How to Make a Simple Basic Sheet Metal Box

Written by gabrielle black
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How to Make a Simple Basic Sheet Metal Box
Building a basic sheet metal box requires basic welding skills. (welding image by glgec from

Creating a basic metal box is one of the first projects many welding shops have their students work on because it teaches basic welding and metal cutting techniques. Before taking on this project, you should learn how to use an arc welder and cutting torch. Follow all safety recommendations associated with using welding equipment, such as wearing eye and skin protection and setting up a safe work space to prevent a passer-by from being injured.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Straight edge
  • Permanent marker
  • Arc welder
  • Cutting torch
  • Metal grinder
  • Magnetic square
  • Borax flux-covered rod
  • Safety gear
  • Electric drill
  • Hinges
  • Latch
  • Bolts
  • Nuts
  • Wrench

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  1. 1

    Draw out the top, bottom and sides of your box on the sheet metal using a straight edge and permanent marker. Make sure each side is the same size as the one that will be opposite it when the box is assembled.

  2. 2

    Put on safety gear. Cut the sheet metal using the cutting torch. Grind all the edges down so they are smooth to the touch. Lay the bottom piece on the welding table. Line up the back of the box with the bottom at a 90-degree angle.

  3. 3

    Tack weld the edge where they meet by welding only a small bead every six inches along the seam using the arc welder and borax flux-covered rod. Use the magnetic square to check the angle for accuracy before doing the finished weld across the whole seam with the solid bead weld.

  4. 4

    Repeat the process with the sides and front of the box. Use the solid bead weld on all seams after checking the accuracy of the angles.

  5. 5

    Place the top piece of sheet metal on top of the box. Set hinges on the back edge of the box so it will connect the top piece to the back of the box. Drill holes through the top and back of the box where the hinges need them. Attach hinges using bolts and nuts. Tighten bolts and nuts with a wrench.

  6. 6

    Place a latch on the front of the box so it connects the top with the front of the box. Drill holes in the top and front of the box with the electric drill in the locations indicated by the latch's design. Attach the latch to the box using bolts and nuts. Tighten bolts and nuts with a wrench. Grind down any sharp edges with the grinder until smooth to the touch.

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