Author Topic: How to Make Aluminum Flashing Trays for wood box  (Read 91 times)


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How to Make Aluminum Flashing Trays for wood box
« on: October 14, 2020, 10:17:09 PM »
I decided to create a HOW-TO post on making the aluminum flashing trays that I made for my wood box to keep the wood from combusting.   I prefer the trays over foil because they are easy to empty and re-use.  I also almost never have any ash after a smoke, only charcoal when using the trays. I use 1-2 trays depending on how much and what kind of wood Im using rather than one long tray. I leave at least one row of air holes on the  bottom wood box uncovered for air flow. The trays are also narrow enough to easily fall to bottom so they make contact with wood box floor.
I apologize for the crude construction, but Im not a tinsmith. (See Trays-old 1 and Trays-old 2 pictures for early efforts.)
Material: 1 piece of Aluminum flashing of about 8X13 to make a 3.5 in X 8 in tray. (I buy a 14X25 roll from Home Depot because the flashing is handy for a lot of projects.)
Tools: Single blade Utility knife, Tin snips or heavy duty shears, flat faced hammer (auto body type), Irwin Vise-Grips Sheet Metal style, 1X4X24 piece of wood (to use as a forming block), 220 sand paper (to remove sharp edge on flashing after cutting), straight edge ruler ( for measuring and marking lines), pencil or sharpee marker.
1.    Measure bottom of wood box so you know what the maximum length and width can be.  After measuring, transfer outline to center of flashing. I use a double fold on top edges of box and make all the sides -1 tall. So if box is 3.5 in wide then mark 2 lines on long side 1 in wide. (See Tray-1 pic) That will give total width of 7.5 in.  Do same for narrow ends.
2. Score outline of box using very firm pressure with knife. No need to cut through with knife, just score well.  With a slight bend along scored line, flashing will break. Score long ends even with narrow end of box so when the long sides are folded over they can be bent to slip over the narrow end. (Tray-2 pic).
3. Using the Sheet metal grips, fold over the first 1 bend on narrow end using the board to help make a crisp even fold by pushing jaws onto wood. (Tray-2 pic) Continue folding until you have crimped the fold line and the fold stays on itself. Then move jaws to next line on box, bend to a 90 deg angle again using wood board to get a smooth line.  Do this to both narrow ends. (Tray-3 pic)
4. Start the first crimp on the long side, going about 45 degree for first bend along the whole length moving jaw along 2/3 of their width each bend. Repeat bends going about 45 deg each time to keep metal fold smooth until folded.
5. Start final long sided bend the same way but dont give the end a tight crimp (Tray-4 pic). You will need to bend the end in to a 90 deg fold so it will fit over the narrow end. Continue to create fold and slip over the narrow end so the long end stays down on the narrow end. (Tray-5 pic).
6. Crimp the edges of the folds with the vise grips so they are all flat.  If necessary use the hammer to smooth out any edges or cuts.  Sand the scored edges and cuts as those are VERY sharp.  You can pop-rivet folds if you want, but I just dimple them with the point of the hammer or a nail set or screw.
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Re: How to Make Aluminum Flashing Trays for wood box
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2020, 10:55:35 PM »
One more reason I enjoy this board so much! Everyone enjoys sharing their experiences and work to help get the absolute best results from our wonderful lazy q smokers!

Thanks for sharing this Dave! Wonderful step by step instructions!
Jeremy in NM
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Re: How to Make Aluminum Flashing Trays for wood box
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2020, 11:08:52 AM »
Thanks, I appreciate the help. BTW, those look good to me.

Paul from Southwest Missouri
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