Of all household utensils, perhaps the most difficult to obtain is a strong, serviceable dustpan. After having put up with broken handles, cracked corners, and other defects of the modern dustpan, the writer some years back devised and made a pan out of aluminium (Fig. 280), which seems to be making a fair bid towards old age without showing any signs of collapse. The dustpan is simple in construction, and can be quite easily made by an amateur. A sheet of aluminium 14 in. by 11 in. by about 3 64 in. thick is required for the body, and for the handle and washer a piece about 9 in. by 5 in. The sheet for the body is marked out as shown in Fig. 281, and cut down the corner lines as indicated. The back is bent up square, and the corner flaps turned inside. The sides are now bent up square, and the corner flaps of them turned on to the back. The 3/8 in. edge on the back is turned over and hammered down on to the two corner flaps, as seen in Fig. 280. The 1/8 in. edges on the sides are turned over, and the edges of the inside corner flaps turned over the sides. Thus the two corner flaps are firmly held without the use of rivets, and the corner cannot be pulled or knocked apart. This method of forming the corner also gives the additional advantage of two thicknesses of metal at the corner - the part of the dustpan that is usually the most strained. A lap of 1/4 in. is turned over on the front edge of the pan, thus stiffening and keeping straight this part.
The handle is 1 1/4 in. diameter at one end, 1 in. at the other; and 6 in. long. This is shown set out in the usual manner. An edge is turned over on the end of handle to protect the hand from the raw edge of the sheet. The handle is jointed down with a small groove, after which the washer is slipped on, and a small flange thrown over on to it. The washer is now riveted on to the back of the pan, and there is no danger of the handle coming loose. A hole should be put into the handle by which the pan can be hung up.
There is very little necessity to put a bridge on the pan; but, if required, the pattern can be cut out as shown in Fig. 281. To fix to the pan the bridge should be bent along the lines A B, and the outside edges doubled over and slipped under the edges on top of pan before these are hammered down, thus forming a kind of groove or knocked-up joint.
Whilst aluminium is somewhat costly for an article of the above description, it is the cheapest in the long run, being relatively strong, and of little weight when made up into the pan.