Tableware for Handicapped Eaters

Introduction: Tableware for Handicapped Eaters

About: I'm a refugee from Los Angeles, living in backwoods Puerto Rico for about 35 years now and loving it. I built my own home from discarded nylon fishnet and cement.

I have known a couple people who have had trouble holding their tableware, due to shakes, or a weak grip from medical conditions.  This is a simple way to help solve that problem by putting bigger handles on the silverware to make them easier to control.  

Empty grease gun cartridges, silicone rubber in this case, make light weight handles.  

Forget about the dog bowl being a dog bowl, and think of it as a stainless steel spacer just used to elevate the plate some and cut down on the travel distance from plate to mouth.  

Step 1: Cleaning Out the Cartridge

The conical plastic tips on the silicone cartridges are easily cut with a knife.  Cut enough off the tip so that you can push a piece of 1/4 inch rebar, or other rod material, in through the hole.  There is a plastic plunger inside the cartridge that has been pressed forward to expel the silicone.  Push it with the rod back the way it came, and out the back of the cartridge.  Let the silicone inside the cartridge harden up.  

Silicone rubber doesn't stick well to the plastic the cartridges are made.  The dry silicone will peel out.  Make some pushing and scraping tools out of rebar to reach in and do the cleaning.    

Step 2: Attaching the Handles

To lock the conical nozzle onto the silverware handles, cut the tip opening to be a little on the too-tight side.    Then heat the nozzle tip with a propane torch, or other suitable heat source to soften the plastic and jam the silverware handle into it.  The opening will stretch and conform to the shape of the tableware handle.  When the plastic cools and hardens the handle extension should be locked in place.  There is no need for any glue.  

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    3 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 2

    This is a great instructable - big respect to someone with a big heart.

    Nice job.



    8 years ago on Introduction

    You might add something about dressing up the look of this sort of flatware. I would suggest bright colors basic blue or sunny yellow. You can't be subtle with these things so you might as well make them easy to spot for the sight-impaired.

    Large carved wood handles would do it too.

    I like the concept; I once needed a handle for a model saw( I didn't want to pay another 7-8 dollars for a handle so I took an inch and a half(1 1/2") thick dowel, six inches long, drilled a hole at one end on center just big enough for the end of the saw blade. Once I reinforced it with duct tape it was a perfect fit in my big clumsy paws. It's because of this I've resolved to always try and figure the home-made solution to tool repair.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    PVC pipe also makes good, quick handle repairs for knives, etc. Heat it, jam it in place and let it cool. One can decorate handles, but I don't mind the honesty of things looking like the materials they are.