Check out my custom-cut foam carry case!

scott.cr

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Jan 10, 2006
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After getting some hints from this thread, I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and cut the foam in a new Platt tool case I had lying around the house.

With about $1,000 in lights sitting around on my desk at any given time, and ready to be knocked to the floor, I figured a way to neatly stash and file my non-daily-use lights would be awesome.

After spending some hours Googling "hot wire foam cutter" and weighing the options between build and buy, I decided to buy. Yeah, I know, a DIY job can be so much better, but I decided to take the fast & easy way out and bought a scroll table set from hotwirefoamfactory.com. This unit works okay but could really benefit from a variable power supply... this will probably be my next spare-time electronics project.

In the original thread, the poster who cut his own foam cases said he makes foam cutting templates by tracing the equipment on posterboard and cutting it out. Well that's not obscenely perfect enough for me, even for use on an imprecise surface such as flexible open-cell foam, so I drew up my gear in AutoCAD and cut out the drawings on a plotter to have perfect templates. Additionally, in CAD you can proportionately shrink the drawings and the resulting template will create a tight fit between foam and flashlight.

This was my first time laying out a foam case with more than about two items so my use of space might not be considered optimal... would love to hear any suggestions for improvement. I learned a TON during this little process though... cutting foam could be a science in and of itself! My Platt case came with pre-cut "pick and pluck" foam, which is not ideal for custom cuts, because you end up with weak spots where the pre-cut foam will want to separate. (If anyone knows where to buy solid slabs of open-cell foam please add to this thread.)

I would like to offer my foam-cutting expertise to other CPFers who might want custom cases... PM me.

Now for the pics...

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DonShock

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scott.cr said:
.....(If anyone knows where to buy solid slabs of open-cell foam please add to this thread.).....
Yes, definitely share any source you might have. I've been using stuff from the local hobby store but it's not a very good substitute for what comes in the cases.
 

DonShock

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I just checked out that scroll table set from hotwirefoamfactory.com, what's the distance from the fence along the back to the wire? I might pick one up if it's large enough to reach all areas of the foam for larger cases.
 

cryhavok

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Nov 21, 2005
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Orlando, FL
Very cool!

Do you have any worries with rust? I read that keeping firearms in cases like this isn't advisable because the foam actually holds a lot of water...I don't know if this will translate over to flashlights.
 

ar_wanton

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Apr 13, 2007
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Rust wont be a problem on aluminum.

You will gain a lot of space in your case by shifting the M4 all the way to the left side. Turn the 2 small lights in the middle standing up and then shift the spare carriers to the left.
 

scott.cr

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DonShock said:
I just checked out that scroll table set from hotwirefoamfactory.com, what's the distance from the fence along the back to the wire?

Nine inches. With some careful pre-planning you could probably cut some larger foam blocks. And don't forget you can always squish the foam down if you need to, although it's kinda a pain.
 

reptiles

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Philadelphia PA
Nice job. One possible tip you might consider... place the heavest items closest to the hinge (battery banks, flashlight heads, etc.) so the case will be less prone to topple over when closed and in an upright position.

Cheers,

Mark
 
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