You are on page 1of 37

DIY​ ​Enclosures

1
Introduction
In​ ​this​ ​document​ ​I​ ​will​ ​try​ ​to​ ​show​ ​you​ ​how​ ​I​ ​build​ ​enclosures​ ​without​ ​any​ ​fancy​ ​tools.
Figure​ ​1​ ​shows​ ​my​ ​first​ ​builds​ ​as​ ​examples.​ ​As​ ​you​ ​will​ ​see,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​quite​ ​simple.

So….
- Why?​ ​I​ ​can​ ​make​ ​any​ ​dimensions​ ​(within​ ​some​ ​limits​ ​of​ ​course)​ ​and​ ​more
importantly​ ​sloped​ ​enclosures.
- Do​ ​I​ ​save​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​money?​ ​Compared​ ​to​ ​your​ ​average​ ​125B​ ​box?​ ​No.​ ​Especially​ ​if​ ​you
run​ ​a​ ​company​ ​(I​ ​don’t)​ ​and​ ​time​ ​is​ ​money.​ ​But,​ ​if​ ​you​ ​look​ ​at​ ​what​ ​they​ ​charge​ ​for
the​ ​few​ ​sloped​ ​enclosures​ ​on​ ​the​ ​market,​ ​I’d​ ​say​ ​yes.
- Does​ ​the​ ​finished​ ​result​ ​look​ ​professional?​ ​Yes​ ​and​ ​no.​ ​In​ ​my​ ​opinion​ ​the​ ​boxes​ ​look
great​ ​if​ ​you​ ​take​ ​your​ ​time​ ​and​ ​work​ ​on​ ​them.​ ​But​ ​they​ ​are​ ​handcrafted​ ​and​ ​at​ ​some
level​ ​they​ ​cannot​ ​compete​ ​with​ ​machine​ ​made​ ​boxes.​ ​And​ ​the​ ​inside​ ​will​ ​give​ ​you
away.​ ​:)

Figure​ ​1.​ ​ ​Finished​ ​boxes​ ​using​ ​the​ ​techniques​ ​according​ ​to​ ​2.1.1​ ​and​ ​4.

2
1​ ​ ​ ​Equipment
1.1​ ​ ​Tools

I​ ​use​ ​very​ ​basic​ ​tools​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​enclosures:


● Saw:​ ​I​ ​actually​ ​prefer​ ​hand​ ​saws.​ ​A​ ​jig​ ​saw​ ​is​ ​more​ ​unpredictable​ ​and​ ​the​ ​blade​ ​easily
gets​ ​clogged.​ ​And​ ​hand​ ​sawing​ ​aluminium​ ​is​ ​not​ ​hard​ ​at​ ​all!
● File​ ​and​ ​rasp
● Drill​ ​and​ ​drill​ ​bits
● Thread​ ​tap
● Screwdriver
● Rivet​ ​pliers​ ​(If​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​one-​ ​get​ ​one!​ ​Very​ ​cheap,​ ​very​ ​nice​ ​to​ ​have.)
● Vice​ ​(optional)
● Bending​ ​brake​ ​(optional​ ​-​ ​but​ ​then​ ​you​ ​need​ ​at​ ​least​ ​a​ ​vice),​ ​see​ ​Appendix.

1.2​ ​ ​Material

● Aluminium​ ​sheet.​ ​1.6​ ​mm​ ​(is​ ​easier​ ​to​ ​work​ ​with)​ ​or​ ​2​ ​mm​ ​(stronger).
● Aluminium​ s​ quare​ ​tube.​ ​Your​ ​prefered​ ​enclosure​ ​width​ ​determines​ ​the​ ​dimensions.​ ​I
recommend​ ​60x60​ ​or​ ​70x70​ ​with​ ​a​ ​wall​ ​thickness​ ​of​ ​2​ ​mm.
● Aluminium​ ​angles.​ ​10​ ​x​ ​10​ ​to​ ​15​ ​x​ ​15​ ​mm.
● Wood,​ ​e.g.​ ​oak.​ ​Thickness:​ ​8​ ​mm​ ​ ​for​ ​type​ ​1​ ​and​ ​15​ ​mm​ ​for​ ​type​ ​2.​ ​Your​ ​box​ ​size
determines​ ​the​ ​length​ ​and​ ​width.
● Screws​ ​and​ ​rivets.

3
2​ ​ ​ ​Sloped​ ​enclosures​ ​-​ ​type​ ​1
The​ ​enclosure​ ​is​ ​depicted​ ​in​ ​figure​ ​1​ ​(right).

