Archive for February 7th, 2010

Putting a strap handle on a 20 mm ammo can.

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

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When we started gearing up for river running in the early nineties we bought a bunch of 20 mm “rocket boxes” to contain various supplies and to carry “solid human waste” off the river. W named all of our boxes. The boxes for food and such got names of our favorite people, names like Georgie, Gerry Garcia and so on. The poop cans got names of less favorite persons, usually some politician who’s record on river and wilderness issues we found to be lacking.
These are great dry boxes and are the standard in the river running community. I have thought for a long time that having a handle on the top would be a fine thing. I am always banging and scraping my knuckles while trying to get a 20 mm can out of a drop hatch. After numerous applications of Mom’s Stuff the scrapes finally are put right. A handle on the top of the can would also allow for carrying two at once in a balanced way that would not put undue stress on my lower back.
In this post I will show what I came up with.

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I start by drilling two 1/4 inch holes through the lid where I want the straps to attach.

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Using a propane torch I heat a 20 penny nail and burn holes in the strip of nylon webbing I will use for the strap handle.

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This is the hardware I will use to attach the handle. Starting on the left is a 1/4 inch stainless steel machine bolt, a 1/4 inch flat washer, two 1/4 inch rubber washers and a 1/4 inch locking nut.

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After placing the flat washer on the bolt I thread the strap on followed by the rubber washer.

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I apply a small amount of a liquid gasket product or silicon rubber to the threads of the bolt.
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The neat thing I discovered is that the 1/4 machine bolt fits so tight that I have to screw the bolt into the hole in the lid and it sort of taps its self in.
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After fitting the other rubber washer onto the bolt as it sticks through the bottom of the lid I smear more liquid gasket material in the threads and tighten on the locking nuts.

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There is the first finished handle. I waited over night and tested it by submerging the whole box for several minutes in my spa. It is water tight.