Where can I buy an Aluminum Enclosure like this for my project?

Thread Starter

Fran3

Joined Mar 28, 2019
46
This is a 9.5x5x2 inch aluminum (or steel) enclosure from a project years ago.
I can't remember where I bought the box.
Note the top lid fits down over the box bottom and attaches with screws to hold it together.
I've searched Bud Box and Hammond Manufacturing but if they make it I couldn't find it.
They do have some other designs that may work but for some reason I particularly like the one I'm describing.
Can any kind soul tell me who sells enclosures like this?
Thanks for any help.
PS - Size doesn't have to exactly match. Slightly larger or smaller would probably work.
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Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
2,182
Quantity one ? ---> Canibalize.
In the nineties, the modem extruded housings were superb for re-purposing. Now, perhaps TV converters, CD players, house alarm, satellite receivers, cable TV receivers, look around defunct/orphan equipment for the convenient.
There is many vendors with lots of flavors to choose from. Search the web.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,973
That’s an unusual construction. For various reasons, similar enclosures will usually have a small folded lip that the cover screws into. On reason is strength. The side walls in a box like that have no support, a lip makes them much stiffer.

The other thing is that such housings were generally chassises, that is, they were designed to have things mounted on what you are using as the bottom. The “top” as you are using it was the bottom, as a consequence. Mounting the lid on the flange formed by the lip reduces ingress since there is no upward facing gap, eliminates an exposed sharp edge, and is aesthetically superior.

These chassises began in the days of tubes, and were why any hobby worth their salt had a set of chassis punches. Today, it is unlike that people have any idea why there are even called that, and they are used mostly for punching out holes in electrical enclosures.

I am curious why you find this design superior for your application. Do you mind explaining?
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,973
I see cookies and cakes sold in similar looking metal boxes in grocery stores, but without screw holes. They appear in greater quantities just prior to Christmas and the New Year.
If that works for the TS, that’s really a great catch, @DickCappels

But I suspect the light gauge steel isn’t going to work for them. Still, if it does, that’s a good spot.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
30,485
Don't get hung up on one particular style. There are other options to consider.

1) I made enclosures from discarded computer chassis. I had access to a shear and brake to cut and bend the metal.
2) Consider Hammond 1444 Series as an alternative The lid goes on the bottom with rubber feet attached.
3) You can print your own custom designed enclosures with PCB mounting rails and/or posts using a 3D printer. The cost is a fraction of a ready-made enclosure.
 

ustaad

Joined Jun 21, 2023
4
If you want a production grade thing then LK Shiny at Aliexpress has great inventory of Extruded Aluminium casings. You can also customize the side plates as per your connectors and they will develop it with laser CNC for you (there are other vendors on AliExp too besides them but since I have only worked with them yet so not sure about others)

If its just a one-off hobby project then as other members have pointed out above, you can just repurpose any similar box laying around in your local junk stuff
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
28,513
Some of the traditional manuf of enclosures usually are fairly high priced, especially when you factor in shipping.
What I have done in the past is payed a visit to a couple of local Tin-Snapper shops, they can often whip something up very quickly and for less or = to the off the shelf versions.
 

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,375
I really like the ones with the wood ends there. I used one where I did a 4 layer PCB for the top cover, all the parts SMD on the bottom, all vias between 3 & 4 leaving 1&2 a vast sheet of unblemished blue solder mask and white legends. On top I mounted a Raspberry Pi + touchscreen in a nice case, creating the best looking device of my career (worth zero points come review time BTW).

Only downside was arguing with the PCB house to get them to build it to my print. They kept insisting they could do it in 2 layers.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
29,863
It's hard to know what is and isn't acceptable to you -- you may not have a really good feel for that, right now.

Go to someplace like Amazon and search for Aluminum Enclosures. That will give you an idea of the broad range of stuff that is available and you might find something very similar to your old box. You might also find something else that is at least workable, perhaps at a fraction of the cost of something identical.

Perhaps something like this might be usable:

You can also use the Amazon listings to identify some manufacturers and then go visit their websites to see if they have something suitably close.
 
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