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Featured Artisan: Red Pig Tools

Featured Artisan: Red Pig Tools
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Operating out of a two story, handmade barn, Bob and Rita are the only blacksmiths in the United States specializing in hand-forged garden tools for home gardeners, nurserymen, landscapers, and farmers.

They have been at it for 15 years inventing and designing tools.

With making tools the old-fashioned way, by hand, their tools are stronger, sharper, and will last longer than any others you can buy.

Here in our Tools for Change store, we carry three of their products – weeder, cultivator, and trowel. Each tool is described below:

Cape Cod Weeder

Designed decades ago by a woman living on Cape Cod (or so it was told). The cape cod weeder was a regional favorite until the late 1980’s when Snow & Neally of Bangor, Maine began to market it nationwide. It is now on it’s way to being more widely known. This version adheres closely to the original design albeit with a longer shank and shorter handle. Forged a bit thicker for longer life and better performance on overgrown weeds, the tool cuts on both the forward and back stroke — it’s a scuffle hoe — and can be turned on its side and driven in by its point to nick out weeds snuggled up to valuable plants. Properly made, the cape cod weeder has a slight back angle to the blade that makes it exceptionally effective on the pull stroke. Moreover, this is a tool that demands to be produced in both left and right handed versions.

Cultivator

This single tine cultivator will penetrate deeply into the narrow spaces between closely set plants. The sharpened sides of the lozenge-shaped tip can be used for occasional weed slicing, but this tool is intended primarily for tillage. Forged from 7/16″ diameter rod and riveted securely to the handle, this tool can open up the heaviest soil with ease.

Trowel

The trowel’s blade tapers from 4 inches wide down to a sharp point and is knife sharp all along its curved edges. The blade is forged from saw steel and holds a good edge even in rocky and sandy soils. The shank is made of half-inch diameter rod hammered to an ovoid cross section for greater strength. The top of the shank is hammered square and inserted 3 inches deep into a long-ferruled hickory handle, then riveted so that it will never come out. The shank has an offset to prevent scraping your knuckles when scooping. The blade is forge-welded to the shank. Trowels aren’t made any better or stronger than this.