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The Ultimate Snow Shovel

It Works
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

About 10 years ago I borrowed a curiously looking snow shovel...which had an extra "half handle" attached to it and pivoted at the top of the shovel blade. Hmmm....how does this work. After several swipes I was able to fling snow 20 ft with ease, and I didn't have to hardly bend over. Presto...no back pain or fatique.

Where can you get one of these? Never found out.

But for 15 minutes work, an eye hook, and an inch sized hose clamp ....I made a design which is almost as good.

Attach an eye hook or any other sturdy lasso just above the blade with a hose clamp. To this attachment point, attach any loop of rope, or better yet, a comfortably wide nylon strap and clip hook, which I borrowed from an old gym bag. Later, I got better results with a nylon horse lead line. I have actually 2 separate lengths which correspond to almost no bending, and slight bending....to do more serious shoveling.

You will have to experiment to find a handle length which suits the "flinging" action of snow with both hands.

Unlike the original model...the double handle design allows DIGGING with both hands...which is an advantage.... if you want to take the time to attach a solid second handle.

But once you get used to the digging with one swift push with the one arm, then flinging the snow with the two arm action....you'll be amazingly content with that. I believe the "flexible handle" design is actually better because I can pivot and sling in various directions.

A person in good condition can shovel snow with this shovel at a rate comparable to a small snow blower. I've proven that and still lived to talk about it.

Bob Wade, May 12 2002

my simplistic view of fulcrums and levers http://sln.fi.edu/t...capements/lever.gif
for Ray, tucked up in bed in TellyTubby Land possibly [po, May 12 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

For you [po] http://bz.pair.com/fun/snow_shovel.gif
At least what I think it looks like. [bristolz, May 12 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

USPTO - Pivoting shovel handle http://patft.uspto....43822&RS=PN/6343822
What [Bob Wade] remembers seeing. Link to images at the bottom (TIFF viewer required). [phoenix, May 13 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       I can when I have had a few, actually glimpse a sight of the fifth and sixth dimensions but I cannot for the life of me imagine this.
po, May 12 2002

       I really, really like this. Question for you though - I can see the full control available with the additional solid handle, but doesn't the rope version become a little user unfriendly, post-toss? I'm wondering if the empty shovel is likely to hit you. I'll certainly be trying this next winter though.
drew, May 12 2002

       po, The jist of it is to add a rope and handle to the fulcrum point of a shovel, by using a clamp, or something that won't slide up or down on the rod.   

       I bought a shovel at Wal-Mart last year that has a nice curve in the rod, no bending over required. But I think I rather like the possibilities that the flexible handle adds.
RayfordSteele, May 12 2002

       so where exactly is the fulcrum point on a shovel? apologies for being so dense.
po, May 12 2002

       It's the pivot point. In the case of any normal shovel, it would be your closest hand to the blade.
RayfordSteele, May 12 2002

       well, I will believe you if bris can draw this. I still don't understand where fulcrums and pivots come into it for goodness sake. to my mind it is a two plate shovel: one is digging and one is flinging. perhaps its because where I live, snow is just half an inch of mucky ice every ten years and a few handfuls of salt - sorted.
po, May 12 2002

       *packs his bags to move to telletubby-land.*
RayfordSteele, May 12 2002

       there is a spare bed for you dear. link added.
po, May 12 2002

       *If* I understand this correctly, there really is no fulcrum point _in_ this design as there is in, say, a teeter-totter. The pivot point when tossing the snow is actually at your "stationary" hand (the hand on the non-articulated handle). The 'other' handle, the articulated one, is attached with a pivoting joint at a spot just above the blade. This allows the articulated handle to always be at the 'proper' angle to deliver the most power to the lifting of the snow as it is being tossed.   

       It is a clever design and I wonder why I have not ever seen it anywhere.
bristolz, May 12 2002

       ah ha, I was imagining two metal digging plates - its just two handles for different jobs.! got there in the end. thank you for the drawing, bris - but still hoping for a signed original! croissant for bob even if it is *baked*
po, May 12 2002

       There's a fulcrum here, it's just not stationary. Po, I'll do all your shoveling, in exchange for room and board. Deal? ;-)
RayfordSteele, May 12 2002

       Yeah, what Rayford says. The fulcrum moves around as you use the shovel. And [po] it's two handles that help to do the same job. The short one just lets you add a pulling force in the direction of the snow toss.   

       It's all theory to me, though, as I've never shoveled a shovelful of snow in my life.
bristolz, May 12 2002

       [Rayford] you are most welcome here but bring your own tubby toast, the f****g machine has broken again.
po, May 12 2002

       Come to think of it, I will be overnighting in London on my way to Moscow this summer. My first overseas trip ever, and where do I go? Siberia.
RayfordSteele, May 12 2002

       [bristolz], no snow flinging goes on where I live either but this seems like something that could work well. Your drawing is very much what I visualized.   

       [Bob], if this works as well as it sounds like it would, maybe you could look in to developing an add-on for existing shovels. I'd go with the rigid handle. As was pointed out, this would probably give better control of the shovel on the return stroke. From a product perspective, the rigid handle add-on would probably have a much higher perceived value than a hose clamp and a piece of rope.   

       I may cobble up a quick one of these add-ons and try it on my regular shovel as I have a lot of loose dirt that I need to relocate to about 10 feet away from its current location.   

