Saturday, February 7, 2015

New Sink Handle

The attachment hardware for the handle to the bathroom sink broke.  The most obvious design flaw was that the entire handle was made of plastic.  PLASTIC!!!  They didn't even have the decency to make it chrome-plated die-cast zinc.  To me, making a sink handle out of plastic is tantamount to a plastic trailer hitch.
crappy broken plastic sink handle
A plastic sink handle? This is heresy, blasphemy, polygamy!!!
The good news is that the actual sink was metal, and the part the handle attached to was a metal rectangle with a set screw flat, perfect conditions for a repair. Yes, mending is better than ending.  Scrap Attack fights back.
sink without handle
For a while we had just slipped a piece of stainless tubing over the rectangle as a temporary solution, but it was very loose and annoying.  Still better than trying to open the valve with your fingers.
sink with temporary tubing handle solution
I decided to make a new handle by starting with some ¾" stainless round stock, boring a hole to fit over the rectangle, drilling and tapping a set screw hole, and welding a handle.  The scrap piece of tubing for the new handle was conveniently capped on one end, so I didn't have to make an end piece, or risk having it look ugly being open on the end.
drawing up the design for the new handle
The Pythagorean theorem comes to the rescue again.
First, drilling and boring the hole to fit over the rectangle.  I did the math to ensure a tight enough fit, not that it mattered that much since the set screw will hold it tight.
boring a hole to fit over sink hardware
After parting it off, drilling the hole to be tapped for a #8-32 set screw.
tap drilling the set screw hole
Tapping the hole.
tapping the set screw hole #8-32
Here is the bottom part of the handle completed.
the completed bottom part of the sink handle
Then the handle part was welded on.  Finally a good use for that bag of stainless welding rod that came with my welder that's been sitting around.  I made sure to not weld all the way around because welding air-tight containers is a taboo, and also not necessary in this situation.
welding the sink handle
All done.  This new handle is ∞ times better than that plastic crap. Rock Steady.
the completed new sink handle installed

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