Inhalers are devices that allow a measured quantity of medication to be inhaled in aerosol form by the user. This makes taking medication for respiratory problems, especially asthma, much easier and safer. The user shakes the device then pushes down on the top of the canister to get his dose. If you or your child is involved in a play or other project about asthma you might not be able to acquire a real inhaler, but a model is easy to produce.
Making the Tube
Place the PVC tube in a vice. Using a ruler, measure 4 inches from the end of the pipe, and mark with a marker pen. Cut through the pipe at this point with the hacksaw. Smooth the edges with a file and then sandpaper to remove any sharp edges.
Place the 4-inch section of pipe on a disposable aluminum tray, and put it in the oven at 300 degrees for five minutes. Carefully remove the hot tube and, using pliers, squeeze to see if it will deform. If not, heat for 5 more minutes.
Pull on work gloves. Place the hot section of pipe on the table with 1 inch of pipe poking out over the edge of the table. Press a wooden block down on the this 1-inch section, and bend it down around the edge of the table to form a right angle.
Lay the bent section of pipe on the table with the longer section laying flat on the table top and the shorter section pointing straight up. Press the wooden block down on the longer section and squeeze the pipe between the table and the block, reshaping the pipe from cylindrical to oval-shaped. Reheat the pipe if no longer is pliable. Squeeze the shorter section of pipe into an oval shape in the same way.
Making the Lid
Lay the pipe on the table in front of you so it resembles an "L" shape. Using the hacksaw, cut from the far bottom right of the "L" to the inside of the angle. Keep the pipe held in place with your free hand while cutting.
Place a strip of duct tape inside the pipe to join the section you have just cut off to the main body of the pipe. This will form a hinge, making the cut-off section into a lid.
Place the oval-shaped end of the cut-off section against the cardboard and draw around it. Cut out this section with scissors, and stick over the end of the cut-off section with super glue. Paint the pipe and cardboard with acrylic paint.
Making the Canister
- PVC pipe, 1-inch diameter
- Marker pen
- Metal file
- Disposable aluminum pan
- Work gloves
- Wood block
- Duct tape
- Thin white cardboard
- Super Glue
- Red or blue acrylic paint
- Paint brush
- Metal pipe, 3/4-inch diameter
- Sticky putty
Place the metal pipe in the vice. Measure 3 inches from the end, and mark at this point with the marker pen. Cut through the pipe at this point with a hacksaw. Run a rasp around the edges to remove any sharp edges.
Place the round end of the pipe on the cardboard. Draw around it with marker pen. With scissors, cut out the circle of cardboard, and stick it over one end of the pipe with Super Glue.
Print a label that's about 3 inches by 2 1/2 inches. Include information that typically would be printed on the outside of an inhaler.
Stick the label to the curved surface of the metal pipe.
Separate a 1-inch-by-1-inch section of sticky putty. Roll it into a sausage shape 2 1/2 inches long and place around the circular end of the metal pipe that doesn't have cardboard over it. Press this end of the pipe inside the longer section of the plastic pipe and slide it down until it reaches the bottom and presses against the bend. Press it firmly so it sticks inside.
Things You'll Need
About the Author
Will Milner started writing in 2005 for the University of Sheffield newspaper "Steel Press" and continues to write for the Sheffield-based magazine "Now Then." He gained a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Sheffield.