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HELP ASAP! building aluminum trunk with ROUNDED EDGES? Answered

Picture of

I'm going for the same look as the trunk in the picture but the biggest question I have is how do I get rounded edges. I want the entire piece to be aluminum panels with all the edges and corners rounded, with a wood frame for support.

needed advice:

-best tools for cutting the aluminum

-cheapest source for aluminum sheeting (and best size)

-best advice for putting the aluminum panels in (use steel screws, rivets?)

-any other advice for getting the best rounded edges and corners (links also appreciated)

I would like to make this a gift for someone and need to get started ASAP so any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! thanks!


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caitlinsdad (author)2011-03-06

You might want to look at the corner protectors on guitar amplifiers. Or look at ATA travel case manufacturers that make equipment road cases like Anvil. They are plywood shells covered with a hard outer layer and banded with the angle iron/aluminum/steel trim strips. Good luck.

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nizzo (author)caitlinsdad2011-03-07

Thanks for the links those corner protectors will make the ends a lot easier

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Kiteman (author)2011-03-06

Best tools: hacksaws and snips, depending on the thickness.

Supplier: no idea. It depends where you are.

Fitting panels: if you're using a wooden frame, I would use screws. You can get "mirror screws", which you screw in place, then screw on a chrome cap.

Rounded edges: I would round the corners of the wooden frame (router, sanding, or using timber that comes rounded), then cover the edges of the sheets with long strips that you screw in place along one side, then hammer over to make a rounded corner which you screw in place. Corners will need separate pieces, folded carefully.

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nizzo (author)Kiteman2011-03-06

Thanks, I found a good local supplier of cheap .050" thick (unfinished) 5052 aluminum so I might go with that.

I like that idea of using mirror screws. That should give it a very polished look.

What about using cement tubing or wood paneling for the curved edges? I could screw it into the wood frame and then screw the alum panels in right over it.

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Kiteman (author)nizzo2011-03-06

Sounds good.

I've never made a trunk like that - I was just blue-skying, but the ideas seemed right in my head.

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Goodhart (author)Kiteman2011-03-06

Yes, unless one uses a really tight "brake" bending metal tends to "round it" anyways.

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RedneckEngineer (author)2011-03-06

Most of the corners are covered by a piece, as in the pic, that is made for just that type of application. If you are wanting to make your own corner I'd say make a corner jig and pound the metal around the corners and cut till your happy with the shape. It may take a few trys to get them close to matching so take your time.

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