Scavenged Sign Marker Dispenser

Introduction: Scavenged Sign Marker Dispenser

The initial idea for this project is a mountable marker dispenser the secondary goal was to render its form entirely from one medium. The labor should take only two to three hours to complete, although the design stage can hinder its early completion. This dirty old sign will suffice as a found material/object; another option would be to get nice thin gauge sheet metal like copper. The finished container can be mounted in variety of ways, which use a wall or surface for its backing. The design works best with cylindrically shaped large disposable markers. Remember this project is more about offbeat aesthetics than perfect utilitarian functionality.
This concept can be redesigned to fit other types of disposable markers, if you have the original box they were packaged in, just dissect it, measure its dimensions and reconfigure them on to the sheet metal. The unique material such as a sign or scrap metal will vary in form, to know if a material can be used or not, take the total flattened dimensions of the marker box and see if there is enough square inch space on the metal.

Project Materials
Thin gauge metal sign or sheet metal
Two-Three boxes markers
Two thumb tacks
Two T pins or nails
Tin snips

Two utility clamps or preferably vise grips
Metal straight edge (thick gauge)
Awl or screw
Screw gun
5/64 drill bit
Wrench (not the crescent type)

Model materials and planning tools
Scrap poster board (thin gauge)
Stainless steel ruler
X-acto or utility knife

Step 1: Model Construction

Before the start of any project, it is necessary to make a preliminary model. Any type of functional model will work for an easy project such as this. The model refines your design before the sign or precious metal is cut. Say you obtain a larger sign, just cut some poster board to fit its dimensions. Experiment with this, you may come up with a closed back freestanding model.

Step 2: Model Complete

So here's a model, from this a few changes were made. An addition of one eighth inch of extra space for the interior container length, allows the markers to drop in. The bottom of the dispenser was angled slightly so that the markers roll toward the slot.

measurements in inches
Marker length: 5 and 1/4th
Original marker box interior H: 1 and 1/2 W: 4 5/8ths L: 5 1/4
Sign H: 12 W: 10

Step 3: Start Your Dispenser

3. Dissect your model and redraw the dimensions onto your piece of sheet metal. Use a ruler and pencil to mark lines. Label the lines to distinguish which ones are to be cut from the ones to bend

Step 4: Make a Few Preliminary Punctures

At the corners of where the cuts meet, drill tiny holes so that the cutting will be more accurate. To do this first make an indentation on the metal with an awl or screw and hammer.

Step 5: Start Cutting

Next cut along the lines with the tin snips. Be careful not to over cut into bend guide lines.

Step 6: Intricate Cuts

cut off that little bit so that the bottom flaps can be bent inward

Step 7: Bend the Metal

now bend those flaps in at 90 degree angles on both sides. Remember the bending line is ever so slightly angled so the markers roll toward the slot.

Step 8: Keep Bending

bend the other side in two places, then the final small bottom bend

Step 9: Finish It

bend those two slot doors open, or cut them off. Mount the dispenser with the t-pins at the top and thumb tacks at the bottom

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    8 Discussions


    Haha. When i first saw this i thought you were making signs that were supposed to be funny because yours says "ANGER" and then underneith of it is a lightning bolt. Now i get it and good 'ible. I like the idea.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    you think you could do this with lisence plates?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    The embossed metal is tough to cut and bend. I’ve been considering thick gauge street signs, but I might need table saw and vise.


    12 years ago on Step 9

    you should make an instructable on how to make the green and red up and down arrow light.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    cool idea, make a bandaid despenser on the side incase you cut yourself on the metal lol, talk about 1 step ahead


    12 years ago on Introduction

    this is a sweet idea, but what if you want a certain color marker? do you just keep pulling them out, or what? anyway, i think it would be a great despenser for anything like paper towels, or shop rags. good instructable