Introduction: Re-purpose Ammo Cans

Why throw out those old ammo cans when you can find a new purpose for them! You can do tons of cool things with them.  I turned the ones we had at the shop into donation boxes but you can turn yours into a suggestion box, jewelry box or just keep it an ammo box but make it look nice!

Step 1: Start Out by Sandblasting

First you need to sandblast off any rust or remaining paint from the cans and lids.  This leaves you with the raw material and a nice surface for the powder coat to stick.  Then you need to drill a hole in the can where the lid comes down to create the waterproof seal so you can use an eye bolt and lock to secure your can closed.

For mine I milled out a slot in the top for the donations to go through.

After your desired holes or slots are made you need to give your cans a chemical bath to ensure there is no grease or finger prints that will prevent your powder coat from going on evenly.  Be sure to wear gloves because these chemicals can be rough on the skin. I used TSP for my chemical bath.

Step 2: Powder Coat

So step into the powder coating room and start heating your oven.  I usually turn it to 350 and pop the cans in while the temperature rises to dry them off from the tsp bath and release any gases in the metal.  While the cans are heating you can set up the powder coating equipment.

You'll want to wear a mask to avoid inhaling the powder coat and thick gloves for when you take the cans in and out of the oven.

Once the cans have been in the oven for a few minutes take them out of the oven and place them on the charged rack to begin powder coating.  Now you can begin spraying.  Make sure you have an even coat over the entire can.  Then carefully place the cans back into the oven.  I left them in for about 15-20 minutes. 

Once the cans are done repeat the process with the lids.  Make sure to remove the gasket on the lid before powder coating otherwise it will melt in the oven.

Step 3: All Done!

Now that your cans are all pretty again you can add hardware for keeping your items safe!  Through the hole shown in the picture I will be putting an eye bolt and through that a lock!