Monday, May 19, 2014

Clam Rakes

A reader recently asked about clam rakes. When I was a youngster we used iron rakes like the one in the photo below. The tines were an eighth of an inch thick, and rusted easily. After several hours they became a burden to push.

Old Clam Rake

Nowadays almost everyone uses rakes with tines fashioned from stainless steel table knife blades. They are less than half the thickness of the old tines, and are resistant to rust. The table knife blades cut through the sandy bottom almost effortlessly. Clamming is much easier now!

New Clam Rake

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous10:44 AM

    Always interesting, Philip.

    As for the knife-blade rakes, these would seem to be homemade, not something generally available for commercial purchase--at the Variety Store, at Wal-Mart, etc. Correct?

    Thanks, as always.

    1. My dad made my clam rakes (he was a welder by trade), but the Variety Store has clam rakes for sale.

    2. Anonymous8:44 AM

      Thanks, Philip. As for the commercially available rakes, they're not in the knife-blade style of the model that your dad made, are they? I wouldn't presume so, but…you'd also think that someone else would've picked up on the design improvement long before now.

      Thanks again for your efforts here, keeping us engaged with the island and island life.

    3. The clam rakes for sale at the Variety Store are made with table knife blades, and look very well-made & durable. I have never asked, but they may be made locally.

    4. Anonymous6:45 AM

      Huh. I never noticed this. I'll have to take a look next time I'm there. Thanks.

    5. Philip,
      This grabbed my attention. I wonder if your dad made the clam rakes I have, they are exactly as you have pictured!

      Best Regards,

    6. My dad may have made clam rakes for other folks also. I'm not sure.

  2. Anonymous4:08 PM


    Last week someone asked you if there was a salad bar of some type in any of the eating places on the island. I usually try to follow you daily but missed your answer. We seem to have the same problem of trying to find a large salad bar for a fresh, light mid day meal. What was your answer, if any? I am sorry to make you repeat yourself on this. Thank you.......and you have a nice website here. We like the fact that there is no swearing or anything out of the norm here. Some people get testy but nothing bad....keep it up.

    1. I couldn't think of an island restaurant with a salad bar...nor could my daughter Amy. Perhaps one of our readers knows of one.

      I am glad you like our Ocracoke Journal.

    2. Anonymous8:08 AM

      Certainly there are restaurants on the island that offer a great signature salad?? Or markets that sell cucumbers, green peppers, mushrooms,scallions, tomato, lettuce-all kinds, carrots, sprouts, ingredients to make a great salad at home?

    3. Vegetables are available at the Variety Store, and from the vegetable truck in the warmer months. As with just about everything else, selection on an island is often limited.

    4. The Back Porch makes a great salad. Go there!!