2.1​ ​ ​The​ ​Top


Start​ ​with​ ​the​ ​top.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​made​ ​tops​ ​in​ ​two​ ​ways:​ ​from​ ​flat​ ​aluminium​ ​sheets​ ​and​ ​from​ ​square
tubes.
2.1.1​ ​ ​Flat​ ​aluminium​ ​sheets

I​ ​like​ ​the​ ​result​ ​better​ ​compared​ ​to​ ​using​ ​the​ ​square​ ​tube,​ ​since​ ​the​ ​corners​ ​of​ ​the​ ​90​ ​degree
angles​ ​are​ ​more​ ​rounded.​ ​But​ ​it​ ​is​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​easier​ ​to​ ​mess​ ​up​ ​and​ ​getting​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​thing​ ​skewed.
1. Cut​ ​out​ ​a​ ​trapezoid​ ​shape​ ​from​ ​the​ ​sheet,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​2.​ ​Just​ ​decide​ ​your​ ​dimensions
and​ ​take​ ​the​ ​bend​ ​radius​ ​into​ ​account.​ ​The​ ​latter​ ​could​ ​be​ ​determined​ ​on​ ​some​ ​scrap
material​ ​of​ ​the​ ​same​ ​type.​ ​In​ ​my​ ​case​ ​the​ ​corner​ ​builds​ ​4​ ​mm​ ​from​ ​the​ ​bending​ ​line
(outer​ ​radius).

Figure​ ​2.​ ​Trapezoid​ ​cut​ ​out​ ​from​ ​an​ ​aluminium​ ​sheet.

2. Bend​ ​the​ ​sides​ ​with​ ​a​ ​bending​ ​brake​ ​(along​ ​dotted​ ​lines​ ​in​ ​figure​ ​2).A​ ​vice​ ​jaw​ ​bender
set​ ​is​ ​used​ ​in​ ​figure​ ​3.​ ​However,​ ​I​ ​found​ ​it​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​unreliable​ ​since​ ​nothing​ ​really
prevents​ ​it​ ​from​ ​moving​ ​around​ ​(which​ ​will​ ​ruin​ ​everything).​ ​So​ ​instead​ ​I​ ​strongly
recommend​ ​using​ ​the​ ​two​ ​bending​ ​brakes​ ​described​ ​in​ ​the​ ​appendix​ ​instead.

4
Figure​ ​3.​ ​Bending.

Done!

2.1.2​ ​ ​Square​ ​tube

Figure​ ​4​ ​shows​ ​a​ ​70x70x2​ ​mm​ ​square​ ​tube.​ ​Using​ ​these​ ​is​ ​definitely​ ​the​ ​easiest​ ​way.​ ​Corners
a​ ​bit​ ​too​ ​sharp,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​still​ ​think​ ​it​ ​looks​ ​great.

I​ ​got​ ​my​ ​square​ ​tubes​ ​from​ ​Metalshop​ ​(metalshop.co.uk),​ ​also​ ​at​ ​ebay
(​http://www.ebay.com/usr/metalsshop?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2754​).​ ​The​ ​prices​ ​and
shipping​ ​charges​ ​are​ ​reasonable.​ ​I​ ​purchased​ ​40x40,​ ​60x60,​ ​70x70​ ​and​ ​80x80​ ​mm,​ ​all​ ​2​ ​mm
thick.

Figure​ ​4.​ ​Square​ ​tube.

5
1. Figure​ ​5​ ​shows​ ​a​ ​drawing​ ​of​ ​what​ ​we​ ​want​ ​to​ ​achieve.​ ​In​ ​my​ ​opinion​ ​a​ ​good​ ​value​ ​for
angle​ ​b​ ​is​ ​5-10°.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​use​ ​“"Sloped​ ​enclosure​ ​calculations.xls"​ ​(look​ ​through​ ​the
archive)​ ​to​ ​calculate​ ​the​ ​angle​ ​and​ ​dimensions.

Figure​ ​5.​ ​Schematic​ ​drawing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​box​ ​(side​ ​view).

2. To​ ​make​ ​your​ ​top,​ ​just​ ​draw​ ​the​ ​box​ ​to​ ​your​ ​dimensions​ ​and​ ​start​ ​cutting​ ​(Figure​ ​6-8).

Figure​ ​6.​ ​Tube​ ​prepared​ ​for​ ​cutting.

6
Figure​ ​7.​ ​Tube​ ​prepared​ ​for​ ​cutting,​ ​side​ ​view.

Figure​ ​8.​ ​Tube​ ​prepared​ ​for​ ​cutting,​ ​detailed​ ​view.​ ​Dimensions​ ​(as​ ​an​ ​example):​ ​A:​ ​135​ ​mm,
B:47​ ​mm​ ​and​ ​C:​ ​32​ ​mm​ ​resulting​ ​in​ ​angle​ ​b:​ ​6.3°​ ​and​ ​D:​ ​136​ ​mm.

