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Pick up for walking stick

The client has weak legs and uses two walking sticks. However, he can stand for a short time without the sticks, allowing him to perform a task with his hands. At these times he leans the sticks against whatever is convenient within reach. Occasionally one or both sticks fall over, but he cannot bend down to pick them up. He asked whether a magnetic device could be made to enable him to pick up a fallen stick.

A small but powerful pot magnet was bought from a hardware store. It included a circular keeper plate. Lengths of 16 SWG galvanised steel wire were made into close-wound helices to be a tight fit on the walking sticks and forced onto the top and bottom of each stick. An aluminium handle was screwed to the magnet and a small hole was drilled through the keeper plate near the edge. A piece of cord long enough to reach the ground was tied between the handle and the hole in the keeper plate.

In use the keeper plate is held in the hand and the magnet lowered to attach to one of the helices on the fallen stick, whereupon the stick can be lifted to within grasp. When not in use the cord is wrapped round the handle and the keeper plate attached to the magnet. This reduces the risk of the magnet damaging magnetic stripes on plastic cards, etc.

The client said, “The magnet picking up is a great mechanism. Already I feel much more relaxed about walking around.”


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