Introduction: (window) Handle Extension for Small People And/or Wheelchair Users
Finalist in the
Humana Health Challenge
This instructable will show you how to make a (window) handle extension with a flexible joint for handles you can not reach easily.
Since my girlfriend is somewhat smaller than me and always had to use a chair to reach up to our upper window handles to open or close them, I made these for her.
They consist only of two cheap materials you can get in any hardware store, PVC-hose and aluminum pipe and optionally some tape to make it fit better.
We used them for over a year now on several windows and there is no sign of erosion (?) [please excuse my english] yet. Very durable, CHEAP (maybe 2-3 eur each) and REALLY easy to make. And - most important - it works really fine.
Step 1: What You Need
Just see pic below...
Step 2: How to Make the Extensions
At first, measure the handles you want to be extended. This may vary.
Since most handles are "not perfectly round", try to find out an average value and buy some different corresponding diameters of the hose, then simply try it out.
Make sure that you use PVC and not silicone, which is a lot softer and surely will not fit securely.
Carefully heat up one end of the hose with a lighter, or, if you do not want to burn it, put it into hot water for a while and try to get it (at least 3-4 cm) onto the end of the handle.
The hose must be really fixed on the handle when it has cooled off. If not, try the next smaller diameter to prevent any accidents.
If you successfully fixed the hose to the handle, cut it off at about 8- 10 cm from the handle.
You will need at least 4 cm to fit onto the aluminum bar and the other few cm will work as the "hinge".
Make sure the aluminum pipe will fit as closely into the hose, as the handle does. Add some diameter with tape, if it does not.
It "has to be" heated up again to make it fit.
Step 3: How to Use / Advantages
This "system" works well for us to open and close the upper parts of our windows which are really heavy and tend to 'fall upon our heads".
But, with a little practice, I am sure that you can use this for any "difficult to reach" handle.
It is flexible enough to allow you to turn the handle and strong enough to pull your window/door/etc. open and close it again.
Compare it to the costs of any customized or electrical motor driven solution...
I really hope that this will help to improve the daily routine for some of us and would be glad to receive comments and recommendations.
PS: I am planning to take part in the 'Sugru Life Hacks Contest', so do not forget to equip your brand-new handle extensions with a customized 'sugru grip' for easier handling and vote for me ;) Thanks a lot! :)
PPS: Add a weight to the extension if it does not want to stay in the place in which you can easily reach it!
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.