DW wanted a rake to get the cuttings off of the lawn, whereas I just wanted to let them be… So I built a rake.
The rake is made out of a $2 8 foot long 2×4 which I ripped [lengthwise] with a handsaw. I used one part for the handle and the other part for the rake (crossbar) itself. The 19 teeth came from two $0.99 3/8″ dowels which are cut to 2.5″. They are spaced 5/4″ apart in 1/2″ deep holes I drilled with a brace and auger. These are glued in. The handle is fitted onto the rake with a thru-tenon which is pulled in by an offset dowel which also makes the middle tooth; this is not glued in allowing me to take the rake apart again. The mortise was made with a chisel. This joint is quite solid without any give thus I didn’t have to put in diagonal supports which would have complicated the matter.
The rake works very well. The grass doesn’t stick to the teeth. This always seems to be the case for metal rakes which annoys me. However, the rake is a bit on the heavy side, probably thanks to the massive handle. I didn’t want to spend too much time planing it down. Maybe if I get tired of the weight, I’ll plane it down some more and make a supremely perfectly balanced rake.
In conclusion, I believe I now have a better rake for 3-5 times less than it would cost to buy one.
PS: It is conceivable that one could pick up a $1 rake at a yard sale or get one at freecycle. However, as per the first paragraph, this was an urgent matter.