Introduction: Tough PVC Cases for Anything

Ever need a case for something that you didn't want broken? Like making things that are simple, yet indestructible?

It is very simple to make a very tough case out of some PVC or ABS pipe.
I made a gift for my  friend, but it was pretty delicate, so I needed a case to put it in. Looking at the junk lying around my work table, I devised this and built in in about an hour.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Tools:
  • Saw, either a hack saw, hand saw, or reciprocating saw.
  • Ruler and marker to make straight lines.
  • Drill
  • Rivet gun
  • Hot glue
  • Knife
Materials:
  • PVC or ABS pipe, mine was 2-inch diameter, but whatever works
  • Tough foam, or two end caps to fit the pipe
  • Cloth-optional
  • Short screws or rivets
  • two small hinges

Step 2: Cut the Pipe

Cut a piece of pipe to the desired length.

Draw a straight line down the length of it, as shown.

Cut on that line.

Go to the exact opposite side of the pipe, and do the same.

Now, you should have two equal half-shells of pipe.

Step 3: Hinges

Tape the two shells back together. Get your  hinges and mark where you want them to go, and the holes for them. Remove the hinges and tape, then drill the holes.

Attach the hinges with the pin barrels facing outward, using rivets (like I did) or bolts.

Step 4: Ends

Cut four half-circle pieces of EVA foam, or really anything else that works. Shape them, and glue them in the ends to make end caps.

I just hot-glued mine, but epoxy is a lot tougher.

Step 5: "Latch"

Cut a piece of the same pipe you used for the case, about an inch and a half long.

Cut an ark out of the side of this, about a quarter of the total circumference is about the least you can go with. Remember, the less you cut out, the harder it will be to snap the latch on and off.

Step 6: Acessorize

I lined mine with black vinyl. You don't need to.  I also sanded the surface with high-grit sandpaper, to give it a slightly better look.

That's it!

Go crazy with this design, it has tons of possibilities!

Comments

author
bobzjr made it!(author)2012-04-18

Another idea to tweak the design - solid endcaps attached to one side of clamshell. Instead of two half moons, a full circle attached to one side.

Solid Endcaps.jpg
author
theDabster made it!(author)2015-01-01

You know what that design would be awesome for? Put a dowel between the two end caps and use it for wire or cable storage. Love it.

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-04-18

That would also work well. I used foam because I had limited time and materials. If I make another I will use wood. You could also use PVC end caps to make the ends, then cut them too. I really like your sketches, they get the ideas across very clearly.

author
bcutnbords78 made it!(author)2013-04-28

SWEET

author
Schmidty16 made it!(author)2012-10-12

how close is it to waterproof

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-10-12

this one isnt at all

author
de0509 made it!(author)2012-08-02

Lol. Havent done these things but really love to try it. Just my 2 cents. Ive seen on the net about this but using endcap at one end with female adapter and plug at the other end. So if youre the survivalist types, the setup will create a waterproof container for caching your stuff. wait why not i try find it again. this is the nearest of whats in my mind http://modernsurvivalonline.com/creating-a-survival-cache/

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-08-05

that would work, although it is made and designed for a much different application than my container.

author
paqrat made it!(author)2012-02-10

Great idea and great instructable. I may have to try this. If one were to use clear plastic as one end one could possibly see what is inside.

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-02-11

Yeah, that would definitely be possible. You can actually get clear PVC pipe, so I suppose you could use that for the full effect.

author
freeza36 made it!(author)2012-07-19

I didn't know that they sold clear pvc

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-07-19

You can get it online I think. Try TAP plastics.

author
bobzjr made it!(author)2012-04-18

Nice instructable! Thanks for posting. Have you considered using an integrated velcro strap for the "latch" mechanism? I'm wanting to use what you've shared and use this type mechansim...

Velcro with Rivets.jpg
author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-04-18

I considered that, and it is totally a viable system to use. I just chose the clip system because it was simple and matched the native material.

Go ahead! If you make some, post the pictures, I would love to see.

author
wiley+coyote made it!(author)2012-02-04

Excellent idea! I'm may try to make one using a living hinge.... see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_hinge... for a more streamlined effect and possible added stability without alignment issues, etc... with hinges and hardware.

author
bobzjr made it!(author)2012-04-18

How would you make a living hinge? Would you use the interior vinyl lining as the hinge material? I can't think of anyway to use only the PVC material itself for the hinge...

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-02-04

Sounds awesome! Do it!

author
Pfarmkid made it!(author)2012-03-31

two things

1. +

2. 1

Equals +1

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-03-31

Thanks :P

author
Junophor made it!(author)2012-03-07

You are right!!

