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Wood Turning Project: Garden Dibber

Wood Turning projects such as this classic gardening tool, the dibber, puts us in touch with our history.

The garden dibber is an ancient tool used for planting seeds, tubers, bulbs, bare root stock and bulbs. It is a measured, pointed stick which is pushed into the ground to the required depth, swirled if necessary to make a larger hole for whatever is being planted, and removed. The seed or transplant is put in the hole and it is covered over or, in the case of the larger items, the dibber is shoved into the ground beside the hole and rocked back and forth to push the dirt against the item and to leave a water collecting hole that gradually closes over due to erosion from rains or irrigation. To make the project more interesting, I turn this one with an oval handle. Wood turning project: garden dibber
Start with a blank about 11" long and 1 1/4" to 2" square. This one is rectangular because it is what was on the pile. The small side is 1 1/4". Mark the center and then along one line make 2 marks each about 1/8" from center. wood turning blank, marked
Mount on center between centers and lathe mount on center
turn it round. lathe blank round
Mark it to clear spur and tail center points and for shaft and handle. I measure for the handle by grasping the blank and marking either side of my fist. blank marked
Rough point the shaft and separate the handle and shaft with a decorative line or a bead or two. The shaft is marked with v cut grooves at intervals of 1" for planting measurement. project roughed
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