26 August 2009

Tools of the trade; #1 the oven shovel

Yes, before you ask, I did make up the name "oven shovel" myself. Who knows what its really called but it looks like a poop-a-scoop and I can't really call it that, well, I couldn't call it that and expect many people to be buying my bread!

I have posted a few pics so you can visualise what its all about. This particular tool (the 2009 year Mk 2 model) was developed in a joint venture between two of my colleagues at the farms' toolshed. Construction involved the mating of an old shovel 'head' of which the handle had snapped off to the long wooden handle from a back hoe. The first tool I used in this capacity, the Mk 1, was just a broken spade, but we needed more reach to access the far recesses of the oven. The Mk 2 that you see here was born from this necessity, a classic example of form following function (or is it the other way round?).

Further improvements featured in the Mk2 include, a flatter head created by heating up the metal with a small blow torch and banging it with a hammer. Also the use of a grinding disc to sharpen the point for maximum scooping efficiency.

But what is this great tool used for? you may ask, well its quite simple really, to move around hot coals and the oven and also to remove ash. The original oven design featured an 'ash door' at the rear where ash could be pushed out from inside but this was an area of heat loss and we decided to seal it up. Sealing up necessitated that we remove the ash via the front oven opening where it is loaded into a bucket to be discarded later. If anyone has any brilliant ideas on what I can use this ash for, that I'm accumulating, please send suggestions via email.

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