AND FACE.

Tools you will need - angle grinder, 1mm cutting disk, grinding flap wheel or grinding disk,
drill - 1/8 drill bit (pilot hole) and 5mm or up to 8mm drill bit.
Maybe a vice to hold spade while cutting and grinding.

1478514886_optimized-img_0106.jpg

1478514887_optimized-img_0107.jpg

Materials needed - spade and template.

1478515036_optimized-img_0073.jpg

Download and print out the template, trim out the template with scissors to get the general shape of the 'plug digga',
cut off just the outer edges, dont cut out the detailed bits for the root cutting edge, that's the guide for drilling holes and
cutting the saw teeth bits out. wink

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … late_2.pdf

Now you have the 'STICK TO the spade blade template', use any sort of glue handy, spray glue, clag, uhu,
any paper glue will do, even hair spray might do it !
Most important is that the template is centered and stuck to the BACK of the spade blade.

You will only use the top 3/4 of the spade, so if you want a longer 'plug digga', just modify as required by sliding the template down
and cutting longer side edges.

Image of template drawn on the BACK of the spade blade and what we are aiming for - a 'plug digga'.

1478515321_optimized-img_0077.jpg

1478515582_optimized-img_0095.jpg

NOW the easy stuff, we use the Drill for the holes and the Grinder with a thin cutting blade to trim off the OUTER EDGES of the 'digga' template.

Drill pilot holes with the 1/8 drill bit in each of the circles and then Drill the holes larger with the bigger drill bit, 5mm or up to 8mm.

1478516653_optimized-img_0082.jpg

IMPORTANT - Cutting - start at the bottom Vee, all cuts are on the far outside lines where the paper meets the steel, basically cut off the exposed steel only !

1478515999_optimized-img_0085.jpg

Small trim cut under the boot step, follow the template, then the exposed steel on the side edges - long cuts.

1478516711_optimized-img_0086.jpg

1478516745_optimized-img_0087.jpg

SO BY NOW, you should have the BASIC shape and need to cut the teeth of the root cutting edge.
Just trim out the bits of the template into the holes you drilled out earlier - you have teeth !

1478517906_optimized-img_0088.jpg

1478517906_optimized-img_0094.jpg

WE ARE NEARLY FINISHED NOW, you need to flip the spade over and grind an angled tapered edge on the FRONT of the spade,
this will be about 10mm wide around all the sides and bottom vee edge to point.
Use a flap disk or grinding disk for this, dont get the steel too hot by grinding too hard in one place.

It should look like this before the tapered edge, and then the after the edge is done - ready to go dig some plugs !

1478518923_optimized-img_0103.jpg

1478518922_optimized-img_0101.jpg

Your job is done !
Another tool for your hobby, made by your own hands !

Enjoy and be safe.

Compliments from Greenhornet and Kato.

Moderators if you wish to sticky it to the top of the DIY, or insert it into EPIC Projects as well as DIY, be my guest, I just want to contribute.


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

25 users like this post: silver, bazxa, thedigger, Tathradj, GaryO, B5MECH, xcvator, Billy, yobskin, numpty, Kaiser Soze, Bobh, Braddo, aussiefarmer, goldengoose, Mackka, Ivo, brucee, ktmman, Dirt Monster, Albundy, Wishfull, Rockhound, Trash, Ded Driver

#2

Eldorado
Member
From: , NSW
Joined: 21 July 2015
Posts: 1,307
Member
08 November 2016 12:06 am

Awesome.Great job Greenhornet.How long a handle do you have on them?I have an old spade in the shed,might give it a go. Thanks for posting.

Last edited by Eldorado (08 November 2016 12:09 am)

#3

silver
Member
Joined: 19 December 2013
Posts: 15,359
Member
08 November 2016 01:02 am

Great post Gh 8) tongue
Eldorado, I'd make it long enough to fit comfortably in the boot of the car myself. big_smile


What a great day ! ,... " I'll see you in the field ".

1 user likes this post: Greenhornet_au

#4

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
08 November 2016 08:14 am

Eldorado,

I have a big family - 4 kids, so we have space for the long handles in the 4WD.

The red fibreglass handles are about 5' long with spade - up to my nose, it's nothing to shorten one to be chest height,
bear it in mind the long handle is so that you dont need to bend over to cut a plug.

