Repairing Uncommon Snow Shovels

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Old 04-11-16, 05:45 PM
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Repairing Uncommon Snow Shovels

I don't remember the exact year, but hardware stores and home centers suddenly dropped
metal snow shovels in favor of junk plastic. I could hear those dreadful plastic scoops cracking
and popping all over my neighborhood! I might buy a snow shovel with a carbon fiber scoop,
but the cost to manufacture would be high.

Janitorial supply companies still sell all metal snow shovels. I own three that were purchased
about 10 years ago. They are in perfect condition, except for the steel strip that is riveted to
the front edge of the scoop. A few seconds of grinding or drilling and the rivets are gone. The
question is, does anyone sell replacements? If not, I could use 1" steel flatstock (1/8" thick).
What is the best solution?
 
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Old 04-11-16, 05:55 PM
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Cheap plastic snow shovels do not perform well. However I have seen some very good quality plastic shovels that could out last some metal snow shovels. Last one I just saw had a fiberglass handle and a UHMW blade.

To your question: I did some looking around ad it appears there is one company that sells replacement wear bars. They appear to fit their shovels so the holes might not match to yours. It was only $10 with shipping and rivets so might be worth a try. Google "snow shovel wear strip" and you will see some.
 
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Old 04-11-16, 07:04 PM
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I use one like this.
Light weight, you not going to break it unless you using it to break up ice.
Razor-Back 36 in. D-Handle Aluminum Scoop-53173 - The Home Depot
 
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Old 04-12-16, 04:13 AM
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Though I do shovel some asphalt and concrete, the bulk of my shoveling is on 5-600 SF of wood decks, where I appreciate the fact that the plastic doesn't gouge the wood the way metal might. So I haven't noticed the exit of metal shovels from the marketplace; but I would still want to have the opportunity to buy one when needed.

I carry a plastic shovel around in my trunk and I noticed recently that I've worn that cutting edge down by almost 4" . . . . it's just a shadow of its former self.
 
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Old 04-12-16, 04:41 AM
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We still sell metal shovels but not many. Actually plastic shovel work well if treated properly. A plastic shovel will hold up if people would not over stress them. That means pick up less snow with each shovelful. Don't chop ice. Their not meant for that. Don't push more than necessary. And pusher shovels (the curved ones) do a better job than the flat type. Type of surface also makes a difference. All plastic with no metal edge is better for a blacktop surface where a metal edge is better for a concrete surface. My cheap plastic shovels last for years and I live in Buffalo ).
 
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Old 04-12-16, 12:40 PM
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I use aluminum grain shovels. They are sold at farm suppliers. They are much heavier duty than the average snow shovel while not being overly heavy. Once the front edge wears I rivet on a strip of stainless steel though carbon steel will also work. Squeeze type rivets like used on airplanes are the best. Even when the head is ground off by the pavement they still retain a strong grip on the sides of the holes. Pop rivets work for a while but must be replaced more often. Small nuts & bolts can also be used and can either be a blessing or a curse. They create a saw tooth action that can help break up ice but can make it more difficult to scrape everything clean depending on the angle at which you hold the shovel.
 
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Old 04-13-16, 12:42 AM
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I always assumed there had to be high quality plastic snow shovels. Around where I live
the metal shovel vanished years ago. As I'm sure you all know, most family owned hardware
stores are gone. Local shopping is Home Depot or Lowes. That's it.

When you shovel snow there are always small chunks of ice and bumps or ridges on sidewalks.
Before I found an online source for metal shovels, I had to buy plastic. I remember wasting
my money on two plastic shovels that cracked when they gently tapped (not a big bang)
sidewalk ridges. Every winter I hear people screaming and cursing when their plastic shovel
cracks.

I like repairing high quality tools. These snow shovels were built for ice and snow. The best
construction I've seen. They weren't cheap, but they have paid for themselves a hundred
times over. If they are still available and the price hasn't doubled or tripled I might buy new
shovels.
 
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Old 04-13-16, 05:52 AM
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Take a look at grain shovels. They work great for snow and high quality ones are available.

 
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Old 04-13-16, 06:20 AM
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I've used a grain shovel for years as well, and don't think that I have run across anything more durable. I have one that goes in the truck with the first snow, and it just came out and went back to the shop a week or so ago. The past few years I have learned to slow down a tad, take a little smaller bites when the snow is heavy, because it will move a lot of snow in a short amount of time. And my wife has something like a 3/4 size one that she really likes. She has carried it in her car and uses to clean around the bird feeders for the past number of years.
 
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Old 04-13-16, 06:28 AM
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http://www.alpacabytes.com/wp-conten.../10/shovel.jpg

Similar to the grain shovel posted by Pilot Dane are coal shovels.
 
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Old 04-13-16, 06:43 AM
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IMO the handle on a coal shovel is too short - makes my back hurt
I was fortunate enough to buy steel snow shovel before they disappeared locally. The wooden handle is long gone but I replaced it with pipe a few inches longer which makes my back happy
 
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Old 04-13-16, 06:53 AM
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IMO the handle on a coal shovel is too short - makes my back hurt
I'm short too. Whatever shovel is used, the idea is to squat not bend. That's why your back hurts. I've done a lot of digging as a day worker. Shoveling snow is no different.
 
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Old 04-13-16, 07:03 AM
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@Rewinder: What shovel are you trying to repair?
I favor pushers myself, even though I do have a grain shovel like the others are trying to talk you into. There must be a source of 16-14 gauge SS strips?
 
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