- Too short- must bend over to use. Strains the back and reduces use of body weight to drive the plunger.
- Wrist extension (dorsiflexion)- weak wrist position. Damaging/tiring the wrist, which must transfer power from the body/arms to plunger.
- Handle surface area too small- resulting in painful contact pressure.
I found a cast-off aluminum cane, perfect to upcycle and improve my toilet plunger. I tapered the wooden handle and flared the aluminum tube creating a strong, overlapping connection. Secured with a few wood screws and finished off, the final plunger is much easier to use.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Aluminum walking cane
- Toilet plunger
- Waterproof paint
- Wood screws (5) #6 size, 1/2 " length
My tool list is not essential, but includes what I found useful:
Step 2: Mark, Drill, Cut the Aluminum Cane
Waist high is a good length for the improvement. Allow additional 3" for the overlapping connection. Mark the tube to length.
2" from the cut will be two strain relief holes, on opposite sides. Use the center punch to mark / start these holes.
To split the tube into flanges (langets?), draw lines from the relief holes straight down to the cut mark.
Punch starts for the 5 wood screws between the split lines.
Drill the relief holes with the 3/8" bit.
Drill the screw holes with the 1/8" bit
Cut the tube to length.
Cut the split into the bottom of the tube.
Step 3: Taper the Wood Handle
A reliable way to taper the handle is to remove consecutive layers of wood, in successively shorter lengths. I tapered the wood handle to extend past the relief holes about 1".
Draw a ring around the handle's circumference. Work from the mark to the end, using the wood shaping bit to remove strips of the first layer. Do not apply extra pressure.
Draw the next mark closer to the end and cut.
Mark and cut.
Mark and cut.
Mark and cut.
Use sandpaper to smooth out the blocky taper.
Step 4: Fit Together
Tamp the two parts together snugly, if the taper is good.
Drill pilot holes for the wood screws using the 5/64" drill bit. Drill to the depth of the screw. This will help prevent splitting the hardwood when setting the screws.
Insert the screws(prototype done!)
Step 5: Finish
If all is good, disassemble and paint the wood to protect it.
Grind / bevel the flanges, deburring the metal using the Dremel grinding bit.
Reassemble - DONE!
- The cane I used was height adjustable, two pieces telescoping for adjustment. I'd keep this feature next time. As I mentioned in the design goals, waist-high is a good height. However, my waist is not the same height as others. By fixing the length to me, the plunger is a bit too long for most.
- Thanks to KaptinScarlet and slambert for illustration Instructables!
First Prize in the
Humana Health Challenge