Instructables

Screw storage/transport with packing tape

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Picture of 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.
 
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Step 1: The problem

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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

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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

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

Step 4: Wrap it up

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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

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

To open the bag, just pull the tabs apart.

jeandeau4 years ago
 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.
kenskier4 years ago
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.
 I use this method all the time!
GJ
Datawolf4 years ago
It's a good idea... everybody already had. No ?
ppol4 years ago
genius!
Nice! Thats a great idea, thank you! :D
Ole bally4 years ago
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!
maslo4 years ago
Thanks for sharing, I got the same idea a couple years ago :)
StuNutt4 years ago
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??!!
lybern4 years ago
 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!
Danny_Payne4 years ago
 Great!!   thats such a simple idea, i will deffo use this idea when i take apart anything an everything!!

thanks!!
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.
acmuis4 years ago
 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!
desel34 years ago
i thought i was the only one that did this
gamnoparts4 years ago
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"
Khord4 years ago
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.
Knightsabre4 years ago
 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!
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

Patented4 years ago
Nice that's so simple ! and I always search fo some little bags like these to keep up my srcew or electronics parts ! Thanks!
Sunbanks4 years ago
You are a smart man. 
thepelton4 years ago

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.

 Nice trick. I always duct taped a baggie with all the pieces to the item.
CrLz4 years ago
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.
brunoip4 years ago
cool, very useful
The elegance is in the simplicity.  Very clever and resourceful.
 
lemonie4 years ago
That's pretty neat.

L