Ideas for long skinny project box

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by BReeves, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. BReeves

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    I need a long skinny project box 10 x 2.5 x 1 would work great but haven't had any luck with the normal sources. I will make a 9.5 x 1.75 cut-out on one side for an LED display.

    Thought about dismantling a power strip if I could find one that the cut-out would cover the outlet holes. Any other ideas from the troops?

  2. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
    10 meters? 10 milimeters? 10 parsecs?
  3. blocco a spirale

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 18, 2008
    I prefer to work in furlongs and nautical miles....
  4. BReeves

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    OOPS Inches.. Milimetric stuff just confuses me.
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
  6. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
  7. tindel

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    I get most of my project boxes at thrift stores. Board games sometimes come in tins. All different shapes and sizes. Usually thin and less than $3.
  8. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    I second the electrical trunking/trough.
    Here's one I prepared earlier :-
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  9. BReeves

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 24, 2012
  10. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    For aluminum, make your own if you have access to a shear and bender. The shear I use for cutting copper clad has bending jigs, but it can only do 8".

    Plexiglass using a bender or glue.
  11. splud

    New Member

    Jun 30, 2013
    You don't state materials requirements. Is this connected to mains, or is it DC? One off personal project, or something you're hoping to mass produce?

    You could use PVC pipe (the white or grey stuff you'd find in a plumbing department). That is, if the material and roundedness are acceptable. Cheap, readily available in multiple sizes, and reasonably easy to work using basic tools.

    You could use acrylic (dl324 mentioned "plexiglass", but some people might lump lexan and other plastics in there too, so be sure to actually look for acrylic as the material, and the glue for same). This could be cut either with a sablesaw or bandsaw (consider a zero clearance insert if you use either), or far better, a laser cutter. This has the benefit of resulting in a box with precisely the dimensions you want. With a laser cutter (which I presume you don't own, but a good makerspace should have), you can also get your LED display cutout easily, though if you go with acrylic, you could alternately mask the area you want the display visible through and spray paint the rest of the enclosure (so the innards are not visible), then it is sealed up when you're done (except for cord passthroughs if needed).

    If you're doing a battery/DC project, wood can work too, possibly with a mylar liner (the plastic sheet type, not the metalized film for baloons and chip bags). Do not use wood for the enclosure for a mains powered project.

    I have a 40W CO2 laser in my home workshop, and I pick up acrylic sheets of various thicknesses at a plastics supplier called "TAP Plastics", which has retail stores in my region. I've scavenged some from broken display boards and prototype enclosures (a benefit of working for a designer/manufacuturer with a machine shop <g>) - when laser cutting small stuff, some of the broken and odd scrap yields quite a few parts.

    When sourcing or fabbing enclosures, pay attention to ID (inside dimension) vs. OD (outside dimension) - if your gear needs 2.5 inches clearance, and you get a project box that meets that 2.5 inch dimension, you may be disappointed to find that your project doesn't fit INSIDE it. Similarly, screw mount holes which are often in the corners of the box impinge upon the total interior space.

    Consider also any thermal conditions of your project - if it gets warm, it should have venting.
  12. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    The comments made me think of various PCV pipe, including rectangular. The last two links below come pretty close. I suspect there are many more source.
    (2"x 1")
    (various rectangular sizes + Gehr catalog) :

    And then, there is my favorite supplier for small quantities of odd stuff, McMaster Carr. Here is a search page: