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Thread: She Made Me Do It!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Thomasville, GA
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    She Made Me Do It!

    AKA: The things we do for love!

    Years ago, a relative gave us a device you mount under a kitchen cabinet to assist in removing jar lids. It's one of those simple things that works, so guess what? My wife (with my assistance) is going to the aid of a few neighbors who have various issues that reduces their grip and arm strength. And, of course, I volunteered to assist with the assistance by making a few copies of the opener we have.

    This is the basic item - bottom view. I drew it in SketchUp to check some dimensions and decide how to make my cuts.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's the prototype:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here are the components: 3/4" pine plywood I sanded down to about 5/8", 1/4" (7/32") pine ply I sanded to about 5/32". I wanted to thin the plywood a bit so the final assembly would be a bit thinner. For the blades to grip the jar lid, I cut pieces from an old bandsaw blade. To anchor the blades in the plywood, I drilled three holes (center and each end) and drove a brad through the wood and blades. A little sanding shaped the perimeter. I haven't decided whether to put any finish on them; will probably have help with that decision!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I used my bandsaw to cut the notches in the edge of one piece of plywood, using a stop block and a push block.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ah, the things we do for love!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Interesting device Bill, we have a strap type gadget bought at some agricultural show so many years back. The device has a handle and the strap (rough surface) circles back to slide into the handle which secures it while the circle is wrapped around the jar lid. Then the handle is used as a lever to twist jar lid loose. But it still requires fair bit of strength and one hand needs to hold jar while other levers it open.

    This looks like it can be a fixed device and two handed operation cool. Just concerned that blades would damage lid??? I collect some of our jars to use for all kinds of solvents. Thanks for showing us Bill. Good on u for volunteering.

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    Very nice execution Bill. Stays out of the way, is always in the same place, can be custom mounted for the individual and allows them to grip the jar with both hands. Excellent.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    Bill,
    We have one of those mounted under a kitchen cabinet. Had a commercial version (plastic) many years (and several houses) ago that I copied in plywood, using a coarse hacksaw blade for the 'gripper.' They work great!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
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    I have seen those but didn't know they actually worked.

    Nice to go help the neighborhood too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    Bill,
    We have one of those mounted under a kitchen cabinet. Had a commercial version (plastic) many years (and several houses) ago that I copied in plywood, using a coarse hacksaw blade for the 'gripper.' They work great!
    I came here to say much the same thing as Jim.

    We used to have one (a gift) years ago as well, until it broke. (It was not the best construction)
    So yes, Leo, they do work, surprisingly well.

    I also would suggest a hacksaw blade. It gripped the lid well, and there is little chance of cutting yourself on it. Those exposed tips of the bandsaw blade look a bit scary to me.

    ...art
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Yorktown, Virginia
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    Nice! They can open a jar and re-saw their pickles too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    ... I also would suggest a hacksaw blade. It gripped the lid well, and there is little chance of cutting yourself on it. Those exposed tips of the bandsaw blade look a bit scary to me. ...
    Whether you use a hacksaw blade or bandsaw blade, the tips have to stick out enough to give a good grip. Since I needed to make several of these things, I chose to cut up an old bandsaw blade. From a safety standpoint, fingers should never be close to the blade. You hold the jar with one hand or both hands, lift the lid into place and twist.

    Here's a photo of the original that's mounted under our kitchen cabinet.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    .... we have a strap type gadget bought at some agricultural show so many years back. The device has a handle and the strap (rough surface) circles back to slide into the handle which secures it while the circle is wrapped around the jar lid. Then the handle is used as a lever to twist jar lid loose. ...
    I have a set of those strap openers bought from harbor junk a few years ago. When they don't work, I go to the kitchen and use the Pampered Chef hand held version of Bill's device. My wife doesn't allow it out of the kitchen. Bill's type unit has never failed to open a jar.

    Only the "trailing" side of the Pampered Chef unit is sharp. Looking closely, it has dual depth teeth, so if the first teeth are sufficient, it doesn't dig in far, but if more force is required, the long teeth dig in, with the interspersed shorter teeth as backup. For reasonably tight jars, the lids show no scars in casual observation. In the super tight lids, the lid does get scars, but it doesn't destroy the lid - it can still be used.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,264
    Thanks Charlie.

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

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