Original frying pan

Original frying pan

One day, my daughter informed me that she wanted to throw a frying pan away because she did not want to use it. The pan itself was made of aluminium alloy and the handle was made of plastic.

That started me thinking. What could I do with it? It seemed such a waste to throw it away.

Spade made with a frying pan

Spade made with a frying pan

Well, I had wanted a spade for my gardening, particularly to scoop up materials from my compost heap. As it was, the frying pan would not be a very good spade. I needed to do some modification on it because a spade had to be attached to a long handle in order for me to carry the scooped earth materials with my two hands.

U-bolt clamping the handle

U-bolt clamping the handle

The way the pan was constructed made it not strong enough to carry the weight of a full scoop of earth or compost material. What I needed was to attach the pan to the long handle.

Pan attached to a wooden handle by U-bolts

Pan attached to a wooden handle by U-bolts

I opted for functionality rather than for visual correctness. I decided to just drill two holes on the pan face for a U-bolt and then tighten it up against a long wooden handle. In this way, the pan was strongly attached to the wooden handle and could take any load as a spade. To make the shape of the pan more like a spade, I hammered the front of the pan against some sandy earth to flatten it as smoothly as I could, much like what a blacksmith would do on his anvil, except this was done at normal temperatures. Anyway it was soft aluminium alloy and not steel.

Original pan handle

Original pan handle

Filing a slot at the pan handle

Filing a slot at the pan handle

Next came the handle. I had a perfect modification plan for it. Because of its naturally curved shape, I wanted to convert it into a clamp bar for my diy movable gantry cnc machine. Currently, I had been constantly replacing some of the clamps that I had made before.

Pan handle clamp in use

Pan handle clamp in use

The initial ones made of hardwood had already been broken off one by one and were no more in use. Now, I had some made of phenolic pieces, but I found that these too had also gradually been broken off one by one.

This pan handle seemed to be perfect. It was stiff but at the same time tough and slightly flexible. It seemed to be made of some sort of thermoplastic material, maybe HDPE. I will see how it performs.