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An Alternative to the Glove

I recently made a set of sliding pads as an alternative to sliding gloves. It struck me that the only thing the gloves were doing was holding the cutting board plastic to your hands. Why not attach the plastic directly to your hands. Actually, this was an idea I lifted from some late-70s skateboard sliding pads I found at a swap meet. The pads consist of two roughly oval shaped pieces of cutting board plastic slightly larger than your hands with elastic straps on top to hook your hands into.

To make the pads, take a kitchen cutting board, make a pattern, and cut it into two oval shapes. Then, drill four holes in each pad, big enough to put half-inch-long 10/32 screws through. The holes are placed, so that they would be roughly, just outside of where the palm of your hand and fingers would be. Next, take a 5/8 inch paddle drill bit and bore holes about three quarters of the way through the pad where each hole was. This allows the head of the screws to sit below the surface of the pad, so that they won't rub on the ground when you slide. Eventually they will rub, but by that time, they'll be worn down to the point where you need to make a new set anyway.





The bottom of one of the pads, showing the holes and the screws.

The next step is making the elastic straps for the top. Use 3/4 inch elastic, and cut it twice as long as you think you need, so that you can double it up to make it stronger. Figure on about 3/4 of an inch past the holes, so that you have room for a nut and washer to hold the elastic in place. Also leave a slight loop for your hand and fingers to go through. You don't need to make a hole in the elastic. If you simply cut a small slit running the direction of the elastic, that should be enough to get the bolt through. In fact, if you cut a hole in the elastic that will only make it more likely to rip out. Push the screws through the slit in the elastic and use a washer and nylon locking nut to hold the elastic straps in place.





The top, showing the elastic straps.

The pads work great. The only real problem is that when you are wearing them you have the manual dexterity of a trained seal. Yes you can manage to play simple tunes on a series of horns with our nose, but picking up your board when a car is coming is another story. Just be ready to stop the board with your feet, or rip off one pad if you really need the use of your hands.

Copyright © 1999 Chris Sturhann

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