An unconventional design, this tool has been through approximately
a dozen revisions to reduce weight and ensure easy use.
Excavator is designed for use when exposing a detector reading.
When possible, either the AVS Pick-prod or MIT-probe would have
been used first. Starting well back from the centre of the detector
reading (at least 20cm) the user digs a downward slope towards
the reading with the Excavator. If a mine is present (and horizontal),
the side of the mine will be exposed.
picture on the right shows an excavator exposing a VS50 that
is on its side with the pressure plate facing the tool.
This was a set-up for a blast test. The tool is
used with a forward thrust, followed by a sideways sweep to
remove the loosened spoil. The sideways sweep puts strain on
the users wrist. To avoid this, the tool is extended so
that a sideways sweep is supported by the fore-arm. This
makes the sustained excavation process more comfortable.
orientation of the tools cutting face and non-shatter
polyethylene, punch-grip handle is designed so that
it is easiest to use with the hand close to the ground. A washable
ballistic aramid blast-guard attaches simply in front of the
users hand. The tools cutting blade is bent so that
the sideways scooping motion removes more spoil, and to give
the blade greater strength. The cutting blade is made using
a malleable Stainless Steel that is sharpened on the leading
and lower edge. The leading edge incorporates a sloped spike
to improve its performance on very hard ground.
Excavator folds in half for easy transportation and weighs 0.9kg
(2lb). Its construction uses four nylock nuts and bolts
that are behind the hand-guard and well away from any blast
blade is welded with more than 40cm (16) of weld to the flat-bar extensions that are mild-steel. The
metal parts are then hard-chromed to prevent rust. Hard-chrome
binds with the metal surface well but does not have a mirror-finish.
The tool stayed in one piece when placed alongside mines in
tests. The blade split and peeled but did not break up.