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could 12 strips of pvc angle trim be used to make a light but fairly rigid box frame? Answered

i need to make a prop, the base of which is essentially an open upside down box of around 75cm x 75cm x 75cm. i was going to use a large cardboard box but it needs to be able to pack down as flat as possible for transportation and needs to be able to survive potential rain. i'm thinking i could drill a hole in both faces of each end of 12 strips of pvc angle trim (the stuff used around windows and doors), bolt it all together as a frame and attach corrugated plastic panels as the box faces. do you think the resulting box would be rigid enough to survive a few accidental knocks and kicks without collapsing? i'm not intending to add any load to the box other than a few blocks of carved foam for panel decoration.

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caitlinsdad

2 years ago

If you are using the coroplast, you might be able to "hinge" or lash together the edges with a bunch of holes along the edge secured with zipties. Duct tape to add additional strength and looks but you should have a fairly rigid box for display. Will the box be moved around? You could lash in a few pieces of PVC pipe which would be better than angle trim for rigidity. Good luck.

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ambientvoidcaitlinsdad

Reply 2 years ago

The box will be regularly moved around. It also needs to be easily able to break apart and be put back together 2 or 3 times a day. It's for a convention that I go to on a packed subway train so it needs to fold flat for the journey there and back (without being too heavy for 1 person to carry) and ideally during breaks in a similarly packed convention hall. However it needs to be rigid enough to survive potential knocks and bumps, and so that the decorative foam sections on the outside line up with as few gaps as possible.
For a pvc pipe frame is there something like a 3 way corner connector available? I seem to recall something similar on an old cheap garden marquee frame but I haven't seen them sold separately.
I'm not super keen on carrying bundles of zip ties for every time I would need to cut it apart and zip it back together so alternatively I'm not sure how rigid it would be but if I got the metal corner protectors as used on flight cases, permanently adhered them to the corners of 2 opposing panels and put velcro spots on each of their other faces and the opposite velcro spots on the corners of the rest of the panels do you think that might form a rigid enough cube when pushed together?

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caitlinsdadambientvoid

Reply 2 years ago

I think the best way for you to try is to model it out with some cardboard and tape. Just build a small scale folding box and see where to add reinforcement or adjust where you want to take the seams apart to make a portable box.

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ambientvoidcaitlinsdad

Reply 2 years ago

i took the plunge and ordered some cheap corners. i remembered that i did something similar years ago, making a rubix cube helmet with foamboard panels stuck together with the reinforced corners of a cut up heavy duty cardboard banana box, that survived a night of being chucked around a nightclub so i figure this should do okay despite being a bit more intentionally collapsible...

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Toga_Dan

2 years ago

I'd make it of coroplast just like a regular cardboard box. Use grommets on the bottom seam, and lace it up like a shoe. Edge pieces only needed if abrasion resistance is needed (or for aesthetics)