20140329 6989 handle construction EAS1

by Edward Spiegel

Most of my tri-string handles use this which I got from SBF's Brian Lawrence. There are many possible variations. The heat-shrink tubing (available from most hardware stores) gives a nicely finished look. Both dowels and bamboo gardening stakes make nice handles.

Click on photos to view at larger size.

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The materials:
  • A - Split rings with outer diameter 8-10mm. I use one's from a craft store. Stainless steel split rings used for fishing tackle are even better as they are especially rust resistant.
  • B - Fishing swivels. Snap swivels are pictured, but I generally snip off the snap part. Barrel swivels (without snaps) work great but are often harder to find.
  • C - Baling wire also sold as galvanized wire (see picture below). This is sturdy but easy to bend with a needle-nose pliers.
  • D - Heat-shrink tubing. The size needs to be large enough to slip over your poles but not so large that it does not make a tight fit when shrunken.
  • E - Dowels or bamboo garden stake. I use sturdy 3/8" dowels; note that not all dowels are created equal. Some 3/8" dowels are not sturdy enough to use. If that is the case, use 1/4" or 5/8" dowels. Bamboo garden stakes have the advantage that they do not splinter if they break.
  • F - Braided line of some sort. Do not use twisted line if you can help it. This will be the lead and you want a material that won't twist up. I mostly use a medium to heavy braided Dacron kite twine. Braided thin mountaineering cord (which you can find at REI and similar stores) works well and is pretty.
20140330 6995 handle balingwire
Baling wire is often sold as galvanized wire. It won't rust and is quite sturdy.
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If using dowels, drill a hole through the dowel.

Bend the baling wire (1.5 or 2 inches in length) as shown.

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Thread a split ring onto the baling wire then insert the ends of the baling wire into the dowel's holes.

Squeeze with pliers to make a snug fit.

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After crimping
20140330 6993 handle construction bamboo baling wire
If using bamboo stakes, wrap the baling wire around the stake as shown -- do not drill holes when using bamboo stakes.
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Slip heat-shrink tubing over the baling wire so that it protrudes over the end of the pole.

Use a hair dryer or hold over a stove burner to heat and shrink the tubing.

You should end up with a nice snug fit.

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The finished pole end.

The finished pole. Note that I use a swivel both at the pole end and at the end of the lead. This minimizes tangling, but many people use only one swivel per lead.

Attachment point: This setup uses an s-biner as the attachment point as I make all my loops (and modular loops) with split rings that can be used to attach/detach them from the wand. I like s-biners because they are easy to use with cold, wet, soapy hands, but there are many other clips and attachment points that you can use.

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