#treehack: Treeproof Your Rake

Build a tree proof rake. For hardcore tree workers only.

You all know how I feel about rakes. If you don’t, click here. Now that we’re on the same page you’re probably thinking, “what happens now that I’m so juiced on raking?” That, my friend, is easy. We make your rake better. Here’s a step-by-step #treehack for building a treeproof rake.

Here are the tools and supplies you’ll need to treeproof your rake:

  • Drill with ¼” drill bit
  • A crescent wrench
  • Side cutters
  • Loctite
  • Tape measure (we can pretend we’re going to use it)
  • Small hand saw (not pictured)
  • 1 hollow handle fibreglass rake
  • 1 straight, tapered, small diameter cherry stem, limbed
  • 2 bolts, 2.5” long x ¼” diameter, and accompanying locking nuts
  • A handful of zip strips (or zap straps, let’s not get into semantics)


I’m not a big fan of working alone so you should probably arrange to have a couple big work men on site to lend a hand.

Disassemble the stock fibreglass rake. I’d recommend starting with a rake with shorter tines, since the longer tines tend to be weaker and are prone to losing their stiffness (which makes raking more difficult). When looking at rakes, force the tines into the ground and test for flex, choose the rake with the stiffest tines possible.

Insert the smaller end of the cherry stem into the open end of the fibreglass rake handle. Slide the stem all the way in until it hits the end or the diameter of the stem completely fills the inside of the handle.

Measure the cherry stem hanging out of the handle and make sure that it’s an inch or two past the support bar holding the rake tines in place. If it’s too long you may have to use your hand saw to cut it down to size.

Drill two extra holes in the rake handle for your support bolts. Also drill out the hole for the stock bolt.

Reassemble the rake head.

Insert the two extra bolts. Make sure NOT to overtighten the bolts as the fibreglass may crack if you really crank them down. I like overkill so I like using Loctite and a lock nut to make sure the rake stays together.

Tighten the cherry stem to the stock rake head using zip strips. There’s no rhyme or reason to how I’ve done it in the picture, I follow the mantra “more is good” here. Please please please cut the ends off of the zip strips so your new treeproof rake looks as professional as you are.

Now, get to work and make a mess worthy of your treeproof rake!


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