Thursday, January 3, 2013

Building a Whizbang Wheel Hoe

I am a fan of Herrick Kimball from the Deliberate Agrarian. I have read every blog post at his web site, built a whizbang chicken plucker (see it here), and own most of his books. So imagine my joy on Christmas morning when I unwrapped a Whizbang Wheel Hoe kit from Herrick's Planet Whizbang web site.  The contents were just some metal pieces, bolts and washers:

Putting it together.....

The key here is patient prep work. I bought some turpentine, sand paper, rustoleum primer, and red rustoleum paint at Lowe's. Then I rubbed each piece with a cloth "dabbed" in turpentine to remove any grease. After that I filed all of the sharp edges smooth, and lightly sandpapered each piece.

I did this prep work outside so I wouldn't get the house smelly or dirty. I hung the pieces on the clothesline with some string and little hooks I made from wire. Each piece was carefully primed and then painted a pretty red color.

While the paint was drying, I used the template and instructions to cut two handles from a 1 x 6 x 6' oak board I purchased at Lowe's. While at Lowes (I made one trip because it's like 20 miles from here - but so is everything!) I had also purchased linseed oil for the finish. Anyway, the handles were next:

Cut and drilled:

Herrick's handle rub made by combining 1/3 turpentine, 1/3 wax, and 1/3 linseed oil (yes it smells good at first then it smells terrible but does a great job):

Close up of handles with the rub applied - it really brings out the grain and gives the handles a nice feel:

My wonderful wife had already purchased the required wheel from Northern Tool as well as a cross-brace from Planet Whizbang. I put the metal parts together:

And then I put the handles on it:

I love my new Whizbang wheel hoe. It took about 3 hours total to do everything (I let the paint dry overnight so that's not including dry time). I hope it becomes an heirloom after I wear it out and rebuild it several times over the years.


  1. Nice Job! I love the concept of companies supplying Do-most-of-it-yourself kits. What a great way to keep the cost lower on great quality items and have the opportunity for customization too. Please let us know how it works! Found your site through the Barn Hop come visit ours if you'd like. Thanks for sharing.