There are times when I require an ointment for my chapped lips. Not all the time, but when I need it, I want to be able to put my hands on it. During the day it isn't so bad if you have to look around to find a tub or tube of your chosen salve. But when you wake up panting from that dream where the Zombies are closing in (it was a dream right?) and your lips need soothing before you go back and finish the buggers off, you don't want to waste time searching for the little blue tub that makes it all okay.
"But surely" you say, "simply put it back where you found it, and it will be there the next time you need it?" Alas, if 'twere that simple, you would not be here in the first place. You may do so yourself, (usually) but there are other forces at work here. We shan't call them actually EVIL, but the little monsters can certainly act that way. Let us not even discuss She who brought them forth into this world, though I grant that She had help in that momentous occasion.
No amount of requesting, pleading, demanding or yelling has been sufficient to entice our fellow inhabitants to return, nay, simply, not to remove our personal pot of liniment. Even the purchase and presentation of ridiculous quantities for their personal use is insufficient to ensure our own remains in place.
And so, we return to the problem at hand. Select an empty, or nearly so, container of your chosen lip lubricant. At the rate they disappear, sooner or later an empty one is bound to surface. Check then, that drawer around which your household is beginning to revolve. As more and more items are placed within, its gravity begins to attract items all of its own accord. Things no member of the household have memory of even existing begin to appear there. Though strangely, our lip remedy rarely makes an appearance. Referred to by many names, most frequently, "The Junk Drawer."
Obtain from within this source of randomness a retractable badge clip. If your personal Junk Drawer is unable to provide this specific an item, the Intertubes have provided a World Wide Junk Drawer, the particular location of which may be accessed here [url]http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=retractable+badge+holder[/url] which will provide a staggeringly large selection with varying degrees of "Bling".
Step 1: Construction:
I confess that I did not engage a photographer's services during the modification of the badge clip. Being in possession of the average number of hands, and being unwilling to enlist the aid of, and therefore tip off the parties from whom I am battling against, we shall make do with the closeups I was able to obtain. After disassembling the retractor mechanism, I verified that the center hub could be drilled out and replaced with a machine screw. A small (4-40 x 1 inch) screw and nut was obtained from the copious screws and assorted hardware that appear to be reproducing in the tins on the workshop bench. If your tins are not so solicitous, you may be certain your local hardware store has such items.
A hole was drilled using a #43 drill, through the bottom center of the plastic tub, and then tapped with threads for the 4-40 screw. A hole (#30 for those of you needing specifics) was drilled through the plastic housing of the retractor, and the screw passed through said hole. The tub was then threaded onto the screw, and the nut added to the inside of the tub. Mark or measure what must be cut off, then disassemble and trim the screw to length using whatever means are available, not to include your teeth. Reassemble your device and verify that the retractor functions as intended, pulling out to the required length, as well as fully retracting. Adjust the tension of the screw, then lock the screw in place with the nut inside. If you are so inclined, use a center punch to "stake" the nut on the screw. Rest assured, after the third (or eighth) time you reassemble the retractor, it will become easier. To add another level of protection, a bead of hot glue was carefully applied to the junction of the tub and the plastic body of the retractor.
Step 2: Installation:
The end of the retractor, having been typically designed for retaining badges (Alright, go ahead and say it, I'll wait... we may not need badges, but we do need the retractor.) often has a triangular metal link to attach said badge. This link is roughly the correct size to affix with a #8 sheet metal screw to a convenient location. I choose the inside of my bedside table drawer. Another alternative is to attach it to your backpack, providing ready access on the trail. Having thus attached my unction of choice in a semi permanent manner, I proceeded to refill it with the remains of several partially used containers and twist on the top. These now virtually empty containers may be used as disposable decoys to provide some level of protection from the wrath of those who can no longer raid your cache of emollient for their own.
I trust that if you endeavor to construct a device such as this, you will face this wrath confidently and head on, having taken these drastic measures only after all other avenues have been exhausted. Moreover, you must face it alone, as I have my own to face. But come what may, we can face it with moistened, and perhaps slightly tingly, lips.