Shop dustpan

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 10-29-2017 05:46 PM 2422 views 6 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been needing a dust pan for my shop for a while. I have a cheap one, but in order to sweep up, I end up having to bend down, and with my bad back, that’s no fun. So when I saw the one in Popular Woodworking by The Schwarz, I added that to my to-do list.

I cut a couple pieces of elm for the sides. They’ve been rattling around my shop for a while, and I wasn’t sure what to do with them. A piece of scrap hemlock served as the back. The handle is the leftover legs from my failed shop stool rounded off with a 1” circular plane (aka dowel maker) and then tapered down to 9/16”. I wedged the two pieces of handle together, then drilled 11/16” holes in the elm sides, figuring that the tapered bit would fit in there pretty well.

A piece of 3/16” plywood made the top and the bottom of the dust pan. The sides sit in rabbets on the back, as I’m no good at dovetails. The back sits about a half-inch below the bottom, tipping the pan down so the front edge is flat on the floor, and I tapered the front end of the bottom by planing it a bit. The bottom isn’t held in especially well, but the back of it sits in a groove in the back. If it fails, it should be easy to make another and replace it. The front edge is a little fragile, and I expect it’ll wear out over time, requiring me to plane it down every once in a while. Maybe I’ll make a metal edge at some point.

I made a couple “nuts” out of walnut I had laying around to dress up the ends of the pivot in the pan. Glued them on and then finished the dustpan with a couple coats of BLO. I’ll probably wax it at some point.

Thanks for looking!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

16 comments so far

View duckmilk's profile


4952 posts in 2662 days

#1 posted 10-29-2017 07:51 PM

Interesting and useful Dave. If the bottom piece doesn’t hold up over time, you could replace it with a slightly thicker piece of hardwood with a rabbet on three sides to fit into the grooves. The wood could provide a more durable taper for the front edge.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9324 posts in 2050 days

#2 posted 10-29-2017 09:50 PM

a very nice dustpan for bad backs ….GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9360 posts in 1920 days

#3 posted 10-29-2017 10:22 PM

Yeah, Duck. I didn’t worry too much about half-assing the bottom, since I figure I’ll end up replacing it. It’s a feature, not a bug, as we say in the computer biz.

Thanks, Tony. I figure I’ve got to use my head for something other than carrying around my hat. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile


10927 posts in 3381 days

#4 posted 10-30-2017 03:25 AM

haha, one way to get rid of some scraps and clean the shop at the same time. Cool.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View poospleasures's profile


865 posts in 3822 days

#5 posted 10-30-2017 10:58 AM

Way to much engineering for my thought system. Although my back would love it. Thanks for the posting.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1985 days

#6 posted 10-30-2017 11:21 AM

Looks good, Dave. I’m currently using a transfer shovel as a dust pan … still have to bend over at times.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9360 posts in 1920 days

#7 posted 10-30-2017 11:34 AM

Thanks, Dave. I tend to accumulate “useful” scraps, and this project used up three and added just one (the leftover plywood) so it was a net win.

Thanks, Vernon. I figure it’ll prove useful pretty soon.

Thanks, Ron. I probably could’ve knocked it together in a single day if I hadn’t spent so much time thinking about how I was going to have the bottom slope down (I didn’t like the “glue on a half-dowel” solution The Schwarz used, since I mostly make my dowels by hand, so that’s not “quick and dirty” for me). But I’ll probably make a few more now that I’ve got one done. From the sounds of things, my retired neighbors all would like one for Christmas, though not as big and heavy duty as mine (it’s 12” wide by 15” deep, by 3” tall).

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleG469's profile


1030 posts in 1782 days

#8 posted 10-30-2017 12:27 PM

Like this, I have the big yellow plastic one that says “made in China”

-- I refuse to edit the photo orientation for this website any longer. It’s an issue they should address and correct. Gary, Texas

View HokieKen's profile


20689 posts in 2476 days

#9 posted 10-30-2017 12:34 PM

Nice work Dave. I love this type of dustpan and being made of wood is over the top :-) Unfortunately, I have more wall space than floor space so I guess I’ll stick to my ugly one that will hang on the wall…

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View jeffswildwood's profile


4989 posts in 3315 days

#10 posted 10-30-2017 01:16 PM

Nice Dave. Should come in very handy!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9360 posts in 1920 days

#11 posted 10-30-2017 01:47 PM

Gary, I have enough stuff that says “made in China” already, I think.

Ken, put a hole in the end of the handle, and it’ll hang very nicely on the wall. The handle pivots so the pan back is hanging almost straight down when I pick it up (so the shavings and dust and dirt don’t fall out). I’m planning to hang it from the bottom of one of my peg-boards when I’m not using it.

Thanks, Jeff. That’s the hope!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View PoohBaah's profile


523 posts in 2878 days

#12 posted 10-30-2017 04:10 PM

Dang, looks pretty slick. If you figure out how to build one that cleans up automatically let me know.

All kidding aside that is a good looking, well thought out, useful tool.

Also looking forward to you possibly running the next swap.

-- Neil, Indiana - Instagram: neilsalomon

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9360 posts in 1920 days

#13 posted 10-30-2017 04:13 PM

Thanks, Pooh. I don’t have high hopes for one that cleans up automatically, but if you come up with one, I’d be happy to hear of it. Your sanding blocks get used on almost every project, by the way. Thanks again!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4204 days

#14 posted 10-30-2017 06:05 PM

This is a handy piece of shop equipment.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4808 posts in 2077 days

#15 posted 10-30-2017 06:35 PM

Excellent job Dave. Simple too. Love it.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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