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What is the best way to make a small metal box? Answered

im trying to make a metal box that can open on hinges. I'm on a budget, and i dont even know where to start. my plans are (LxWxH) 14"x14"x8". i want to have it open with hinges in the back, with the lid half 3.5 in. thick and the base half 4.5 in. thick. I have some means of welding and soldering. it doenst need to be sturdy, just for display. i also perfer that the metal being used is malleable so i can give it a curvy bowed look. list for me materials, prices, and instructions. thank you SO VERY MUCH.



If you want to solder the box, it'll have to be made of copper or brass. Welding thin metals is best left to real experts. I'd make it by folding two U shaped pieces, and then fastening the ends on, made of 4 other U shapes, and I'd join the pieces with either glue or solder/braze

thats exactly what i did. i brazed the longer edges and soldered the corners (if that makes sense) haha, but it came out pretty well.


7 years ago

Does it have to be made of metal, or just look like metal? If it only has to look the part, then you could make it out of wood or thick cardboard and just paint it.

normally i would do that, but it needs to be metal

In that case, I wonder if it could be made of ductwork metal? It's thin so you could cut it with a pair of tin snips, but should be rigid enough when made into a box. It could be spot-welded together, or you could just glue it together with JB Weld. If it's not thick enough, you could double or triple up the layers.

i have looked into duct metal, wich i have found to be the mst reasonable option right now.

And again, maybe you could glue duct metal to either side of a wood box... Best of both worlds?

3.5 & 4.5 inches thick?
That would be bloody heavy and difficult with solid metal, I suggest you make it out of wood, then clad it with e.g. lead / brass / copper sheet.
(We don't know where you live or whether you can internet-shop, so I can't give you a shopping-list)


no, I'm sorry, I might not have been clear. i want the metal to be very thin, around 1/8 in. by that i meant i want the box cut (about in half). i want each half of the box to be about 4 in. where it opens.

1/8 isn't very thin at all ! You could drive a truck over 1/8 plate and it'd be fine. 1/16" would be more than enough in aluminium, and in steel 1/32 would be practical


very true, i know an 1/8 in thick is too much. i just wanted to correct what i had said to make it sound less confusing

Maybe thinner. If I did the math right, that'd be 10 lb of aluminum or 30 lb of steel. And at that thickness, I'd start calling the material "plate" instead of "sheet metal".

You will need a press brake. One good book about sheet metal working is one of Gingery books

thank you i might look into that. but... I'd rather just get an answer right here.

this is what i meant