I used a 1" Hole saw with a slow rpm 1/2" drill motor. The hole saw was dull, and I forgot to wedge a piece of wood inside the ammo can while drilling which resulted in stretching the steel. Now the ammo box goes bong as it pops in, and bong when I push it back out. Next time I do one of those I will have the inside of the ammo box completely supported with a wood block. If you are using the 7.62 ammo box the latch side has a large hole in the flipper that will accommodate a small U-Bolt. I used 2 nuts on the outside, and 2 nuts on the inside. Then used a spare tire cable w/lock from Wal*Marts ($7.96) around to the other side of the ammo box anchored to another U-Bolt. The disadvantage of this setup is that the the whole enclosure must be removed from the tree to get inside the box to work on the camera. Let us know what improvements you make.
The best tool I have found to cut holes in an ammo can is a GreenLeaf punch. You can get these at any electrical store. There are several sizes but I use the one that punches a 7/8 inch circle. Works great and hardly any sanding to do afterwards.
Just wondering why you guys use the ammo cans? They are big and heavy , why not use the pvc electrical boxes they cost about the same and are small and very easy to work with. plus the smaller the better as far as people and animals seeing them.
I buy my ammo cans from an army surplus store for $3. Is that about what you pay for an eletrical box. The first cam I made was with an electrical box that I found at Lowes and it was$15 and it worked great for about a month and then during a bad rain my camera got soaked and then froze the lens.
I also have a lot of buddies who purchased these type cameras and they have all broke their plastic cases within a year.
Thanks for the GreenLeaf punch idea. I'll try it next time.
I use both with the small plastic Radio Shack 4 X 6 X 2 mini enclosure containing the Owl PF & RS 49-425 sensor wedged inside the ammo can with 2 empty 35 mm film canisters (1 on each side). Here in Northern California we have a lot of scrub oak, so the large ammo can is not practical for small trees. That is when I plan to use the plastic enclosure. But on the other hand, up at the local reservoir where the boy & I have a cam planted there is always a chance that someone will walk up one of those gullies and find it. That's when it's probably a good idea to have the mini cam inside an ammo can, and locked to a tree.
what i use is a metal hole saw in a half inch drill to cut the holes, first i place a piece of 4x4 inside the box as not to bend it while drilling thru as these hole saws have a tendacy to grab in thin metal while drilling so use caution and drill slowly.
i had one of the greenleaf bits but loaned it out , they work a little better if you can find one the right size you need.
the main reason i use the steel ammo cans is for one they only cost $3 at the local surplus store and another is that around here it is black bear country and they like to get into the camera units to find the sweet smell coming from the film.
these camera's are hard enough to make without the bears eating one ....lol
to make the box lockable i weld on a chain link to the lid and another to the box itself, this way you can lock the box from being opened.
i also weld on a chain link on both sides of the box on the back edges to use as a means of strapping it to the tree with a cam buckle strap then take a steel cable and run it thru these links around the tree back to the lock that locks the lid closed, hopefully this will deter the folks that might find it.
after a good camo job (real tree bark ) it blends in quite well while in the woods,
the pic below is the camera unit hanging on a white oak tree overlooking a trail.
unless someone gets real close they most likely will walk right on by (unless it takes their pic in the dark....lol )
The Buckshot35 RTV (Real Tough Version) Retail Price $379.00/Our Price $364.95, shows a truck driving over one of their 7.62 mm Ammo Cans. For that price we could put a cam under all four tires, and still have money to go hunting. The picture is probably copywrited, so click on the URL to see it: