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Unread 04-19-2010, 09:35 PM   #1
Inglewood19
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XJ security storage box build

Since my jeep was stolen a couple of months ago, I have been doing some improvements to my overall security system. I have to start out by saying that I have experience with welding steel but I have never welded aluminum before. It turns out that working with aluminum is not as hard as I thought, I actually like it better because it is easier to cut and shape. The first picture below is the aluminum spool gun that I used, the others are the start of my box. As you can see I used aluminum angle to reinforce the seams of the box and for a mounting point on the bottom as this box does not have a bottom, to conserve weight. It was completely unnecessary to weld the whole length of the angle, but it was good practice.

custom-box-22-.jpg   custom-box-19-.jpg   custom-box-17-.jpg  
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Unread 04-19-2010, 09:40 PM   #2
99Greenmachine
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Looks good...man what is up with rigs getting stolen these days?
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Unread 04-19-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
Inglewood19
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This is the hinge system that I used. I took a air cut off tool and made a slit in the angle to allow better fitment for the hinge. I had to cut a droop in the vertical part of the angel so the nuts from the exterior hinge bolts would clear. Make sure you tack weld the hinge pin for added security.
custom-box-21-.jpg   custom-box-25-.jpg  
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Unread 04-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
Inglewood19
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This is the door to access the box. I am using Buyers t-handle lockable latches. I used a plasma cutter to cut out the area for the latches followed up by a wire wheel. This part you want to make sure and measure twice and cut once.
custom-box-23-.jpg   custom-box-24-.jpg  
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Unread 04-19-2010, 09:47 PM   #5
Inglewood19
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This is pretty much the mock up of the entire box. The great thing about building your own is the custom size, as you can see I didn't spare any room.
custom-box.jpg  
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Unread 04-19-2010, 09:53 PM   #6
Project1
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Really nice work man... That looks like it might have cost you some $$$, looks solid.

How much in materials, if you don’t mind me asking?
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Unread 04-19-2010, 09:55 PM   #7
Inglewood19
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Now for the paint. I am using POR-15 Blackcote topcoat. I have used this stuff before on my previous AJ's bumper and my current Nates bumper. The stuff works awesome and it is UV resistant, I had it on my old bumper for over a year and no sign of rust and it could also take a beating. The only draw back is I have found it hard to get a nice smooth finish, and it does not come off the skin very easy. Make sure you were gloves. My problem is because I am using a brush, I'm sure if you were to spray it would look a lot better. For the record I am kind of fond of the brushed look. Before I painted I used Metal Ready which is another product of there's, great for steel and aluminum.
custom-box-2-.jpg   custom-box-6-.jpg   custom-box-9-.jpg  
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Unread 04-19-2010, 10:09 PM   #8
Inglewood19
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Mounting the box. In order to do a proper job, the fuel tank needs to be lowered in order to get the mounting bolts in from the bottom. This was easy to do, there are only 2 nuts that have to be loosened. It would be best if the fuel tank was empty, mine was half full and I did this by myself. It is also not a good idea to use self tapping screws instead of through bolts to avoid lowering the fuel tank, as the self tappers could very easily go into the tank, there is not much room between the floor pan and the tank maybe 3/8". As shown I only bolted the box in 3 places, 2 in the front and 1 in the middle of the back. I could only do one in the back because the bracing for the rear shocks would have been in my way of drilling. Just make sure you use a carriage bolt for the rear mounting point, that way nobody could undo that one rear bolt and pry the box up. The other two bolts in the front are concealed by the fuel tank, I doubt that thief wants to lower it to access them.
custom-box-11-.jpg   custom-box-10-.jpg   custom-box-12-.jpg   custom-box-13-.jpg  
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Unread 04-19-2010, 10:29 PM   #9
Inglewood19
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Final product. This box was a great idea. Using aluminum instead of steel cut the weight in half, it was also a learning experience. There is plenty of room inside the box for all my needs, I could even fit my AR in there. If I had to, I could always take the box out for more room for something big but I have a hitch rack for that. I put a led light in there for easy access at night. I also installed a fire extinguisher on the outside for emergencies.

Pricing:
Aluminum material $3.00 per pound @ roughly 60 pounds = $180.00
Hinges= $9.00 for all 3
Latches=$22.00 each so $44.00
Por-15= $45.00 for 1 quart. This also did my bumper plus I have almost half left over. I would say $10.00 at most.
Led Light=$7.00

Total= $259.00

If you were to buy a custom aluminum box like this, I am sure you would pay at least $500.00. You can buy a smaller aluminum box from Buyers for around $400.00.

My box measures 30" wide x 25" deep x 18" high.
custom-box-14-.jpg   custom-box-15-.jpg   custom-box-16-.jpg  
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Unread 04-20-2010, 12:59 AM   #10
Skwerly
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VERY, very nice. My hat is off to you, sir.
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Unread 04-20-2010, 07:05 AM   #11
Kevin108
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Your work is absolutely top notch but those cam locks are a serious weak point. They might delay someone that knew how to use a pick and tensioner for a minute each. Of course, it would take an amateur considerably longer and louder to get past them. I just don't want you to put too much faith in your new XJ safe.
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Unread 04-20-2010, 07:22 AM   #12
HavenSOV
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Great job!
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Unread 04-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #13
Inglewood19
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Kevin, that is exactly what I thought, and it is true. But anything with a key whole has the ability to get picked or drilled. I don't keep a whole lot of stuff in there everyday and the days that there are high dollar items i am usually not far away from my jeep. Most thieves, imo, only go after stuff they can see. So my box for the most part is concealment and security. Thank you guys for all the compliments I am very happy the way things turned out for my first aluminum build.
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Unread 04-20-2010, 08:48 PM   #14
XgarrettJ
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very smart
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Unread 04-21-2010, 06:04 PM   #15
Kevin108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inglewood19 View Post
Kevin, that is exactly what I thought, and it is true. But anything with a key whole has the ability to get picked or drilled. I don't keep a whole lot of stuff in there everyday and the days that there are high dollar items i am usually not far away from my jeep. Most thieves, imo, only go after stuff they can see. So my box for the most part is concealment and security. Thank you guys for all the compliments I am very happy the way things turned out for my first aluminum build.
You've definitely got the right idea! I'm a little cynical, I admit. I got involved with locks at work. We're always having to open something where nobody knows how it got locked or who ever had a key to it. Every time I've ever locked any of my own stuff before, I spent the money and put a Master Lock on it. In reality, because they're so well made, they're even easier to pick than cheap stuff! On average, a standard Master Lock takes me about 10 seconds to pick and I've only been messing with picking locks for a couple months.
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