How to Make Plastic Containers

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Make Plastic Containers
Make Plastic Containers (Image: Matt Mordfin)

Plastic is great for making things in all shapes and sizes. It's lightweight, shatterproof and easy to work with. In this article, you will learn how to work with acrylic sheets, also sometimes referred to as Plexiglas. Acrylic is a good choice for making containers because it's available in colors and can be found in both transparent and opaque. Colorless acrylic mimics glass in appearance, but is far superior in ease of construction and durability. Follow these steps to make a box-like container.

Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic plastic sheet in any thickness
  • Table saw or circular saw
  • MAPP gas torch (optional)
  • Power sander
  • Sandpaper in varying grits
  • Acrylic cement
  • Tape measure
  • Painter's tape

Decide on the size of the container you'd like to make. Use a table or circular saw to cut five equal-size squares out of the acrylic sheet. You will assemble the squares to make a box.

Sand the edges of all the pieces flat with the power sander. Flat edges are critical for the gluing step of this project. Be careful not to round off any corners.

Tape the pieces of cut acrylic together to form part of your box. There will be four sides and a bottom. Use only two pieces of tape per joint. The glue you will be using wicks under the pieces, and if you cover the entire seam with tape, you won't be able to apply the glue.

Use the acrylic cement to glue the taped edges together. Typically, the procedure involves squirting a bead of cement along the seams. The cement wicks into the gap and chemically softens the acrylic. When the cement dries, the acrylic bonds the pieces together.

Allow your container to dry for 24 hours.

Use a MAPP gas (liquified petroleum) torch along any exposed edges to smooth the rough sanded edges into a glasslike finish.

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