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Date: 30 October 2019. Tool to Extend my Reach (back-scratcher)


When living solo there are times when a spare hand or two would be a real benefit. Nobody wants to climb out of the bilge in order to retrieve a forgotten tool. Every project I start requires at least two items I did not plan on needing. One way to avoid the up/down retrieval process is by virtue of my handy-dandy reacher. Here's how you can make your own for less than $2.


First you will need to go to the Dollar Tree and buy a wooden back-scratcher. The ones sold at Dollar Tree are sturdier and wider than other discount back-scratchers I have seen. Flimsy ends are not a good choice for this project.

As a side note, aboard Seaweed I have three back-scratchers. Two are standard whilst the third has been turned into a useful tool.

My canning jar locker is under my bookcase. It is deep. By using a back-scratcher I can easily reach into that cabinet and retrieve all manner of jars.

Before refrigeration, I canned a lot of meats. The locker beneath my bookcase contains my canning jars.

If you would like to learn how I preserve meats, the Canning Primer
(Preserving Meats, Part 1)
article is a good place to start.

But I digress...
For this project I wanted to add a magnet to an extension bar. I had bought one of the inexpensive discount store ones. Frankly, it was not good. The strength of the magnet disappointed me. I wanted a much more powerful magnet. I had more than one in my arsenal otherwise known as Ship Stores.

Yes, I have been teased about the variety of items I have managed to have aboard this 23' long boat. Please realize the collection did not start out nearly as varied as it is now. This is 11-plus years of collecting.

I utilized a strong magnet gizmo I had purchased at a thrift store a couple years ago.

I'm not certain what these are used for In Real Life. The item is approximately 9" long and 1/2" thick.

The business end of the green gizmo has a powerful magnet inside it. The hardest part of this project was breaking out the magnet. My vise grips helped in this endeavor.

A determined woman with a pair of vise grips can accomplish a lot. I could not live without this tool.

Once the magnet has been freed from the plastic cover,
simply glue it to the business end of the back-scratcher.

My tube of silicone was Almost empty so I used vise grips to persuade some of the silicone glue out.

Vise grips are my Miracle Tool. I use mine at least once per week.

If you don't own a pair of vise grips, buy the real deal. Cheap off-brand ones are not the same. The pair I utilize belonged to Daddy. I lost him in 2001. The following year Son followed. Those were a bad couple of years.

affiliate link

Irwin Vise-Grip Original Locking Pliers with Wire Cutter, Curve Jaw, 10-inch (502L3)

I liberally applied silicone to the curved end of the back-scratcher. Then I attached the ↑ MAGNET.

I had acquired a couple of these plastic magnet gizmos. If any of my readers know what they are actually are supposed to be used for, I am curious. Please reply in the Comments section. Thank you. J.

Though not fancy, I find my extended magnet is utilized more frequently than I had originally imagined. The scratcher part is useful for pulling items toward me so I can reach them. This is especially handy when I drop that last screw into the bilge. Of course the magnet won't pick up a stainless screw, however this will pull said screw close enough that I can reach down and retrieve it.

All in all, I believe this is a good addition to the tool collection aboard Seaweed. If you run across a strong magnet you might consider making your own version.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate that.

Do you know what the plastic gizmo that held the magnet is called?
And, what is its use? I'm curious as to the original purpose of such a thing.

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  • Before you type in each block be sure to hit the backspace key. Coding inserts a space in every box. Your email address will come back as malformed unless you remove that space. (You don't have to include your email address.)

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2019. 2023

Categories: Characters, Gear, Money, Recommendations,

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