Help: Looking for a fairly large, but short case/container

Created by Herbie555 on Dec. 12, 2017, 2:44 p.m.
  • Hello Tested community. I'm hoping to do some "creative re-purposing" to create (or discover) a fairly large but short (vertical-height-wise) container.

    The Specs:

    Ideal dimensions would be ~50"L x ~45"W x ~12"H.

    I've got a bit of flexibility on the length and width (± 6-8 inches, possibly) but I really need the height to be 12" ±2" (i.e. 10-14")

    This container should be lightweight (roto- or injection-molded ABS, etc. probably ideal, but can probably work with aluminum), and preferably at least moderately water-resistant (box itself must survive driving rain, but not necessary to keep contents 100% dry.) This means the usual ATA shipping cases made from thin laminates of plywood and ABS sheet with extruded tongue/groove hardware will probably not work - they usually don't seal well enough for the plywood layer to survive ongoing weather.

    I'd prefer a case with a hinge and built-in locking hasps, but I'm willing to add hardware as necessary.

    The closest thing I've found so far are "Bicycle Travel Cases" for shipping a bike via airline. They're slightly narrow for my needs (average size ~47" x 30" x 10"), but will be what I choose should I fail to find anything else. I've tried looking at Pelican/Hardigg style cases, Car Rooftop Cargo boxes (Thule/Yakima, etc.), surplus military cases, etc. and haven't quite found something that's simultaneously wide enough, long enough, and short enough.

  • A water tank might be repurposed to your use. You would need to add a frame for strength around the edges.

    Alternately, you could construct your own by building a metal frame and using sheet metal or plastic to fill in the rest of the box.

  • I have thought about just buying a big sheet of ABS and heat-forming it over a buck. I won't be able to do perfect corners since it's too big to vacuum-table, but if I can fold to square and then just lap the corners and weld with ABS glue, that might do it.

    Only bummer is that the sheets I see are usually 4x8, and that only gives me 3" of overlap (1.5"/side) on the "short" edge of my "ideal" 45x50 box. Still, at $50/sheet or so, that's not a bad option.

  • I'm a video producer and we use Pelican cases for everything from our tiny wireless mic systems all the way up to our drones and camera slider system. They are SUPER durable, waterproof, and available in a bunch of different sizes. Not super cheap, but worth it if you need it to last forever or will repurpose it in the future.

  • Well, apparently editing posts doesn't work. I hadn't read far enough down to see that you'd tried the Pelicans. Oops :) Good luck with your search!

  • Check out

    Lots of different sizes. The art/portfolio cases might work or the plasma tv cases.

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  • @Fergie600: Thanks for the pointer, but as I said in my OP, the laminated style ATA cases aren't weather rated. The way those are constructed, the laminated wood/abs boards just slot into the extruded "corner" hardware with no sealing. Water will easily get around the gaps and into the wood.

    The stuff inside my case will tolerate getting wet, but the case itself needs to be able to survive this environment without swelling or rotting out.

  • Poke around eBay for "hardigg cases", military surplus cases in the style of Pelican but in more "odd" sizes and with HEAVY weather ratings. I see some 84X30X50 ones for example, which is larger than you're looking for but may still work.