7
3. Use​ ​your​ ​files​ ​to​ ​make​ ​everything​ ​straight​ ​and​ ​even.​ ​Done!​ ​-​ ​See​ ​figure​ ​9.

Figure​ ​9.​ ​The​ ​result.

The​ ​box​ ​in​ ​the​ ​pictures​ ​is​ ​quite​ ​large.​ ​Of​ ​course​ ​you​ ​can​ ​change​ ​the​ ​lengths​ ​and​ ​the​ ​two
heights​ ​as​ ​you​ ​wish,​ ​but:
- To​ ​stick​ ​a​ ​battery​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​footswitch​ ​you​ ​need​ ​C​ ​to​ ​be​ ​at​ ​least​ ​30​ ​mm.
- To​ ​fit​ ​a​ ​normal​ ​3PDT​ ​foot​ ​switch​ ​you​ ​need​ ​the​ ​height​ ​where​ ​you​ ​drill​ ​the​ ​hole​ ​at​ ​least
26​ ​mm.
(Both​ ​calculated​ ​with​ ​a​ ​2​ ​mm​ ​thick​ ​base​ ​piece​ ​and​ ​some​ ​minor​ ​margins).

8
2.2​ ​ ​The​ ​base
The​ ​base​ ​is​ ​basically​ ​just​ ​a​ ​rectangle​ ​that​ ​you​ ​bend​ ​according​ ​to​ ​figure​ ​10.

Figure​ ​10.​ ​Drawing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​base.​ ​Top​ ​view​ ​(top)​ ​and​ ​side​ ​view​ ​(bottom).

1. I​ ​use​ ​a​ ​hand​ ​saw​ ​and​ ​a​ ​file​ ​to​ ​get​ ​it​ ​straight​ ​(figure​ ​11​ ​and​ ​12).​ ​Remember​ ​to​ ​leave
some​ ​margins​ ​for​ ​the​ ​paint​ ​coat.​ ​Some​ ​paints​ ​(e.g.​ ​hammertone)​ ​build​ ​quite​ ​a​ ​lot.
Make​ ​it​ ​at​ ​least​ ​1​ ​mm​ ​narrower​ ​than​ ​the​ ​inside​ ​of​ ​the​ ​top.
I​ ​really​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​the​ ​precision​ ​(yet)​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​dimensions​ ​perfect​ ​before
bending,​ ​so​ ​I​ ​make​ ​it​ ​longer​ ​than​ ​I​ ​need.​ ​Then​ ​I​ ​work​ ​on​ ​A​ ​and​ ​C​ ​(see​ ​figure​ ​10)​ ​with
a​ ​file​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​base​ ​fit​ ​the​ ​top.

9
Figure​ ​11.​ ​Cutting​ ​the​ ​base​ ​with​ ​a​ ​hand​ ​saw.​ ​Just​ ​keep​ ​watching​ ​the​ ​line!

Figure​ ​12.​ ​The​ ​result.​ ​Not​ ​too​ ​bad.​ ​Just​ ​needs​ ​some​ ​work​ ​with​ ​the​ ​file.

10
2. Since​ ​your​ ​bending​ ​line​ ​will​ ​be​ ​on​ ​the​ ​inside,​ ​the​ ​bent​ ​corner​ ​“builds​ ​sideways”.​ ​How
much​ ​depends​ ​on​ ​the​ ​thickness​ ​of​ ​the​ ​metal​ ​and​ ​the​ ​design​ ​of​ ​your​ ​bending​ ​brake.​ ​I
advise​ ​you​ ​to​ ​determine​ ​it​ ​empirically​ ​on​ ​some​ ​scrap.​ ​In​ ​my​ ​case​ ​(with​ ​a​ ​1.6​ ​mm
aluminium​ ​sheet)​ ​it​ ​builds​ ​+4​ ​mm​ ​/​ ​corner​ ​(d​ ​in​ ​figure​ ​10).​ ​Hence,​ ​if​ ​I​ ​want​ ​a​ ​128​ ​mm
long​ ​bottom​ ​piece​ ​I​ ​draw​ ​my​ ​bending​ ​lines​ ​120​ ​mm​ ​apart.
If​ ​your​ ​bending​ ​brake​ ​allows​ ​it​ ​(mine​ ​doesn’t;​ ​the​ ​piece​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​be​ ​longer),​ ​you
can​ ​fasten​ ​A​ ​and​ ​C​ ​when​ ​bending.​ ​That​ ​gives​ ​more​ ​control​ ​not​ ​make​ ​B​ ​too​ ​long.
3. Make​ ​sure​ ​that​ ​your​ ​base​ ​is​ ​90°​ ​to​ ​the​ ​brake​ ​before​ ​bending​ ​(Figure​ ​13)!

