Rakes - Final notes


Sand and Gravel Garden Rakes

Final Notes

Don't worry if you're not a master wood worker. Remember that this is an implement used in a Zen garden and keep the Zen aesthetic principle of imperfection in mind when creating your rake. This How-to explains only one way of creating your rake. You should feel free to experiment with altering the dimensions, materials and for that matter, anything else you see fit! Some interesting effects might be achieved by using a rough branch for the handle rather than a perfect piece of lumber and you may also wish to alter the size of the teeth and the overall size of the rake to fit your particular needs.
To see a full-size version of a figure or photo just click on it.

The four images to the left show my finished rake. I changed a few things on the design as I constructed it. First, the overall length of the rake head was reduced to 22 ½" with each tooth being 2 ½" wide. The head is made of a section of 2x6 instead of 2x8. I also decided to notch the braces into the top of the rake head and deepen the notch for the handle so that the braces would meet handle at its center line rather than flush with the top of the handle. The changes in dimension were dictated primarily by the materials that I had on hand, but the method I used for attaching the braces and handle to the head was chosen based on aesthetics. I just think it looks more finished this way! Also note that I used only one screw to attach the handle to the head and one to attach each brace to the head. This is quite sufficient to make a good solid connection.
tnrake1   tnrake2
tnrake3 tnrake4

bantel Here's a variation of the rake design in which the head of the rake is mounted to the handle in a broom-like manner. The head appears to be 3/4 plywood and the handle is bamboo.

Photo courtesy of Barb Antel. Taken at Phipp's Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. Thanks Barb!
This is the rake we made and that we use in Tsubo-en.
The dowel-tooth rake that Chris made very much looks like the one I made back in 1997. I then however kept no record of how I constructed it. A noticeable difference is the attachment of the braces and the handle. Chris has mounted these to the back of the rake-head whereas I mounted them to the top of the rake-head and used a round handle instead, making it a multi-purpose rake. In this way I can use the flat back of the rake-head to rake the flat surface of my gravel and possibly undo any patterns.
And as Chris indicated, there can be different sizes of rakes......


A Japanese Touch For Your Garden - drawings p.47.

Oriental Gardening: The Japanese Garden Society of Oregon (American Garden Guides) - photos p.159.

Sunset Ideas for Japanese Gardens - description p.18.

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