Thursday, 10 March 2016

Handmade row marker (without a lathe)

I said in my last post that I'd write a post on how to make a row marker if you don't have a lathe, and so here is that post, in fact all you need to make this row marker (in terms of tools) is a drill, cordless or otherwise, some drill bits, a forstner bit (at least 16mm) if possible, a saw (handsaw is fine) a hammer and a sander although this isn't essential, it's just for aesthetics, a pencil and a ruler (or tape measure)

So here's the finished marker -

Doesn't get much easier.
This row marker is basic, and there a numerous variations on this, all are easy to make, for materials you'll need three types of dowel, 16mm, 9mm and 6mm and a bamboo skewer, or very thin dowel, you'll also need some tile batten (38x19mm) or similar sized wood.

First cut two lengths of wood, one at 5 inches (127mm approx) and one at 6 inches (152mm approx) these are just the sizes I used, you could go bigger, or smaller.

Like so -

Any wood of a similar size would do.

Next mark the centre of one of the pieces, I marked the longest length, mainly because you'll need to drill and extra hole in this bit.

Centre marked -

A centering tool is a good thing to have, and also easy to make.
Next you need to mark out where to drill your holes, this will depend on what size you decide to make your row marker, again using the longer piece and from left to right I put marks at half an inch, 2 and half inches, 4 and a half inches and then 5 and half inches.

Drilling points marked -

Now for drilling.

I drilled the largest hole first, this is where the spike for pushing into the ground will go, it's also the point at which the reel will spin round, I've used a 16mm forstner bit, if you don't have one then you can always use the largest drill bit you have and file / sand the hole to the right size.

You don't need to mark both bits of wood as long as you clamp the two together you should be okay, you can put them both in a vice, or if needs be use some tape to hold them together whilst you drill, do try to keep the holes as straight as possible.

First hole drilled -

Few more to drill.
Now for the next set of holes, these are for the pegs that will hold it together, take an 8mm drill bit and drill two holes, one either side of the larger hole.

Holes for pegs drilled -

It will make sense at the end.

You should have a mark left, this needs to be drilled out using a 7mm drill bit, this hole will be for the handle that you use to wind the string back up with.

last hole drilled -

Drilling done.

Take your 9mm dowel and cut two lengths the same size, I cut mine at 4 inches (100mm approx) for this next bit you may need to give each end of the dowel a bit of a sand because you need to knock the dowel into the 8mm holes you drilled and you don't want the wood to split.

Dowel cut -

Assembly can begin.

It's time to start assembling the row marker, knock the two bits of dowel into the holes you drilled on the pieces of wood until they are flush with the other side.

You should end up with this -

Not much left to do now.

Cut a piece of 16mm dowel, I cut mine at 8 inches, and I made a point on one end using a sander, but you could also use a sharp knife.

Put the dowel in the large hole you drilled and stop when it's flush with the top piece (the longer) of wood, then mark two marks next to each piece of wood and drill them out using a small drill bit, I used a 3mm drill bit as this was the size of my bamboo skewer.

Dowel in place and holes drilled out -

I know more drillling.

You need to cut two lengths of skewer (or thin dowel) these will go into the holes and stop the centre dowel falling out, they'll also allow the frame to rotate, if the skewer / dowel is too thick shave a bit off, and leave about 5mm sticking out of each side of the dowel.

Skewer pins in place - 

Now all we need is a handle.

To make the handle take a piece of 16mm dowel and cut about an inch off, then mark the centre of one end, what we're going to do is drill into it so that a bit of the 6 mm dowel fits tightly into it, so use a 5.5mm drill bit if possible, if not use one as close to the 6mm dowel size and sand things to fit.

Dowel cut and marked -

Guess what ? More drilling.

Cut a piece of 6mm dowel long enough to fit into the hole you drilled in the 16mm dowel and through the frame work with about half an inch poking through.

Handle almost done -

Nearly done.

I also used a bit of skewer to fix the handle together - 

You could glue it together.
All that's left is to make a cap for the handle, to do this I drilled into the end of the 16mm dowel I had left and then cut it to the size I wanted, I found it easier to do it this way, then I drilled a small hole so that I could use a bit of skewer to stop the cap coming off.

Handle done - 

A bit of sanding to tidy it up and we're done.

I used the last of the 16mm dowel I had left to make a peg and drilled a hole through so that I could fix some string to it, and that's it, after a bit of a sand it was done, I've used no screws, nails or glue to make this despite that it's quite sturdy and it works well, it works so I'm happy with it, there are numerous ways you could make something similar to this just as cheaply.

All done -

It works, not much more to say.

Here it is next to the one I made on my lathe - 

Spoilt for choice now.

Thanks for ready.