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2 Free new patented tools to give away

I asked Phil if it was ok to get some advice, comments, suggestions and feedback from industry experts, that means YOU !I am close to going into production with a new garden tool, and am now working on final prototype and design etc with consultants and engineers, people who probably dont do much garden work or weeding and planting, so your thoughts are very important.The tool ( hand fork and hand trowel ) was designed primarily because i do a lot of maintenance work such as weeding and planting out, and i found that small 12 inch handtools create blisters and wrist strain. Tradional full size shovels and spades were hard work when kneeling down in tight spaces, borders and beds.The tool is designed to eliminate the blisters and wrist strain, allowing weeding and planting out tasks to be completed with the aid of a suitable kneeling mat much faster and with less effort, using the tool on one arm, or swapping over to a two hand grip as required. When weeding it keeps one hand free to lift weeds, when planting it also keeps hand free for handling plants. It certainly will not replace a traditional spade or fork for turning over ground or digging, but for maintenance it may be the first innovation for many years.I hope i have given adequate description and images here for some comments, and i propose to award THE FIRST TOOL for what i feel is the best - most valueable reply .with a pre-production tool for a lucky person to use and evaluate- trial - and report back on here.There will also be a SECOND TOOL pulled out of the hat for all other comments or even tool name suggestions, so good luck.The hand fork and trowels will be lighweight and strong with main body in plastic and heads in stainless steel, perhaps with a "pod" on back of handle to store - secateurs, sun cream, or insect repellant etc what do you think ?Thank you. Alan

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Replies

  • as pro gard has already mentioned,great for the disabled/arthritic gardener,but alas i fell not to good to use for normal maintenance,in my opinion,because.....
    * only 45 degrees of movement,this means you cannot turn the soil,then break the clod.
    *lack of leverage/movement for digging out roots/stones,but ok on ready dug soil.
    *ties up one hand until tool is removed
    *a normal tool would have 180 degrees of rotation on one hand


    *looking at the head size in pics,i think the spade and fork will be to large and heavy.

    i would,if it was me,sorry.....shorten arm attachment down to the wrist,and have a nice wide velcro wristband,for wrist support,then i would have a trowel,fork,weed knife,narrow rake head,3 prong cultivator,a dibber and a swoe head (Wilkinsons sword swoe,check them out,fantastic tool).

    im sorry for the negativity,but you did ask...it is a great idea that just needs refining i think,and that is just my opinion so feel free to ignore. all the very best,good luck............................................................i would still have one though .lol

    post script........i have just noticed the other picture on your profile,so forget everthing i said about no rotation...well done, i would do a long handled version and the wrist mounted version ,with all interchangeable heads.
  • PRO
    Thanks Pro Gard

    Yes the sharpness of tynes or spade head will be important, and although disabled gardeners may find it useful, i like to think the tool is "Non discriminating" a fancy term, that means any one can benefit from the tool. I like your thought about soft grip rubber handgrip, so thanks for the reply.

    Pro Gard said:
    looks intresting, in hard soils its usability will come down to the sharpness off/ ability of the blade to take an edge. Not sure about the usefullness of a storadge 'pod'.

    I can see it would be very usefull for disabled gardeners using rasied beds from a wheelchair.

    How are you desighning the lower hand grip? an inlayed rubber like on marshaltown builders trowels would be beneficial.

    Good luck with it.
  • PRO
    Thanks Stuart,
    Nice to know people are willing to trial a new tool
    Thanks
    Alan

    Stuart Marler said:
    If you want a trialist, I am offering my services.

    Stuart
  • PRO
    Steve, thanks for your comments, and your post srcript amendment, these are all intresting points,

    Your right, during the 18 months i have used my protype fork version, i would agree turning soil over is not right for this tool, but lifting weeds and a good bash downwardsis enough to remove soil from weed roots, which is my main purpose as a garden maintenance man. The reason the handle is designed so long up the arm is to provide maximum support around the arm, to protect and keep the wrist straight and aligned to the baton handle grip.

    Thanks for taking time to read and reply, well done, cheers Alan

    steve loftus said:
    as pro gard has already mentioned,great for the disabled/arthritic gardener,but alas i fell not to good to use for normal maintenance,in my opinion,because.....
    * only 45 degrees of movement,this means you cannot turn the soil,then break the clod.
    *lack of leverage/movement for digging out roots/stones,but ok on ready dug soil.
    *ties up one hand until tool is removed
    *a normal tool would have 180 degrees of rotation on one hand


    *looking at the head size in pics,i think the spade and fork will be to large and heavy.

    i would,if it was me,sorry.....shorten arm attachment down to the wrist,and have a nice wide velcro wristband,for wrist support,then i would have a trowel,fork,weed knife,narrow rake head,3 prong cultivator,a dibber and a swoe head (Wilkinsons sword swoe,check them out,fantastic tool).

    im sorry for the negativity,but you did ask...it is a great idea that just needs refining i think,and that is just my opinion so feel free to ignore. all the very best,good luck............................................................i would still have one though .lol

    post script........i have just noticed the other picture on your profile,so forget everthing i said about no rotation...well done, i would do a long handled version and the wrist mounted version ,with all interchangeable heads.
  • For weeding in tight situations where you are kneeling for most of the time I use a fork designed for kids that I picked up from a garden show a year or two ago. It's made just as well as a full sized fork but the small head and light weight make it ideal when a 'handfork' is just too small.
  • PRO
    Thanks Tim

    You are spot on, I started with a small ladies or border fork which is very old and well used with short round tynes which are very sharp, then made the modifications to grip it in one hand, so i could pick up the weeds as i work.
    You seem to be approaching weeding borders and beds much like i did, so thanks for the comment, much appreciated !
    Alan

    Tim Haywood said:
    For weeding in tight situations where you are kneeling for most of the time I use a fork designed for kids that I picked up from a garden show a year or two ago. It's made just as well as a full sized fork but the small head and light weight make it ideal when a 'handfork' is just too small.
  • PRO
    At this stage of design review with my consultants and production engineers, anything is possible, but very pleased you have taken the time to keep re-thinking this through. The tool is very much based around its unique handle design which could have all types of head attached for different jobs.
    Thanks Pro Gard !

    Pro Gard said:
    Thinking a bit more about this, have you thought about using a more pointed digging blade on the spade more akin to one of the fold up army spades, this would aid ground penetration and IMO be more uesfull for digging planting holes.

    The fork I think has a lot of potential in its existing form and would be usefull for spliting and lifting small perenials.
  • PRO

  • Name?

    Fork-hand / spade-hand?

    Robofork? ;)

    Garden prosthetic

    Edward digging hands!

    Wolvergreen?
  • Well done Alan, the very best of luck to you - does Fred at 'fredshed.co' know about this yet?
This reply was deleted.

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