Cardboard for Project Enclosure Boxes?

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Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,541
One of the things this pandemic did to me and others is deny me access to Dallas Maker Space and killed/damaged a lot of my vendors for specific items. Enclosures in specific took a major hit. I could always 3D print a box or get one at Tanner's Electronics or Fry's Electronics (both went under and are gone now). My project (while not disposable) is something I don't think is major enough to spend any more money than I had to, I have started weaning myself from batteries where I can. So I salvaged a AAA batter box from a small flashlight I had destroyed modifying it to use a USB power cube. The only parts I spent money on were 3 resistors and a push button switch (total cost, well under $5). I have lots of cardboard from cereal boxes, etc so I made a project instead. I can test 1½V batteries w/ ½A. After checking a pile of batteries I now throw it into a storage box (don't need it anymore)...

PB1.jpg

PB2.jpg
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
13,087
I've been using copper clad board to make "boxes".

A box for switches:
switchBox.jpg
I tacked corners with solder and taped the bottom on.

A battery "box" with no sides:
boxNoSides.jpg
This was for one of my Daughter's science projects and I needed to prevent kids from being able to short the batteries.

Partial box used to mount a PCB to a display board:
partialBox.jpg

Lately I've been thinking about using plexiglass, assuming I can cut it with my metal shear, and some UV cured glue.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,483
Lately I've been thinking about using plexiglass, assuming I can cut it with my metal shear, and some UV cured glue.
You will have problems, cutting plexiglass with a shear, it will shatter on the edge, A table saw does and excellent job, though. As far as adhesive goes, there are acrylic specific adhesives that bond the plastic itself. Cheaper and stronger than UV glues.

When I worked at the Museum of Science in Boston (1980s) I did a lot of plexiglass fabrication. I love working with it, it's great material.vdg-full.jpg

Here's something I made, one of my favorites:
 

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
1,848
One of the things this pandemic did to me and others is deny me access to Dallas Maker Space and killed/damaged a lot of my vendors for specific items. Enclosures in specific took a major hit. I could always 3D print a box or get one at Tanner's Electronics or Fry's Electronics (both went under and are gone now). My project (while not disposable) is something I don't think is major enough to spend any more money than I had to, I have started weaning myself from batteries where I can. So I salvaged a AAA batter box from a small flashlight I had destroyed modifying it to use a USB power cube. The only parts I spent money on were 3 resistors and a push button switch (total cost, well under $5). I have lots of cardboard from cereal boxes, etc so I made a project instead. I can test 1½V batteries w/ ½A. After checking a pile of batteries I now throw it into a storage box (don't need it anymore)...

Reminds me of sheet-metal drafting when I was in that career (and architecture as well). Learned all kinds of ways to make tabs and cut-outs and so forth- plans for, that is- and could make all kinds of enclosures.

Check out Hammond for enclosures- they have a variety- many off the shelf that are easy to fit a small PCB and other things into for very little money. project enclosures.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,612
You will have problems, cutting plexiglass with a shear, it will shatter on the edge, A table saw does and excellent job,
I tried that but did not like the edge finish, after a little research i came across a few Youtube videos that show using the hook knife method, really nice and clean edge!
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,483
I tried that but did not like the edge finish, after a little research i came across a few Youtube videos that show using the hook knife method, really nice and clean edge!
That's a good method for glazing thickness sheet but for thicker stuff it won't work properly or at all. Edge finishing can be done different ways. Scraper, sanding, flaming—I prefer to spend the time to sand it creates invisible joints when done properly.

Scoring is good, though for thinner sheets.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,827
You will have problems, cutting plexiglass with a shear, it will shatter on the edge, A table saw does and excellent job, though. As far as adhesive goes, there are acrylic specific adhesives that bond the plastic itself. Cheaper and stronger than UV glues.

When I worked at the Museum of Science in Boston (1980s) I did a lot of plexiglass fabrication. I love working with it, it's great material.View attachment 234025
Here's something I made, one of my favorites:
I might have seen that. Mid-90s my son used to go to the Saturday science camps that were held in the Museum. And the company I worked for was one of the museum’s sponsors, with their name on the large sponsor wall in the lobby. MIB, Inc.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,483
I might have seen that. Mid-90s my son used to go to the Saturday science camps that were held in the Museum. And the company I worked for was one of the museum’s sponsors, with their name on the large sponsor wall in the lobby. MIB, Inc.
MOS was one of my favorite ever jobs. I am seriously considering building a few science exhibits as soon as I have a big enough shop to work in.
 

ApacheKid

Joined Jan 12, 2015
418
One of the things this pandemic did to me and others is deny me access to Dallas Maker Space and killed/damaged a lot of my vendors for specific items. Enclosures in specific took a major hit. I could always 3D print a box or get one at Tanner's Electronics or Fry's Electronics (both went under and are gone now). My project (while not disposable) is something I don't think is major enough to spend any more money than I had to, I have started weaning myself from batteries where I can. So I salvaged a AAA batter box from a small flashlight I had destroyed modifying it to use a USB power cube. The only parts I spent money on were 3 resistors and a push button switch (total cost, well under $5). I have lots of cardboard from cereal boxes, etc so I made a project instead. I can test 1½V batteries w/ ½A. After checking a pile of batteries I now throw it into a storage box (don't need it anymore)...

Eight of these for 10 bucks, can't get much more reasonable than that.

1617141475987.png
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,485
Straight outta china. I get them on AliX without paying the middleman markup but the ones I like are the bigger ones that Amazon sells for ~$10 and I get for ~$5. Big enough for a small xfmr/PSU/battery and PCB. Takes a while to get them so I keep a few handy. Cardboard is OK for a mockup or temp construction but I want something more durable for more than a one-off usage.
 
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