Have you ever had one item you constantly lose? Well besides my keys, the damn dustpan is forever going missing! I am forever hunting that one item down. It is either outside for some strange reason. Or it is left in the shed/garage when my son decides to clean it up. Or, I have left it in the basement from one of my many projects. It has never had a designated spot, so it just gets left where it was last used.
Well I decided to make one. A really nice one. One that I would want to dance around the kitchen with while sweeping the floor.
My old one is some ugly blue plastic thing I bought at a grocery store one day because it had a handy little brush that came with it. That thing also gets lost but I am not going to make one of those.
Here is what you will need if you attempt to make one. It is pretty basic. You will need a license plate, a piece of scrap wood, a handle of some sort and some wood screws.
The handle I am attaching to mine is a long one. I am old and bending over is a pain. But you could use any length you want. Mine is an old wood spindle I found at the Habitat ReStore. Heck you could even use a handle from an old frying pan if you like.
I took my piece of scrap wood and cut it into a pleasant shape and drilled a hole in the top for the handle. I also whittled the spindle so there would be a part to stick into the hole I made in the hunk of scrap wood.
Once that was done I took some wood glue and squeezed a goodly amount into the hole and pounded the spindle into the hole.
My wood glue of choice is Gorilla Wood Glue. It is a great glue. It is nice and thick so it doesn’t run all over your project.
I let it set up some and then screwed a wood screw into the back of the wood. Centering it so it would go through the spindle for added strength and support.
I then let that set up overnight so the glue had a chance to dry. I started this project in the evening for that specific reason. I hate waiting for things to dry. I am always poking at it. Or worse touching the wet paint to see if it is dry and leaving fingerprints on everything I make. This way I just went to bed and could not touch it, unless I mysteriously started sleep walking.
For the next step, I wanted to make the scrap wood look nice. The wood I used was from a nice piece of wood from a past project, so I knew it would come out quite beautiful by adding a few coats of Minwax Tung Oil. Heck you could also paint it and the handle if you want it to match your house decor. Have some fun with this project because after it is done and all you will be left with is the job it was meant for. Cleaning is not fun, unless you are weird.
Next you will need to bend your license plate.
All I did here was take my block of wood, measured and marked how wide it was on the license plate with a pencil. Then with a ruler went from the pencil mark down to the corner of the plate on each side. Once that was marked off I put it into a table clamp and started to bend it, bit by bit on each side. That was it. I then set the wood back into place on the license plate and eyeballed where I was going to drill out the holes to hold it in place on the wood.
Once everything has dried, just set it into place and screw your license plate to the wood. Mine took a couple days just because I had to wait for each coat of Tung Oil to dry.That was very painful.
I used decorative washers so I would not drive the screws too far in. I have a habit of countersinking the screws when they should not be countersunk. Some people have a lead foot when they drive a car. I have a lead finger when using my drill.
Well I can never leave well enough alone. I ended up putting 6 coats of the Tung Oil on the scrap piece of wood. That’s the thing with using tung oil, each coat keeps looking better and better. I went through this same thing with the project I used the rest of this wood on. I promised myself not to go there again. But I just could not leave it alone. I wanted that gloss to match the handle. I kept telling myself this is only a dustpan, leave it alone. But I didn’t listen. Now it is a thing of beauty! You can even see the reflection of the license plate in the wood. I seriously need some help!
I am in love with a dustpan!
That’s it, now get out your junk and start making stuff!
I would like to leave you with a little cartoon drawing I seen on Facebook a long time ago and every time I sweep I think of this and smile.