As you know by now I have always enjoyed working on old equipment and this is no exception. I got these two hand cultivators one from my grand mothers house and the other I took out of my father-in-laws garden. They were both laying in junk and the handles had rotted away. What sparked my interested in this is that I found handles for them at a tractor show in Booneville MO. My father-in-law still does not know that I have his. I am sure that he has forgotten about it over the years. He is turning 80 years young this Saturday 7/5/03 so I have finished his and going to give it to him for his birthday. I think he will be surprised. I hope that this project of restoring these two cultivators take you down memory lane. You do not see them much any more so this has been a great project.
I used a combination of a angle grinder with a wire wheel and my bench wire wheel to clean most of the rust off. The metal was very pitted but it mostly came clean. I then use my torch to remove all of the bolts and nuts. They were really rusted and would not come loose. I then sprayed the metal with a rust converter by Klean-Strip. I got this from Wal-mart in the automotive section. It turns rust to a black primer and dries to a hard, sandable, paintable primer. They indicate that it can be used on all iron and steel surfaces. It seem to dry quickly and to a hard finish. I then used a Rust-oleum paint for the final coat. It is interesting but the paint does not seem to setup for a long time. I think there is an interaction between the two paints. I had experience with this on one of my previous projects the David Bradley Tractor. The paint did not setup for a long time. I do feel how ever that I will not have trouble with the equipment rusting any more.
I had to make new cross pieces for the top part of the handles on both cultivators. I am sure that they were made out of wood and rotted with the handles. I made these out of metal that I got down at the hardware store. You can see them in the pictures. They help stabilize the handles. The metal that you pick is not critical. I used 3/4" by 3/32"
Here is a set of pictures restorating the hand culivators: