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loose lopper handles -- repariable?

Posted by ljpother 3a (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 18, 09 at 22:40

I was clearing brush from a fence using what I thought were heavy duty loppers (yardworks long handled compound bypass). After a day and a bit of cutting up to 2" (for larger trees I used someone else's loppers) the wooden handles loosened and came off the lopper mechanism (the tang wore away the surrounding wood). In addition, the blades have started to separate when cutting and no longer cut cleanly. I tried tightening the lock nuts but it didn't help.

Any suggestions for possible repairs would be appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

I took 2 pair of broken handles and made a good set. Typically, one of the blades has a threaded bolt hole. To bring the blades together, back off the nut then tighten the bolt. You may be able to stick a handle on the tang with a couple of hose clamps.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

Fix 'em by all means. The only thing I similarly replaced was a wheel barrow handle. HD had one that is very heavy duty. But if you have to buy a new one I suggest Fiskars over Corona. Although the Corona saw is a bit better than the Fiskars version, or I'm not as strong as I used to be. The Fiskars tree pole prunner is far superior though.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

I was hoping for something I could repack the handles with to hold the tangs tightly. I'm thinking polyfill and similar products would break down quickly. Is there a product with fibers mixed in that would last longer?


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 21, 09 at 6:35

The same thing happens when a steel rake head falls off the handle while raking. Usually there is a heavy metal ferrule around the wood. What I've always done is to MIG weld the ferrule to the tang at a few spots. Problem solved, but it's a last ditch effort.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

lipother,

From what I've learned, Taiwanese Yardworks loppers have received some very bad user reviews - with most reviewers reporting failure during the first hour of use.

But if you choose to repair the tool - a method I've used, is to first select a suitably sized hardwood dowel - say 1/2" dia., then center and drill an equally sized hole into the tool-end of the wood handle. Next, drive the dowel into the hole with a mallet, after first coating with glue. Cut off the excess length when the glue sets.

If the design of the tool head incorporates a tang, drill another hole into the dowel - slightly smaller than the tang width - and force the tang/ferrule assembly onto the handle -being careful not to split the wood. Some ferrules have an additional fastener, such as a through-bolt, or round-head wood screw, drilled and tapped at a right angle to the wooden handle section.

Either way, the dowel should replace any original wood abraded from use, and (hopefully) provide additional handle strength.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

I fixed mine with JB Weld and the handles have remained tight.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

Get Gorilla Glue or similar urethane adhesive and put lots of it on both parts so it will squeeze out when you assemble it. Let it sit at least 24 hours in a humid area. Problem solved. It will not come loose again. (By the way urethane adhesives cure faster in high humidity.)


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

The dowel method is elegant; but, I think I'll try one of the glues. The tangs are rectangular, 1/2" * 1/8" * 4", not really wimpy. A round hole won't work. I just hope the glues aren't more than I paid for the loppers.

Regarding the blades spreading when I prune, I did try tightening the lock nuts. There are four, two for each blade. Is there a trick to this?


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

lipother,
The best craftsmen have known for centuries, that a square cornered peg holds best in a hole with a diameter equal to the peg's narrowest dimension. Post + beam building frame joints, still standing centuries later, have pegged joints using this technique.

It just may work, but I am a bit sceptical of the Gorilla glue idea - which might not provide enough resistance to a limb lopper's lateral working loads.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

archdiver, You haven't used Gorilla Glue have you?. Urethane glues are amazing to say the least. I had a full blown pick/axe. The handle had been put back own 300 times at least and would still come loose every time I used it. I glued it with Gorilla Glue (Urethane) and it has never even looked loose since and I have used it extensively.
I think it will work in this situation as well.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

rdaystrom,
No, haven't yet used Gorilla Glue. I'm a cynic by nature, but based upon your reported experience and most user reviews, I just may give it a try next time I have a need.

But, think of all the fun the OP would be missing, by not using the dowel trick. ;-)


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

In this case I might do some combination of dowels and Gorilla Glue. If there is a huge amount of lateral slack it might be expedient to take up some of that space with hardwood and then add the glue


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

As I mentioned before, the cross section of the tang is 1/2" * 1/8" -- no where near square of round. It would be fun trying to make the dowel method work :)

Thanks for the replies.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

JB Weld is also a permanent fix for loose wooden hammer handles of all types and is especially useful for sledge hammers. Coat the handle part that fits in the head with JB Weld and install as normal with a wedge. It prevents shrinkage from lack of moisture.


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

1/8" tang ??? That certainly is a lightweight tool - replace it with a better one. Or, try the easiest fix - JB weld / Gorilla Glue.

BTW - The dowel suggestion will work for rectangular tangs, you simply drill two adjacent holes into the 1/2" dowel.

lipother said:

"As I mentioned before, the cross section of the tang is 1/2" * 1/8" -- no where near square of round. It would be fun trying to make the dowel method work :)
Thanks for the replies."


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RE: loose lopper handles -- repariable?

Well I solved the problem with the handles. I was wondering about the warranty on the loppers and this week Canadian Tire has them on sale and the warranty is 4 years. So, I went through the receipts on top of the fridge; found the receipt and took them back. They were on sale for less than I paid. The clerk was nice enough to refund the first pair and sell me the new ones at the sale price. End result -- new loppers and $4.

I think the quality is OK for my gardening needs. They should last if I use the saw for branches over 2".


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