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Spud bars are simple bars that are used in many common manual tasks. In design, this tool is usually long, straight, and composed of a heavy metal that will not break or bend under normal usage. It can be used for a variety of purposes, making it both a simplistic and versatile tool.
In most cases, the spud bar will measure between five and six feet in length. The weight of the tool is usually around twelve to fifteen pounds. This makes it heavy enough to make use of mechanical advantage during the performance of tasks, as it allows the force exerted to be magnified and applied to the job at hand.
Sometimes referred to as a crowbar, the spud bar is most often employed as a device for breaking up some type of hardened surface. As such, it may be used to break through clay or hard ground for the purposes of preparing the way for a plow or shovel. It can also be used to dislodge rocks or other imbedded objects from hard ground. During winter months, ice fishers sometimes make use of a spud bar to create a starter hole in the ice surface of a river or lake. The starter hole can the be expanded by other means and allow the fishers to dangle lines into the underlying water and enjoy the sport of fishing.
Variations of the spud bar can also be used in simple construction tasks as well. One with a flat chisel at one end can be ideal for helping to remove old shingles and tar paper in preparation for replacing a roof. This tool is also helpful in removing sections of siding from an exterior wall, or to leverage concrete slabs for movement to another location. It is sometimes called a pilot holes digging bar, as it can be used to start the holes for fence posts, making the work of post hole diggers much easier.
One of the advantages of the spud bar is that the tool can accomplish many of the tasks normally associated with a pickaxe, but requires much less room for use. Since it is not necessary to swing the bar before making contact with the intended surface, it is possible to use the tool in relatively cramped areas.