Thursday, November 11, 2010

Design This – Sturdy Box for Display Case

This design this post explains how I went about solving the problem of safely transporting a glass sided display case to and from my craft shows, such as the one I'll be at this weekend in Hillsboro. I could have placed it on the top of the items that I packed for the show and covered it with a blanket, but I wanted something more secure. Finding a sturdy box proved to be a challenge due to its size (18 x 23 x 6 inches). When my usual box sources didn’t have what I needed, I headed off to my local box and shipping supplies store.

They have boxes, tubes and mailers in a huge variety of sizes. Even with such a great selection, there were not very many options for my needs. I finally settled on a single wall 24 x 24 x 12 inch box. Unfortunately, none of the double wall boxes had the correct dimensions, so I would have to “beef up” this box when I got home.

This was one of the times that my “pack rat nature” came in handy. After I used packing tape to secure the bottom of the box, I set out to reinforce the bottom and sides. I had a piece of cardboard that was big enough to lay in the bottom of the box. Then I cut to size and pieced together four strips of cardboard to go around the sides of the box. I used liquid nails to secure the cardboard pieces to the box sides. I still had a bit to attach when I ran out of the remains of a large tube, so I grabbed a small squeeze tube of the newly formulated liquid nails for small projects. I love what they did with it! It squeezes and spreads better than the old formulation and I think it had better adhesion for this application.

Now it was time for a test fit of my case. There was just a little bit of room in the long dimension of my case for shifting that I needed to fill up. Unfortunately it was not quite enough for some reinforced corner pieces that I had been saving but I did have a couple of "I" shaped pieces of cardboard that I could slide down the sides to take up this space to make a secure fit. The corner pieces fit into the corners of the box to make it very sturdy, even if something got stacked on top so I cut them to length. I used my liquid nails for small projects to secure all of these pieces, applied some bracing and let all of this cure overnight.

Because this box is a large, somewhat awkward size, I wanted to make it easier to carry and reduce the risk of dropping it. I used a sturdy, open topped box that I’d saved to make a template for handle cut outs on my reinforced display case box and a mat knife to cut them out. Now I have a sturdy box that my display case fits securely into. I can use the space on either side and the top of the case to carry my table covers in. Problem solved.

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