Watertight Metal Container. (no Sealant Needed)





Introduction: Watertight Metal Container. (no Sealant Needed)

About: A small creature in an ocean of giants. I feel like I'm getting nowhere.

mine are from old license plates so they have holes. But without the holes would be able to fill them full of water and they wouldn't leak!

I've entered this project in the REUSE contest, Check out the entries and vote on one you like! :D


Step 1: Layout.

this will be a bit more self explanatory in the next step, but your corners should be marked like the photo. My container needs 1/4in of lip for folding over. .

Step 2: Cutting.

cut away ONLY the blackened area on the drawing. this will allow you to tuck the corners making the water tight seam.

Step 3: Pre-Bending.

using a screwdriver or wide, blunted chisel, slightly crease the corners. the 45 degree creases will be towards the top, and from the top. the 90 degree creases that follow your marks will be towards and from the bottom. when you're finished creasing lying flat your part should be held up by the corners only. if not, something's wrong.


folding is a process that should be taken slow, hopefully I've provided sufficient photos to walk you through it. start close to a corner and fold towards you if using a vise. help the crease fold outward with a screwdriver and pliers. when you move to the next side stay close to your best looking corner and pinch the corner crease while folding towards you. repeat on all sides. when each crease forms a triangular "ear" you're ready for the next side. put a block in your vise (wood works for soft metals) and fold the ears over making sure they lie straight. repeat all 4 sides. last step Is the edge fold, necessary to lock the ears down and strengthen the whole container. line your vise jaws up and bend CAREFULLY!!! at this point you might tear your corner seam. put your block back in the vise and hammer flat. YOU'RE DONE!!

Step 5: In Conclusion

My containers are made from old license plates and as such have holes in them, but as you can see, the corner is water tight. This technique can be used to make custom sized cookware, condensate pans for AC's and even water troughs for livestock.



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    This is exactly what I want to do for under my plants. Several smaller ones or a large tray to protect the wood floor.The instructions are straight forward and look doable. Any idea where I can find sheets of copper?

    3 replies

    Most hardware suppliers can order it for you. Copper comes with a high pricetag though and you may only be able to get thin sheet. (Very thin) you can look in the roofing department of some stores and find copper flashing, Might have tar on it though but it would be the least expensive route.

    You can also try a local scrapyard, I scored a fairly large piece of 1/8 inch thick copper for about 8 dollars (US)

    Thanks Richie_114! I looked at some flashing but it had tar and/or was so thin. I'll try the scrapyard. $8 sounds like you scored a deal.

    if you can't find any try contacting a roofer. they might be able to get some for you.

    I'm sure it goes faster once a few have been made, nice reuse of discarded material into a useful object.

    3 replies

    It does. Especially as you learn the limitations of the materials you're using. The aluminum license plates are very soft and prone to tear, but easy to shape. galvanized steel's harder to shape but less likely to tear. Stainless sheet takes forever to shape but I've never had it tear and copper is almost fun to work with.

    And I like the folded or rolled upper edges, really gives a nice finish as well as extra strength. I suppose doing a wire insert before rolling would also be even more beneficial, but as made, it seems very well done. Thanks for sharing.

    A wire rolled edge on one this small (4x4 inches) Isn't practical. As you make them larger though it almost becomes necessary. Think about livestock water troughs,they almost always have a wire rolled Or tubular edge, It gives an incredible amount of strength to an otherwise flimsy material. Corrugations do as well. Thank you for the comment by the way. I do appreciate feedback