A levelling rake is one of those lawn and gardening tools that you must invest in for proper lawn care.
The major problem most people encounter as regards this is the outlandish price. Typically, a small-sized levelling rake costs around $65 which is on the expensive side of the pricing scale.
When I wanted to get one and found out the price, I decided to check if I could DIY it and I’m glad I found a way to make the lawn leveling rake myself.
Most instructions that I found were quite complex and took me a while to understand so in this post, I’ll be providing you with a more simplified explanation on how to make a lawn levelling rake.
What is a Lawn Leveling Rake?
A lawn levelling rake is a tool that helps to level out different areas of the yard.
Why Is It Important?
- No Bumps
A level and even lawn without bumps is cherished by homeowners because it ensures that the lawn is easier to walk on, play or even relax. It makes things more enjoyable and safer especially for kids who like to run around without a care in the world.
- Better Mowing Quality
It is easier to achieve a healthier lawn with a level lawn since it results in a high-quality cut since your lawn mower wouldn’t be scalping the lawn and you can mow even faster since there are no obstacles to make your mower bounce around while mowing.
Mowing over uneven ground surfaces is uncomfortable and another major concern is low spots. As the tyres of the mower pass over the low spots, the level of the mower blade also drops and as it moves towards higher spots, it overcuts the grass making it too low.
- Lawn Dressing
A lawn levelling rake is useful for dressing your top lawn, moving and levelling gravel.
It also works better than a landscaping rake when it comes to distributing soil since its design allows for a back and forth motion to quickly distribute soil.
Other than levelling your lawn, your levelling rake can also be used to break up clods, level sports fields, remove stones and prepare the soil for planting.
What You Should Know When Making a Lawn Leveling Rake
Depending on the size, making a lawn levelling rake can either be easy or hard.
If you own a small-sized lawn, it is advisable to make a smaller levelling rake but for bigger lawns, a big levelling rake should be considered instead to make things easier.
Some of the things you need to know when making a levelling rake include:
- Protect Your Hand
Before you begin the process of making or assembling your levelling rake, it is important to make sure your hands are covered with a solid pair of gloves.
The different parts of the levelling rake including some of the tools to be used in making it could cause injuries if your hands are not well protected.
- Create A Neat Workspace
Another thing to pay attention to when making your rake is your workspace
It is easier to work in a neat and organized space as it makes your job easier with all the tools in one place saving you the stress of moving around to look for them.
- Make Use Of High-Quality Tools
Using low-quality tools is not advisable as they cannot withstand the test of time and can crack or break easily.
When making a levelling rake it is preferable to make use of high-quality tools especially the bolts and nuts. They should be tough as they hold the entire rake together.
- Learn Leveling Rake Dimensions
Different sizes of lawn require different sizes and dimensions of levelling rakes.
To make an ideal levelling rake, the length, width and handle size should be adequate and in the right order.
The length of the rake should typically be between 30-50 inches, the jangle should be between 60-78 inches and it should have a good enough width.
What Tools Do You Need to Make a Lawn Leveling Rake?
Making a lawn levelling rake requires using the right tools, and materials that are resistant to rust.
Some of the tools that you will need include:
- A Broom Handle
- A Broom Bracket
- A Broom Adapter
- An Impact Ratchet
- 5mm & 3mm Hex Bit
- M8 & M10 Drill Bit
- Two 12-Inch Aluminum Angles
- Two 24-Inch Aluminum Angles
- Three 24-Inch Aluminum Channels
- M8 x 20mm Countersunk Bolts
- M8 x 35mm Countersunk Bolts
- M8 & M5 Lock Washers
- M8 & M5 Washers
- 10 M5 Nuts
- 2 M8 Nuts
How to Make a Lawn Leveling Rake
A levelling rake is a fairly easy tool to make as long as you follow the procedures correctly.
Here’s an easy 4-step process to make a levelling lawn rake:
1. Assembling the Leveling Rake Frame
The first thing to do when making a levelling rake is to make a lawn lute with the use of aluminum angles.
Using an impact drill, make an M8 hole into the aluminum angles, after which you should check if the M8 screw fits into the hole or not. The screw should fit deeply against the frame.
Then a piece of wood is used to angle out the aluminum the right way, and also drill the wood to make an ideal hole.
Ensure that when making the hole, you know which piece is on top and below. Place a 24” piece on the upper side and a 12” piece below to avoid misalignment.
The next thing is to use an impact drill to make holes on the 4 corners. Then the M5 by 20mm bolts are inserted on the bottom section and are tightened with the impact driver.
After the bottom part of the frame is done, you should use scrap wood again in the middle and upper sections to make it the appropriate length.
The same process used to fit in the upper part of the frame should also be used for the lower part.
2. Setting Up the Channels
The next step requires accurate measurement, but you can try your best to freestyle it.
Place the aluminium channel in the middle one, and ensure that no matter where it is placed, there should be enough space for the other two parts to fit in.
Attach the other two above and below the middle one and adjust well to make each gap as equal as you can make it.
You should carefully make a hole on the channels that align them. Try to avoid misalignment as you only have one chance to do this well. Use a block of scrap wood to ensure top and bottom section right drilling.
Ensure that the hole made is M8 to fit the nut well. Next, you insert the bolts from the bottom with the lock washer, washer, and other nuts. Perform the same process for the top sides. Tighten the nuts with your impact driver.
3. Aligning and Installing the Broom Bracket and Adapter
Once you have completed the first two steps, the next thing is to align the middle channel inside the frame.
A bracket is also put on the top section of the middle channel by making a decent hole. A 5mm drill bit should be used at first to craft pilot holes.
Hold the scrap wood on the frame to drill M8 pilot holes in the right places. Make use of the M10 drill bit to make the hole bigger and the M8 bolts should then be inserted from the bottom to fit well. Then, insert the bracket, lock the washer and nuts over them.
Once all the nuts have been placed, use the hex bit of an impact driver to tight out the nuts.
4. Fitting The Handle, Tightening Bolts and Trial
Finally, you need to fit in the handle and tighten the bolts and finally perform a trial with the levelling rake to ensure it’s sturdy enough for use.
At this point, be sure that the rake does not have a flex because it needs to be able to push dirt and water. Also, twist it around a bit to ensure that there are no loose nuts present.
If any loose nuts are found, tighten them immediately to avoid flexing during use.
The next thing is to attach the broom handle to the rake that you have just made for holding comfort.
Ensure that all pets are tightened and cleaned. Finally, attach the broom handle to the broom adapter by twisting it firmly.
To round it all up, test your levelling rake by pushing around dirt on your lawn with the rake. If you have fairly tall grass, you may notice that the rake may snag a bit. This is why it is best to use the levelling rake after the lawn has been mowed.