Fireset Shovel and Pattern

Demonstration by Jim Carothers

November 29, 2000
This method of making a shovel was shown to me by Vance Baker and Doug Merkel. Some of you probably know Vance and Doug as instructors at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina.

The shovel blank / template drawing file is too big to post in the demo. Here it is:

Shovel Template Drawing

Figure 01
Begin with a piece of 14 to 18 gage sheet steel (0.05 to 0.075”) thick that is large enough to match the shovel blank pattern (7-3/4” high by 7-1/4” wide). This pattern makes a pretty nice fireplace shovel.

Make the first bend at the back of the shovel. This is a bend of 65 degrees outside angle – 115 degrees inside.

Figure 02
Next bend one of the edges (Photo 2) over 90 degrees. I use my vise and a heavy bar to support the bending. Bend the second edge to match the first. A small flatter will finish up these bends nicely.

Now is a good time to deburr all the edges and radius the corners of the vertical sides.

Figure 03
As shown in Photo 3, rotate the shovel on the bending bar so that the back tab bend will be square with the back of the shovel.

Figure 04
Bend the tab over onto the side – Photo 4. Match drill the rivet holes through the tab and shovel side.

Rivet the tabs to the sides and make a handle of you choice.

Figure 05
Photo 5 shows a smaller version -- ¾ of the printed pattern size – used for a forge shovel. A dust pan can be made by using a much a wider pattern.
The simple twist handle, as shown here, came from instructions in “A Blacksmithing Primer” by Randy McDaniel. “Foxfire Vol. 5” also has good notes on making a shovel and a handle.
It takes about as long to bend one up as it did to post the photos & notes.

Jim, What size rivets do you use?
Jock: 1/8 rivets in the sides; probably 3/16 for the handle -- what ever I had on hand
Good clear basic demo Jim, thanks
Nice piece of work Jim.
Nice Job, Jim, on the original colonial pattern shovel.
Good looking shovel Jim, can you show us the fire poker next week?
Jim, does the handle just go down the back or does it go under the bottom too?
Leah, this handle just sits in the pan & is riveted on through the bottom of the shovel.

iForge is an Andrew Hooper Production
HTML Copyright © 2000 Jock Dempsey,
Webmaster email:

Page Counter     Back to iForge