Introduction: NOSE PICKER

About: I'm a creative guy making my weird and wonderful ideas reality

Why build a Nose Picker?

Well... for me. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and test my creativity. I challenged my audience to come up with crazy 1 day build ideas. I would choose one and have no choice but to build it with only what I had in my garage. The ideas were crazy! I mean some of them were down right off the chain. In the end I went with the Nose Picker. After all nose picking is my favorite pass time and these days with COVID-19, this.... "could" be a safer way to get those boogers.

Although I think I'm stating the obvious here but for legal reasons I must say: "I highly advise that you do NOT test this in your nose or in anyone else's nose as it may cause serious injury. This project is meant for comedic purposes only.


For this project your going to need

- Carving Wood

- 1x Flexible grabber claw

- 25x300mm Broom stick

- Spirit based wood stain (teak)

- OSMO Hard wax (colorless slikmatt)

- 8mm Cable braid

- Electric tape

- Hot glue

Step 1: Step 1: Photo Shoot

Take photos of a hand you want to sculpt

- Make sure you to document top and bottom along with both sides.

- Print out in the size you want.

Tip: Try converting your picture into black and white, then increase the contrast. This can help you see the lines better for rough shaping.

Step 2: Wood Preparation

For this project you can use any wood you like. If I can make any recommendation. Use what you have because the best wood (in my opinion) is free wood.

Here I used 3 Pine construction 2x4s glued together

- After gluing. Cut roughly to the size using a miter saw or if you are doing this the old school way. Just a hand saw. Be sure to cut enough material for the entire hand plus an extra 3 - 5cm to allow for screw ups.

- Square off the surfaces on the joiner. This will make it easier to drill the hole and cut out on the band saw later.

Step 3: Template Gluing

Take your cut out pictures of your hand and glue them onto the sides of your wood.

Ensure you have the pictures aligned with each other so that the axis correct.

If your axis are not aligned then when you go to cut them out you will have a weird deformed hand like shape and there will be no nose picking for you.

Step 4: Grabber Pilot Hole

As you can see in this picture I started cutting before I drilled the pilot hole for the grabber. Don't do that!

Instead drill your grabber pilot hole using the longest drill bit you have. I used a 200mm long 6mm wood drill. As long as the hole is not larger than your grabber then you should be good.

In hind sight because I changed the design half way through the build. You would be better to ensure the hole lines up from the end of the finger to the center of the hand. That way you can also hide the grabber in the handle.

Step 5: Cut the X & Y Axis

First decide which is your X and Y axis. Both X and Y axis should be largest parts of your hand. Example top and thumb side. That way you do not cut the had too thin and not have enough material for the thicker part of the hand.

On the bandsaw. Rough cut the X axis of the hand. Ensuring to save the off cuts for cutting of the Y axis.

Glue your off cuts back on with a small amount of hot glue then turn to cut the Y axis.

Once you have finished cutting break off any remaining off cuts still attached with glue

Step 6: Rough Sketch Details

Use a pencil or whatever you like, to sketch out the details of the hand. For example the position of fingers and where you must remove the most material. This is where the high contrast photos can help.

Step 7: Shaping

Right there is no real way I can instruct you to carve a hand. Its probably one of the hardest things you can carve anyway. So any instructions from a novice like me would be null in void.

What I will say is... Start by fixing a work mounting using some hot glue. This will just make it easier to secure in your vice.

Rough shape the hand with some aggressive rotary carving bits. Be sure to check your reference pictures constantly and take it slow and steady.

Once you are happy with the rough shaping its time to get out your smaller bits to shape and put in some detail. You can go as detailed as you want here but remember this is probably going up someone's nose at some point. So perhaps all that attention to detail is not worth the time.

To finish the shaping. Lightly sand the surface with 120 grit sandpaper and if you really want a smooth finger up your nose. Work your way up to 240 grit sandpaper.

Step 8: Modifying Your Grabber

- Measure the approximate length you want the grabber to be. I needed mine to go from the finger tip, through the hand and along the handle. Which worked out to be 32cm

- Grab your angle grinder and cut the base end of the the grabber off leaving at least 5cm to play with.

