DIY Fix: How to Easily Replace a Shovel Handle in a Few Easy Steps
Replacing a broken shovel handle is easy once you know the technique. It should only take an hour, including purchasing the supplies and gathering the necessary tools. All you need to do is pull off the broken handle, purchase a new one, align the grain properly, and secure the replacement handle with either a rivet or screw.
The most difficult step to replacing the handle is removing the rivet that holds the broken handle to the shovel blade. Depending on the shape and size of the handle, you may use a dremel tool, grinder, or a hacksaw to remove the rivet. After the rivet is removed, you can use a nail or large pin punch to punch the rivet out of its sleeve and pull the handle.
The next step is to align the grain properly on the handle and make sure it is snug in the sleeve. When inserting the handle, make sure the grain is running up and down the sides of the handle and not on the top or bottom. If the handle is too long for the sleeve, you can shave it down until it fits. If it is too loose, insert a wedge of hardwood, like oak, before tamping it down for a snug fit. You can also use a couple of screws to secure the blade to the handle.
The last step is to rivet the handle to the blade. Start by drilling a 1/8-inch pilot hole through the hole of the shovel blade on either side. Then use a bit that is the same diameter as your rivet to make the hole larger. Insert a rivet sleeve through the hole and insert the rivet pin into the rivet sleeve using a rivet gun or tool. Pressure should then be applied to the blade when the grain is on top of the handle to make sure it is secure.
Once the handle has been successfully replaced, you should have a sturdy shovel able to last through your next job. With proper care, you should have no more problems with broken handles. After all, the handle does affect how you dig and how much weight the handle can take, so take the time to make sure it is replacing correctly.