Saturday 9 December 2017

Fork Handles!

Our First BroadFork - February 2010
Right back in 2010, when Malcolm first contacted us about possibly selling BroadForks, one of the first hurdles was to find suitable handles for them.  We started by recommending the 1.5m (5ft) handles made for a particular type of 'Post Hole Digger'.  They fitted OK, but straight away there seemed to be a big problem with availability, so we looked around for alternative sources.
Soon we found that we couldn't easily get 5ft ash poles of the right diameter, so we had to settle for 1.2m (4ft) and then spent quite a bit of time shaping the ends of these to fit the BroadForks.  Along the way, we also changed suppliers!
After a little while, the new supplier in Wales offered to make a handle that was shaped to fit the BroadForks, and was also a little bit 'contoured' – and so our 'Shaped' BroadFork handles appeared in September 2016.
Update, February 2020:  Unfortunately, our Welsh supplier now seems unable to supply us with these shaped handles.  We'll let you know if they become available again.

At the same time, we were looking for ash handles for hand tools in the Glaser range, as more and more customers were telling us how difficult it was to find 28mm diameter handles in ash.  Not many years ago, we could just walk into our local hardware/DIY shop and buy ordinary 'broom handles', which were always made of ash wood.  Now the only thing we could find were rather poor quality pine handles, which were light and tended to split very easily.  We started stocking and selling these, simply because it seemed that nothing else was available.
1.2m BroadFork handles.   Top: 'shaped'  Bottom: 'plain'
Eventually, early in 2017, we found a supplier in Yorkshire for good quality ash handles and began offering them on our website, which started a steady trickle of orders which still continues . . .

High levels of demand for BroadForks, combined with delays in the supply of the shaped handles, led to us asking this new supplier whether he could produce some for us.  He could, and quite quickly, so our 'Plain' BroadFork handles soon became available and have now become our standard handles.

In late 2017, the process seemed to come full circle, as a customer enquired about 5ft handles for his BroadFork.  A quick email to our Yorkshire supplier and now we have a supply of 5ft ash handles for BroadForks!  Useful if you are a bit taller, or just want the extra leverage.

A quest for longer 28mm diameter handles seems to have started as well.  In response to a customer request, in July 2017 we bought in a supply of 1.8m (6ft) x 28mm handles.  Initially, we did not offer these on the website because of the scary postage costs, but then another customer enquired about them and wanted to order some.  He just couldn't find them anywhere else!  So, we thought, there may be more folk out there with the same needs – so they are on the website, too!  Especially useful for a rake or just for longer-reach hoeing.

The problem with all of these handles is the high cost of sending them by post or carrier, so we always suggest that customers try to find ash handles locally.  The increasing number of orders makes us realise, though, that they remain difficult to find anywhere!

So, if you find that you need to order from us, think about ordering more than one to save on the postage costs.  If you don't need more handles yourself, how about sharing with a friend?

UPDATED   5th February 2020

Saturday 7 October 2017

Ho-Mi Price Reductions ! !

Great News!

When we ordered some Ho-Mi earlier this year, we were shocked and disappointed to find that the costs of importing them had become ridiculously high.  Somehow we felt that we were being asked to pay far too much in fees and handling charges, especially at the UK end of the transaction.

Sadly, we needed to raise our retail prices to avoid making losses.

Some careful investigation revealed that we could make use of a much better way of handling the importation process.  This has enabled us to reduce the prices by almost a third, bringing them down to about the same as before, in spite of the fact that the UK Pound is still weak compared to the US Dollar.

Find these new prices at our Ho-Mi page.

Happy gardening!