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Historic Small Aluminum Box still Relevant today

Published on: May 6, 2021 by Blair Haas

Metal Box Gray CU 2104 B

The Bud Minibox is a small aluminum box with a simple design

For many people, especially those engineers who are older than the Millennials, the name Bud Industries is synonymous with a small aluminum box that snaps together that we call a mini-box, but they know as a Budbox.   Before the raspberry pi era, budding (no pun intended) engineers and hobbyists were delighted to get their hands on a “budbox” to enclose their latest project.  This product was originally created by my grandfather nearly 90 years ago and was one of the first enclosures we developed after moving out of the antenna and radio kit businesses in the early 1930’s.  Legend had it that he would test the ability of the snap features on the box by throwing it down the stairs in our 2 story manufacturing facility in downtown Cleveland and if it stayed closed and relatively undented, he was happy with the run.


While our processes are much more sophisticated today, producing this product on state-of-the art CNC machines and automated bending cells, the box is the same.  Made from sturdy .040” aluminum alloy, it has a clam-shell type design with one piece consisting of the top and two sides and the other is the bottom with the other two sides.  The two parts then just snap together but can be more permanently attached with the provided sheet metal screws.  It comes in 12 sizes ranging from 2 ¾” by 2 1/8” by 2 5/8” to 12” x 7” by 4”.  The CU-3000 series comes in a natural finish and has a matching CU-2100 series that comes in smooth gray powder coat.


There really is no limit to what this small aluminum box can be used for.  Sometimes we hear from customers about their applications that gives a true sense of the breadth of potential projects.  The first is used under the hood of a 1973 restored Avanti car.  It was used to cover the fuse block which had been located uncovered under the hood instead of the dash, so it was unprotected.  The box fit perfectly and has helped protect the fuses ever since.  

Another application is to house the speed controller and the rc display on a mower.  We also sell the product in large quantities for production applications.  One long-standing project is for a company that creates construction material testing equipment.  They use it in asphalt testing machinery to enclose their read-out displays.


If you have used a Bud mini-box and have an application or story to share, pass it along to us and we will publish some of the more interesting ones in future blogs.  We are always fascinated by how our products are used today and throughout our history.  It amazes us that a product that was first developed in the early 1930’s is still relevant today as the components it protects have changed but the concepts of Bud quality and reliability have not.  For more information, check out the mini-box page at www.budind.com.