A very good idea instead of using an oakley case;-))))) for your instructables

Cheers Aeon Junophor

author
Santawon made it!(author)2012-03-06

Very cool idea. I have a hundred ideas I could do with these. Going to make some as soon as possible. Thanks for the awesome instructions.....

author
BigDrig made it!(author)2012-03-03

I have made something similar to this once for a geocaching container. Good instructable.

author
jpwwalker made it!(author)2012-02-05

Such a great way of putting small items in my tool box such as drill bits! I might even make another one to put a pair of safety glasses in to stop them getting scratched in my box!!

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-03-01

This makes a great glasses case, except for the fact that it is really bulky.

author
abstracted made it!(author)2012-02-12

great idea for my camera lenz`s

author
quantumz made it!(author)2012-02-01

This is a great idea that yields a handsome case.

One possible addition would be to use expanding foam insulation to make a custom shaped insert inside the tube, so the object isn't rattling around inside the case.
Like in this project for making custom tool drawers: 
http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=4770.0

author
criggie made it!(author)2012-02-11

Stunning idea - I've got a socket set which had a thin plastic liner. It broke so I tried making something with polystychrene, which worked but is messy.
That's on the plan for tomorrow.

author
apburner made it!(author)2012-02-02

That is a great idea also. Fantastic tool storage idea. And the PVC carrier is brilliant.

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-02-02

I never thought of that! Great idea!

author
tinker234 made it!(author)2012-02-05

could i possibly add lead to the case for radioactive materials

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-02-06

Umm,If you choose to, I can't guarantee the safety. Just out of curiosity, what are you putting in it that is radioactive?

author
tinker234 made it!(author)2012-02-07

forgot to add im not allowed to disclose my ressearch by boss

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-02-07

Okay, just be safe. This case isn't really designed for that, so do it at your own risk.

author
tinker234 made it!(author)2012-02-07

i think that this a great projects thanks

author
Ed-win made it!(author)2012-02-05

If you will drill the hole for the hinges before you cut the pipe into it is eaiser. Neat idea.

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-02-06

True. It doesn't really matter what order you do it in

author
lukeD made it!(author)2012-02-05

You are such a genius!!
this is so simple!

I have a little problem, I like to go fishing in my free time.
and I use very fragile fishing floats. They break very fast, so if I make a case for the floats with pvc of 0.6 inch. that would be very great! I'll try it for sure.

what I will add to your design are holes, around 10 I think, So the I can put the floats in the case when they are still wet, and thanks to the holes the floats can dry. the foam to close the sides will stay, so I can put thee hook of the fishing tackle into that foam,
then i can wrap the rest of the fishing line around the pvc pipe.

there will be space for one fishing float in one sase.

A perfect design for most fishers I think.

great ible

rated *5

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-02-06

Wow! I never even thought of fishing stuff. Good application! And thanks!

author
ehudwill made it!(author)2012-02-05

I made a case like this out of bamboo, but had trouble with the latch. I like your latch idea. Great job.

author
prestux made it!(author)2012-02-05

Great Idea! Thanks.

author
tinker234 made it!(author)2012-02-04

could i possibly put the hinges inside and cover them

author
wiley+coyote made it!(author)2012-02-04

Try it by making one of these down one side, rather than cut through. The exterior, and interior, should be smooth.

Living hinge.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_hinge

author
tinker234 made it!(author)2012-02-04

thanks

author
n0ukf made it!(author)2012-02-04

putting the hinges on the inside, you'd have to bevel the outside of the hinged joint so that it will open.

My thought instead was to put the pins inward instead of outward (notch out the joint for them).

author
tinker234 made it!(author)2012-02-04

wow thank you

author
MorNiLachnan made it!(author)2012-02-04

You sir, are a god. :-)
Going to make a few of these to hold some of our camping gear.

author
gtoal made it!(author)2012-02-03

I made a hard case for my one-piece pool cue out of this piping once, all it took was a couple of end-caps and a carrying handle. Fast & cheap!

author
ilpug made it!(author)2012-02-03

Nice!

author
Jural made it!(author)2012-02-02

I don't know if you mentioned this but I recently read of an easy way to draw a straight line down a tube. Get a piece of angle iron or anything bent at an angle. Lay your tube into the channel and you can draw a straight line down the length of it. Works great.

author
apburner made it!(author)2012-02-02

That really does work well been using it for years.

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Bio: I am a recent graduate of the Sustainable Manufacturing program at California State University Chico. I currently consult with local businesses and provide freelance design ... More »
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