Tough PVC Cases for Anything

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About: 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 work. I've been making things for ...

Intro: 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!

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    57 Discussions

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    bobzjr

    6 years ago on Introduction

    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
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    theDabsterbobzjr

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    ilpugbobzjr

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    de0509

    6 years ago on Step 2

    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/

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    ilpugde0509

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 2

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

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    paqrat

    6 years ago on Step 6

    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.

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    ilpugpaqrat

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 6

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

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    bobzjr

    6 years ago on Introduction

    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
    1 reply
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    ilpugbobzjr

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    wiley coyote

    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    bobzjrwiley coyote

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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...

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    Junophor

    6 years ago on Introduction

    You are right!!

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

    Cheers Aeon Junophor