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  1. #1
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    Custom Trail Building Tools

    I am a welder and metal fabricator and I have a some customized tools that i have made for digging trails, building jumps and moving dirt. They work great for the trails I have built. I am just wondering what everyone thinks about me trying to sell custom trail building tool? is that something you would buy, if it was reasonably priced?
    I am just trying to get a feel for it, input would be appreciated.
    thanks

  2. #2
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    Let's see what you're up to! Always looking for the right tool for the right job.

  3. #3
    Builder of Trails
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    Post some pictures and specs for your tools.

    D

  4. #4
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannonballcrew1
    I am a welder and metal fabricator and I have a some customized tools that i have made for digging trails, building jumps and moving dirt. They work great for the trails I have built. I am just wondering what everyone thinks about me trying to sell custom trail building tool? is that something you would buy, if it was reasonably priced?
    I am just trying to get a feel for it, input would be appreciated.
    thanks
    If it resembles a Pulaski with a wider grub, 40"+ handle, ....wait, just post some pics!

  5. #5
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    I have 1 at my house, the rest are on the trail. i will try to get some pics soon.

  6. #6
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    make a McCloud w/ carbon fiber handle

    or any tool handle for that matter!
    (yes...i know that's not practical)
    But, I do think McClouds are one of the easiest to make and hardest to find
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  7. #7
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    I would love to have something with the broad head of a mattox and the handle of an italian grubbing hoe, but handles don't match up. Or maybe a modified bark spud with a spot to use my foot to apply force to break through tough bark.

  8. #8
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    How about a pulaski with a reasonably sized grub hoe instead of those jokes they come with... Oh, and under $100.

    Why in the world do they go from $35 for a Mexican made poorly engineered model straight up to $200 for an over-engineered "professional" model?!?

    I'd be willing to lay down $50-60 for one that just freakin' worked, you know? I don't need a composite handle, titanium hardware, feng shui graphics, etc... An ash handle on a well-tempered head that does what it is supposed to would make my freaking day

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    make a McCloud w/ carbon fiber handle

    or any tool handle for that matter!
    (yes...i know that's not practical)
    But, I do think McClouds are one of the easiest to make and hardest to find
    The dreaded yellow handle. I have had more broken yellow handles than anything else. I wish I could just get a solid hickory handle on my tools and be done with it.

    Actually come to think of it there is a carbon sheet available that is about half the thickness of a kleenex and about as transparent as one as well. One cured ply is fairly neat to look at but you can poke you finger thru it with relative ease. by the time you have two ply then it is significantly more difficult. Take a hickory handled tool wrap and cure 2-5 plys of the carbon tissue under vacuum about 1/2 - 3/4 of the way down the handle and you would have one seriously tough trail tool without adding much weight.

  10. #10
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by crux
    The dreaded yellow handle. I have had more broken yellow handles than anything else. I wish I could just get a solid hickory handle on my tools and be done with it.
    Which yellow handled Mcleods are you killing? We have 11 Nupla's, some as old as 3 years, and none have broken. We've had worse luck with the Lamberton's.

  11. #11
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    This is my favorite customized tool, i use this one every day i dig. let me know how you like this one.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannonballcrew1
    This is my favorite customized tool, i use this one every day i dig. let me know how you like this one.
    that's pretty bad-a$$
    does it feel awkward when using the pick side? I mean does it want to roll/twist over while swinging?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  13. #13
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    Thanks.
    No it swings pretty well, i think it works better on the pick side because it has a little more weight behind it.

  14. #14
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    Cannonball, now you're getting there. I'd need the axe/mattock version of that. What do you figure it would cost?

  15. #15
    Builder of Trails
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    Yeah, I haven't had any problems with the breakage of the yellow fiberglass handles of the Zac McLeods and have had problems with Lamberton rakes.

    D

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    Cannonball, now you're getting there. I'd need the axe/mattock version of that. What do you figure it would cost?
    Im not sure, let me look into in and i will get back to you.

  17. #17
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    post this in dh/fr and you'll geet some buyers i imagine.

    edit: geet haha : D
    Quote Originally Posted by irieness
    ...it's just that when I'm wondering what things are like head tube, seat post, cranks, flux capacitor, SS, FS, hardtail...