I find square plugs are easier and key back into the hole better for less mess.
Also you can control the depth of the cut - we dig shallow at first about 4", then pinpoint and use the hand tool,
if the target is deep and we are nowhere near sprinklers, we will dig full depth.

The long handle can provide great leverage, enough to bend or break the blade in hard ground, if so, make another spade LOL
Also it is good for getting under bushes to scrape or clean weeds.

Originally all spades ($12) were short handle, but the first rotted and cracked, it seemed to be made almost of craftwood(?)
so I bought the long handled trenching tool for $10 on special, to find they were fibreglass with a steel sleeve at the spade head.
You beauty, dismantled and installed, they lost a little length in dismantling, and a little more in the fitting, so now total about 5'.

I would probably use timber next time, easily cut to length and shaped, just find a descent timber as the local hardware
was expensive for rubbish timber handles.

Kato with 'plug digga' we made on Sunday, she is 12, the handle is at the top of her head.

1478552444_optimized-img_0109.jpg


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

2 users like this post: xcvator, AngerManagement

#5

Eldorado
Member
From: , NSW
Joined: 21 July 2015
Posts: 1,307
Member
13 November 2016 03:45 pm

Bunnings have these at the moment.Looks like it might be alright for the job.1479012341_image.jpg

#6

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
16 November 2016 05:32 pm

Oh man !

That has to be the bargain of the year, I need to make another 2x for friends, I will check this out ASAP.

Perfect if it doesnt have stiffening ribs in the spade head.


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

#7

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
16 November 2016 05:49 pm

Checked the net on Bunnings site.

Still available but, NOT just long handled, they have short D handle fibreglass also.

Will be there tomorrow and if suitable will buy several of the long handled, and maybe a few short too.

Also a couple of TC masonry drill bits, to drill holes thru the hardened steel spade. wink


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

#8

Occasional_panner
Member
Joined: 20 July 2016
Posts: 2,158
Member
16 November 2016 08:12 pm

Cut the slots on the side in a rearward fashion and it would make a ripper trench weapon, and would still work as a digging tool.


Don't worry me with your problems, I have enough of my own.

#9

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
20 November 2016 08:08 pm

LOL

Dont think we will be fighting in the trenches too soon.

I bought a SAXON long handle and 2x short handle spades to make for friends into the hobby,
I noticed that the long handle came in two types, flat blade and one with channels.

Always use a flat blade spade for the project.

I will knock them up as per the DIY, take some pics and post them.
$9.00 for a plug digger is just smashing it !

Took a lot of looking around to just find some - every one is making plug spades !!


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

#10

hyperscott
Member
From: Central Coast, NSW
Joined: 27 May 2016
Posts: 82
Member
03 January 2017 06:32 pm

Took to the shed today and cut up my last spade to make one of these.

Will be calling into bunning on the way home one night to grab a couple more, the $9 shovel long and short D handle ones look good for this purpose.

Do you normally temper the shovel head after doing this?
I.e. heat then cool in oil

This is how mine turned out, will be using this soon. (Not tempered figured would try with out first)
Hoping it goes alright broke 3 drill bits trying to drill the holes. cordless drill and cheap bits no match for the shovel.

1483428804_file-3_small.jpg
* note sure why this is upside down, Just rotated a copy and same thing happens. If any one knows please let me know for future.

Regards

Scott
( HyperScott / Blazesurfer )

Last edited by hyperscott (03 January 2017 06:34 pm)


Scott - ( HyperScott / Blazesurfer )
Minelab Excalibur | Minelab GoFind 40 | GoldRat 6" mini Cells Dream mat Sluice | Minelab Equinox 600 smile

3 users like this post: Wally69, Mackka, ktmman

#11

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
04 January 2017 10:21 pm

Looks great,

Did you use the template I put up ?

I would have left more metal under the 'treads' to support them, but I weigh 113kg LOL

Just slip the template down a bit, the spade will be a little wider under the treads and more supporting metal too.

Did you grind a cutting edge on the front, cant really tell from my view of the finished product.

As you have found Spades are hardened already, drill bits dont like them, so no I have never tempered them
too cheap to go thru all that anyway.

I only use cordless tools to do this work, so mobile without cords.

