Originally written Oct 29, 2017
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 a 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.
Update: Jan 26, 2023: This dustpan still gets used almost ever day I'm in the shop. The only complaint I have with it is that the handle should be about six inches longer so I don't have to bend at all to use it, but otherwise it's a champ!
I also made a second version of this as a gift for a friend.