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$14 strongbox for the car


Regular Member
Dec 28, 2009
King George, VA
imported post

Up front I'll say I did this little project with extensive use of stuff I just had lying around. If you don't have any of it this would cost a bit more.

The two components I purchased were:
The .50BMG ammo box: $8.40
The hasp from Lowes: $5 and change

After sourcing the the ammo box from a local military surplus store, I used a wire brush and 200ish grit sandpaper to remove the surface rust. Next I coated both external and internal surfaces of the box with Rustoleum. After it dried I sanded down parts that needed touching up with 400 grit sandpaper and hit them again with the Restoleum. Then I took some foam padding from the inside of a old box used to ship glassware and cut strips of the appropriate geometry to cover all internal sides of the container. They are glued to the walls with wood glue which worked surprisingly well. Next I placed the box in my trunk and marked where holes should be drilled on both the box and car. 4 bolts (nuts inside the container) secure it to the metal floor of the trunk. I tried to use a sawzall to cut the bolts flush with the top of the nuts but I used grade 5 bolts on the installation which tore up the 1980s "metal cutting" blades on the sawzall. I wanted to drill out appropriate sized holes in a piece of plywood to give the bottom of the box a flat surface and to prevent any possible dings from the bolts, but I was too lazy at the time and used a piece of cardboard instead. (Working rather nicely) I did not have a hasp at the time I installed the box so it was done in the trunk of my car. I found one that I could mount at a 90 degree angle and drilled the necessary holes. The hasp came with wood screws but I used smaller bolts instead. The top part of the hasp sticks up at an angle because the top of the bolts do not lie flush with the piece of metal secured to the box. It doesn't bother me. I put on a nice big lock which wedges between the hasp and the floor such that it will not swing around, make noise, or hit stuff as I take corners at 30mph.



vertical piece of cardboard is holding up foam as the glue dries