Finally, how long did it take you, roughly ? And did you enjoy the process ?

Got a trick for you with the drills, buy some cheap masonary drill bits and grind the same 'cutting edge' onto them as a standard HSS bit.
Engineering shops have done this for years to drill hardened steels.
The tungsten tips will hold up well if a good cutting edge is ground onto them.
Run them a little slower than the HSS bits, dont try to 'punch' them thru, not too much push on these bits while drilling/cutting.

I got this trick from a mate that used to make and service 'press dies' for Simpson Pope.

Good job Scott.


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

2 users like this post: silver, Wishfull

#12

hyperscott
Member
From: Central Coast, NSW
Joined: 27 May 2016
Posts: 82
Member
05 January 2017 08:15 am

Hi greenhornet_au

Yes used your template, slipped a little though.

But came up nice. shovel worked well, used it yesterday. Very slight cutting edge on the shovel yes, will likely try sharpening it at some stage if i find it needs it.

That's a great tip around the masonry bits, ill give that go at some stage.

Didn't take very long at all maybe a half hour due to drilling holes.

I ended up just cutting with the angle grinder and then putting a grinding blade in to ensure the slots where straight and put the edge on them. Worked ok.
likely will do the same thing next time just measure out the slots and then use the cutting blade.

was a nice and easy process and enjoyed it yes.

Thanks


Scott - ( HyperScott / Blazesurfer )
Minelab Excalibur | Minelab GoFind 40 | GoldRat 6" mini Cells Dream mat Sluice | Minelab Equinox 600 smile

1 user likes this post: Greenhornet_au

#13

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
05 January 2017 09:21 pm

My pleasure to have brought something to the forum.

Another tip for the template is to make it stick -

Wet the spade and lay the A4 over the back - should be enough to stick it while cutting away the excess
Use UHU glue stick and rub all over the spade to stick paper
Get a tin of spray glue and spray spade to stick paper (spray paint may do it too)
Make some flour paste glue and stick the paper down

You get the jist of it, and it will all come off with water or wear and tear.

Thank you for the feed back.


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

#14

hyperscott
Member
From: Central Coast, NSW
Joined: 27 May 2016
Posts: 82
Member
05 January 2017 09:29 pm

Yer was thinking might be better to stick it in future.

I used masking tape and it worked well. As I could see the outline still. Issue was when i tried to drill with a bot of wd40 to lubricate the bit. the paper just got un-happy:)

Will try sticking with some water or spray and stick, sure the wife wont miss the hair spray:P


Scott - ( HyperScott / Blazesurfer )
Minelab Excalibur | Minelab GoFind 40 | GoldRat 6" mini Cells Dream mat Sluice | Minelab Equinox 600 smile

#15

Old Fred
Member
Joined: 23 July 2016
Posts: 405
Member
06 January 2017 08:15 pm

hyperscott wrote:

Took to the shed today and cut up my last spade to make one of these.

Will be calling into bunning on the way home one night to grab a couple more, the $9 shovel long and short D handle ones look good for this purpose.

Do you normally temper the shovel head after doing this?
I.e. heat then cool in oil

This is how mine turned out, will be using this soon. (Not tempered figured would try with out first)
Hoping it goes alright broke 3 drill bits trying to drill the holes. cordless drill and cheap bits no match for the shovel.

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … _small.jpg
* note sure why this is upside down, Just rotated a copy and same thing happens. If any one knows please let me know for future.

Regards

Scott
( HyperScott / Blazesurfer )

Use old engine iol because it has the carbon in it to harden

1 user likes this post: Greenhornet_au

#16

hyperscott
Member
From: Central Coast, NSW
Joined: 27 May 2016
Posts: 82
Member
06 January 2017 08:31 pm

Hi Old Fred

Thanks I think I might even have some around waiting for a new home/second life.

Scott


Scott - ( HyperScott / Blazesurfer )
Minelab Excalibur | Minelab GoFind 40 | GoldRat 6" mini Cells Dream mat Sluice | Minelab Equinox 600 smile

#17

Smoky bandit
Member
Joined: 05 April 2016
Posts: 4,358
Member
06 January 2017 09:09 pm

Old Fred wrote:
hyperscott wrote:

Took to the shed today and cut up my last spade to make one of these.

