So, I have a cheap HVLP spray gun I use for dyes, stains, and topcoats on small projects. I had grown tired of throwing all its various parts back into the disintegrating cardboard box it came in, so I decided to make a storage box with custom cut foam inserts to hold all the pieces while not in use.
I challenged myself to construct the entire box without glue, to include the hinges and some sort of latch to keep it closed. Ultimately, I walked back from this challenge a little and used a small amount of glue for a few parts in the latch mechanism, but the box finger joints and the hinges are all friction fit or clip on (or both).
I know hinges and latches are not new territory on this forum and have been covered extensively by others, but I intentionally did not do a deep dive into other people’s solutions as I wanted to see what I could noodle out myself. The latch I came up with is a pretty simple quarter turn job.
Aside from it’s simplicity, this appealed to me because there are no latch components that protrude from the box when the box is open. It also turned out to be pretty secure which I liked. By adding a couple magnets I even got it to seat into the locked position with a satisfying “snap”.
I went through several iterations of a hinge unit and ended up with the following. This collection of parts…
is combined to create this hinge assembly…
which is then “snapped” (with a little persuasion from a mallet) into these cutouts on the back of the box
It took a bit of fiddling to get the tolerances just right, but these hinges turned out to be very sturdy. There is no slop or play to speak of and I doubt they could be removed or disassembled non destructively.
The foam inserts were planned out and cut exactly according to the procedure described in this post.
The author of this Instructable used a cheap camp sleeping mat as his foam source. This was significantly cheaper than many of the other foam options I was able to source, so I ended up using the same thing. I did not do any research myself as to what type of foam it is, but the author of the Instructable seems pretty confident it is made from PE foam which is safe to laser. I used about a third of the $10 mat, so only about $3.50 went into the box. Much cheaper than almost all of the EVA foam I could find.
So anyway, none of the above is new or groundbreaking, just my (hopefully unique) take on some topics that have been covered before by others. My hope is that some of it may be helpful to a few. Cheers!