Tape Tricks & Tips 1 - Cardboards Little Helper




Introduction: Tape Tricks & Tips 1 - Cardboards Little Helper

Okay, I'm trying to get this done in time for the cardboard and duct tape contest.

Here is 2 things/projects that involve cardboard and tape that I use all the time.

First some quick and easy "storage cabinets", then some tool edge protectors for work.

Materials - cardboard and tape

Tools - utility and/or scissors if you need to cut the cardboard or trim the tape.

About the tape I'm using.

The black duct tape is some really old tape that was left out in the sun and is not in very good condition, but since I'm going to throw this demo box away I might as well use it up. Lesson 1 - don't leave your tape outside.

The gray tape is Duck brand and is also old, however it was never left outside. One thing that I like about this tape is that it always tears off smooth and straight.

The red tape is a plastic tape that I use a lot.

The black tape used on the tool protector is a fabric tape that the stagehands where I work use, kind of like duct tape but classier and forms really well.

Using tape in general. Always make tabs by folding the tape onto itself for any strips that you will be removing, it makes it much faster, easier when you go to pull it loose, and gives you a place to hang onto that is not sticky. It also solves the problem of finding the end of the roll, especially on clear tape.

Step 1: Cardboard Cabinets

Everybody uses cardboard boxes for storage, but the usual way to utilize cardboard boxes is to fill them up, close the top, stacked them up and label them. What's different about this is that I lay them on their side and use the flaps on the top as doors, like a cabinet. The tape comes in handy to make a "latch" to keep the "cabinet's" doors closed.

Here are three examples that I have been using for about 12 years now. Note that you can orientate the flaps to open either vertical or horizontal, there's really not any advantage of one over the other. However you should note that the bottom flap can not bend downward if the shelf that the cabinet is sitting on extends past the front of the cabinet.

In one cabinet I am storing empty boxes that I may need some day to return defective products (I keep the boxes until the warranty expires) or to re-package stuff to re-sell when I'm done with it. It seems that stuff is easier to sell when it is in a box/package. One box has spare computer junk that I will probably never use. The third box is a little different because it has two other boxes inside of it to make compartments or dividers. None of these cabinets have stuff that I access frequently.

Step 2: Making a "Cabinet"

The first 4 pictures are just a quick demo using a small box to show a simple, fast way to fasten the latch.

Since cardboard has a tendency to de-laminate, you need to have a bottom layer of tape for your "latch" tape to stick to. The bottom tape needs to wrap around the end of the cardboard flap to prevent it from pulling off when you pull off the latch tape. You will notice that if you just use one piece of latch tape in the center that the ends are not tightly closed.

The next 4 pictures show a way to close the end down tight you need to put some bottom tape on the cardboard and wrap it past the ends and bends where the latch tape will stick to. Note that it is better to use two pieces of latch tape, one at each end so that you can pull the latch tape from the center of the flap to the end of the flap to lower the tension trying to pull the bottom tape off.

If you didn't understand what I just said, don't feel too bad, because neither do I. You will figure it out however when you pull the tape off and the surface of the card board starts to peel off.

Step 3: Simple Tool Bit Protectors

I have to carry my tools around at work in a backpack and if the cutting edges rub against the other tools then they get really dull really fast.

Here is a couple of cardboard and tape solutions for my blades/bits. My old drill bit protector was getting pretty wasted so I made a new one to show how. Using cardboard tabs for reinforcing helps it last longer.

Plus a few others using shrink tube and flex tube, the ends are melted closed.

Hooray, my first instructible is done, hopefully on time.

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    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This sort of reminds me of my garage, except most of our cardboard cabinets are a bit worn down over time. Do you have any suggestions for structural support?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Heavier cardboard would be the easiest way. The direction that the corrugations run seriously affects cardboards strength. So if your sidewalls is collapsing and its corrugations are running horizontally then cutting another piece of cardboard so that the corrugations are running vertically and gluing it to the sidewall would stiffen it a lot. If the ceiling/roof of your box is sagging then adding another piece with the corrugations running 90 degrees to the sag would help. If you look at the corrugations in really heavy cardboard, you will see that they use layers going in different directions, to provide strength in multiple directions.

    A simple trick to see how the bends in the corrugations provide strength is to take a new dollar bill and fold it down the middle longways. Now working from the middle fold out start folding it like an accordian out to each side. edge. Make all of the folds as neat, even, and crisp as you can. Now take 2 pop cans the same height and place one end of the dollar bill on each pop can like a bridge. Now start small and see how much weight you can put in the center of the bridge before it collapses. It is surprising how much strength the bends give to that little piece of paper.