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Vertical Grab Handle for a Low Console

September 21, 2007
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I added two handy vertical handholds on the low center console of my flats skiff for safety and balance. I used two short lengths of one-inch-diameter, stainless-steel tubing with a .065″ wall thickness. I mounted one handle to each side with two 1/4″, stainless-steel bolts, with a locknut and a pair of large, stainless-steel fender washers per bolt. To install them, I first determined how tall I wanted them above the top of the console, so that I could use them comfortably while standing. My handholds stand 9″ over the console, so I cut my tubing to 18″ long, at a 45 ¿ angle so I could mount it with the tapered end at the bottom. I drilled two holes straight through the tubing with one about 2″ from the tapered end and one about 5″ up from that. Then I drilled holes in the console to line up with the holes on the tube, measuring carefully before drilling. I mounted them with the locknut and two fender washers inside the console. I glued a rubber crutch tip to the top of each tube for safety and to improve the grip. The stainless-steel tubing costs about $5 per foot and can be found at most metal-supply houses, or you can order it precut and drilled from Max Coombs, Boynton Beach, FL; (561) 736-8018p; http://www.maxcoombs.com.

— Bob Stearns, Miami, Florida

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