Combination Cane/Grabber

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Introduction: Combination Cane/Grabber

Because of back issues, I have to use a cane if I walk very far, and there are times that a grabber would be handy. Unfortunately, however, if I need both, it requires the use of both of my hands. One day in a fit of inspiration I decided to make a combination cane & grabber.

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Step 1: Making the Cane Into a Grabber

My first step was to make a cane. For many years I have made my own canes -- I learned a long time ago that if you want a cane to fit you really well, it's best to make it yourself. The cane is very simple, consisting of a handle of your choosing and a shaft of the correct length for you.

In this case, i used 3/4 inch oak for the handle and 1/2 inch oak for the shaft (oak makes a very sturdy cane).

To add the "grabber" feature, I routed out a 1/4 inch slot a few inches from the bottom of the cane and made the pincher from 1/4 inch oak (as shown in the photo). You want to make the slot wide enough to allow the pincher to swivel open and closed. I lined the "grabbing" part of the pincher with a small piece of rubber for holding power.

The pivot portion of the pincher is a 1/4 inch bolt, with a washer in between the pincher and the cane. This bolt is left loose enough for the pincher to operate freely. I used a threadlocker to keep the nut from unscrewing.

Since the resting position of the pincher should be in an open position, I added a small spring as shown in the photo. This allows the pincher to automatically return to its resting position.

Step 2: Controlling the Pincher

The pincher is controlled by a heavy wire (I used the type of wire that is used on chain link fence installations). This wire runs from the end of the pincher to just below the handle, where I formed it into a loop. Between the loop and the pincher I used 3 small eye screws (spaced evenly along the shaft) as guides. The hardest part of working with the wire was getting it straight (it came in a coil).

For comfort, I wrapped the loop with cotton cord and secured it with super glue.

Step 3: Using the Grabber

To use the grabber feature of the cane I reach down to the loop with one finger and pull it toward the handle. This engages the pincher and picks up the item I need.

Step 4: That's All There Is to It!

This turned out to be a simple, but very handy project. One device serves two purposes!

Step 5:

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    6 Discussions

    0
    MarkP47
    MarkP47

    2 months ago

    May I suggest something that could improve upon this?(even though I have no idea as to how to achieve it!)
    As someone has already mentioned a catch to keep it closed when not in use, perhaps for a second version you could reverse the mechanism so that it stays closed until you pull in the loop? This could aided people who not only require a cane, but also those who have trouble with their grip. They could then only engage the system when it’s required, keeping it discreetly hidden away, which also stops it catching on things (trouser legs, edges of shopping displays etc) when it’s being used as a cane.

    0
    knife141
    knife141

    Reply 2 months ago

    I made the gripper in the normally open position to eliminate any wear on the pincher for walking. When used as a cane, the pincher does not get in the way for walking. Also, when picking up an object you need to be able to use varying pressure to clamp onto the object, depending on its weight. If the pincher was in the normally closed position, some objects (like a Sunday newspaper) might slip out of its grasp due to their weight.

    1
    ElectroFrank
    ElectroFrank

    2 months ago

    Perhaps a catch to hold the gripper closed when walking ?

    0
    Kink Jarfold
    Kink Jarfold

    2 months ago on Step 5

    Oh, yes, we old folks definitely like things like this. Elegebntly done.

    2
    zakbobdop
    zakbobdop

    2 months ago

    I want to make this even if I don't really need a cane!

    0
    Erientes
    Erientes

    2 months ago

    This one makes me smile. Nice project! Voted although being a fellow contestant :')