Polaris Home Office: Create Custom Boxes

how to make boxes in polaris home office

If you're looking to make boxes for your Polaris home office, there are a few options to consider. Firstly, Polaris offers a range of storage boxes, bags, and racks that can be purchased as aftermarket accessories. These include storage boxes, cargo boxes, toolboxes, and door bags, which can significantly increase your storage capacity. These products are designed to withstand the harsh outdoor elements and are sealed and waterproof. Alternatively, you can create your own homemade storage boxes. Online forums provide ideas and inspiration from other Polaris users who have built their own boxes using materials such as plywood, nylon cargo bags, and waterproof glue.

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Using plywood and nylon cargo bags to make boxes

Plywood is a great material to use for making boxes, as it is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to work with. Here is a step-by-step guide to making boxes using plywood and nylon cargo bags:

Planning and Materials

First, you need to plan out the size of your box based on where you intend to use it. For example, if you are making a box for a bookshelf, measure the width of the shelf opening and decide how much wiggle room you want. Determine the height, width, and depth of your box, and then calculate how much plywood you will need. You will also need to decide on the type of plywood to use; for the sides, 1/4" plywood will make lightweight boxes with adequate stability, while for the bottom of the boxes, use thicker plywood (e.g., 1/2" plywood) for more stability.

In addition to plywood, you will need the following materials:

  • Wood glue
  • Nails (e.g., 1/2" and 1" wire brads)
  • Sandpaper (80, 120, and 320 grit)
  • Duct tape
  • Tools such as a jigsaw, power drill, hammer, and tape measure

Cutting the Plywood

Using a table saw, cut the plywood to the desired width for your box. If making multiple boxes, cut all the plywood at once. Next, move to a chop saw and set it to 45 degrees to cut the miters. Set up a stop block to ensure that each cut is the same length. Any slight discrepancies in the length of the sides will cause issues when you are ready to glue and nail the corners.

Assembly

Lay out the four pieces of plywood for each box in the order that you want them. Put masking tape on the outside of the wood, ensuring no space between the pieces. Flip over the pieces, add glue to the miter joints, and fold up the sides to form a box. Use a finish nail gun to add two nails to each corner.

Creating a Handle (Optional)

If you want to add a handle to your box, print and cut out a slotted handle template. Center the template at the top of the front and back box panels and trace around the edges to mark where the handle will go. Use a 1" hole saw bit to cut out the rounded edges of the slotted handle opening, then use a jigsaw to connect the holes, creating one opening. Practice on scrap wood before cutting into your box panels.

Sanding and Finishing

Sand the handle opening with 80-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges, paying particular attention to where the jigsaw cut meets the hole saw cut. Then, assemble the pieces of your box with wood glue at all the joints and tape them together with duct tape until the glue dries. Carefully hammer in nails through the joints, being careful to keep them centered and perpendicular to avoid nails poking out inside or outside the box. Once the glue is dry, carefully remove the duct tape from the joints. Sand the box with 120-grit sandpaper to smooth out any scratch marks, and then prime and paint or stain your box as desired.

Using Nylon Cargo Bags

If you wish to line your plywood box with a nylon cargo bag, cut the bag to size, allowing for a little extra material to attach it to the box. Use strong adhesive or glue suitable for use with fabric, and carefully attach the bag to the inside of the box, smoothing out any wrinkles as you go.

And there you have it! A simple, lightweight, and sturdy box made from plywood and lined with a nylon cargo bag.

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Waterproofing boxes with glue and spray

Waterproofing cardboard boxes is essential to protect them from water damage, especially if you plan on using them for storage or crafts. Here are some detailed instructions on waterproofing boxes with glue and spray:

Using PVA Adhesive Coating:

  • Prepare your workspace by covering the floor with plastic sheets or newspapers.
  • Mix water and PVA glue according to the product guidelines.
  • Apply the first layer of the coating mixture to the cardboard surface.
  • Let the first layer dry, and then apply a second layer after a few hours. Ensure that every part of the box is covered.
  • Prepare a more concentrated mixture and apply a third layer to the box.
  • Repeat the process until you achieve a shiny, water-resistant surface.

