Introduction: DIY Litter Tongs

Ever get annoyed over all the litter by the side of the road and in our parks? Ever do something about? If you have then you know about sore knees and back from bending over to clean up the refuse of others. I had this problem and noticed the local DPW used litter tongs they had made themselves. Of course I could have bought a set for ~$20 but I'm too cheap and where would be the fun in that. With the help of a local columnist, his friend and modification from me here is how to make those tongs.

Step 1: Materials

For this project you will need the following:

- 1 length of lattice framing (it is made of the same material the lattice itself is made of, comes in 8 foot

- 4 1.5 inch wood screws

- Drill

- Clamps(optional but make the job easier)

Step 2: Cutting the Wood.

Cut the 8-foot piece into two pieces measuring 46 inches in length, save the scrap it will be used to connect these two pieces. You may adjust this length but I find 46 inches works best for most people. Warning if you go longer they will have too much play in them to be useful, you will also need to adjust the angle of the opening.

Using the scrap cut 6 pieces that are 2 inches long, these will be used to form the connection points. Two pieces will be used at the top of the tongs and four lower down.

Step 3: Fitting Pieces Together

Fit the long pieces together lengthwise as well as where the litter will be picked up. It is important that the "jaws" of the tongs be aligned or they will not work as well as they could. Once you are satisfied with the alignment clamp them in place so they will not shift during the next steps.

Step 4: Fitting Pieces Together Continued

Next place the smaller pieces into position as shown. Place two pieces at the very top of the tongs and four about 4.25 inches down from the bottom of the top pieces. Once these are in place clamp them.

Note: Here I have used a single piece of wood on the larger section. It easier to do this way because you won't have to deal with 4 separate pieces when drilling. To keep it simple I limited the materials in this description to one original piece of wood, the lattice border. I used a bit of scrap I had around here. This was my modification since I couldn't make the wedge the original project called for. If you think of another way to do it please post it.

At any rate the openings are 1/2 inch and 1 inch, with 4.25 inches between them.

Step 5: Fastening

Pre-drill the holes prior to inserting the screws. Without pre-drilling you will cause the wood to split. Also round out the hole a bit to allow the head of the screw to sink a little into the wood. Each connection point will have two screws, one from each side.

Step 6: You're Done!!!

It's just that simple. Now make a couple of pair and give them to your friends. Thank you in advance for doing your part.

You may want to sand down where your hands will rest or just use athletic tape to prevent any splinters.