Introduction: Restore a Rusty Old Tackle Box With Sand Blasting & Powder Coating

About: Trying to learn faster than I forget. It will be cool to make some stuff along the way.

I found this ratty old tackle box in a pile of junk on the side of the road waiting for a dump run. How cool would that be if I restored it?!?
The top was just about rusted through, the hinges were frozen, the latch was rusted shut, but it was straight and still solid, so I gave it a go. There was lots of surface rust on the top and a bit on the insides and the rest was covered in the original paint.

The restoration is a basic two part process:
The first step is to sand blast and remove all paint and rust to expose a clean bare surface.
Next is to powder coat the inside, bake it, powder coat the outside, and bake it again.

Step 1: Clean the Tackle Box

This box was pretty fouled up, so into the sand blaster it went for some deep exfoliation!
There were a lot of surfaces to get to. Each time I pulled it out for inspection I found a new area that had not been touched.

I wear mechanic's gloves inside the sandblaster's rubber gloves for sanitary sanity - it gets pretty warm in there under the bright lights.

Step 2: Prep Tackle Box for Powder

Preheat oven according to powder manufacturers instruction.  Mine is a silver color that bakes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

With the box all blasted and bare, I blew out all the sand residue in preparation for the powder coat.
A quick rinse with degreaser gets rid of any residues of oil, and then air dry with the shop air hose.

Set up powder coating equipment.

Step 3: Powder Coat the Inside of the Tackle Box

I decided to do the interior first.

I'm using a silver powder that I got from

Step 4: Bake the Tackle Box

Since the outside was not coated yet, I just put the box on the rack.

Ten minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for my silver powder. Set a timer for consistency.

Notice how the soft powdery surface melts into a nice tough coating.

Step 5: Powder Coat the Outside of the Tackle Box

Now comes the tricky part - I had to hang the box for coating the outside surfaces.
I twisted up some wire into two hooks to hold the box handle somewhat level in the oven.

Powder coating the outside was a bit easier - there are only six surfaces!

Step 6: Bake the Tackle Box Again

This time the hook was used to hang the box from the rack so no edges touched the side or bottom of the oven.

Ten more minutes on the timer.

Step 7: Enjoy Your New Tackle Box

Remove box from oven and hang until cool.

The powder coating is still soft at this time so don't bang it up!

Once it's cool, it's ready to be enjoyed.

Go ahead, ENJOY IT!

I did this project at The Tech Shop in Menlo Park, California.

If you decide to join and do your own cool projects, tell them Roballoba sent you!