To be an exact replica and eligible for the Guinness book of records our record-breaking spade had to be made to the same design and from the same materials as our normal garden spades.

Here’s how we did it.

The blade was made from a 6mm thick piece of sheet steel. After being laser cut to the right size, the giant blade was rolled in order to achieve the curve of the original. Making the shank that attaches the blade to the wooden handle was probably the most difficult part. Made from a single piece of steel it was machined using CNC machines to achieve the correct angle. Next, the handle was turned from a solid piece of ash by a company who normally turn large fence posts. Finally, the plastic handle was made from ABS plastic, using 3D sampling technology.

All the component parts were brought together at our factory in Wigan. The massive blade and shank were welded together in a difficult manoeuvre due to the sheer size of the parts. After welding the joint had to be ground and finished.

This left us with the question, “how do we paint something this large?!”

Despite weighing over 120kg the blade was mounted onto our powder coat conveyor belt in the same way as a conventional spade head. Because of it’s size we had to apply the powder coat by hand spraying, but we were able to use the oven in the normal way. The handle was finished in our wood work department and stained in the normal manner.

The spade was assembled to create a spade with a total weight in excess of 180 kg and over 3.6m tall. The world’s largest spade is just one of the ways we’ll be celebrating our 230th anniversary. Keep checking back in for more!

If you would like to come and see how solid forged, top quality tools are manufactured we would be delighted to take you on a tour of our factory.

Posted in Our Tools By Stuart Elsom On 12th February 2010

Lucy, Thankyou for the comments. When you are next in the UK please feel free to visit our factory. It is an experience, especially when you see and feel the heat and energy that a working factory generates. It creates a personality all of it’s own that transfers into the tools we make.

Stuart Elsom posted on 14th February 2010

I absolutely love factories. I have worked in three (all food and packing) where the work has, for the most part, been repetitive and boring. None the less, I feel at home with the atmosphere and the smells (well, most of them!). I have been shown around a ball bearing factory and a shredding factory (hemp and tobacco) and, if I were near Wigan, I would be asking for a tour of yours like a shot. As it is, I live a long way away and know I have no way of visiting. None the less, I wish all your visitors a good time and am certain they will find such a tour very interesting. Lucy Corrander.

Lucy Corrander posted on 14th February 2010

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