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Extending fish grabber

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Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 14:20

My father likes to fish but arthritis causes havoc at times. He brought over a "fish grabber" and asked to make a new one 20" longer. Using some of the original parts along with an aluminium tube and acetal rod, heres what happened.

This is not a high precision project and some of the methods ive used will reflect that.
The original grabber was a metal (assuming stainless steel) tube with an inner plastic rod.

The choice for using an aluminium tube for the extended version was for weight, time will tell if that was a wise choice. There where three knurled pins holding the original together along with a rivet for the fingers/hooks. Being the extended version was made from aluminium tubing, i feared that the knurled pins would not hold up over time (work there way loose and fall out) and only used one of the knurled pin for the top hand grip and stainless steel screws and nuts in-place of the other two knurled pins. As for the rivet, that was changed to a stainless screw and nut also (dont have a riveting gun what would work for this).  For the nut and screw which holds the fingers in-place (originally a rivet) i used a lock nut so the tightness could be controlled so not to pinch the fingers. After testing a few times i was not too confident that the lock nut would stay put so a small tack weld was applied.

One problem which might occur is wear at the front slots where the ends of the fingers slide through. The spring does not create alot of presser on the fingers, but the fingers are made from a metal much harder then the aluminium tubing, so time will tell.

In some of the images you will see a 123 block with a bolt sticking out of it. The head of the bold was faced clean/flat and there is not much tention being applied. While using the 123 blocks and bolt the tubing was only sticking out 5" and was ridged by itself, the bolt and block was just to support it for the plunging and worked out pretty good, dont think there would have been a problem with out it.

When it came time to work on the inner rod, "flutes" needed to be added so water can drain out. The orginal had square flutes. I do not have any big saw blades to cut the flutes and the plastic rod was only 7/8 (.875) dia sticking out 8", so there was no easy was to hold it down and mill the flutes with an endmill so i grabbed a gear cutter i made a while back and used that for the flutes (like said earlyer, this was not a precision project). You will see in one of the images that there is a long slot cut into the end of the rod. How i whent about this was to hold the very end of the rod down with a finger clamp, started the slot just after the clamp, milled to the correct lengh, moved the clamp over the slot which was just cut and finished the tip (which was covered by the clamp). If i was to do this again i would first mill the tip back a 1/2" or so, place a small block inside the slot which was just cut and clamp/squeese it togeather with a screw, move the finger clamp over this and finish the slot. Milling the front how i did it was a pain and the piece wanted to move around even being fingered down. I think by doeing it the second way would have provided a much more ridged set-up.


Heres a before shot.
Normally the grabbers fingers/hook would be closed, but before taking the picture i had it apart and the spring was removed.


And the finished result.


Heres a video clip of it working (sorry no fish) along with some screen shots of it being made.

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