       If the original design is baked then would a vote be for/against [Bob]'s adaptation of a standard snow shovel or what?
half, May 12 2002

       whatever you want - just resurrect the *crazy* (my personal campaign for May 2002)
po, May 12 2002

       Now who could have predicted such interest. Here I was contemplating all sorts of notions....and my wife said....well why don't you tell them about your snow shovel invention.   

       Assuming you don't have to dig in hard, you can use the design on any digging operation....such as relocating a pile of loose dirt....and benefit from the ability to move a modest shovelful efficiently by taking advantage of faster, more effective "swings" which don't tire you out in the long run (because of bending).   

       Picture the person standing perfectly normal and upright, with legs no more than 2 feet apart. Grasp the shovel at the top of the normal shovel handle with the left hand. (In the end you will rotate about every 5 minutes between this and a "lefthanded" stance, which works the muscles in each arm in different ways).   

       Get ready to shovel by positioning the shovel so as to clear a path just in front of you....but immediately to your right side.... and parallel in direction to a line drawn across the top of your big toes. The secondary arm grasps the loop of the makeshift lasso (the horse lead) which is attached to the eye hook (pivot) just above the top of the shovel blade.   

       The primary arm is cocked about halfway through a curl, but the secondary arm is relaxed and almost fully extended. An efficient motion is to swing both arms in front of you....almost like a golf swing....and bury the shovel head into the snow or dirt just to your right. This swinging action is important. If you must reposition yourself and your feet to effect the dig....then you lose out on the potential speed of the process.   

       Once the shovel is full, the primary arm pulls back, and the secondary arm assists in an important lifting of the shovelful... then a combined motion of both arms swinging....again through the forward golf swing.... can hurl a reasonable load 10 to 20 feet once you master the flinging action.   

       Yes, I've provided quite a substantial recipe for one particular "club" design...but not necessarily the ultimate club.....or the swing. Now that I think about it...you may want to have different "clubs" for different "courses".   

       I must confess I've never been able to hit a golf ball straight....so based on that technicality...this can't be considered fully baked.
Bob Wade, May 13 2002

       'He'll choose the driver for this first shot, John. He takes a few practice swings. He's lining up his stance. There's a chilly 4 mph wind over his left shoulder; the snow pile is just on the other side of the flower-bed bunker. He's gotta compensate for the extreme wetness of this course. *swing,* And it's a lovely shot down the driveway. He'll be in great position for the next one... *golf crowd clap*'
RayfordSteele, May 13 2002

       [po], be careful. Just to give you some perspective on what you're asking for, _crazy was responsible for such gems as:
On my "Cellph Defense" idea, dialing 52768 to activate the hand grenade mode (52768=KAPOW)
and in a recent guest appearance, "one to three for five sic's" in response to [gt]'s annotation on the "Extendable Razor" idea

       Not pretty.
half, May 13 2002

       Hie thee to a Patent Attorney
thumbwax, May 13 2002

       Interesting idea, but what's the advantage here? Is it easier to shovel with this, or does it only give you more 'flinging' power? If it's just the latter, I don't see the point. Flinging snow 20 ft. isn't an objective of mine when I shovel.
waugsqueke, May 13 2002

       [waugs]: I was going on the assumtion that if it improves the flinging capability then I (well, not me but somebody) could do the same work as a standard shovel with less effort and less back pain. But, what do I know? I don't believe that I've ever even picked up a snow shovel. I do eat snow cones occasionally. Does that count?
half, May 13 2002

       people *still* shovel snow???? No way...   

       S-N-O-W B-L-O-W-E-R
runforrestrun, May 13 2002

       The swing and the fling is not significantly fatiguing.   

       In my driveway (300ft) I split down the middle and easily fling side to side 5 to 10 ft without hardly trying....a good distance to prevent further buildup.   

       BTW.....there is NO comparison between this and the "bent shovel"... in terms of capacity to shovel without fatique.   

       True story.... Back in 93 here in Jersey we had a real bad snow. The guy where we boarded our 2 horses decided to plow his driveway...and pushed the snow about the size of a 6 ft wall 30 ft long and possibly 10 ft deep.... right in front of the gate where we would get to the horses. My wife freaked...what happens if the vet has to get to them? (the distance from there to the barn was about 200 ft and the snow all around was approaching 3 ft.)   

       Out comes Ultimo Shovel. It took just over an hour to create a truck sized opening through the mound, then dig through the gate, with a small walkway to the barn. Keep in mind...it is also important to rest every 5 to 10 minutes especially if you want to go a 1/2 hour or more..   

       The landlord returned that evening....called my wife and appologized for the inconvenience....he had planned to come back later after other plowing.   

       He said...I'll pay for the snow removal. She said...no ....Bob just shoveled it out.   

       He said...really, I couldn't really figure out what happened....it didn't look like you plowed....it look liked you may have rented a back-hoe.   

       It's amazing what you can do if you stick with a steady pace.   

       Regarding the patent...I doubt it has ANY money making potential in that it's only $1 of parts. How many people would pay $5 to $10 for a hose clamp with integrated eye hook and a nylon strap?   

       Plenty of good applications, however.. there are plenty teenagers out there that could make some money shoveling driveways (they easily get $50 even for a modest driveway).   

       An able boy could make $20 an hour...that's 3 times what burger king pays.
Bob Wade, May 13 2002

       [Bob] this is a wonderful idea! who cares what it costs to add to a shovel... people have money to throw away! Just do it! :)
ScottieAngel, Jan 02 2003


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