Garden and Leaf Rakes
Are you still using these antiques? Read on!
The view on the left shows two Adjustable Rakes. One is fully extended; the other is retracted for working in tight places or for storage in minimal space. They have hollow handles that minimize their weight, which may be important to some Gardeners.
The right view shows the locking mechanisms which slide up and down the handle to change the width of the rake (and simultaneously changes the total length of the rake). The black mechanism is tough plastic, the other is metal. Their associated levers lock the head in place on the handle.
Not only does this narrowing feature permit the rake into smaller spaces, but it also strengthens the fingers by restricting how much they extend past the support bar. Because the fingers are strong and of small diameter, they can be used for cultivating. Simply retract the fingers and push the tips into the soil. Then retreat one inch and do it again, etc. Small weeds which are loosened by this action, can be effectively scratched to the surface.
Some handles are aluminum; others are steel. The steel handles may rust and interfere with the adjustment. Aluminum handles may corrode with a similar result. To prevent this, wipe the handles after each use with an oily rag. Aluminum handles tend to make bare hands black, but their lighter weight may be an incentive to wear gloves.
from the staff of Garden Grapevine