Joseph, IMO the pistol grip is better for a wheel-hoe because you can push with a straight wrist. The plow handles can only be held with a bent wrist which feels really wrong to me. But the Planet Jr. style pistol grips, which the Hoss wheel hoe is a straight copy of the old Planet Jr, really really suck. Because they are sawn out of one piece of wood they have to make the grip excessively wide in order prevent them splitting along the grain when pressure is applied. A better solution is D- grips but nobody makes them. They are pretty easy to slap together yourself though. Here is a pic of some that I made for our Planet Jr. seeder, it had no handles when we bought it.
I used green ash, but you could use just about any clear grained wood if you soaked it well ahead of time. I drilled the hole that you see at the apex of the V of the handle and made a saw cut from the end down to the hole. Then you rivet below the hole to keep the handle from splitting past the hole ( I used a nail and a little washer to make the rivets). If have the ability to rig up a steam box to heat the wood that would be best but I didn't have anything handy to create one easily so I just held the handle over my barbecue charcoal chimney and kept flipping and turning it to keep it from scorching too bad while it was heating up, you can see where it did scorch somewhat. Once it was hot you wedge it open with wedges and let it cool and dry. Add the grip pieces and you are good to go.
After I was done making these it occurred to me that you wouldn't need to go to all the trouble of the heat bending etc if you just made grip pieces and added a second piece of wood that went from the bottom of the grip and was firmly joined to the main handle. That should be less hassle to make and still much stronger and more comfortable than the Planet Jr. style handle.
Last Edit: Jun 2, 2012 22:10:45 GMT -5 by oxbowfarm
How's that wheel hoe working for you Joseph? Did you ever get new handles for it?
I love my wheel hoe. I use it most days for about an hour. My whole life I have felt like a wimp. This morning when I got out of the shower I noticed how incredibly buff I have become. Oh my heck, other than the gut, it was like looking at Mr. America. My forearms are bulging, my pecs are enormous. Doing exercise or sports has always seemed like the most useless activity in the world to me... But I love doing physical work that has a purpose. I'm also moving irrigation pipe, so that also contributes to buffness.
I'm still using the dorky handles. The time to modify them is during the slow winter months. Might get to it one weekend, but honey-do projects are higher priority to me.
Recently I have come to like the cultivator teeth... If weeds get ahead of me, I can remove cultivator teeth until the effort to push it through the weeds becomes manageable, and then make as many passes as needed. The cultivator teeth don't cut weeds as efficiently as the sweeps, but I can use them to make multiple passes through overgrown areas, which loosens the soil and thins the weeds so that I can use the sweeps next time.
I really like the wheel hoe for preparing seed beds. I'll till a bed, and then run the wheel hoe through the top 1/2" of soil a number of times before planting. Sure seems to help with the weeds.
I've had a thought occasionally about this thread, and how to make some quick and dirty D handles. The easiest solution I could think of would be to cut the handles off a couple cheap snow shovels or similar and bolt them on your wheel hoe handles in place of the pistol grips. Wouldn't be pretty, but it would be a better handle for control and ergonomics.
Post by indianamike on Jan 9, 2015 20:21:50 GMT -5
Well, for my birthday this year (Jan 8), I got one of these Hoss wheel hoes. The gift is optioned up with 4 cultivator teeth, hilling/furrowing plows, stirrup hoe, and the planter attachment! I'm really stoked about the planter, hopefully I can plant more consistently, always had trouble wasting seed trying to sow by hand. Anybody have specific experience with the planter from Hoss? Its all nice and shiny right now, how do you guys keep them in good shape and where do you store them, indoors or in the barn?