Figure​ ​13​ ​Make​ ​sure​ ​the​ ​piece​ ​is​ ​fastened​ ​and​ ​absolutely​ ​straight​ ​(90°).

11
4. It​ ​may​ ​be​ ​difficult​ ​to​ ​estimate​ ​the​ ​correct​ ​angle​ ​when​ ​bending.​ ​Go​ ​slowly​ ​and
compare​ ​with​ ​your​ ​top​ ​(Figure​ ​14).

Figure​ ​14.​ ​Bend​ ​away.​ ​Compare​ ​the​ ​angle​ ​with​ ​your​ ​top!

12
5. Attach​ ​the​ ​two​ ​aluminium​ ​angles​ ​to​ ​the​ ​base​ ​with​ ​rivets,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​15.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​easier​ ​if
you​ ​use​ ​double​ ​sided​ ​tape​ ​to​ ​secure​ ​it.
This​ ​might​ ​not​ ​be​ ​the​ ​most​ ​beautiful​ ​way​ ​to​ ​do​ ​it,​ ​but​ ​it's​ ​easy​ ​and​ ​works​ ​well.
For​ ​a​ ​more​ ​professional​ ​look​ ​you​ ​would​ ​cut​ ​out​ ​the​ ​angles​ ​from​ ​the​ ​base​ ​piece​ ​itself.
However,​ ​you​ ​will​ ​waste​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​more​ ​aluminium​ ​and​ ​you​ ​have​ ​to​ ​adapt​ ​your​ ​bending
brake​ ​to​ ​fit​ ​the​ ​angles​ ​perfectly.

Figure​ ​15.​ ​Angles​ ​attached​ ​using​ ​rivets.

13
2.3​ ​ ​Assembly

The​ ​top​ ​and​ ​base​ ​are​ ​held​ ​together​ ​with​ ​four​ ​M3​ ​screws,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​16.
1. Tape​ ​the​ ​top​ ​and​ ​the​ ​base​ ​together​ ​the​ ​way​ ​you​ ​want​ ​it​ ​and​ ​drill​ ​the​ ​screw​ ​holes
through​ ​both​ ​the​ ​top​ ​and​ ​the​ ​angles​ ​on​ ​the​ ​base​ ​with​ ​a​ ​2.5​ ​mm​ ​bit.
2. Enlarge​ ​the​ ​holes​ ​in​ ​the​ ​top​ ​with​ ​a​ ​3.2-3.5mm​ ​bit.
3. Use​ ​a​ ​M3​ ​threading​ ​bit​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​screw​ ​holes​ ​on​ ​the​ ​base.​ ​Though​ ​it's​ ​easy​ ​to
make​ ​threads​ ​in​ ​aluminium,​ ​it's​ ​not​ ​the​ ​most​ ​durable​ ​material.​ ​An​ ​alternative​ ​is​ ​to
use​ ​threaded​ ​rivet​ ​nuts.​ ​See​ ​figure​ ​17.
Done!​ ​ ​-​ ​See​ ​figure​ ​18.

Figure​ ​16.​ ​Screw​ ​holes​ ​and​ ​threading.

14
Figure​ ​17.​ ​Threaded​ ​rivet​ ​nuts

Figure​ ​1​8​.​ ​The​ ​result​.

15
3​ ​ ​ ​Sloped​ ​enclosures​ ​-​ ​type​ ​2

I​ ​have​ ​only​ ​done​ ​this​ ​once​ ​so​ ​bear​ ​with​ ​me.

1. Use​ ​a​ ​square​ ​tube​ ​and​ ​mark​ ​the​ ​cuts​ ​you​ ​are​ ​going​ ​to​ ​make,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​19​ ​and​ ​20.
You​ ​can​ ​use​ ​"Sloped​ ​enclosure​ ​calculations.xls"​ ​(look​ ​through​ ​the​ ​archive)​ ​for
guidance.​ ​Note​ ​that​ ​these​ ​calculations​ ​are​ ​to​ ​be​ ​seen​ ​as​ ​approximate​ ​as​ ​you​ ​cannot
bend​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​sides​ ​meet​ ​perfectly.

Figure​ ​19.​ ​Schematic​ ​drawing​ ​.​ ​A​ ​and​ ​E​ ​is​ ​the​ ​face​ ​of​ ​the​ ​box,​ ​i.e.​ ​square​ ​tube​ ​wall.

