Pill Bottles

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monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Saratoga Springs, NY
I'm frugal.

OK, I'm cheap. And I don't like throwing away stuff that can be repurposed for some other use

For example,did you know that electric toothbrush heads contain small magnets that can be recovered before used heads are disposed of and that can be used for many shop applications?

Here's another idea - pill bottles. I know that some people make boxes for use as pill bottles, but ordinary slip-fit lids are not practical for travel, and I've never mastered the art of thread chasing. So instead, I redress disposable plastic containers in wood to make attractive lidded pill bottles.

The larger bottle (myrtle with a walnut lid) was made by redressing a bog-standard pharmacy pill bottle (the kind with the 'adult-proof' cap). The two smaller bottles (ash with mesquite top on the left, goncalo alves with a birch top on the right) were made by recycling plastic contact lens cleaning containers (threaded caps with a nice gasketed seal).

One lesson that I learned is that while these plastic containers appear to have parallel sides, in fact they are very slightly tapered. That does make sense - they are injection molded and for efficient manufacturing, they have to easily pop out of the mold, so the diameter of the bottom is very slightly (about 1 mm) smaller than the diameter of the top. My approach is to use an appropriate forstner bit to drill a hole the diameter of the bottom, and then use a box scraper to create a slight taper to the top.

I prefer thick CA to glue the wooden components to the plastic, but polyurethane or epoxy would also work.
 

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nava1uni

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Mar 30, 2008
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San Francisco, CA, USA.
Great idea. I don't think it is cheap but creative and it save the environment from all of thos little bottles. It is similar to the salt and pepper sets that are sold that you incase in wood.
 

Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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Cleveland, TN
I used deli meat packages to keep the things for a pen project. Everything is in one place and I mark the customer name with a piece of masking tape. Did this for custom fishing rods- worked great and kept frustration down to a minimum.
 

monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
I wanted to make a version of these bottles to use as toothpick containers. The problem was that the available plastic bottles were too short. So I cut the threaded top off of a plastic bottle, and glued it into a turned bottom that was deep enough to accommodate toothpicks. In other words, the finished product is a turned wooden box with a threaded cap, but where the threads are actually recycled plastic threads from a disposable plastic bottle.

This idea was triggered by noticing that you can purchase threaded brass inserts (from Lee Valley, among others) that incorporated into boxes or other hollow forms. If you can do it with expensive brass threads, why not use plastic threads from otherwise disposable containers.

The one challenge here is that many disposable plastic bottles and jars are made of plastics such as polyethylene that resist the glues that we use with wood turning. So the challenge is to either find disposable containers made from gluable plastics, or find a glue that will work with plastics that don't glue well.
 
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