  18. #18
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  19. #19
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis Buxton
    It's missing an ax. I have a 5.5 Rogue w/ pick. I wish it was a 5.5 w/ ax

  20. #20
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    I have 2 of the Rogue with the 2" pick. It does a great light duty job. Good for fine sculpting. You could spend a long time if you had to dig deep or move a lot of material for a bench. It doesn't hold an edge well in rocky soil. That being said, I wouldn't give it away. I don't think there is a "one tool".

    I know I could get a lot of use out of Cannonball's triple wide mattock if it had an axe back instead of the pick.

  21. #21
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    Custom Tools

    I had real trouble finding good tools at a fair price too. I live in New Zealand a shipping would cost to much to get tools from the USA. So I started making them and now I spend one night a week making them for other trail builders. All word of mouth. Some pics below.
    My take on a rouge hoe:
    A pulaski with a wider blade:
    Short Handled Mcload:
    And a custom hammerhoe that can pull nails too:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
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    Nice work ezybike, what grade & thickness of steel stock do you use for your tool heads? which mig wire?

    cannonballcrew1, same same the extensions your widened mattock/pick?
    I ride with the best people.




  23. #23
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    Trail tools

    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb
    Nice work ezybike, what grade & thickness of steel stock do you use for your tool heads? which mig wire?

    cannonballcrew1, same same the extensions your widened mattock/pick?
    The hoe blades are recycled plow discs and very strong but I don't know what steel they are.
    I get the McLoad heads lazer cut out of 3mm medium tensile plate, which works but the rake prongs do bend from time to time so I mite try the reinforcing shown in the above pics.
    Sorry don't know the welding wire type I will have to check, the mild steel stuff works OK though.

  24. #24
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    Great looking tools, That hammer hoe is awesome, i made one just like it and it works great, i like your idea of the nail puller on it.keep up the good work.

  25. #25
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    You can't really use any tool with a Pulaski style handle for very long without breaking the handle. Only the pick mattock has a strong enough hickory handle to allow you to pry rocks out of the ground.

    Has anyone seen the latest improvement in the pick mattocks available at Lowes? The widened the mattock and shaped it like a spoon, to pull more material.
    It only cost a few dollars more ($26.95). It's made in India but so far, I have only seen it with a fiberglass handle that will surely break if used to pry rocks. I call it the "super pick mattock"
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  26. #26
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    i finally got a pic of the Sledge Mattock that i built, let me know what you think.


  27. #27
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    I might chamfer the face of the sledge just a tad before attaching it.

  28. #28
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    Sledge matock

    Thats super cool.
    I thought about using a longer shaft and two bolts, But took the easy way out this time and used some left over parts from other tools.
    How thick is the blade and what sort of steel did you use.
    Looks like you use pick handles too.

  29. #29
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    ezybike,
    Thanks, Yeah it is a pick handle, the blade is 3/16 thick, hardened steel.

    Cheesesoda, i think your right about the chamfer.

  30. #30
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    I donít know about you guys but I have to ride in to most of our trail work. I have been trying to find a decent coupling to make a full size handle come apart. It gets old carrying a joust poll on a 5 mile ride (feel like a knight of the round table ) and the short handles or folding camp shovels are back killers. Anyone done anything like that? OR should I say, would anyone want something like that?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by m-dub
    I donít know about you guys but I have to ride in to most of our trail work. I have been trying to find a decent coupling to make a full size handle come apart. It gets old carrying a joust poll on a 5 mile ride (feel like a knight of the round table ) and the short handles or folding camp shovels are back killers. Anyone done anything like that? OR should I say, would anyone want something like that?
    Ah one of the annoyances of backcountry trail work. I'm sure people would like something that is just as efficient as a full size tool, but is also ruck sack portable. Think that if one were to develop this it would be a niche industry. Or perhaps you could sell them to homeowners who would like a bit of garage space back.

  32. #32
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    You guys both make a great point, Having something that was a little more portable would be awesome. The trick would be to make something that breaks down but is still a strong tool. In my experiences, most folding tools are crap.

