It seems like almost everyone needs more storage space to keep clutter from taking over their home. One great idea is to make, or fabricate, your own storage boxes out of acrylic plastic. The following article offers some key tips and considerations to keep in mind if you decide to give this intriguing do-it-yourself project a try.
The first step is to decide on the dimensions. For a starter project, it's best to begin with a small, simple rectangular box. Using dimensions of 10 inches high and 10 inches wide is an excellent idea for an acrylic box of this type.
The simplest design is to construct your box out of 5 pieces of acrylic. For a solid construction, pieces, or squares, that are ¼ inch thick work well. The design will have one piece of plastic on the bottom and four pieces on the sides. Two of the side pieces will connect to the inside edges of the two others. These are called the inside pieces, with the other two sides being called the outside pieces. The top of the box will remain open.
Once you have your dimensions and design, you are ready to cut your acrylic squares. One idea is to have them cut to your desired dimensions by a business that specializes in acrylic fabrication, such as Crown Plastics Inc. If you have a table saw and a router, however, you can do the job yourself. An important point to remember is that the edges of the pieces needs to be as smooth as possible. If they are rough, this could interfere with the gluing process later on.
Another crucial consideration is that only the bottom square will have the exact dimensions of 10 inches long and 10 inches wide. The four pieces for the sides should be cut 9¾ inches high because they sit on the bottom piece, which is ¼ inch thick. The two inside squares will be 9½ inches wide because ¼ inch needs to be subtracted on each side for them to fit against the outside pieces properly.
Once you have your pieces cut, it's time to glue them together. You are going to need a special type of glue, known as acrylic cement, made especially for this purpose. The product must be poured into a bottle before it's ready to use. Wear a pair of rubber gloves during this procedure, so none of the cement gets on your skin.
Place one of the 10-inch wide, or outside, squares flat on a table. Then glue one of the smaller, or inside, pieces to it by spreading the cement along the edge where they meet. Repeat the process on the other side with the remaining smaller square. Let everything sit for at least 20 minutes, then turn it over and set it on the remaining larger side piece.
Glue the 3 pieces to the last outside square and have it sit for another 20 minutes. Once the cement has set, glue these 4 connected sides to the 10-inch by 10-inch bottom piece. After the box has been left to sit for 24 hours, you can clean it with an acrylic cleaner and it's ready for use.