2007 - Volume #31, Issue #4, Page #16[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Make Your Own "Garbage Grabber"
The handheld unit is designed to pick up trash using a pair of metal tongs made from recycled flat metal banding. The only other materials you'll need are a length of pvc pipe, duct tape and rubber bands.
"It costs almost nothing to build and works almost as well as many commercial models," says Johnston.
"I came up with the idea because I sit on the board of directors for a non-profit organization called Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling and help out with various community clean-up programs. I invented the design a few years ago and made several dozen garbage grabbers for people to use at these events. It's a good project for Scout troops and 4-H."
Materials needed include a 48-in. length of flat metal banding strap, 1/2 or 5/8 in. wide; 36-in. long pvc pipe, 1/2 or 3/4 in. dia.; 1/2 or 3/4-in. dia. pvc elbow; rubber bands; and a small sheet metal screw.
Cut a 6-in. piece off the pvc pipe to serve as a handle and use the remaining 30-in. long piece for the body. Near the top of the long pipe, use a dremel tool to cut out a rectangle large enough for the banding to fit through. Form a 12-in. loop on one end of the banding and secure it with duct tape. Feed the banding up through the pipe, out the hole, and bend the banding to make a handle. Use duct tape to attach the banding handle to the pvc handle. Then cut the middle of the banding loop and bend the angles by hand to make the "trigger".
Make a 3/8-in. cut in the middle of each grabbing finger and bend each finger slightly - one up and one down. Do the opposite to the other side so the fingers intermesh. Install the screw 2 to 3 in. below the bottom of the rectangle to secure the rubber band onto. Then install the rubber and over the banding and back to the screw to form a return spring.
"The tongs will pick up more than you'd think. I've picked up concrete paving bricks with tongs made from 5/8-in. wide banding," notes Johnston.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Johnston, 9150 Chipwood Circle, Anchorage, Alaska 99507 (ph 907 349-3939; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.instructables.com/id/EIIIM633TGEZTBA8MJ).
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