mystery tool - spud?

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dannyr

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aspud.JPG


found this in the scrap metal pile at our allotment site - no-one claimed any knowledge - replaced rotten wood handle with similar (original also like a short T-handle spade handle but a bit thinner) - shaft and tang were very pitted blade somewhat and steeled or smithed front inch or so of blade much less pitted. there is no bolster to the shaft (I wedged a thick washer there)

with a file test the shaft is harder than the iron ferrule and the front of the blade is harder still but not as hard as the file, on the grinder, both shaft and blade spark like carbon steel, but I'm no expert (and the shaft doesn't have the 'woodgrain' type corrosion of wrought iron, just heavy pitting)

the whole tool is 28ins long (700mm) and the blade (slight curve back, but no gouge curve) is 3 1/4ins wide (80mm) with a flat back like a chisel and only the top with a bevel, angled nicely to the shaft as with a boatbuilders slick
aspud.JPG


Poss 1 -- barking spud (lovely name) - tried debarking, works fine but the bark was falling off the log anyway, The only thing is a barking spud is not usually sharp as it might dig in rather than split away and this had definitely been pretty sharp

Poss 2 -- a rather different slick (large paring hand chisel) (it might be a bit too wide, but the T handle would help -would probably have to re-harden to get the best edge

Poss 3 -- the correct answer, thanks to you
 

Cheshirechappie

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About the only horticultural item I can think of that's close to that is an asparagus knife. Or maybe a thing for scraping moss of paving slabs.
 

Jacob

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Could be a fire iron of some sort? Coke fired CH boilers etc.
 

KingAether

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My guess would be that is was used as a small hoe; not sure if that's what it was originally though.. The handle looks like it was from a dibber
 

Orraloon

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I am going with asparagus cutter or gouge. they came in a lot of shapes and sizes. The handle found on it could be a bodged replacement.
Asparagus gouge - Google Search
I remember watching a clip of an old french edge tool maker making one. Sadly unable to find it now. An allotment would be the most likely place to find one.
Regards
John
 

dannyr

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Thanks for the suggestions, all

I grow asparagus on my allotment and use a hacksaw blade with a bent end to cut - works well - I've also seen 'pro' asparagus cutters/knives - they get in among the shoots to cut one at a time with a slight sawing action while leaving the neighbour shoots intact and this tool is far bigger and the width of the blade would take out the whole plant.

On the other hand it's not a good length for a hoe (too short) have to bend right down, but too long for a mini hand hoe. Could well have been used for that and thus thrown away.

With its replacement handle although that shaft is not that thick it's actually pretty strong - just tried de-barking a bit of large fresh cypress log left lying around - worked OK with no sign of weakness on a v thick and reluctant bark.

Weirdly enough, I looked up some pix of whale blubber stripping many decades ago and while unclear they do seem to be using implements very like this - well this is Sheffield which made tools for all trades - maybe someone 'liberated' a blubber stripper from the night shift for his gardening? - so thanks for this strange suggestion, triton.

Clapboard chisel - never heard of and almost zero use of clapboard round here except small sheds (houses, barns of brick, stone or tongue and groove) but then same goes for whaling. Just looked it up - might be called a plumbers or sparks flooring chisel round here - could be but this one quite wide and thin near the edge so yes, but for light clapboard, not thick floorboard.

Scraper or fire iron - maybe but scrapers usually either longer or shorter for comfortable use and handle might get burnt if fire iron, but poss.
Thanks all for the ideas. Not going to use it for tilling the soil or harvesting and don't worry, not going to take up whaling, but may keep it for the occasional barking.
 
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