WINDEX 15 (Davis Instruments) Storage-Transport Container



Problem: How to prevent breaking the WINDEX during transport of sailboat.

Solution: Stare at expensive plastic repaired WINDEX (points at direction of wind) as the adhesive dries in its temporary holding position and realize it was the solution as well.

Step 1: Deeper Problem Review - How to Get From a to Z

The WINDEX came with a newly purchased sailboat and was expediently packed in with mainsheet, painters, and a variety of what became violent enough items to break the rather tough plastic of a $20 Windex. A little CSA gel (superglue)effected a strong repair - still lucky (glue wise) after all these years. I use a plastic container with a little casting sand for holding odd shaped glue-ups until the adhesive sets. Works great. That picture is in the introductory step.

Then after a little germination time (time is relative - so this can be a few minutes to a few months), the container itself appears to be part of the solution to prevent a repeat of this problem. It just isn't long enough on its own to fully protect the Windex. But lo, sitting next to it is a give-away water bottle from the last hospital visit (that is another instructable by the way). How to join these into a single protective carrier/transporter? Hmmmm. Maybe welding, since these are both HDPE (HiDensityPolyEtylene)and are not readily glued. The solution is afoot.

Step 2: Tools to Get Started

This is list of things that will make this all come together, but as in any project more may be needed as we progress. None of these are highly specialized or expensive.

Utility knife, Xacto razor saw, soldering iron, 3M blue tape, a little sandpaper, Sharpie, scissors. The raw materials are in the next picture. The sports/hospital water bottle, the other container is from Crystal Lite Drink mix (don't drink the stuff anymore) but the containers are very useful. The open cell foam is just some scraps from packaging material.

The soldering iron is a Radio Shack cheapy from a different era. Do they even still have these? Went looking a while back for just the heating element for another project and all this type stock was set up in the close out section. Are they changing their focus to just being another electronics seller? Sad. Enough lamenting. Onward.

That blue tape is a godsend from 3M. It is getting close to Duct Tape for versatility and general all around usefulness. Expensive, but so reusable.

Step 3: Container Design & Build

The foam is to provide cushioning in the container to protect the WINDEX (the primary goal - remember?). Just trace around the container onthe foam and cut out with scissors. Make them a bit proud of the line, you can always make things smaller, but not necessarily bigger. You want a nice snug fit so they don't fall out. This part of the project was going so well and so fast we (royal we) forgot to take some photos, but I think you'll get the drift without all the little details.

Second picture, make a determination of overall length needed for the container. This method of measuring is oft times more accurate than using a ruler. A ruler introduces lots of room for errors. Like transcription errors, wrong side of the number on the ruler being used, committing the measurement to memory as opposed to writing it down, using the wrong written measurement, metric to english conversion errors. Just layout out what has to be done and mark it.

Step 4: Assembly Underway - Finally

Now we put it together. HDPE doesn't glue well. There are some exotic adhesives that work, but not easily obtainable. We are not going for aesthetics, just functionality. Using the Xacto razor saw, carefully cut off the very top of the Sports/Hospital Water Bottle(SHWB) lid leaving enough for the threads to adequately engage the SHWB and leaving enough for the Crystal Light Container (CLC) to seat in the cut off side of the lid.

Spot weld the trimmed SHWB cap to the cut to length CLC with the soldering iron as follows. Cut up some welding filler strips from the remnant portion of the CLC. Scuff up the CLC with the sandpaper otherwise the HDPE is slippery when working with and things slide around i.e. soldering iron towards fingers. When welding, experiment on how long it takes for things to go liquid and keep the iron moving (stay in one place too long and you'll go through - just add more filler). Amazing how these two containers fit together. Even though you do not see this step, use the 3M tape to hold the trimmed SHWB cap in place until you have welded in the four quadrants of the lid and CLC. Start on one side, then do the opposite side, quarter turn - weld, then the opposite of that weld. Check for squareness and fit. When satisfied, do it up completely. You'll probably be fairly good by the time you done all the way around.

Step 5: Denouement

Now we are ready for the finale. Problem solved. We have a custom made WINDEX transporter. Everything fits, screws together and functions as desired. We have created a custom protection system (may even be partially waterproof)for an expensive sailing accessory. The last two pictures show the WINDEX in place and in use on its craft.

This is a simple project, but shows some skill sets and hopefully imaginative methods of making a purposeful product/device. This venue is exquisite for the exchange of ideas and skills. This is going to be fun. I have thousands of ideas to share. Thank you for your attention



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    2 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I keep my windex attached to the roof of my VW van when it is not on the boat. :)


    12 years ago

    i thought he was going to show us how to transport stuff in a windex bottle 1 open lid 2 insert crap 3 transprort lol