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I have a fiberglass bow rake that has separated from its handle.

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I inspected the 2 pieces but I cannot figure out how the head is attached to the handle. There appears to be some wood inside. But I'm not sure how it is used to attach the head and handle together. Is it something that I can repair? The following picture is taken after I removed some wood piece.

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  • look for a set screw or a nail on the metal part. Or even a dimple? If nothing; it could be set with a glue (just a guess), si I'd try drilling it out. Then, replace with a new wood dowel and screws – noybman Jan 28 '18 at 2:44
  • exactly which part is fiberglass? – jsotola Jan 28 '18 at 3:14
  • the wooden stick that joins the two parts had broken in 1/2. ... simply replace the wooden stick – jsotola Jan 28 '18 at 3:16
  • @jsotola, the blue pole is made of fiberglass – some user Jan 28 '18 at 4:20
  • I ended up buying a new rake. The broken rake head makes a surprisingly nice hand tool. – some user Mar 12 '18 at 20:54
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I suggest that the first approach is to remove the fragments of wood from both pieces. Once that is accomplished you might be able to determine a near-standard diameter that will accept a replacement wooden dowel. Measure the depth of both pieces, add them together and cut that length of dowel.

If you don't have a standard diameter, buy the next larger size and sand it as closely as possible. A polyurethane glue such as Gorilla Glue or equivalent will swell up to fill any small irregularities caused by sanding.

You may also be able to sand a slight taper to one end of the dowel and use a hammer to tap it into the metal section, shaving off the excess, then sanding away the portion that extends outside of the metal section to match diameters.

If you want extra-super strength for the joint, there is a product known as Fiberfix, available at many handyman type locations, including Ace Hardware (US). It appears to be an air-curing type fiberglass tape and resin, activated after a period of time removed from the air-tight packaging. The video adverts are encouraging, but I don't believe everything I see on the internet.

fiberfix

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It looks like the fiberglass handle was just a hollow fiberglass tube to provide some weatherproofing for the exposed portion of a wooden handle. The wood core broke and the end is still stuck in the rake.

It's hard to know what holds the wood inside the rake head. There may be a nail, it could have been glued, or it could just be friction or pressure (they might have heated the metal to expand it, pushed in the tapered wood until it was tight, then cooled the metal to add compression). For any kind of usable strength, the handle will need to extend well into the rake head.

Fixing the existing pieces will be a lot of work and I'd be tempted to just buy a new rake. But here are a couple of thoughts on repair.

  1. It looks from the picture like the wood core may be dry rotted. The fiberglass protected the handle, but the end inside the rake head was exposed to the elements. Theoretically, you could insert a rod to join and reinforce the two pieces, but a suitable material is a problem. A wood dowel would expand and contract the same as the wood core, but wouldn't have enough strength, and would be subject to the same dry rot. A piece of rebar would have the strength, but differing expansion and contraction would destroy a glued joint.

    My initial pass at an answer suggested screwing the handle back in with a double-ended screw. It's a quick and dirty fix. However, the rotted wood remnant won't have real structural strength even if you treat it with hardener, so this kind of repair wouldn't be very strong.

  2. Replacement handles are an off-the-shelf item, and will be stronger and simpler than trying to join the broken pieces. My suggestion would be to clean out the wood remnant in the rake head and put in a new handle.

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