A few years ago my wife bought a colander at a garage sale. Its handle has never been in great shape, but it has been falling off a lot lately and it needed attention. My wife asked me to fix it, and after finding out expectations were low (specifically, she would have been satisfied with a hole in a dowel rod), I thought I would try for something nicer. During a period of “maker’s block” for a much larger project, I banged out a fairly nice replacement with scraps from my recent panjolele project.
The troubled patient. I’m not sure how many colors the old handle has been, but I can definitely see green and red with white stripes.
Peeking behind the curtain a bit, we can see some rust on the metal and deterioration in the wood. I probably could have saved this handle but it was more fun to make a new one.
I started to type “thank goodness I messed up the first ukuleke headstock”, but I couldn’t even get through that sarcastically. I’m still grumpy about that.
Initial rough. I cut the corners off the tail and rounded over the edges a bit. I actually thought I was shaping the butt of the handle here, but it quickly became obvious that it would work better as the neck.
More rough work, including starting to cut out the neck that will go under the metal collar.
More work on the neck and collar.
At this point the neck is drilled out and has been dry fitted to the collar and colander. Continuing to rough out the handle body. Starting to see taper through the body.
The handle with most of the final shape, including sanding. I left if attached to the rest of the block as long as possible to have something to clamp and hold as I worked it.
Sanded handle alongside original handle.
New handle with some polyurethane on it. I spent a long time with the finish on this handle because it will be submerged in water daily. I ended up putting four coats on the outside, and at least that many into the hole in the neck, trying to get it to be as waterproof as possible.
The new handle mated to the colander. I ended up filling the handle with epoxy, both to keep it attached and to add to water resistance. I’m not sure how it will work in the long term, but it’s working well so far.
This was a really fun project. It took no money, very little time, and is very functional. I get a tiny thrill every time I see if in the cabinet or use it. I assume this will wear off quickly but it’s fun for now. The project was done between 8/4/2013 and 8/11/2013. The actual work took approximately 60 minutes total split across 8/4 and 8/5, the rest of the delay was spent on multiple coats of polyurethane.