Shipping Container: Installing Window Bucks

Installing a Wood Buck into a Container

Determine your window layout first;

We suggest that you adjust your openings to the right or left up and down to simplify other steps later on. If you invested in a sample kit use the side wall insert to help you mark your layout lines. 

After the layout is determined. Pre-drill holes through the containers steel walls before you cut out your opening. After the opening is cut the remaining steel wall will not give you firm support making drilling holes a little bit harder. The pre-drilled holes are for attaching the wood buck later.

In this application we are insulating the interior and exterior of this container. To accommodate the extra wall thickness we choose 2x6 wood bucks for strength and thermal properties. Wood is a better insulator than steel and we wanted to reduce the chances of condensation. 

Different methods and tools for cutting through a container;

In this section we will show different methods and tools for cutting through a container. It is not to be considered an endorsement or the best way to cut out your openings. It is always best experiment to see what will work best for you. For us an angle grinder worked well for starting the holes for the saw blade cuts. We also used a drill to pilot a hole to start a cut.

A Jigsaw worked well but the blades dulled quickly and was kind of slow. It is worth the investment to buy  a higher quality a metal cutting blade.

Reciprocating Saw or Sawzall with a "Edge" blade worked very well had more power and worked faster.

The metal gauges in a container varies so we recommended different blades for thinner the metal sidewalls with 20-24 teeth per inch, or try a medium thickness blade for between 10-18 teeth per inch, and for very thick metal, like the square tube or flooring beams a blade with around 8 teeth per inch will work better.

We used an angle grinder to smooth out the sharp cut edges.

How to create a corrugated template to cut-out for openings;

We used a 2x4 to straighten the floppy corrugations and to provide an accurate straight edge for the template.

Mark the 2x4 at 2", centering the 2x6 wood buck over the corrugation.

Mark the 2x6 lumber on both sides of the steel to trace out a cut line for the jig saw cut.

Cut the 2x6 for the corrugation pattern to fit the window opening.

Assemble your wood window buck;

Build your interior and exterior wood bucks on a flat level surface.

Put a generous bead of the Loctite PL Premium onto both halves of the wood buck. This will provide a tight air seal and bond.

Attach the exterior 1/2 of the wood buck through the pre-drilled holes in the container wall.

Installing the wood bucking to the container with engineered fasteners;

Fasten the exterior portion of the wood buck through the pre-drilled holes in the container.

To fasten the interior half of the buck we used special fasteners for ITW with a drill bit and metal wings that over drill the wood then break-off to allow the screw to anchor itself to the steel container wall.

Manufacture's Tech Sheet: TEK ITW buildex_Wood-to-Metal Fasteners.PDF

The interior 1/2 of the wood buck's 2x6 holes were counter sunk.

The window bucks are complete and ready to finish. Next step is to insulate the interior walls with the CX44 panels.

Manufacture's Tech Sheet: TEK ITW buildex_Wood-to-Metal Fasteners.PDF

The Recommended Adhesive:

1. Why Use Loctite PL Premium 3x;

Loctite PL Premium


New Look Buy Shipping Container Insulation Panels in Monroe, NC

Green Guard Certified Adhesive:

One of the many reasons we recommend Loctite PL Premium is it has the GREENGUARD Certification.  It is important to us that you use an adhesive that has low chemical emissions, you are building in an airtight shipping container, improving the quality of the air you breath is kind of important.

InSoFast panels were designed with simplicity in mind and we would argue that gluing them is not only the easiest method of installation but often the most effective. Third-party testing has shown the adhesive bond strength of our studs to have 108psi of holding power. This means each adhered panel is capable of holding over 5,000lbs!

In Canada the Glue is LePage PL Premium

Testing was conducted using Loctite PL Premium’s 3X Stronger Construction Adhesive, (in Canada it is marketed under the LePage PL Premium brand,) on clean concrete surfaces. It is the only adhesive we have tested. Other formulas and brands may not work as expected.

2. Estimating Adhesive Quantity;

Estimating Adhesive Quantity

Estimating the amount of adhesive YOU will use has variables beyond our control like condition of your walls and how accurate are you with a glue gun? The example below is for one side wall of a 20' standard height shipping container you will need approximately 3 tubes of the adhesive. That is in a perfect world. PL Premium 3x adhesive is applied in a ⅜" bead on the backside of the studs onto the ribbed surfaces.  We realize that a 3/8" bead of glue is very subjective. It is important that there is enough adhesive to squish the dovetails on the back side of the stud when pressed to the container wall. Adhesive follows the "Goldie Locks rule, too much, too little, and just right. If you are doing just right you can expect that 1 large 28-fl oz tube will cover 18 of our 24" long studs or enough glue at a 3/8" bead to cover 36 foot long bead of glue. 

Additionally you will have to estimate for glue around openings like windows and doors.

1 large 28-fl oz / 828 mL tube = 18 (24" studs or inserts)

  • CX 44 (22 panels with 2 studs each plus 8 end wall edges) = 52
  • 52 ÷ 18 = 3 tubes of the adhesive

 To verify that enough adhesive is used, press the panel into place. Pull the panel back and check to see if the adhesive has spread out beyond the full width of the stud. It is normal for the panel to "float out" from the side of the container when it is accommodating irregularities in the container walls. Additional adhesive may be necessary in some areas.

3. Adhesive Quantity Chart;
LOCTITE® PL PREMIUM® POLYURETHANE CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVE Rough estimate for  28 ounce tubes of adhesive required
Container CX 44 Side Walls End Wall and Inserts Ceiling and Inserts Swing Doors Floors Total without doors and floors Total Estimate with doors and floors
20' Standard 3 Per side total 6 2 1/2  6 1/2 3 7 13 23
20' High Cube 3 Per side total 7 2 1/2  6 1/2 3 7 14 24
40' Standard 6 Per side total  12 2 1/2  13 3 14 28 45
40' High Cube 6 Per side total  13 2 1/2  13 3 14 29 46
Important Notice: Container Surface Preparation, Temperature Application;

Important Notice: Container Surface Temperature Applications

When bonding EPS and XPS foam insulation, use above 40°F (4°C) and avoid cure and surface temperatures above 90°F (32°C). Surfaces must be clean, dry and free of frost, grease, dust and other contaminants. Pre-fit all materials and protect finished surfaces. If using cartridge format, cut nozzle at a 45° angle to desired bead size and puncture inner seal. Be very careful not to allow Loctite® PL® Premium to cure on a finished surface.

Cold Weather Tips:  

Interior Installation

Heating the interior of the container will not be sufficient for the adhesive to cure because the insulation panels will not allow heat to transfer to the container surface.  It is recommended to either move the container to a heated area or tent and heat the exterior until the adhesive has cured.

Exterior Installation

The interior of the container can be heated until the adhesive has cured.

Interior and Exterior Installation

Install the exterior panels first while heating the interior.  Allow adhesive to cure before installing interior insulation.

Overview / FeaturesTechnical Data / Directions

5. Safety Precautions and Cleanup;

Wear gloves. Cured adhesive on bare skin will not come off immediately with washing and will cause skin to darken. Cured adhesive and discoloration will come off in about 3 days.

Clean tools and uncured adhesive residue immediately with mineral spirits in a well-ventilated area to the outdoors. Remove cured adhesive by carefully scraping with a sharp-edged tool.

InSoFast Plus Method

Need a higher R-value? No Problem! Start with a base of InSoFast continuous insulation panels they are feature-rich and easy to install. Then add rigid foam insulation over top of InSoFast panels.