To celebrate our 230th anniversary we decided to make the world’s largest spade. The previous record stood at just over three metres and we were confident that we could beat it.
A few giant steps for Bulldog
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 shaft was probably the most difficult part. Made from a single piece of steel it was machined using CNC machines to achieve the correct angle.
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.
The shaft was turned from a solid piece of ash by a company who normally turn large fence posts. The plastic handle was made from ABS plastic, using 3D sampling technology.
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 its 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.
We broke the World Record!
The new record stands at 3.6 meters high and weighs in at 180kg. Made in the UK, it required 160 hours to build and included every department at our factory in Wigan. The new record beats the previous by half-a-meter in height and has been verified by Guinness World Records™.
Since its verification the spade has travelled the length and breadth of the country, appearing at flower & garden shows as well as dozens of garden centres. It has been the centre of attraction at many of the events it attends and has raised money for various charities at the same time. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Hampton Court Flower Show 2010 and 2011
- ITV's "The Sunday Night Show" with Adrian Chiles
- At the 2011 Harrogate Flower Show the Spade will be the centre piece for the "Dig for Britain" garden designed by Joe Maiden
- The Edible Garden Show, which was opened by Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, Jim Paice
- Kelham Island Museum throughout January 2011
- Capel Manor, situated in the North of London
- Myddelton House