16
Figure​ ​20.​ ​Measuring.

2. Cut​ ​the​ ​sides​ ​B,​ ​H​ ​and​ ​K,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​19.​ ​Note​ ​that​ ​A​ ​and​ ​E​ ​is​ ​the​ ​face​ ​of​ ​the​ ​box.
3. Cut​ ​out​ ​the​ ​sector​ ​between​ ​J​ ​and​ ​K,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​19​ ​and​ ​21.​ ​Remember​ ​that​ ​it​ ​is​ ​more
important​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​two​ ​sides​ ​identical​ ​(well,​ ​as​ ​similar​ ​as​ ​possible)​ ​rather​ ​than
following​ ​the​ ​blueprint.​ ​Don't​ ​try​ ​to​ ​cut​ ​D​ ​and​ ​G​ ​just​ ​yet.

17
Figure​ ​21.​ ​Cutting​ ​out​ ​the​ ​sector.

4. Bend​ ​the​ ​enclosure.​ ​It's​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​tricky.​ ​I​ ​used​ ​a​ ​piece​ ​of​ ​steel,​ ​aligned​ ​it​ ​to​ ​the​ ​bending
line​ ​and​ ​clamped​ ​it​ ​down​ ​with​ ​a​ ​wood​ ​block,​ ​see​ ​Figure​ ​22.

Figure​ ​22.​ ​Bending.

18
5. Draw​ ​and​ ​cut​ ​G​ ​as​ ​an​ ​extension​ ​of​ ​F,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​23.​ ​I​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​not​ ​cutting​ ​D
according​ ​to​ ​the​ ​blueprint​ ​since​ ​I​ ​liked​ ​it​ ​being​ ​90°​ ​to​ ​E.​ ​It’s​ ​a​ ​matter​ ​of​ ​taste​ ​of
course.

Figure​ ​23.​ ​Drawing​ ​G​ ​not​ ​until​ ​now​ ​makes​ ​sure​ ​its​ ​180°​ ​to​ ​F.
.
6. The​ ​base​ ​is​ ​made​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​way​ ​as​ ​above​ ​(2.2).
7. If​ ​you​ ​shape​ ​the​ ​sector​ ​with​ ​a​ ​needle​ ​file​ ​you​ ​might​ ​want​ ​to​ ​leave​ ​it​ ​like​ ​that,​ ​but​ ​I
filled​ ​the​ ​gap​ ​with​ ​chemical​ ​metal​ ​(no,​ ​it​ ​doesn't​ ​have​ ​anything​ ​to​ ​do​ ​with​ ​metal)
with​ ​a​ ​strengthening​ ​piece​ ​of​ ​aluminium​ ​on​ ​the​ ​inside.
Done!​ ​As​ ​can​ ​be​ ​seen​ ​in​ ​figure​ ​24​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​an​ ​enclosure​ ​to​ ​etch,​ ​but​ ​with​ ​some​ ​paint​ ​it​ ​will
look​ ​nice.

Figure​ ​24.​ ​The​ ​finished​ ​result.

19
4​ ​ ​ ​Wood​ ​side​ ​enclosure​ ​-​ ​type​ ​1
Boxes​ ​with​ ​wood​ ​sides​ ​look​ ​very​ ​nice​ ​and​ ​are​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​build​ ​(see​ ​figure​ ​1,​ ​left).

4.1​ ​ ​Base

Start​ ​with​ ​the​ ​base.


1. Cut​ ​it​ ​from​ ​a​ ​square​ ​tube.​ ​I​ ​made​ ​it​ ​~100​ ​mm​ ​long​ ​with​ ​sides​ ​~20​ ​mm​ ​high.​ ​The
width​ ​is​ ​determined​ ​by​ ​which​ ​tube​ ​you​ ​use,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​25.
2. Drill​ ​four​ ​holes​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sides,​ ​~15​ ​mm​ ​from​ ​the​ ​base,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​25.

Figure​ ​25.​ ​T​h​e​ ​base.

20
4.2​ ​ ​The​ ​top
The​ ​top​ ​is​ ​a​ ​rectangle​ ​bent​ ​as​ ​shown​ ​in​ ​figure​ ​26.

Figure​ ​26.​ ​Schematic​ ​drawing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​top.​ ​The​ ​numbers​ ​indicate​ ​dimensions​ ​I’ve​ ​used​ ​with​ ​good
results.

21
1. Cut​ ​a​ ​rectangle​ ​from​ ​your​ ​aluminium​ ​sheet.​ ​Make​ ​it​ ​[Width​ ​of​ ​the​ ​base​ ​-​ ​1]​ ​mm​ ​wide.​ ​Shape
it​ ​with​ ​a​ ​file​ ​till​ ​it​ ​is​ ​perfectly​ ​straight​ ​(figure​ ​27).