Will be calling into bunning on the way home one night to grab a couple more, the $9 shovel long and short D handle ones look good for this purpose.

Do you normally temper the shovel head after doing this?
I.e. heat then cool in oil

This is how mine turned out, will be using this soon. (Not tempered figured would try with out first)
Hoping it goes alright broke 3 drill bits trying to drill the holes. cordless drill and cheap bits no match for the shovel.

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … _small.jpg
* note sure why this is upside down, Just rotated a copy and same thing happens. If any one knows please let me know for future.

Regards

Scott
( HyperScott / Blazesurfer )

Use old engine iol because it has the carbon in it to harden

Hi mate a shovel would allready have been hardend...if you try an harden it again you will only make it brittle......if u are wanting to temper steel it has to be done after you harden...Heat until glowing red then cool in oil...or cool water...i prefer oil as it blackens the metal....then to temper ...heat again slowly..but dont let it go red this time...dont dip in oil this time either.....let it cool slowly...then it has been temperd..Hope this helps..... big_smile

Last edited by Smoky bandit (06 January 2017 09:11 pm)


No pain No gain..

1 user likes this post: Greenhornet_au

#18

Boulders
Member
From: Sydney, NSW
Joined: 15 December 2016
Posts: 172
Member
06 January 2017 09:19 pm

Like I haven't got enough projects to do but I will definitely be having a crack at this one. Thanks for sharing.


New to fossicking. Sluicy GS21 Highbanker, Thornado 6.5hp pump, Minelab X Terra 705 Dual Coil Pack.

1 user likes this post: Greenhornet_au

#19

caparobertsan
Member
Joined: 27 January 2017
Posts: 702
Member
30 January 2017 09:51 am

Thank you very much for the template! It looks great! I went to Bunning to find same shovels but there are all gone! I guess there are too many metal detecting people up my way(Melbourne, Northern).
I found very compact camping shovel for $10.00. I was trying to drill hole for the serration but I did not realized it was so hard. I probably need tungsten bit. But I cut two groove and snapped piece off with pliers then rounded off with grinding wheel. I think it came up great! I cannot wait to use it.
Thank you so much!

I also made a Sheath for it. It took me few hours for that as well.

1485730096_img_20170129_201644.jpg
1485730097_img_20170129_201654.jpg
1485730098_img_20170129_201911.jpg


Minelab Gao Find 60 owner , Victoria Miner`s right permit holder. Ebay purchase-> C.Scope CS4ZX! C.SCope CS330! Nexus Bonanza, Minelab Sovereign XS-2! Minelab 2100(have not used it yet)
Makro Pointer, XP MI-6!

2 users like this post: Greenhornet_au, Wishfull

#20

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
30 January 2017 12:52 pm

Hi Caparobertsan,

Thanks mate, glad you enjoyed it.

Good job there, bet you were pumped after finishing that. smile

A few posts earlier I advised how to get a drill bit that will drill the hardened steel of the spade.

But you worked it out, thats the great thing with a good DIY project, nothing ever really stops you.

Usually I would grind the sharpened edge on the front of the blade, but it should make no major difference,
frankly never have ground it on the back to try it. wink

Tell me how it cuts after you use it please.

Spades -
When I chased Bunnings here, I had to go to 3 different stores and just found a couple of those cheapies,
apparently they are occasional specials, a couple of times a year, and sell out fast.
One store said they only got 3 into stock! Hmmmm.... sad


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

#21

caparobertsan
Member
Joined: 27 January 2017
Posts: 702
Member
30 January 2017 02:31 pm

Greenhornet_au wrote:

Hi Caparobertsan,

Thanks mate, glad you enjoyed it.

Good job there, bet you were pumped after finishing that. smile

A few posts earlier I advised how to get a drill bit that will drill the hardened steel of the spade.

But you worked it out, thats the great thing with a good DIY project, nothing ever really stops you.

Usually I would grind the sharpened edge on the front of the blade, but it should make no major difference,
frankly never have ground it on the back to try it. wink

Tell me how it cuts after you use it please.