- Cut the grabber internal wire to length, with pliars or side cutters. So that when joined it will match your overall length measurement

- Use a wire crimp crimp to join the two ends of the internal wire together. Then remove the plastic insulation with a knife.

- Measure the distance of missing metal sheath. Add 10mm extra to the measurement and cut a ø10mm aluminum rod to that length.

- Drill a 6mm hole through the middle of the rod then drill 5mm deep in each side with a 8mm drill. (this will allow the sheath and the grabber end to fit into the rod ends)

- Make a cut along the length of the aluminum to allow the internal cable to fit through

- Assemble and test

Step 9: Positioning the Grabber

- Insert your modified grabber into the your pre drilled finger hole.

- Mine was a tight fit so it required some brut force to position it.

- Feel free to glue it in position with super glue but I did not do this as I fastened it by wrapping it with the handle.

- Be sure to test before going any further. As after testing, you may not want to subject the world to this device.

Step 10: Wood Burning Details

If you couldn't be ass carving in the intricate details, like me. you might want to burn some in.

If so. Grab your wood burner with a fine detail nib. Burn in some details that might make the hand pop a little more such as finger nails and wrinkles in the skin.

If you were like me and burnt some details too aggressively you can simply use a little sandpaper to buff them out a bit.

Step 11: Staining and Oiling

If you are like me and want a more realistic finger going up your nose. Then I recommend staining and oiling.

Stain - I used a spirit based, teak stain to give a sun kissed tan look. Use a rag to apply the stain over the surface and a small paintbrush to get into the cracks and crevasses. The paintbrush will apply a little more stain than the rag so this will make the hand darker in these places giving more contrast. In my opinion a more realistic look. If you want your finger nails to be a lighter color and forgot like me to be careful when applying the stain. You can just use a small amount of sand paper and sand down the stain to get the original wood color

Oil - Apply 2 coats of OSMO 3032 colorless silkematt hard wax oil. It is really simple to apply and once dried will give a really good finish.

Step 12: Attaching the Handle

First thing you'll need it a broom stick. If you don't have one lying around ask your neighbor to borrow his then remove the handle and chop 25cm off it. Be sure to return the broom to your neighbor and laugh as he hunches over with his shortened broom looking all confused.

- Once you've finished laughing at your neighbor. Cut the hand off its work mounting with a hand saw.

- Using a spade drill or what ever drill you have that matches the diameter of your broom stick. Drill 4- 5cm deep in to the base of the hand.

- Apply a small amount of wood glue. Then insert the handle into the hole.

Step 13: Wrapping the Handle

To wrap the handle I used come cable braid as it was just lying around. You though can use anything you want. Leather, rope, tennis racket tape, or even human hair. It's your choice.

- Wrap the handle from the base of the hand. Use a small amount of hot glue to fix the start of the cable braid to the handle. Wrap over the staring position and continue to tightly wrap, ensuring the grabber is against the handle as you work your way down.

- When you come to the end. Apply a small amount of hot glue again to fix the last wrap. Cut off the excess and melt the end slightly with a lighter.

- To finish hide the end with a small amount of electrical tape.

Step 14: Testing

You are now finished and its time to test!!!

I however would highly recommend you never really test this device on your nose or anyone else's nose. It is safe to say that it could be dangerous and really do some damage to your or someone else's nose. I don't really want angry comments like:

"My husband made your nose picker and gave himself a lobotomy"

Don't say I didn't tell you.

Alternatively; You can see in the picture above it can also be used for many other things other than nose picking. If you are crazy enough to build this please share your project with me on Instagram @garageavenger I love to see other people making crazy stuff.

Thanks for checking out my project

Garage Avenger

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    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    1 year ago

    That is an impressively carved hand. And making it do something useful as well! Genius! Thank you for sharing your work :-)

    Garage Avenger
    Garage Avenger

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'm not too sure everyone is thanking me for sharing my work but, It was a fun project and weirdly useful for many other things besides nose picking :)


    1 year ago

    This is so creative and hilarious!! I do appreciate the attention to detail in the carving and wood burning.

    Garage Avenger
    Garage Avenger

    Reply 1 year ago

    Why thank you :) I do have trouble making something thing half assed and always seem to put in a little too much detail for the project. Glad you enjoyed it.