Thursday, January 13, 2011
Several years ago I bought a Gopher reacher tool. I think it was around $20 USD, from either the grocery store or Walgreen's.
In a very short time (I'm guessing in a matter of weeks) it broke at the bend pivot. The pivot point was all plastic construction. Not wishing to discard it after so little use, I bought an aluminum angle from Ace hardware in the neighborhood. I used a hacksaw to cut the angle to the length I wanted and also to cut the notch to straddle the pivot. Several photos are included to show how the splice was made. I used some sort of industrial glue to glue it onto the Gopher. That worked out just fine. The Gopher no longer folds but that's okay.
Eventually the cups on the Gopher fell off. The problem was that the threads on the cups were plastic (see photos of the black cups). I tried to patch it up a few times with whatever household glue I had. Eventually I lost a screw and attempted to replace it with a screw I had in my scrap collection. Finally I lost the other screw as well and it sat unrepaired.
Thanks to a reviewer on Amazon, I was clued in to Arcmate. They offered replacement cups (the blue ones in these photos) with free shipping. I just received the cups today and the Gopher is repaired and ready for service once again. The cups aren't exactly as pictured on their webpage; there is no fancy shoulder on the bolt side of the cup. they should still work fine, though.
Home Depot had a reacher that I considered, but it felt too heavy and the angled pick-up end could be a problem in tight spaces and is difficult to maneuver at any other than the ideal angle. We lost the remote to our old stereo set. It has a large cylindrical dial for the volume. With the reacher I can grab that dial and rotate to adjust the volume. That sort of rotation would be very difficult if the pick-up end were angled.
Reachers are fun to use. I'd recommend that everyone have a reacher in the house. There are a variety of reachers on the market so you have options.