How to Make a Portable Container (pencil Holder)




Introduction: How to Make a Portable Container (pencil Holder)

About: I am a surgeon at a University Hospital. I would like to believe that there are a tremendous number of good people in the world who somehow need to connect but can not because a common platform does not exi...

What you need :
1. Cardboard tubing
2. Thick cardboard (for the base)
3. A saw / Hacksaw
4. Some fine sandpaper/emery paper
5. White glue
6. A utility knife
7. A wooden spindle
8. A wooden knob
9. Paint (spray or brush on)
10. Elementary skills and persistence 

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Step 1: Cutting Three Lengths From a Piece of Cardboard Tubing

Cut three equal lengths each about 4 inches long from a piece of salvaged cardboard tubing using a saw / hacksaw.
Now bevel one end of each piece by removing a small piece of tubing.  Finish the pieces by smoothing down the rough edges using fine sand / emery paper.
Place the three cut and finished pieces of tubes on a flat surface, and align the edges so that a triangle is formed in the center. When satisfied with the symmetry, use a couple of rubber bands to hold the three pieces together. Number the pieces 1,2 & 3 and run a pencil up and down in the grooves between them. 

Step 2: Joining the Tubes

Remove the rubber bands and place a streak of glue along the previously made pencil marks. Position the tubes in the previously numbered sequence on a flat surface, bring them together, bind them with the rubber bands  and allow the glue to dry.

Step 3: Attaching the Base

Once the three tubes have been joined together, it is time to apply the base. A generous amount of glue is applied to the edges of the three tubes before  placing  onto a cardboard sheet  placed on a flat surface. Press the tubes  down  onto the cardboard (using a weight) till the glue dries. Once the base is firmly adherent, cut off the excess card using a utility knife or hacksaw blade and sand down the edges till a satisfactory finish has been achieved. These three pieces of  tubes joined together form the container.

Step 4: Preparing and Attaching the Spindle

Some  carpentry skills are required for this step. Prepare a spindle by shaping a piece of wood or large dowel  with a file or plane. One end of the spindle (that fits into the knob) is round in cross section and the other end may be round or triangular  so that it is a snug fit in the triangular space between the three tubes. Cut and shape a knob to be attached to  one end of the spindle using white glue. Set the glued  knob and spindle aside to dry while you attend to the tubes again. The knob and spindle will fit as shown. They will be fixed permanently later, once the containers have been painted / decorated. 

Step 5: Decorating the Container

Sand down any rough spots or edges and paint  this container by using a spray can or brush with a color of your choice. Do the painting in an appropriately ventilated space and on a surface protected with old newspapers.  Apply two or three coats for an even and satisfactory finish. The holder can be decorated in many different ways besides enamel painting, e.g. with wrapping, wall-paper, stickers, water or poster-painting colors, etc.

Step 6: Finishing the Holder

Attach the spindle with a generous amount of glue, pushing and pulling it in and out several times while the glue is wet to permit the glue to be nicely smeared onto the sides of the three tubes. Finally insert the spindle into this triangular space so that it sits there with an adequate length available as a handle. Permit this to dry. The holder is essentially ready. You may wish to fill up any gaps with bits of sponge, paper, foam, putty, cotton wool etc. This can now be finished with a dab of paint or color of your choice (I ran out of  yellow, so I used a little orange color to cover the white sponge packing material that had been used to fill the gaps). The holder is ready for use or presentation.

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    8 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hello -- This is lovely work. Very useful. I bring colored pencils to workshops at a retirement estate. I will be reusing square cardboard tubes from a visit to china!

    Thank you for sharing your idea!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I really enjoy this! Very nice work! Think it would work with pvc pipe?

    Rizwan Azami
    Rizwan Azami

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yes it would, except that you'd have to use PVC solution to get the pieces to adhere to each other and / or epoxy on the roughened PVC surface and to attach the spindle to the tubes. Thank you for the compliment and I am happy that you enjoyed it. Rizwan.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Cool! I'm going to give it a try (both ways). I do art projects with kids and this would be a fantastic quick and easy way to get materials out to large groups!

    Rizwan Azami
    Rizwan Azami

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Please do and let me know how it turns out, for that will be the true test of the instructable. If using PVC tubes you would have to use PVC sheet for the base or cut a piece of PVC tubing in its long axis and use a heat gun to flatten / straighten the curve in the tube before attaching it with PVC solution as the base of the container to the three tubes. Rizwan Azami.