Thursday, August 1, 2013

8/1/13 Report - How to Convert to a Wood Scoop Handle.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Example of Stainless Steel Scoop
With Replacement Wood Handle
There are many situations in which a long-handled scoop can be handy.  Most long-handled scoops come with a metal handle.  Although they are widely sold and used, I don't like metal handles for multiple reasons.  The first reason is that some are not strong enough to stand up to long term heavy usage.   I've broken some almost right away.   That is what first caused me to consider alternate types of handles.

Besides durability, another reason to consider a wood handle is the fact that a long metal handle can easily get too close to the detector coil and cause an annoying loud signal or cause the detector to rebalance.  The wood handle makes it easier to carry and manipulate the scoop without getting it too close to the detector coil

A third reason is that a wood handle will float nicely, preventing loss and allowing you to let loose of the handle while the scoop floats upright.  That is handy when using the technique I mentioned yesterday for working rough water.

A fourth reason, is that wood is easy to cut, drill, sand and shape according to your specific preferences.

The wood handle shown here was attached to the stainless steel scoop using two U-bolts.  That is a simple, inexpensive and effective method that anyone can use.  I have a similar handle that was used heavily for over a decade before breaking.

This handle is 1 x 1.  The length is variable and can easily be cut to the length you prefer.  You can use an old shovel handle, wheel barrow handle or even wood oar.  It will all work.

I prefer a square handle rather than a round rod.  A square handle is easier to manipulate accurately with one hand. 

A round metal rod is especially hard to precisely manipulate if you get suntan lotion or something on it.  That is no problem at all with this shape of wood.

When visibility is poor and you can't see the position of the scoop in the water you can tell exactly where the scoop is pointing by looking at where the edges of the square handle are pointing. 

The hole that I suggest drilling in the handle below will help you tell which is the front or back from the sides of the handle when visibility is nonexistent and conditions are rough.

If you want, you can shave or sand the corners of the handle where your hands will normally go.

There are a number of possible variations.   You can, for example, angle the bottom by sawing the bottom as shown by the angled line in the picture above.  That is more important if you mount the bottom of the handle so that the bottom of the handle is at the bottom of the scoop.  In that case, leaving it square would result in the back bottom corner getting in the way when using the scoop to dig unless you angle the bottom.

You can also mount a strong magnet at the bottom of the handle if the bottom of the handle is flush with the bottom of the scoop.  You can then use the magnet to quickly and easily pick up ferrous junk items, in many cases without any digging at all.

Some people mount a magnet in the scoop.  That works well to attract any small ferrous items in the scoop, but that is not the way I prefer to do it.  With the magnet at the bottom of the scoop, I can easily extend the handle and quickly pick up ferrous junk without bothering to dig.

The most common length for the handle would probably be around four to five feet.  Of course that is easily modified to suit your needs and preferences.

Basic Materials for Creating a Long Handle.

You'll need two U-bolts of the correct size.  Something use something close to 1-inch U-bolts.  You need to select the size of U-bolts that work with the size of your handle and the position of the holes in the scoop.

The angled black line shows where to cut the handle to angle the bottom of the handle if that is what you want to do.

The parallel black lines show where the handle should be grooved to accommodate the U-bolts.  Be careful to align the grooves for the U-bolts with holes in the back of the scoop.  Extend the grooves around the corners, cutting into the handle at the corners away from the scoop so the U-bolts do not protrude too much from the back of the handle when tightened into place.

Handle Showing Grooves for U-bolts.

Another good idea is drilling a hole at the top where you can attach a bungy cord.  Notice black dot where you might drill that hole.

I'll add another illustration later, but that is it for now.  I've been real busy.

I'll have the poll results summarized soon too.

Happy hunting,