We all have valuables that we need to store safely… they may be as small as nuts and bolts, drill bits, punches, and so on. However, we also need to store more valuable items, from power tools to very valuable items such as photographic equipment, optical items such as binoculars or spotting scopes, treasured heirlooms, and laser and other measures costing many hundreds of rands.

In this feature we’re going to show you a couple of very simple, very economical and very effective storage ideas.

Here goes…

Materials – storage tubes:

  • Selected lengths of 40mmØ and/or 50mmØ PVC pipes, or larger diameter pipes if desired.
  • BSP male adaptors 40mmØ and/or 50mmØ, or larger diameters, with caps as required.
  • 40mmØ and/or 50mmØ end caps as required.
  • PVC adhesive.


  1. A selection of 40mmØ and 50mmØ PVC pipes and fittings, end caps and BSP male adaptors. The beauty of these storage units is that you can make them any length you require… if you’re a keen angler, who knows, you could store valuable fishing rods this way.
  2. Select what you are going to store and cut a length of the pipe to suit. Loose-fit an end cap and check that the bits to be stored will all fit comfortably within the length of the pipe.
  3. Apply adhesive and glue the end cap on to one end of the pipe.
  4. Repeat the procedure on the other end, with the BSP male adaptor.
  5. Two storage pipes, the top one with the end cap and BSP male adaptor, and the lower one with an end cap on each end (naturally, in this case only one is glued into position, the other is removable). The former version has the advantage that cap is easily screwed on and off, and you always know which end is which. In the latter case, it would be as well to use a permanent marker to mark the removable end cap lid. In any event, it is as well to use a permanent marker to label the pipes according to their contents.
  6. A slightly longer 50mmØ pipe being used to store punches.
  7. Here’s looking at you… all the punches stored safely and out of moisture’s way… at last!
  8. Here’s a temporary storage idea… if you’re a fan of breaking down faulty and discarded kitchen appliances and so on, and collecting the various screws, bolts, rods and springs – you never know when they will find a use – attach the deep lid of a container such as a cake tin, under one corner of your workbench. When disassembling the appliances, simply sweep the smaller crews, springs and so on into the lid and when finished swing it back under the workbench top again. Whenever you like swing the lid out again, empty it and sort out the contents – or search for that very special spring you know is in there somewhere.
  9. Now here’s the deal you shouldn’t miss… it’s a twofer… both cases in one deal and both with foam inners. The smaller one (outer dimensions) is 270x246x124mm and the larger one is (outer dimensions) 465x360x175mm.
  10. Here the larger one is being used to store valuable laser measuring instruments. It could be used to store camera equipment, optical equipment and so on.
  11. Here the smaller one is being used to store a vernier measure, just as an example, but even this too can be used to store a wide range of valuables.

Storing valuable tools, tool accessories and other valued items means that they are protected from the elements, and will still be like new after many years.


These plumbing materials are available at most if not all Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to www.mica.co.za, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.

Project guide

TIME: An hour or two depending on how many storage tubes you are going to make up.

COST: Depends on how many storage tubes you wish to make up

Skill: 4

Assistant: No 

Tools required: