My Pro looking DIY handles!
Up until now I had been using Mejzlik combat handles for all my F2d flying. They're pretty good handles, but on recent inspection one of the wires had started to fray, where it exits from the handles, so for safety it is no longer fit for flying. I know others have had the same problem, and unfortunately due to the construction of the handles it's not worth trying to repair.
Commercially available Mejzlik handles, good and adjustable, but lead outs prone to failure and irreparable.
Rather than buy ready made handles again, I fancied having a go at building my own. To keep things quick and easy, I decided to buy some bicycle handle bar grips off ebay (2 for a fiver). Instead of going on steel handle bars though, I used pine dowel glued into the grip. Makes a nice comfy handle, for about £3 each all done!
Ingredients for 2 handles:
2 Handle bar grips (ebay is a good source.)
20mm pine dowel, or whatever suits your grips.
6 screw eyes
Rope for safety strap
First aid bandage
2 Rubber handle bar grips bought off e-bay, very comfortable and grippy!
Step 1: Take a length of dowel long enough for 2 handles. Wrap some first aid bandage around the dowel. Coat this with epoxy or a strong waterproof wood adhesive. This will help to stop the dowel spiltting later but also provide a really good fit inside the grips.
Dowel reinforced with bandage.
Step 2: Coat the inside of your grip with plenty of contact adhesive or epoxy. Push the dowel firmly in and saw off the excess, file/sand smooth.
Step 3: Drill holes for the screw eyes, making sure the holes are straight and true. The screw eye at the bottom is for the safety strap, and needs to be drilled off centre to avoid the other screw. Accuracy is important, as the safety of the handles will be compromised if you bodge it. Hand drill bits, like those above are very useful here. You can also countersink the holes slightly, so that the eyes of the screw sit in the dowel.
Step 4: Apply plenty of epoxy into the holes and also around the threads of the screw eyes. Screw in and make sure they are well into the dowel. We are only using epoxy to seal the holes and stop the screws twisting in or out any further. You should not be relying on the epoxy for strength, it simply helps the situation!
Screw eyes all epoxied in. Smear epoxy over the end of the dowel to seal it.
Step 5: Add safety straps to your handles and you're ready to go!
2 handles for a fiver!
Just need to get out and test them now, if I like them, then I'm gonna make a couple of adjustable ones!
This article was first published: 18/06/2007