DIY Enclosure

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by jimjim666, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. jimjim666

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 17, 2011
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    0
    Hello:

    I am getting everything together to build this:
    http://theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-part-1
    and it calls for this as the enclosure:
    http://shop.ebay.com/items/?_nkw=16...udhi=&_sop=12&_fpos=&_fspt=1&_sadis=&LH_CAds=

    Does anyone have any plans or tips on making my own. Don't want to cheap out on $90, but I can get a hold off some sheet metal for cheap/free from some old farm equipment. I am not overly concerned with it being watertight, as I will be punching holes in it anyway, and this is for personal use.

    I have a friend with a machine shop who will help me out.
     
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Step 1 get sheet metal
    Step 2 cut sheet metal
    Step 3 form sheet metal
    Step 4 paint sheet metal.

    You need to make a box with a top/door.. How you make that is 100% up to you. All you need is access to a shear and a press brake. Form up a 5 sided box, then a lid, get some hinges and have fun.
     
  3. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
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    If you're going to build the same thing as shown in the picture, you'll spend a small fortune on the industrial controls, temperature controllers, and other hardware. The enclosure will only be a small part of the total expense.

    Still, if you want to build your own, it's not difficult, but it will be a fair amount of work. You don't indicate what tools you have available (brake, welder, etc.), so I'll assume you just have hand tools and an electric drill. I'd just buy some galvanized steel right angle brackets and use two or three at each edge to join the metal together.

    You can make a simple sheet metal brake with commonly available hardware and some square steel bar stock -- see any book on elementary sheet metal work. You can use it to form bends to provide the lip for the door and a back lip to screw the back panel to -- this means you won't need the angle brackets except four internal corners. If you do want things to be water resistant, you can run a bead of silicone RTV to seal each seam.

    Another option would be to build the box from plywood and just use a chunk of sheet metal for the front door. You can do the woodworking with a handsaw or a circular saw and a guide -- quite elementary stuff actually, as you just need to cut right angles. Butt joints with screws and an internal glued and screwed cleat will make a strong box.
     
  4. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    133
    5
    in the world of DIY enclosures, found objects are your friends.

    discarded hardware can be found free or cheap.
    an old PC computer tower might work for you.
    or better might be some type of rack-mount device.

    for certain kinds of boxes (not sure what they're called), you can just replace the end-plates and drill some holes... though square holes might be tough with just a drill ; )

    i adapted the box of an old amplifier for my uses once. (see attached)
    the new end-plates were sourced and cut to size at a local metal-shop, costing next to nothing.
    ...note the recycled oven-knobs...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  5. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    2,223
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    Before you go through the trouble of fabricating your own enclosure, be it known that there are all kinds of UL/NEMA (off the shelf) enclosures available through industrial electric suppliers.
     
  6. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Where are you? It would be much more fun to experiment with the brew process. I am still looking for an NA beer that tastes real.

    John
     
  7. jimjim666

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    3
    0
    Thanks for all the helpful advice. I agree, maybe I am over thinking it, after all it is just a box.

    someonesdad, yes, I know how expensive this will be, and the controls and everything are what make this build cool

    CDRIVE, I could just buy an off the shelf box, but I was looking to add some uniqueness

    jpanhalt I am in Canada. If by NA beer you mean North American, then what have you been drinking? Check out beeradvocate dot com, and it will open your eyes to the craft industry in your state and all over the US, and yes, maybe I should stay focused on the beer
     
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    NA = non-alcoholic. I love beer; I don't like the effects of alcohol, at least not past the first one. As a second choice, I mix NA and regular to get 1/2 strength, so I can drink more.

    John
     
  9. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    133
    5
    stop me if you've heard this one before:
    why is american beer like having sex in a canoe?

    //

    use an old keg!
     
  10. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Too close to water

    an old keg cut in half would make a sweet enclosure for this project.
     
  11. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
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    Do you like the look of the early electric era? If so think how a wood panel box would have looked like in the late 1800s. I imagine a classic Shaker design made from mostly 3/4" solid oak, except for the rear panel and the panel section of the front door. This 1/4" - 3/8" plywood panel would sit in grooves cut into a solid oak door frame cut a bit narrower than usual as to not take up undue real estate that's needed for all your controls and readouts.

    One of the key features of the Shaker style would be the solid oak frame corners. Through dovetails or box-joints (also known as "Finger Joints") will really catch the eye when done well; and their glue-up strength is exceptional.

    The back can be a 1/4"-3/8" plywood panel that sits in a rabbit the same
    depth as the panel thickness. The panel gets screwed (no glue here) with flat head brass screws, even though no one will see them.

    Use only yellow carpenters glue. If in a damp environment.. Titebond makes an exceptional water resistant yellow glue.

    All plywood should be cabinet grade.
     
  12. jimjim666

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    3
    0
    Funny that you mention that, the panel has volt and amp meters that are really just decoration, and I was thinking of swapping in some analog meters. I was going for an old school look, hence the beat up metal for the box. Wood might work though, maybe do a whole steampunk thing.
     
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