Using Acrylic Spray Paint or Varnish:

  • Prepare your workspace, ensuring proper ventilation.
  • Cover the floor with plastic sheets to protect the area.
  • Shake the can of acrylic spray paint or varnish to ensure the pigments are properly mixed.
  • Hold the can about 12 inches away from the cardboard surface and spray in parallel lines to achieve an even coat.
  • Continue spraying until the entire box is covered, including all corners and edges.
  • Allow the box to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat if needed.

Using Shellac Solution:

  • Prepare your workstation by spreading plastic sheets on the floor.
  • Mix shellac and Borax in a 5:1 ratio, stirring continuously to create an even solution.
  • Apply the shellac solution directly to the box using a brush, or dip the box into the solution.
  • Allow the box to dry for several hours.
  • Apply a second coat if necessary, ensuring the entire box is covered.

Using Waterproof Paper Spray:

  • Choose a well-ventilated workspace and cover the floor with plastic sheets.
  • Apply the waterproofing spray evenly to the surface of the cardboard box.
  • Allow the box to dry for a few hours.
  • Apply a second coat if needed, ensuring complete coverage.

Remember, when applying any coating, it's crucial to cover every inch of the box, including corners and edges, to ensure an effective waterproof seal.

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Using rubber containers to make boxes

Choosing the Right Rubber Containers

Select rubber containers that are sturdy and durable. Ensure they can withstand handling, transportation, and storage without deforming or breaking. Consider the size and shape that best fit your storage needs and the available space in your Polaris home office.

Preparing the Rubber Containers

If your rubber containers have labels or writing on them that you want to remove, use nail polish remover, specifically the kind that contains pure acetone. Soak a piece of tissue or cloth with the nail polish remover and lay it over the printed area for a while to break down the ink. Then, gently rub it off.

Customizing Your Rubber Containers

You can customize your rubber containers by painting them with chalkboard paint or decorating them to match your Polaris home office aesthetic. If you want to create compartments within the containers, consider using cardboard dividers or smaller plastic containers that fit inside.

Utilizing the Rubber Containers as Boxes

Once you have prepared and customized your rubber containers, you can start utilizing them as boxes. Label the containers to easily identify their contents, and consider stacking similar-sized containers to optimize your storage space.

Maintaining Your Rubber Containers

To maintain the longevity of your rubber containers, it is essential to care for them properly. Hand washing is recommended, but if you choose to use a dishwasher, place the containers on the top rack to avoid warping. Avoid using them in microwaves or exposing them to high heat, as this can cause the containers to shrink or melt.

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Coating boxes with fibreglass for strength

Coating boxes with fibreglass is an excellent way to increase their strength and durability. Fibreglass is a composite material made from polyester resin and glass fibre matting. When the laminate cures, it hardens and forms a solid substrate with a high strength-to-weight ratio. This makes fibreglass ideal for reinforcing structures such as boxes.

To coat boxes with fibreglass, you will need to follow these steps:

Prepare the surface:

Ensure the surface of the box is clean, dry, and stable. Remove any loose or brittle material, repair cracks, and abrade the surface if necessary. This can be done through sandblasting, sanding, or jet washing. For smooth surfaces, wipe them with an acetone-soaked cloth to remove dirt and grease, then use abrasive paper to create a rough finish that will better adhere to the laminate.

Cut the glass fibre matting:

Pre-cut the glass fibre matting to size to design the laminate and save time. Use a Stanley knife or a similar tool to carefully cut the matting, allowing for a 5-10 cm overlap to ensure a seamless finish.

