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Old 12-19-2011, 08:23 AM
Cupajo Cupajo is offline
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Default Make your own dry sand scoop!!

Over twenty five years ago I started metal detecting on the local beaches and ultimately in the water lapping on these beaches.

I have tried a few different scoops, but decided I could make them based on my ideas and save money by not buying different ones that were a disappointment.

The water was my primary hunting ground thus the first scoops I made were designed for the hard digging we have locally. (My Poor Manís Backhoe mentioned in previous posts.)

Recently I decided to return to dry/wet sand hunting during those times when the water wasnít co-operating.

I wanted stainless and durability and something that was a joy to use. (As a mechanically inclined person, I know when a tool is right for the job)

It had to be sturdy enough for wet/dry sand digging.

I played around with different ideas until I settled on this design.
These are the resulting scoops and they are a joy to use.

The small one on the right was finished yesterday and given a trial run this AM.

It works far better than the other two and I am going to re-build them to a size very close to the new one.

The largest is 71/2" in diameter and the smallest 5".

I thought a smaller screen basket would make it easier to remove items and by making the stainless sheet metal part smaller handling should be improved. (Both are much better now in the smaller version.)

Now a look at how they were made.

A close look at the screen will reveal the ends of the wire are cut long and wrapped around the adjacent wires when bent into a tube shape of the chosen dimension.

Also the long ends are bent outward to cause them to press hard against the inside of the stainless sheet metal tube when it is squeezed down over the basket. I used a couple of nylon ratchet type tie down straps (Without hooks) to draw the metal tube tight onto the wire basket and then bolted through the overlap with two stainless 1/4" bolts, fender washers, nuts and anchored the flattened and drilled bent tubular handle on.

A close look in the basket will reveal the large stainless fender washers.

The materials I used are what I was able buy at the local scrap yard for scrap prices!

I searched the local metal recycling company for 1/2" stainless (welded) screen and found it in the laboratory animal cages (such as used for lab rats, all stainless) they had for scrap prices. (Enough for 1 scoop---all the materials ---about $5.00 locally!!!)

Also there are other sorts of scrap metal in other forms that are useful such as aluminum tubing already bent for handles! (I used shower seats such as are used for folks that can't stand and take a shower) (Enough for four scoops, you cut out the part you need and scrap the rest!) (Bicycle grips--rubber/plastic are a good way to finish the job!! A little liquid soap helps to slip the grip over the handle!!)

All I have to do is cut to fit and the tubing is easily cut with any kind of cheap copper tubing cutter!! (Available in the plumbing department of your favorite hardware store!!)
Using a 4" high speed grinder and a Dremel tool with abrasive cutting wheels I cut the bottom and top lip off the stainless container such as used in labs for storage etc.

I then sliced enough of a piece away to allow the tube to be formed to the pre-determined diameter.

Vice grip pliers, quick clamps and the ratchet straps make working with the parts much easier.

A word of caution!!!!!!!!!! The metal has very sharp edges and must be handled with extreme care to avoid serious cuts, also when the container is split down the side it will spring apart with some force as the shape opens up from the tension created when it was manufactured!!!!

A good half round course file will quickly remove the sharp burrs left by the cutting wheels.

The project has made me realize that you don't have to spend a fortune on a good dry sand scoop if you have a little mechanical savvy and the tools to do the job.

I was sure that if it worked very well for me then others would be able to have the same results!!

I would like to mention that the resulting scoops are very light weight and sturdy!!

They will not withstand heavy abuse, but will last a lifetime if used like a valued tool!!
There are other odd bits of information that may be helpful to you in "building your own" so please ask if you run into a problem!! (I specialize in problems!!)

One thing I forgot to mention is that sand flows through these scoops far better than anything I have ever seen!!

Wet sand takes a little shaking, but dry sand just disappears!!

I took the little sweetie out for a spin this AM after a night of hard rain and stormy weather and she (I must say with all sincerity) the best I have ever used!!

An understanding of the tool needed, a bit of creativity in dreaming up a version that makes use of the available materials and the mechanical skills and tools to fabricate said tool (scoop) are all that's needed!

I realize not everyone has the skill, tools or raw materials for such a project and I am glad I am one of the fortunate few.

I mentioned that the scoops are not for water hunting as they will not withstand really hard use as is common in water hunting (i.e.---standing on the scoop!).

They are great for their designed purpose which is searching wet/dry sand on the beach!

One can control the amount of force needed to scoop sand in such digging, more often than not a gentle nudge is enough to fill the scoop.