Figure​ ​27.​ ​Make​ ​sure​ ​the​ ​rectangle​ ​is​ ​symmetrical​ ​and​ ​straight.

2. Start​ ​by​ ​bending​ ​the​ ​straight​ ​angles​ ​a,​ ​b​ ​and​ ​e.
3. Now​ ​start​ ​bending​ ​c​ ​and​ ​d.​ ​Go​ ​slowly,​ ​check​ ​your​ ​progress​ ​and​ ​measure​ ​the​ ​angles.​ ​It
is​ ​best​ ​if​ ​you​ ​bend​ ​both​ ​angles​ ​little​ ​by​ ​little​ ​until​ ​you​ ​are​ ​satisfied​ ​(figure​ ​28).

Figure​ ​28.​ ​Top​ ​after​ ​bending.

22
4. To​ ​make​ ​the​ ​base​ ​and​ ​the​ ​top​ ​fit​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​make​ ​2​ ​mm​ ​recesses​ ​in​ ​A​ ​and​ ​F,​ ​see
figure​ ​29​ ​and​ ​30.

Figure​ ​29.​ ​Recesses​ ​for​ ​the​ ​base.

23
Figure​ ​30.​ ​Top​ ​and​ ​base​.

24
4.3​ ​ ​The​ ​sides

1. Secure​ ​two​ ​pieces​ ​of​ ​the​ ​wood​ ​(I​ ​have​ ​used​ ​8​ ​mm​ ​oak)​ ​with​ ​double​ ​sided​ ​tape​ ​(figure
31).​ ​Do​ ​not​ ​separate​ ​the​ ​pieces​ ​until​ ​you​ ​are​ ​finished​ ​with​ ​paragraph​ ​4!​ ​In​ ​this​ ​way
you​ ​ensure​ ​two​ ​identical​ ​sides.
2. Place​ ​the​ ​top​ ​on​ ​the​ ​wood​ ​and​ ​draw​ ​its​ ​profile.
3. Extend​ ​the​ ​profile​ ​1-2​ ​mm,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​32.
4. Cut​ ​the​ ​wood​ ​and​ ​shape​ ​it​ ​with​ ​a​ ​rasp​ ​and​ ​file.​ ​Yes,​ ​of​ ​course​ ​it​ ​is​ ​easier​ ​with​ ​a
circular​ ​saw​ ​or​ ​similar,​ ​but​ ​you​ ​can​ ​do​ ​it​ ​by​ ​hand!

Figure​ ​31.​ ​Secure​ ​the​ ​two​ ​pieces​ ​of​ ​wood​ ​with​ ​double​ ​sided​ ​tape.

Figure​ ​32.​ ​The​ ​top​ ​profile​ ​with​ ​a​ ​1​ ​mm​ ​offset.

25
4.4​ ​ ​Assembly

1. Drill​ ​screw​ ​holes​ ​through​ ​the​ ​base​ ​and​ ​the​ ​top,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​33​.​ ​As​ ​described​ ​above:
-​ ​Enlarge​ ​the​ ​holes​ ​in​ ​the​ ​base​ ​with​ ​a​ ​3.2-3.5​ ​mm​ ​bit.
-​ ​Use​ ​a​ ​M3​ ​threading​ ​bit​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​screw​ ​holes​ ​on​ ​the​ ​base.​ ​Though​ ​it's​ ​easy​ ​to
make​ ​threads​ ​in​ ​aluminium,​ ​it's​ ​not​ ​the​ ​most​ ​durable​ ​material.​ ​An​ ​alternative​ ​is​ ​to
use​ ​threaded​ ​rivet​ ​nuts.

Figure​ ​33.​ ​Base​ ​with​ ​screw​ ​holes.

2. If​ ​you​ ​want,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​the​ ​time​ ​to​ ​paint​ ​the​ ​base​ ​and​ ​apply​ ​finish​ ​to​ ​the​ ​wood.​ ​Tru-Oil​ ​is
easy​ ​to​ ​apply​ ​and​ ​gives​ ​a​ ​nice​ ​finish.
3. Screw​ ​the​ ​base​ ​and​ ​the​ ​wood​ ​sides​ ​together.​ ​For​ ​8​ ​mm​ ​wood,​ ​use​ ​8​ ​mm​ ​screws​ ​(the
2​ ​mm​ ​aluminium​ ​walls​ ​will​ ​give​ ​you​ ​thenecassary​ ​margin).​ ​This​ ​calls​ ​for​ ​a​ ​short
screwdriver​ ​or​ ​a​ ​ratchet.​ ​Pre-drilling​ ​is​ ​strongly​ ​recommended.
Done!​ ​-​ ​See​ ​figure​ ​34

26
Figure​ ​34.​ ​The​ ​finished​ ​result.

27
For​ ​my​ ​first​ ​build​ ​(figure​ ​1,​ ​left)​ ​I​ ​used​ ​a​ ​different​ ​construction​ ​using​ ​angles​ ​to​ ​attach​ ​the
sides,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​35.​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​recommend​ ​this​ ​version​ ​since​ ​it​ ​makes​ ​the​ ​interior​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​less
accessible.