  33. #33
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    what about a slipjoint handle
    two pieces that had a connection tightened using a through bolt down the center in of the handle

  34. #34
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    I found an interesting one that Ventana uses on their tandems , humm ideas? Just not sure of a the load that is put on a handle is going to work with it? Looks like its made of stainless steel and would make for a heavy handle unless silver soldered to a alloy one.

    http://www.ventanausa.com/frame_elconquistadorss.html

  35. #35
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    I'm going to say it... You just can't beat a good ol' wood handle

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by m-dub
    I found an interesting one that Ventana uses on their tandems , humm ideas? Just not sure of a the load that is put on a handle is going to work with it? Looks like its made of stainless steel and would make for a heavy handle unless silver soldered to a alloy one.

    http://www.ventanausa.com/frame_elconquistadorss.html
    That is an S and S Couplingô and they add $200 (and up fast) to the price of a bike.

    I set up a rack on my old rigid bike to carry a 42" handled rhino. A Bob trailer is a better way to carry tools.
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  37. #37
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    Cannonball. Now you drill out the center of the sledge and put a removeable pick in it. Then you put a rake on an extension on the end of the head. A spring loaded saw blade goes in a slot in the handle.

    Jeez, I wish I had a welder... and a brake, and a plasma cutter. If I had $50,000 worth of machine tools I could save a couple of hundred dollars on trail tools.

    I'm still working on that project I told you about. It's starting to look like it could happen.

  38. #38
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    hahahaha, Yeah a multi tool like that with interchangeable parts would be awesome. yeah if that project happens, just let me know and i would happy to get you whatever you need.

  39. #39
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    http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.as...4&partID=15981

    Not the ideal setup but kind of what I m working on ( but with a wood handle of course )
    Enjoy every ride!

  40. #40
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    Pick Hoe

    Lastest tool I have been working on for some guys that dig in very rock soil at Coronet Peak MTB park. Good old recycled ag disc's.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannonballcrew1
    This is my favorite customized tool, i use this one every day i dig. let me know how you like this one.

    here is the tool I have been looking for

  42. #42
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    Trail Tools

    Some Pics of recent custom tools.
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  43. #43
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    Latest creation

    I needed a packable flat shovel but my back has no love or time for camp shovels.
    Parts total was under $30. I have four days of use and it works great, is light and packs up small enough. I was really surprised on how stiff it is when extended ( get your head out of the gutter ) The trick was I cut the handle flush and then drilled the leftover wood in the shovel head to the same size as the inserted handle. I may make a sleeve if the wood ever becomes loose. I have a few idea on how to improve it but as the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” It does have a tenancy to slip when you chop down on things ( roots, hard soil) with it but when used as a shovel should ( for moving dirt) its golden. Just makes the ride in or out of trail work much more fun.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Custom Trail Building Tools-dsc01625.jpg  

    Custom Trail Building Tools-dsc01907.jpg  

    Custom Trail Building Tools-dsc01908.jpg  

    Enjoy every ride!

  44. #44
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    Thats a great idea, it doesn't flex to much?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannonballcrew1
    Thats a great idea, it doesn't flex to much?
    Not much less than the wood handle. My plan was to replace the thin gauge tubing with some .120 wall but It really is more than plenty stiff. The reality is you hold pretty low to the shovel head when you dig and your really only loading the last foot. I did snap the end off the first time out when I was trying to pop a boulder out of the ground. 190lbs bouncing on a 5 foot arm and it snapped at the bolt. Dumb move on my part and I have broke wood handles doing the same thing. Just redrilled the hole ( shortened the length by 3” which was already too long) and it is good to go.
    Enjoy every ride!

  46. #46
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    Thats awesome, what type of handle is that?

  47. #47
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    I found it in the painting department of my local Home Depot. It had a screw type end for attaching a paint roller/sanding block or scraper to it. I just drilled out the rivet in the coupler end. I figured for $15 it was worth a shot.
    Enjoy every ride!

  48. #48
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    I would break that thing in a heart beat; i went through 2 wooden handle shovels this weekend alone.

  49. #49
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    OK ..........If your snapping wood that often you may want to re think your technique. I had planned on sleeving it internally with some 1/4 wall alum to make it bommer ( and still may) but I just donít bounce on the thing. It is a lot stronger than it looks and is awesome for grooming lines and lips that are a good ride back. .
    Enjoy every ride!

  50. #50
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    It's hard ground here, my technique is fine (I'm a plumber of 7 years, and was a back hoe for 3) I'm not downing the design, I think it would be awesome, but prolly not for Va red clay unless it is stiff as wood.

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