Use rubber on tool handles to reduce accidents



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Newspaper and magazine articles, leaflets, fact sheets, posters, extension visits, village or classroom lessons, flip charts, plays, songs, poems, puppet shows, and radio broadcasts. These are some of the ways you can use DCFRN items.

Content: Cover the handle of a bush knife or machete with rubber to reduce slippage and injury. Also, make tool handles with rubber from old car or truck tires instead of wood.

Information on this subject area was requested by participants in Chile, Haiti, India, Lesotho, Lesser Antilles, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and Zimbabwe.

The item:
Do you know where there is an old bicycle inner tube that’s no longer good enough for a bicycle? If you do, you could use a piece of that inner tube to prevent you or someone else from getting hurt. This idea came to us from F.A. Okorie, who is an agricultural superintendent with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Okigwe, Nigeria.

Let me tell you more. You know that you can get injured while working on the farm. You also know that when that happens, you lose valuable time on the farm. You get behind in your work. You may even have to spend money for medical care.

Some of these serious accidents happen when you use sharp tools such as knives or machetes with wooden handles. The wooden handle can get slippery when your hand sweats or in rainy weather. When that happens, the tool can slip out of your hand and cut you or another person close by.

Okorie says farmers in his region of Nigeria cover the wooden handles of their machetes and knives with rubber from an old bicycle inner tube. They simply cut a piece of the inner tube that’s long enough to match the length of the tool handle. Then, he says, they pull the rubber tube over the wooden handle to cover it completely. They can then grip the handle firmly even with sweaty hands because the rubber is sort of sticky.

If you try this and you have trouble getting the piece of rubber tube over the handle, try wetting it with water on the inside and I think you’ll be able to get it on.

If you put rubber on your tool handle, you’ll reduce the chances of the tool slipping from your hand and of cutting yourself. And one more thing. The rubber covering also has the advantage of making the wooden handle last longer.

While we’re thinking about tool handles and rubber, A.S. Harfe-Harlolo, a senior civil servant in Accra, Ghana, has another suggestion for using old rubber. Farmers in his region make handles for their bush knives and machetes out of old car or truck tires instead of wood. They cut two pieces of thick rubber from a tire in the same shape as the metal handle and attach them to either side of the metal handle in the same way they would attach pieces of wood to the handle. After the rubber is attached to the tool, they file or cut it with a wet knife to make it just the right shape for the hand and to smooth it out. This makes a sturdy, long-lasting handle that’s comfortable to hold.

There are two ideas for good uses of old rubber, rubber that might otherwise be thrown away. Part of a bicycle inner tube to cover tool handles and prevent accidents, and pieces of old car or truck tires to make tool handles.

Serving Agriculture, the Basic Industry, this is______.


This is the second item on tools in this package. You might wish to use the information in these items in association with each other. You might also wish to use information from:

New Uses for Old Tires and Inner Tubes, DCFRN Package 4, Item 6

Information sources

1. Information on old rubber tires used as handles for knives or machetes and an actual knife sent to DCFRN in Canada by DCFRN participant Mr. A.S. Harfe Harlolo, Ghana.