Mar 31, 2015

How to: Make a Secret Lip Balm Storage Safe

I've said this many times on ManMade, but, just to confirm: I'm really into bicycles. I use them for transport, and for exercise, and for recreation, and, hopefully soon, for travel. (Let's go bike touring!) And in order to get more time on the bike, I've been trying to streamline the process for prepping for rides.

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Because when you're out in the middle of nowhere, there's actually a lot of stuff you gotta carry and prep so you can get home safely. So, I'll take anything to speed up the shorts - jersey - HR monitor - sunscreen - socks - shoes - food - water bottle - spare tube and patch kit - tire levers - pump - multitool - computer - grease the chain - fill the tires - and GO! - process for a standard 35 mile ride. So, I've vowed to stop carrying my full set of keys and wallet (driver's license, credit cards) for safety. Getting an extra house and garage key was easy, and I have Road ID for identification, so that just leaves the question of cash for emergencies. I wanted to come up with a solution to keep it on the bike so it wasn't another thing I had to worry about when getting ready, but would be a little more secure than just throwing some cash in my saddle bag among the tubes and tire levers.

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So, when I looked in my pack and saw the old tube of lip balm that I keep in the zipped pocket, I figured that was probably a great way to go. Sure, it's still not totally locked, but it's certainly a theft deterrent, and helps to protect the cash from the weather.

Plus, it's free. So let's make one. 

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Tools and Materials:

  • Lip balm tube
  • Small screwdriver or other levering device
  • Clipping pliers, nippers, or scissors
  • Cash money


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1. Use up or remove any extra lip balm, then insert a small screwdriver or other lever between the twisty knob and the bottom and the rest of the tube. (A craft knife might also work, and it will cut as well [just be careful].) 


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2. Then, separate the tube into each of its component parts. The little carriage thing at the top should come off pretty easily with the bottom removed. If not, you can use pliers to pull it free.


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3. Then, cut the threaded shaft free from the knob above the the little raised ridge that helps it stay in the tube.


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4. Lastly, snap the knob back in place, and you're done!

See? Easy. 

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You could use this anywhere you want to keep some emergency cash on hand without advertising it: your car's glove compartment, your purse, brief case, or daily carry bag, your desk at work, etc. It makes a great solution when you're traveling or camping, and since it uses a recycled materials that most of us have lying around in drawers and pockets all over the house, you can make as many as you want. 




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gregory anderson on Aug 23, 2020:

I learned this trick after Basic Training in the Military, along with the reverse poor man's roll which is to sandwich the bigger bills between a bunch of ones and fives.
I now will use this to carry my emergency medications, including my nitro pills, and not only when I'm on my pedal-assist bicycle.

Blake on Mar 16, 2019:

Super cool idea! I will definitely make one of these.