Portable Device to Turn Plastic Bottles Into Rope





Introduction: Portable Device to Turn Plastic Bottles Into Rope

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Plastic PET bottles at the end of their shelf life usually face two options :

  • They are either thrown away at the landfills (which is a threat to the environment) or
  • they are recycled (better option than the landfill).

But there is a third option (far better in my humble opinion) which is reuse. These containers can be reused in a lot of fun and creative ways and I am sure that www.instructables.com already has many instructables for that.

One thing that you can make out of a plastic bottle is rope. This kind of rope is quite strong and has heat shrinking properties.

I tried making some contraptions in the past to cut pet bottles to produce string. The results were poor. Either the contraption was bulky and required a table or a vice to secure it in place or the string jammed somewhere during cutting and broke.

After many prototypes I made a device which is simple, efficient and portable. You can have it with you in a backpack, in your car or in your zombie apocalypse survival kit ;-).

Step 1: Gather Some Materials

For this instructable you need :

  • a rectangular piece of wood
  • a Phillips screwdriver
  • some metallic strapping tape (see above photo)
  • a paper cutter blade
  • 4 wood screws 1.5 cm in length
  • a hacksaw
  • resin paper

Choose a piece of wood that can easily fit in your hand. Mine is 4.5 x 4.5 x 17 cm.

Step 2: Assembly

You will have to make two slits as noted in the above photos. I used a hacksaw for that because it has a slim blade.

Continue, installing the metallic strapping tape pieces and fasten them at the wood with the screws. Their purpose is to hold the blade in place.

Step 3: Let's Make Some Rope!

Make a pilot cut at the bottom of the bottle and insert it in the device as shown in the picture.

Grab the protruding piece and pull it using your hands or pliers. Continue pulling until all the bottle is consumed.

The rope that comes out has width 0.5 cm. If you want, you can make multiple slits for multiple rope widths.

Step 4: Using Your Rope

You can use your rope in the garden or anywhere else you need to tie things up.

This material shrinks and hardens when heat is applied so you can fasten things extra tight.



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    Please add the step of how to insert or affix the blade in this device. It is not mentioned in the instructions, though the blade is referenced in the last sentence in step 3 (",,,installing the metallic strapping tape pieces and fasten them at the wood with the screws. Their purpose is to hold the blade in place.")

    Is the blade just slipped into the horizontal groove, or do you fix it in place somehow? Is the cutting edge towards the front or rear?

    Does anyone know of an adhesive a person could use to bond the plastic to itself?

    Thank you for your suggestions folks, but it seems no one knows of an adhesive I can use to bond the plastic to itself. Think of the ideas we could come up with if we had such an adhesive.

    This website offers adhesives and tips to join pop bottle type plastics. http://www.permabond.com/materials_bonded/4508/
    I hope this might be helpful. Have a good day.

    Fire from a lighter will meltit then you can stick it together.

    a torch!:-)

    I was thinking of using the thin strips with an antique rope maker to make a larger woven rope. I'd need to connect the ends for longer strands than one bottle might give me. Other than a torch, thank you GunGuru, is there an adhesive I might use to bond the plastic to itself? I've made rope with used plastic bags from the grocery store, but this looks like it may be even stronger, if I am able to connect the strands. Thank you.

    Rope Making Strand Separator 01.jpg

    E6000 you can buy it in USA at Wal-Mart.


    No need to glue or connect the ends of the smaller bits to make long bits. Simply overlap the ends of the shorter strands in the weave-just like it's done when using natural fiber ropes-to make the longer strands.

    You could try using two component epoxy glue. It makes very strong bonds. Before applying the glue, scratch the plastic to make it harsh. I don't know whether it will suffice but you could try it and share the results with the instructables community.