My first boxes were built quite a few years ago, and were really simple in execution. I cut the metal by hand so that it would fit the inside of the box very closely. I held it in place with Liquid Nails, and went around the edge of the metal with expanding foam. This was done so that any small pieces that came loose would not get under the metal. What I didn't count on is the fact that the plastic of the boxes eventually let go of the Liquid Nails, so that the sheet of metal is just sitting inside the box. It works well enough for everyday storage, but I don't know how well it would protect the ships if dropped. So, in building this box I plan to (hopefully) avoid the mistakes made with my earlier ones.
|An underside view of one of the old boxes.|
|An interior view showing the foam. Yes, this anchorage is getting a little crowded.|
The first thing to do is get together all the raw materials you will need to build the storage box. Before the work starts, let's take a look at what I'm talking about.
The plastic box itself costs $4-5. The piece of sheet steel costs about $8.75, the foam backer rod was $3.50, and the bag of nuts and bolts was 1.25. So, the total cost of materials is $18.50; call it $20 with tax. That's about the cost of one Langton kit when you order the hull, masts and ratlines. I also bought a new hot glue gun to attach the backer rod to the bottom of the box, but I will use the glue gun for more than one project so I'm not counting that here. The idea for the foam backer rod is that it will go around the bottom edge of the box with the steel plate on top of it, thereby serving the same purpose as the expanding foam in the older boxes. Then, I'll drill holes in the steel plate and the plastic box, screw them together and cover the screws with hot glue so that there are no holes in the box itself. Also, that should prevent the screws from moving around and making a larger hole in the plastic box. Will it work? Well, to quote Indiana Jones:
The first thing to do is measure the inside of the box to see how big a piece of backer rod will be needed. A quick measure with a cloth tape shows the inner perimeter of the box to be roughly 60 inches. Since the backer rod inside the bag is 20 feet long, there's no problem there. So, we cut a piece and glue it into the box.
|OK, that came out looking pretty good...|
|We should be seeing foam around the edges of the steel. Oops....|
At this point, I go ahead and drill the holes needed to screw the plate to the box. I realize that the foam is of no use where I have glued it, so I go ahead and rip it out. After looking around the internet, the closest size drill bit I have to a #4-40 screw is 7/64, so that's what I use. It's important
|You may see holes plugged with hot glue (yeah, like the ones circled).|
Ignore them. They are FAKE HOLES!
|More FAKE HOLES! Remember, I said I was making this up as I went along.|
|Is it pretty? Heavens, no.|
Will it work? Heavens, yes.