Dunny Plunger Project

About: Carpenter and Joiner

Had a bit of a laugh, when thinking what to replace the handle of a toilet plunger that broke with
yer yer we should just throw away the full functioning end and bye a new one , like a good little consumer 

I looked sideways at a chain , but had no mig wire , 
Cut down a broom stick ? too easy 
"I'll turn one up on my wood lathe ," i said , and went to the wood pile in my shed and  selected some nice Coolibah  burl , and Jarra , and stood there looking at them ( they didnt tell me what design I should use ), so after  scratching  my head , I went back inside and fired up the CAD, ,The ' revolve ' function in Turbo CAD is great for planing wood turning , played around with the design that got more and more complex the longer i sat there ., 

The next day I headed out into the shed to start to make saw dust and could not find the chuck key for 5 min , it was under a mother of pearl shell , pearl bit's were added to the plan , then and there. 

It took about 2 weeks of free time , then it looked a bit plain , so i carved the rope on the main timber , that took another 2 weeks 

All the joins are just "dowel " joins , starting at the top the Jarra timber handle is set into the top by drilling  it out to 18mm and glue jointed ,for strength the jarra go's all the way through , and the mother of pearl hides the end grain , the coolibah burl is quite unstable and moves a lot , so i had to keep all of it as thin as possible  

In the middle , the 2 parts of the Jarra handle slot into a copper tube and touch each other in the middle  , with the coolibah burl timber over the top , it also has mother of pearl washers between all of the joins , at the very bottom the jarra also go's all the way through and has the original plastic thread that screws into the rubber plunger 

The rope pattern is easy to do if you set it out right , start off drawing 4 lines  equal distance apart (90deg) down the length of a round timber , then mark rings , at the same distance as the thickness of the dowel , join together the points where the lines cross with a line at 45 deg ,as accurate as possible run a tenon saw around those lines to the depth of the tenon saws teeth (3mm) then use a Dremill engraver  with a tungsten bur bit , to round off the edges of the saw cut, then sand like crazy until there are no more scratches 

Mother of pearl is quite easy to turn with a light touch , but the dust is horrid and bad for you , plenty of dust extraction , and still ware a mask it you try

It was all glued together using " Mega Poxy No.69  " its a nice thick 2 equal part high build up clear glue , and drips are easy to clean up with acetone, its good stuff 

The polish was a home made polish of 80%bees wax 10% Carnauba wax 10% Gum oil , the polish i use for all my timber art.

Dunny Plunger 
by Ken Van Laatum 
from Coolibah burl , Jarra , Mother of pearl , 



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    5 Discussions

    This is epic, I'm not sure if I could bring myself to use it though. Mayhap there's room in my life for a plunger man superhero identity?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i like the idea of making something so beautiful to do a horrible job.. this belongs in a museum.. it makes such a strong statement


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, that is the nicest plunger handle I've ever seen. Good work.