Wooden Handles:

This project has been on my mind for quite a while, and I have no idea why I didn't start it sooner. I thought it might be very helpful to have a short, straight handle for use with several different devices. It seemed the lack of weight and ease of manipulation could be an advantage for some individuals with certain disabilities. I began by buying a 1" dowel, which came in a 4' length. I also bought several threaded sleeves and a 1' long piece of 1/4" threaded rod.  The piece of the dowel was cut approximately 3" or 4" longer than my hand. A 1/4" hole was drilled into one end of the dowel, and then a threaded sleeve was inserted into the hole. The sleeve, as you can see at the right, has threads on the inside and the outside. It screws into the dowel by using a screwdriver or an Allen wrench. My wife screwed the sleeve into the dowel, because I could not screw it in straight. Next, using a hack saw, I cut the threaded rod approximately 1" long and inserted the cut piece into the sleeve leaving approximately 1/4" above the dowel. One quarter inch is the size manufacturers use for the tripod hole in the base of commercial cameras and telescopes. When satisfied with the rod's position in the handle, put Loctite on the threads of the rod that goes in the sleeve and screw it in place, locking the rod in place. To finish the handle and make it more user friendly I applied Grip Tape to the handle and placed a “Stop” at the bottom. It works really well with my new camcorder. The video below was taken out the window by my computer using the short handle and my camcorder.

With the addition of a crosspiece and a strap, one is able to use the handle with binoculars, hopefully using just one hand to hold the binoculars steady. To make the cross-piece cut a piece of dowel a little larger than your binoculars. Drill a hole in the center of the crosspiece and screw a short threaded sleeve into it. The handle is then screwed into the piece's sleeve.

After using the short handle for awhile, I realized stability could be greatly improved and less range of motion would be necessary if the handle was longer; so it could rest on the seat cushion and come to eye level. Movement could be further reduced by have a loop of webbing go around the handle and around the user’s neck. A small force against the handle would create a very stable “platform”.  To improve contact with the seat cushion, a rubber cup from the bottom of a cane was placed on the end of the handle. The crosspiece can also be attached to the longer handle.

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Dowel ready to cut

Threaded sleeve and rod

Putting threaded sleeve in dowel

Homemade Tee

Using tee with binoculars

Finished handle

Handle on camera

Short handle on camcorder

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