The wires are welded where they touch one another except where I assembled the pieces and there it is bent around the part where contact is made (See adjoining picture).

It is fairly heavy gage wire, but exactly what gage I don't know.

I believe one of these scoops can survive a lifetime of "normal" use!

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:30 AM
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Cfmct Cfmct is offline
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You're pretty handy for a plumber CJ nice job

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:34 AM
KWA KWA is offline
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in my opinion i would not buy anything that does not have some type of reinforcement that allows me to use my foot and does nut mash in the bottom of the basket,been there done that.
while they might work on dry sand when you beach hunt and are new you will be eventually drawn to the water line and now your scoop is worthless.
just my take.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:40 AM
Cupajo Cupajo is offline
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Default The rest of the story!!

I posted a few pictures a while back about the sand scoops I built.

Since then I have really given the scoop lots of hard digging in dry as well as wet sand mixed with sometimes golf ball sized gravel at the waters edge..

Knowing the limits of such a tool has kept me from abusing it, but I have not babied it either.

This photo shows the digger before I started using it and you can compare the photos to see where changes have occurred.

In these pictures you can see that the bottom is only slightly concave from my pushing the scoop down into the sand with my foot.

The basket is somewhat malformed (bent) by the digging pressures and yet still able to dig anything I find above the water's edge.

The welded stainless screen has been the key to its strength and had I built the scoop with a cross bar to push against with my foot the scoop would likely not have bent at all making it a possible wading digger where there is only sand to deal with.

The wire has settled into its strongest shape with use and has become stronger by this.

The basket has been pushed into the sheet metal cylinder as far as it can go and the top has bent as a result near where the handle curves.

I plan to continue using the scoop as is to see how long it will last to failure, however it looks as if that will take many years.

I am going to cut down the larger of the three scoops I built and that one will have a cross bar for my big foot to determine how it will withstand the same kinds of digging forces this scoop has been experiencing.

This scoop has only seen occasional use as my preferred hunt is in the water.

After several years it is still functional and my preferred dry/wet sand scoop.

Stay tuned,

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:47 AM
Cupajo Cupajo is offline
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Water scoops don't usually perform well on dry sand and are usually much too heavy for such use.

Lighter, dry sand scoops are almost never suitible for water use.

As I stress in the post above this tool is the right one for the job it was designed for and should not be abused by using it as a water scoop.

Thanks for your opinion,

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:54 AM
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Weezbad Weezbad is offline
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Originally Posted by Cupajo View post

Water scoops don't usually perform well on dry sand and are usually much too heavy for such use.

Lighter, dry sand scoops are almost never suitible for water use.

As I stress in the post above this tool is the right one for the job it was designed for and should not be abused by using it as a water scoop.

Thanks for your opinion,

that's for sure. use it in its operational envelope. i made a scoop that did fine at the beach but as soon as i used it in the clay bottom lake prying that gumbo clay up it only lasted a few hours and the handle stress cracked.
i need to make a better handle for it.

i said i would never buy one of those expensive scoops BUT i got such a good deal on mine from kellyco i could not resist getting one. It is heavy but it can be used to jack up a semi.

William.....being way to lazy to find stuff. But my freezer is full of venison ;-)

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:01 AM
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Hotrod Tom Hotrod Tom is offline
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CJ, It's nice to see someone making something rather than buying.If the screen keeps crushing on you just add a piece of flat stock from the bottom of the scoop bend it at a right angle up across the back of the mesh and attach it to the handle.It will work as a handle brace and you can step on it without crushing the screen.I had to do this to my first sand scoop because I was crushing the screen and bending the handle,eventually it settled into a good angle and I still use it on occasion in the dry sand.It looks like you have a nice scrap yard to shop at. All the scrap yards I deal with process everything so fast that you just have to luck out and be there at the right time to find something you can use.Good luck with the R&D and HH!

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:28 AM
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stavr stavr is offline
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I made a scoop of dry sand and water at the same time - EVROEXCAVATOR v.5
but it can not be done at home ...

Minelab explorer XS & Excalibur1000 since 2001,
StavRscoop Evroexcavator-2

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:32 PM
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Mama2Twins Mama2Twins is offline
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Great job! I attempted to make one and while I was drilling it slipped into my knuckle!

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Old 12-20-2011, 07:40 AM
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dewcon dewcon is offline
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Makes me want to grab one of my wife's SS pots and go to work.... in the secrecy of my garage of course. Nice scoop.... but what no PVC?


MDT 8000, EQ800 CTX Blue Xcals

Dew Meeker

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