I recently went on a trip via airplane and found myself unable to find my toothpaste in a size that would allow me to take it on the airplane for an overnight trip to South America. I had my daughter (7) with me and kids toothpaste does not come in the required size to be acceptable on airplanes as well. This led me to make this useful tool to move toothpaste around from tube to tube, granted they have the standard spout size on the tubes. I have yet to find one that is not the correct size though. I also found this useful when getting to the end of a tube to squash the last little bit of paste from the outgoing tube into my new tube so I waste little if anything and do not have to wait for the last drop on the tube.
This could be considered a followup to my last instructable where I welded a lawn mower gas tank hole up: This one I am welding two toothbrush caps together. LOL
I think this would be useful to most anyone, but mostly for those of us who find themselves on the airplanes needing to brush our dirty teeth there. I can see this being used for nearly any tube of anything though and moving stuff from one to another so it is not wasted... Caulk, toothpaste, glues, etc... no limit that I see. Here I am doing a toothpaste tool though, but you can modify it to whatever application you need.
Hope this helps everyone out!
Step 1: Step One: Find the Item You Need to Build Your Transfer Tool (double Ended Spout)
I had an old tube of toothpaste and a new little tube here and so I took their caps which were identical to use in this project.
We are going to weld them end to end so that the tubes of toothpaste can be connected to each end to allow for the paste to flow between them freely.
Here you can see the travel tube and the cap from a full size toothpaste tube.. they are the same.
Step 2: Step 2: Connect the Caps by Welding the Ends Together by Heating Them
Use a heat gun to heat the ends of the two caps so that they become wetted or seem "gooey", taking care to not melt them or dis-form them if possible. Heat them slowly and pay attention to their state.
Once they become gooey on the tips, quickly stick them end to end, making sure there are not gaps or holes in between. Allow the plastic to stick to each other so that a tight seal is made between them and they are chemically bonded from the plastics being mixed at the junction point. There is quite a bit of empty space on the end of these, so there is a lot of room to maneuver them and get the best contact and that they combine really well.
Here is a picture of the two idenical caps and my heat gun as I weld them end to end together. The last picture is a picture of the caps after being combined so the plastics are melded into one piece that is solid and will not break.
Step 3: Step 3: Drill Out the Ends of the Caps to Allow Paste Flow
Now that you have the two caps welded together, its time to drill out the pathway for the toothpaste to flow between the tubes. This plastic is very fragile and easy to damage in that it is very soft and pliable. Take care in this action so that you do not damage the threads of the tube ends of the caps or you will have leaks when you squeeze your tubes...
I used a drill to make the initial holes and found a 32/64 drill bit was almost the exact size for a direct flow without any restrictions.. Once I made the hole, I actually used the drill bit with my hand to "ream out" the interconnection of the two caps now conjoined. If you look at the third picture, you will notice shreds of plastic inside the caps from the reaming process. Clean all that junk out of there so you do not get it in your teeth. LOL.
I look a fine blade and made sure all the loose plastic was removed and fine tuned the tunnel out so there would not be restrictions to the toothpaste flow through it.
Step 4: Step 4: Test Fit the Cap Ends
Now that your caps are conjoined and you have a tunnel formed through the middle, you need to test the fit of the new tool to make sure it connects to the toothpaste tubes on both ends, just in case you might have cut or damaged the threads on the inside while working on it. Screw it onto a toothpaste tube for both ends. If they both seem in working order, your building project is complete. The last step is learning to move toothpaste and some tips that can help you too. GOOD JOB!
Oh, by the way, be sure to clean the tool after you use it so old toothpaste does not stay in the middle (Yuck!). I clean it by simply washing it water like a toothbrush..
Step 5: Step 5: Moving Toothpaste and Tips to Use the Tool
It might seem quite obvious to use this tool, you squirt the toothpaste from one tube to the other. That is true. Be careful though that there is room for it to go to though. Most tubes of toothpaste have air pockets in them, and you will see this once you start squeezing the tubes around. I first squeeze the donner tube before connecting it to the tool to make sure no air is in the tube so I am only pushing out toothpaste and not filling my tubes with air. I keep a few empty tubes around so if I go on a trip, I can squeeze my expensive toothpaste into one for me to use on the airplane as well as my kid's children's toothpaste for her as well. Purchasing these tiny tubes of toothpaste can be quite expensive as I am sure the travelers out there can attest to. I also use this to cleanup all my empty tubes laying around so I can put the half empty tubes into one tube to use. My wife like to "mix" toothpaste for some reason (taste I suppose) and this facilitates this. recently my wife used this tool to move a bunch of travel toothpaste tubes into her large tube when we stayed in a hotel that gave us a bunch of those little ones.
Use your imagination on how to use this tool, and remember that you can do the same thing with any pair of tips like this to move stuff around like this.
Hope that helps some!