Introduction: Screw Storage/transport With Packing Tape

Here's an easy and effective way to manage screws, washers, and other small parts that you need to transport or want to store with the hardware that they belong to.  I find it most useful when I'm removing usable parts from broken computer hardware.

Step 1: The Problem

So here I am in the office.  I've removed the parts I wanted from a broken PSU, but the screws and washers are going to be hard to transport home without a container.  I could use a small sandwich bag or a box, but usually I don't have those handy.  So I'll use packing tape.

Step 2: Prepare the Tape Strip

Grab your packing tape roll and pull off an appropriately-sized strip.  For this example, I used roughly a 3" long strip.

Now fold the top and bottom edges over on themselves so that you have tabs.  These will be used later to open your bag when you're ready to remove your screws.  See the picture, below.

Step 3: Add Screws

Add your small parts to the middle of the tape strip, leaving a border all around, as shown below.

Step 4: Wrap It Up

Now fold the tape in on itself so that the top and bottom tabs meet.  See the first image, below.

Press the sides together to seal the small parts inside.  See the remaining images.


Step 5: Finished

You can now transport your little bag without losing the contents.

To open the bag, just pull the tabs apart.

Comments

author
jeandeau made it! (author)2010-01-03

 Excellent offering to all of us.  I suggest a small edit to your instructable, giving greater emphasis to the beauty of the pull tabs in the intro and step two. perhaps a highlight box or an arrow or even a mention in the intro.  I saw the strange edges of the package but had to search for the brief line that described making the pull tabs.

author
kenskier made it! (author)2010-01-03

Bravo!   Elegant!  Simple!  Solves the problem.  But, if I may, I would suggest that you add one final step to your Instructable:

(new step):  Using an additional piece of package tape, TAPE the little bag of parts to the piece of equipment they belong to.  Now when you pick up that piece of equipment, all the small parts you need will be right there!

Thanks for sharing your method with us in the Instructables community.

author
NostalgicStone made it! (author)2010-05-16

 I use this method all the time!
GJ

author
Datawolf made it! (author)2010-01-11

It's a good idea... everybody already had. No ?

author
ppol made it! (author)2010-01-04

genius!

author
The Real Dave made it! (author)2010-01-04

Nice! Thats a great idea, thank you! :D

author
Ole bally made it! (author)2010-01-04

Hmmm not a bad idea at all! I have the added problem that I have huge hands and struggle with 'restrictive packaging', so I have a collection of small magnets from speakers, fridge door strip etc and chuck one in a plastic bag to store screws etc in. They don't drop on the floor this way! The magnets are also a great way to pick up a screw that falls into the appliance yr working on!

author
maslo made it! (author)2010-01-04

Thanks for sharing, I got the same idea a couple years ago :)

author
StuNutt made it! (author)2010-01-03

So simple!  I can never find the 'little bits' when I resume a ham radio project after getting distracted for a while (like a couple of weeks!)

Now how about a gadget to stop the packing tape deciding to tear itself diagonally when you are unrolling it??!!

author
lybern made it! (author)2010-01-03

 Great idea! I've been using tape for ages for this purpose but never made such nice neat packets! They can be labeled and stored like this for future use. Several can be stapled together. Love it!

author
Danny_Payne made it! (author)2010-01-03

 Great!!   thats such a simple idea, i will deffo use this idea when i take apart anything an everything!!

thanks!!

author
Mark Rehorst made it! (author)2010-01-03

A for effort!  

I use Glad Press n Seal plastic film for this purpose.  It also works great for controlling wiring around computers, stereos, etc.  The press n seal adhesive seems to stay on the film so the parts never get sticky.  The adhesive is also weak so that it is easy to remove the parts from it without tweezers or other tools.

author
acmuis made it! (author)2010-01-03

 If you are concerned about sticky screws, you can first wrap them in a bit of plastic wrap or, add a patch of tape to the centre of your packet.  Nice idea!

author
desel3 made it! (author)2010-01-02

i thought i was the only one that did this

author
gamnoparts made it! (author)2009-12-31

I've used this for years, yet somehow NEVER thought to make an instructable about it. 

Well done. . .

it's the simple ideas that people take for granted, either that they thought everyone knew it or  "damn, why didn't I think of that"

author
Khord made it! (author)2009-12-31

This is great, but there's one small problem: after extended storage in a warm or hot area, the sticky side of the tape can melt slightly and make the screws sticky and hard to turn.

Never the less, good idea and I'm likely to use this for computer screws a lot.

author
Knightsabre made it! (author)2009-12-31

 Very nice!  I've done this (or something similar, at least) for years.  I like the addition of the 'pull-tabs', though.  Good idea!
I've done this whenever I got extra parts with a new component and wanted to keep them together, like extra screws or jumpers.  Put them in the tape packet, then tape the packet to the device.  It's come in handy many times!

author
Lateral Thinker made it! (author)2009-12-30

I am wondering about a gadget, which unrolls then holds the tape, and helps hold the parts while you fold the tape.

But it a great idea, which I plan to use when striping down junked equipment for parts.

Peter

author
Patented made it! (author)2009-12-30

Nice that's so simple ! and I always search fo some little bags like these to keep up my srcew or electronics parts ! Thanks!

author
Sunbanks made it! (author)2009-12-30

You are a smart man. 

author
thepelton made it! (author)2009-12-30

Neat idea.

I noticed that sometimes when you buy something you have to assemble, they put the small hardware in a paper envelope, which a screw can pierce, and make an escape into the box, or worse, your carpet or lawn.

author
fungus amungus made it! (author)2009-12-30

 Nice trick. I always duct taped a baggie with all the pieces to the item.

author
CrLz made it! (author)2009-12-30

Nice touch to add the pull apart tabs.

I tape the packet to the item, makes it virtually fool proof.  Found this was a great way to store stuff.  Disassembled furniture, into the attic for six months. No problem, all parts accounted for.

author
brunoip made it! (author)2009-12-30

cool, very useful

author
AngryRedhead made it! (author)2009-12-30
The elegance is in the simplicity.  Very clever and resourceful.
 
author
lemonie made it! (author)2009-12-30

That's pretty neat.

L

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