Prepare the polyester resin-catalyst (MEKP):

Mix the polyester resin with the MEKP catalyst, ensuring the correct ratio of 1-4% (1-4 mL of catalyst per 1 kg of resin). The amount of catalyst depends on the ambient temperature: more catalyst is needed in cooler temperatures (<15°C) and less in warmer temperatures (>25°C).

Apply the catalysed resin to the glass fibre matting:

Saturate the chopped matting in the catalysed polyester resin and position it onto the box. Stretch and shape the laminate as needed to ensure complete coverage. Wear protective gloves when handling the laminate directly. Overlap sections by approximately 50 mm to create a seamless barrier.

Consolidate the laminate:

Use a paddle roller or brush to ensure the laminate is sufficiently saturated with resin and to remove air bubbles and distribute excess resin. It may take several passes to fully consolidate the laminate.

Apply a topcoat (optional):

Once the laminate is cured, you may apply a topcoat (flowcoat) with a brush or roller (not a paddle roller) for added protection and a smoother finish. If necessary, scale back the surface with abrasive paper before applying the topcoat.

By following these steps, you can effectively coat boxes with fibreglass, enhancing their strength and durability.

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Using metal to make boxes

Making a box out of metal is a great beginner project to get you familiar with sheet metalworking and the tools and machinery involved. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a simple metal box.

Planning and Materials

First, you will need to decide on the dimensions of your box and create a template. You can do this by drawing out your design on paper or using a cardboard box as a reference. For this project, you will need sheet metal, such as duct metal, that is thick enough to create a sturdy box but thin enough to bend. You will also need tools such as a try square, foot shear, bar folder, layout fluid, and spray paint.

Cutting and Bending

Once you have your materials and template, you can start by marking your overall size measurements on the metal. Use a square and a scratch awl to mark straight lines, then cut along these lines to get your metal to the needed size. Next, mark the layout pattern onto the metal, indicating where you will be cutting and bending. Cut out equal squares on each corner of the rectangle, creating flaps that will become the sides of the box.

Now, you can start bending the top edges of the flaps to create smooth edges for the top of the box. Use a bending brake or a sheet metal brake to do this, or you can bend the metal by hand or with a mallet by clamping the metal to the edge of a table and placing a piece of wood on top. After bending, hammer the lip down so that it is flush with the flap. Repeat this process for all four flaps.

Assembly

With the tops of the walls finished, you can now start raising the sides of the box. Use a bending brake to bend each wall up at a 90-degree angle. To secure the corners, you will need four strips of metal, each long enough to reach from the bottom to the top of the box and wide enough to be bent in half. Bend these strips lengthwise at 90 degrees, then place them onto the corners of the box and drill holes through them and the box. Insert rivets into each of the holes and use a ball-peen hammer or rivet gun to set them.

Finishing

Your metal box is now complete and ready to be used! You can add a lid by repeating the same process but making the box slightly bigger and only designing it to have about half the height. Before painting, clean the metal by sanding it to remove any oil and rust, then wipe away any remaining dust or shavings.

Frequently asked questions

The Polaris RZR Cargo Box by QuadBoss is a great all-around storage box for your Polaris RZR. It is designed to fit right into the trunk of your Polaris RZR and features lockable latches and gasket seals to keep your items safe and protected from the elements.

To maximise storage space in your Polaris RZR, consider using door bags. Door bags are an easy way to utilise storage space on your Polaris RZR's doors. Polaris RZR 900 / XP 1000 / XP Turbo Front Upper Door Bag Set by Nelson Rigg is a good option for upper door bags.

One example of a homemade storage box for your Polaris is to use a waterproof nylon cargo bag and build inner walls with plywood. You can strap them onto the rear rack with ratchets. Another option is to use a rubber container and reinforce the interior with wood.

The Polaris Lock & Ride MAX system is a new generation of Polaris Lock & Ride technology that offers a complete system of easy-to-install accessories, resulting in a customisable and intuitive platform for your Polaris vehicle.

Written by
  • Lara Beck
  • Lara Beck
    Author Home Renovation Professional
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