Build Your Own Leaf Rake

What You'll Need
Sandpaper, 400-grit
Wooden strip
Cork strip
Sturdy wire, 1- 1/2 foot pieces
Electric drill, with 1/8 and 1/4 -inch bits
Hole saw
Multi-purpose glue
Thin paintbrush
Wood nails
Caulk gun
Caulking compound

A leaf rake is a vital garden tool to help you keep your yard clean. It allows you to easily gather fallen leaves and dispose of them. You’re likely to appreciate the services of your rake, especially during the fall. You may wish to build one for yourself, with the help of the guide below.

Step 1 – Mark Drill Holes on Wood and Cork

Obtain wooden and cork strips, 2 feet long, 2 inches wide and 1 ½ inches thick. Draw a line along the mid-point of both strips. Mark points, 1 inch apart along the line.

Step 2 - Bore Holes  

Bore holes with the 1/8-inch drill bit through the wooden strip, on each of the marked points. Use a ¼-inch drill bit to bore through the cork.

Step 3 – Drill Hole for Handle

Obtain a wooden pole, 5 to 6 feet long, depending on your preference, that can serve as a rake handle. Measure the diameter of your pole. Use a ruler and pencil to locate the mid-point on the wood and cork, on 1 side along the length. Draw a circle in the center of both strips to accommodate the handle. Cut out the circle with a hole saw the same diameter of the pole.

Step 4 – Insert the Tines

Insert 1 piece of wire halfway through the first hole in the wood. Firmly twist both ends of the wire tightly around the wooden strip. Twist the 2 pieces of wire all the way to the end, to give more weight to each tine. It helps to stabilize the tines. Insert all the wires in this way.

Step 5 – Attach the Cork

Insert the twisted wire from the first hole in the wood into the hole that corresponds on the cork. Do the same for all the wires. Leave the wood and cork slightly apart. Apply glue on both surfaces of the wood and cork, where they intersect. Be sure to align the handle holes perfectly. Press the cork firmly onto the wood. Allow the glue a couple of hours to set. The cork acts as a support base for the tines. This prevents excessive back and forth motions while you rake.

Step 6 – Shape Tine Ends

Bend the wire ends forward to resemble a staple.

Step 7 – Attach Handle

Sand all around 1 end of your handle, about 4 inches. Use your paintbrush to apply some glue inside the hole, from both ends. Slip the handle into the wood, right through the cork. Allow about ¼-inch of the handle to protrude from the cork. Let the glue cure overnight.

Step 8 – Finishing

Mark a point, ½-inch from where the handle penetrates the wood, on the top surface. Mark another point, ½ inch from where the handle protrudes from the cork. Drive 1 inch wood nails through the handle, from the top, both in the wood and cork. Use your caulking gun to seal the gaps around the tines that protrude from the cork. It helps to secure the tines in the cork.