Figure​ ​35.​ ​Wooden​ ​side​ ​attachment​ ​using​ ​aluminium​ ​angles.

28
5​ ​ ​ ​Wood​ ​side​ ​enclosure​ ​-​ ​type​ ​2
This​ ​might​ ​be​ ​the​ ​most​ ​obvious​ ​way​ ​to​ ​make​ ​wood​ ​side​ ​boxes.​ ​However,​ ​even​ ​though​ ​it
looks​ ​quite​ ​professional​ ​I​ ​don't​ ​like​ ​this​ ​type​ ​of​ ​enclosure​ ​for​ ​two​ ​reasons:
-​ ​The​ ​thick​ ​wooden​ ​walls​ ​are​ ​protruding​ ​into​ ​the​ ​box,​ ​making​ ​the​ ​inside​ ​much​ ​smaller​ ​than​ ​in
type​ ​I.
-​ ​It​ ​requires​ ​a​ ​router.​ ​It's​ ​not​ ​a​ ​super​ ​fancy​ ​tool,​ ​but​ ​not​ ​everybody​ ​has​ ​one​ ​and​ ​the​ ​idea​ ​here​ ​is
to​ ​keep​ ​it​ ​simple.​ ​(Don't​ ​you​ ​just​ ​hate​ ​it​ ​when​ ​a​ ​tutorial,​ ​after​ ​9​ ​miles​ ​of​ ​introduction,​ ​drops
something​ ​like​ ​"Place​ ​the​ ​piece​ ​in​ ​your​ ​CNC​ ​router"?)
Anyway,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​how​ ​I​ ​did​ ​it:
1. Make​ ​the​ ​top​ ​as​ ​described​ ​in​ ​paragraph​ ​4.2.
2. Prepare​ ​and​ ​cut​ ​the​ ​wood​ ​sides​ ​as​ ​described​ ​in​ ​paragraph​ ​4.3,​ ​but​ ​use​ ​15​ ​mm​ ​wood
this​ ​time,​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​36.

Figure​ ​36.​ ​Shape​ ​the​ ​wood​ ​to​ ​match​ ​the​ ​top.

29
3. Use​ ​a​ ​router​ ​to​ ​trim​ ​a​ ​recess,​ ​2-3​ ​mm​ ​in​ ​from​ ​the​ ​edge​ ​and​ ​8​ ​mm​ ​deep​ ​(with​ ​the
wood​ ​on​ ​its​ ​side),​ ​see​ ​figure​ ​37.​ ​See​ ​to​ ​that​ ​A,​ ​C,​ ​D​ ​and​ ​F​ ​in​ ​figure​ ​26​ ​gets​ ​support
from​ ​the​ ​wood.

Figure​ ​37.​ ​Trimming​ ​the​ ​edges.

4. Cover​ ​the​ ​bottom​ ​with​ ​a​ ​rectangular​ ​plate.


Done!​ ​-​ ​See​ ​figure​ ​38.

30
Figure​ ​38.​ ​The​ ​finished​ ​result.

31
6​ ​ ​ ​Appendix​ ​-​ ​diy​ ​bending​ ​brakes
6.1​ ​ ​No​ ​bending​ ​brake

If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​building​ ​for​ ​example​ ​sloped​ ​enclosures​ ​using​ ​a​ ​square​ ​tube​ ​you​ ​only​ ​have​ ​to​ ​make
two​ ​angles​ ​on​ ​base.​ ​For​ ​this​ ​I​ ​think​ ​you​ ​will​ ​get​ ​away​ ​with​ ​a​ ​vice​ ​doing​ ​something​ ​like
shown​ ​in​ ​figure​ ​39.
● Place​ ​the​ ​piece​ ​(A)​ ​to​ ​be​ ​bent​ ​between​ ​four​ ​steel​ ​brackets​ ​(B)​ ​-​ ​two​ ​above​ ​and​ ​two
below​ ​the​ ​bending​ ​line.​ ​Note​ ​the​ ​gap​ ​(C)​ ​between​ ​the​ ​upper​ ​and​ ​lower​ ​bracket;
without​ ​it​ ​you​ ​will​ ​not​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​bend​ ​anything.​ ​Make​ ​sure​ ​everything​ ​is​ ​aligned​ ​as
straight​ ​as​ ​possible​ ​and​ ​90°​ ​where​ ​it​ ​is​ ​supposed​ ​to​ ​be.​ ​Use​ ​double​ ​sided​ ​tape​ ​keep
things​ ​in​ ​place.
● Fasten​ ​the​ ​sandwiched​ ​piece​ ​in​ ​a​ ​vice​ ​so​ ​that​ ​the​ ​brackets​ ​sits​ ​above​ ​the​ ​jaws​ ​(D).
● Secure​ ​the​ ​upper​ ​brackets​ ​with​ ​a​ ​clamp​ ​(E).​ ​Place​ ​it​ ​as​ ​low​ ​as​ ​possible!​ ​In​ ​figure​ ​39​ ​it
is​ ​unnecessarily​ ​high​ ​(to​ ​make​ ​things​ ​more​ ​visual).
● And​ ​bend.
But,​ ​building​ ​a​ ​bending​ ​brake​ ​is​ ​quite​ ​easy.​ ​Or​ ​buying​ ​a​ ​simple​ ​one​ ​is​ ​not​ ​that​ ​expensive.

