Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Shark Tooth Collecting Tool - The Sand Dipper

To find shark teeth like this, all you need is the will and a good set of eyes, and to learn the shapes and features of shark teeth.  But a tool to help you pick them up can save you back pain and make your beachcombing experience much more enjoyable.  Check out the Sand Dipper, a tool similar to the one that I made but much improved.
Want to find shark teeth and other beach collectables without straining your back a thousand times each day by bending over time and again to pick up something that you may or may not want to keep?  Many years ago I came up with a solution.  I found a King Kooker skimmer and used electrical tape to attach it to section of PVC pipe.  This really solved my problem of an aching back. Not only could I poke and prod stuff on the beach, but I could pick them up either with an entire glop of sand or let the water filter the sand out and pick up larger objects.  Beachcombing life was good.
Pictured above is my collecting tool, a King Kooker frying skimmer taped to a section of PVC pipe.  It works well, but has limitations which, over time, wind up costing money.  There is a better solution, I believe.
Over the years, the tool proved effective, but it did have limitations.  My intention, of course, was to tinker with the idea and solve the various problems.  What problems might you ask?  The worst one was that these things rust, and if used in salt or brackish water like I do most of the time, the oxidation process is quite quick.  Another issue is that the PVC pipe can become slippery and I wound up dropping it now and then.  What good is something designed to save your back from picking it up when you keep dropping it all the time?  So my thought was to add a golf grip, and perhaps a strap.  All of these modifications are possible and would definitely improve my home made version.
The skimmer allows you to pick up individual items and "sift' them out with water, or just pick up an entire glop of sand.
But, there's a better solution.  It's called the Sand Dipper, with the website linked here for your convenience.  It's basically the same thing that I use with all of the improvements.  If you add up the cost of making my tool with all of those imrpovements, it would exceed the cost of the Sand Dipper.  So, here I am at the point of purchasing a marketed version of this tool that has all of the improvements that I wanted in my own for a price that is less expensive than my own version, even factoring in shipping.  Another feature that I didn't even think of was that the Sand Dipper is collapsable.  And, more importantly, they are stainless steel and won't rust.  I'd go through a King Kooker skimmer each year because of rust alone, so the cost adds up over time.
Here's the Sand Dipper, with all of the improvements that I had in mind for mine and quite affordable, actually cheaper than if I made the same improvements to my version.
I plan on obtaining one of these cool products soon, and will report back once I receive it, and provide a review once I've had a chance to test it out.  I'm very optimistic.  And if they work out as I hope, I can see them as a great Christmas or holiday gift for my family members!  I'm really looking forward to trying one out.


Michael Taggart said...

That's a nice great white FB! MB find? Those tools are definitely useful I'm gonna have to get some when I get back stateside. Haven't went through your blog lately but I'm enjoying catching up! Take care!

Fat Boy said...

Thanks Mike. This tool will definitely help save your back some unnecessary pain! Now we just need a waterproof automatic shovel!