Spades -
When I chased Bunnings here, I had to go to 3 different stores and just found a couple of those cheapies,
apparently they are occasional specials, a couple of times a year, and sell out fast.
One store said they only got 3 into stock! Hmmmm.... sad

Hello Green hornet
Thanks for your reply! Yes I did not grind the other side because that famous Lesche Digging Too has only one side is sharpen.... I have not used it yet to dig for metal detecting but I made holes in my backyard lawn.... for no reason but just try it out. It cuts of but lawn is soft so I am not sure how it perform in real situations. But I am sure I will be making another ones.... I do`nt know why I thrive on making or modifying things and little project like these! I was not aware how much noise I was making during the process because I was wearing eye muff. Neighbor from hell, I hope not!
Thank you!!!

Last edited by caparobertsan (30 January 2017 02:32 pm)


Minelab Gao Find 60 owner , Victoria Miner`s right permit holder. Ebay purchase-> C.Scope CS4ZX! C.SCope CS330! Nexus Bonanza, Minelab Sovereign XS-2! Minelab 2100(have not used it yet)
Makro Pointer, XP MI-6!

#22

Greenhornet_au
Member
Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,080
Member
30 January 2017 03:23 pm

Hi Caparobertsan,

I am not sure you understand me, I recommended to grind an edge only on the front side, not the back, in my DIY.

I love that you are so keen you tried it out on the lawn, LOL that is so good, a man needs to prove his tools and test them
out as soon as possible.
I DID exactly the same thing with my first plug digga !

I think they are perfect for planting pot plants, dig a plug - put in pot plant - back fill what is needed.
They are great for removing weeds too, the point gets into the soil very well to cut the roots out.

Neighbour from hell, I doubt it, you did a small job and got a great return, if the neighbour complains ask nicely to show them
what you made and offer to make one for them too as a great garden tool for them.
Be enthusiastic, if they accept they will never complain again, and if they dont accept, they will likely not complain again
because they know it is a hobby and the noise wont last long while you are doing something productive. smile


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

#23

caparobertsan
Member
Joined: 27 January 2017
Posts: 702
Member
30 January 2017 03:59 pm

Greenhornet_au wrote:

Hi Caparobertsan,

I am not sure you understand me, I recommended to grind an edge only on the front side, not the back, in my DIY.

I love that you are so keen you tried it out on the lawn, LOL that is so good, a man needs to prove his tools and test them
out as soon as possible.
I DID exactly the same thing with my first plug digga !

I think they are perfect for planting pot plants, dig a plug - put in pot plant - back fill what is needed.
They are great for removing weeds too, the point gets into the soil very well to cut the roots out.

Neighbour from hell, I doubt it, you did a small job and got a great return, if the neighbour complains ask nicely to show them
what you made and offer to make one for them too as a great garden tool for them.
Be enthusiastic, if they accept they will never complain again, and if they dont accept, they will likely not complain again
because they know it is a hobby and the noise wont last long while you are doing something productive. smile

Ahhh, Green Hornet Yes yes I looked your photo closely 8) and I see it. Oh well never mind. yikes I am so keen to go for proper dig now!
Thank you!!!


Minelab Gao Find 60 owner , Victoria Miner`s right permit holder. Ebay purchase-> C.Scope CS4ZX! C.SCope CS330! Nexus Bonanza, Minelab Sovereign XS-2! Minelab 2100(have not used it yet)
Makro Pointer, XP MI-6!

#24

caparobertsan
Member
Joined: 27 January 2017
Posts: 702
Member
31 January 2017 01:21 pm

Hello, all I have also made a sheath for it with scrap leather bought from Sunday market..... Protect my investment...!? big_smile Thank you!1485829297_img_20170130_210703.jpg
1485829298_img_20170130_210724.jpg
1485829299_img_20170130_210758.jpg


Minelab Gao Find 60 owner , Victoria Miner`s right permit holder. Ebay purchase-> C.Scope CS4ZX! C.SCope CS330! Nexus Bonanza, Minelab Sovereign XS-2! Minelab 2100(have not used it yet)
Makro Pointer, XP MI-6!

5 users like this post: Boulders, Wishfull, Daggy, Rockhound, Ramjet

#25

Eldorado
Member
From: , NSW
Joined: 21 July 2015
Posts: 1,307
Member
31 January 2017 05:15 pm

Nice leatherwork Caparobertsan,you could call it the crocodile plugger now.


Contact Us - Privacy Policy - Terms Of Service

View Desktop Site

Top