Figure​ ​39.​ ​Bending​ ​without​ ​a​ ​bending​ ​brake.

32
6.2​ ​ ​Bending​ ​brake
The​ ​bending​ ​brake​ ​is​ ​depicted​ ​in​ ​Figure​ ​40​ ​(top),​ ​41​ ​(side)​ ​and​ ​42​ ​(bottom).
● The​ ​base​ ​of​ ​the​ ​brake​ ​is​ ​two​ ​wood​ ​pieces​ ​(A),​ ​90x45​ ​and​ ​90x70​ ​mm,​ ​respectively.
● Two​ ​steel​ ​angles​ ​(B)​ ​are​ ​screwed​ ​to​ ​the​ ​wood.
● The​ ​two​ ​pieces​ ​are​ ​joined​ ​with​ ​three​ ​hinges​ ​(C).
● Handles​ ​(D)​ ​are​ ​screwed​ ​to​ ​the​ ​wood.
● A​ ​third​ ​angle​ ​(E)​ ​holds​ ​the​ ​piece​ ​to​ ​be​ ​bent​ ​by​ ​screwing​ ​the​ ​bolts​ ​(F)​ ​into​ ​threaded
holes​ ​in​ ​B.

Figure​ ​40.​ ​DIY​ ​bending​ ​brake,​ ​top​ ​view.

33
Figure​ ​41.​ ​DIY​ ​bending​ ​brake,​ ​side​ ​view.

Figure​ ​42.​ ​DIY​ ​bending​ ​brake,​ ​bottom​ ​view.

34
6.3​ ​ ​Press​ ​brake

The​ ​base​ ​for​ ​this​ ​brake​ ​is​ ​a​ ​vice​ ​brake​ ​tool​ ​(see​ ​figure​ ​43).​ ​When​ ​using​ ​them​ ​as​ ​intended​ ​ ​they
tend​ ​to​ ​move​ ​around​ ​on​ ​the​ ​vice​ ​(only​ ​fastened​ ​with​ ​magnets)​ ​so​ ​I​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​make​ ​a​ ​press
brake​ ​from​ ​them​ ​instead.

The​ ​brake​ ​is​ ​depicted​ ​in​ ​Figure​ ​44​ ​(full​ ​view),​ ​45​ ​(top)​ ​and​ ​46​ ​(detailed​ ​view).
● The​ ​brake​ ​is​ ​mounted​ ​on​ ​a​ ​wood​ ​board​ ​(A)
● A​ ​metal​ ​frame​ ​(B;​ ​the​ ​legs​ ​from​ ​an​ ​old​ ​lab​ ​bench)​ ​is​ ​mounted​ ​using​ ​four​ ​steel​ ​angles
(C)​ ​allowing​ ​it​ ​to​ ​move.​ ​Note​ ​a​ ​piece​ ​of​ ​wood​ ​(D)​ ​for​ ​some​ ​elevation​ ​is​ ​necessary
toget​ ​the​ ​right​ ​angle.
● The​ ​vice​ ​brake​ ​tool​ ​(E)​ ​is​ ​mounted​ ​on​ ​an​ ​iron​ ​angle​ ​(F)​ ​in​ ​turn​ ​mounted​ ​on​ ​the​ ​steel
frame​ ​(B).

Figure​ ​43.​ ​Vice​ ​brake.

35
Figure​ ​44.​ ​Press​ ​brake,​ ​full​ ​view.

Figure​ ​45.​ ​ ​Press​ ​brake,​ ​top​ ​view.

36
Figure​ ​46.​ ​ ​Press​ ​brake,​ ​detailed​ ​view.

37