Wiki Home \ How To: Build a tag box from scratch

How To: Build a tag box from scratch

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2015
View Photos

this is a great way to start getting a feel for sheet metal work, plus it's simple and saves you some money.

Tools Needed:
Die Grinder
Straight edge (ruler or yard stick work great)
Dead blow mallet

18-16 Ga. sheet metal

Okay first step is to get plate size transferred on to the metal. out line the plate with a black sharpie or ? Remember to add about an 1/8" to a 1/4" to the size of the plate to allow some room for bending.

Also extend the lines both vertical and horizontal a extra couple of inches past the plate size.

Then this is were you determine how deep of a recess you want your tag box. I did a 1" recess so you would draw a 1" line out side of the original lines.

thread post photo

now take your die-grinder and cut out the outer box you have drawn.
thread post photo

the next step you need to cut out the 4 corners that are now conveniently outlined. With my tag box being a 1" recess those corners measure out to 1"x1".
thread post photo

Okay you should now have a rectangle that is missing some corners.

Now take your metal to the vise, I used some extra 2x4 wood so that I don't have vise jaw marks in the metal.

Insert the metal (long side) between the wood and bring it down flush with the cuts on the corresponding sides.

Now bend the metal towards you as quick and firm as you can. use both hands. Now it's time to lightly tap the top of the metal were the bend is to set the 90 degree bend. Repeat the with other long side. Now I cut the wood smaller to fit the left and right sides and follow the same technique.
thread post photo

You should now have a box
thread post photo

The next step is to decide how you want to fasten your plate and weld up the corners of the box.

For mine I drilled out hole in the tag box and welded nuts on the back side

Also to be LEAGAL you are going to need to light up the plate at night. This has unlimited possibility as to what you can do. I choose the LED plate lights Wal-Mart has for $4 in the automotive section, and drilled holes to mount them on top.

thread post photo

Now clean up the welds on the corners and it's ready to install.

This is a blurry pic but it gives you an idea how bright two led's are for the plate light.
thread post photo


Created By: sleepyspeed

Page 1 of 1
konzern1   +1y
devb22   +1y
Great write-up!

<img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" />
mazdawg(mikey)   +1y
bravo man. good write-up
devb22   +1y
On a side note, I used those exact same lights for my plate box ...Here are some pics of how bright they actually are...

Sorry for the thread jack, thought it might be nice to see these lights in action...

90-b22dawg [andrew]   +1y
sweet write up and dev when is your truck going to be rolling again?
devb22   +1y

Next spring...It will be ready for show season!

sleepyspeed   +1y
No Prob Dev, I haven't figured out night pics with my camera.
dragginmazda86 (dave)   +1y
Great write up Dale, this will help others for sure!!! Thanks!

Dev, those pics look tight.
Page 1 of 1