Making Waterproof Storage Containers

In this urban bushcraft blog, I will be introducing you to the materials required and some of the different options for making your own waterproof containers, which also float for those water sports enthusiasts amongst you.

Things you will need:

  • Pipe (preferable plastic although copper is fine if that’s what you have)
  • Pipe cutter/saw/grinder
  • Sandpaper or file
  • Pipe fittings (I will list some options)

For me personally these are all items I have left over from jobs which I can repurpose and utilise. If you do need to buy some pipe for this, they are available in lengths of 3m with some suppliers offering 2m. You may find a friendly plumber who will gladly give you his leftover short off cuts.

Some of the things you will need Image Jon Magellan

Here I have:

  • 15mm speedfit or barrier pipe
  • 22mm speedfit or barrier pipe
  • 32mm solvent weld or ABS waste pipe (push fit is different and needs different fittings)
  • 40mm solvent weld or ABS waste pipe
  • 50mm solvent weld or ABS waste pipe

There are pipes and fittings available for larger pipes such as 110mm, 160mm, 200mm, 225mm etc, but these are not something I regularly use, and the fittings are expensive and may need to be ordered for the larger sizes. For me and bushcraft it’s use what you have around you.

Next, we move on to the fittings. Not all of these are necessary so you can pick and choose what will suit you and your container. My only personal preference for this is that they can be removed easily in the field without tools.

Pipes and fittings Image Jon Madellan

Here we have:

  • 15mm speedfit stop ends Qty 2
  • 22mm speedfit stop ends Qty 2
  • 32mm solvent weld or ABS access plug Qty 2
  • McAlpine multi fit waste blanking cap (40mm or 32mm solvent weld or push fit) Qty 2
  • 40mm solvent weld or ABS access plug Qty 2
  • 50mm solvent weld or ABS access plug Qty 2

Just one thing to watch out for on the 15mm and 22mm end caps. Some are removable by hand, but some brands are not and require a special tool for removal. These are not user friendly for our needs. I suggest John Guest pipe fittings commonly known as JG. Other brands are available. Also, in plumbing applications pipe inserts are required. These are not needed for our purposes. To fit the solvent weld access caps, you will need some adhesive and two solvent weld couplers of the same size. I use solvent weld adhesive as I have some, but other quality adhesives will all work for this purpose.

Cut the pipe of your choosing to the desired length using whichever cutting tool you have available and use the sandpaper or file to deburr the cut. The speedfit stop ends simply push on. Make sure it is fully pushed on so it will seal correctly. The solvent weld or Abs fittings will need to be glued into the coupler and then glued onto the pipe end. Tip, after applying the adhesive rotate the components when assembling so the adhesive will be spread more equally over all contact surfaces. The solvent weld or ABS access plugs have screw on caps for access. The McAlpine multi fit requires no adhesive and simply compresses a rubber washer to achieve a seal once tightened.

Completed waterproof containers with items stowed Image Jon Magellan

What will you keep in yours?

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