You know in the movies when they have a briefcase with a pistol in it, and it's embedded in some sort of foam that's cut out so that it hugs the gun perfectly?
November 18, 2008 5:30 PM   Subscribe

You know in the movies when they have a briefcase with a pistol in it, and it's embedded in some sort of foam that's cut out so that it hugs the gun perfectly?

What's that stuff called, and where can I buy some?
posted by Glendale to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Edit: I'm looking for something 4-6" thick...
posted by Glendale at 5:34 PM on November 18, 2008


Pelican, who are the premiere manufacturer of these cases simply say its Polyurethane foam.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:36 PM on November 18, 2008


Here's one link. Search for "foam insert" on the same site for more.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:36 PM on November 18, 2008


You're looking for a Pelican Case. They are neat and can be customized for virtually anything; the foam can be customized for all sorts of things. Also, the cases are water and air-tight as well as being crush-proof.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:37 PM on November 18, 2008


They have it in Pelican cases so a search for "pelican case foam" turned up this. "Pick & pluck" foam appears to be at least one name for it.
posted by GuyZero at 5:38 PM on November 18, 2008


Pelican cases come with foam that has like 1/2 inch squares all attached together at the corners. You can pull out the square you do not need and leave a "hole" for whatever it is that you want to fit in it.

The cases in the spy movies with the really groovy fit are laser cut, which is done by any of the case manufacturers for a specific object. Much sexier than the squares that you pull out.

There are many case manufacturers, such as:

A&J Cases

Then there is Mastercases which does not seem to have a website, the phone number is: 818-896-9333, they are cheaper than A&J

And my personal favoriteA&S cases, not to be confused with A&J.
posted by silsurf at 5:48 PM on November 18, 2008


If you can't afford to laser cut the foam but want something better than the squares, you can buy foam for a Pelican case insert that is solid, and then cut it yourself. Band Saws do WONDERFUL jobs with that kind of foam (but I wouldn't really recommend doing it with much else). You'll end up with a single line where the saw blade entered the foam, but a little glue spray will keep that from being really obvious.
posted by jeffderek at 6:33 PM on November 18, 2008


as well as being crush-proof

That sounds like a challenge to me.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:50 PM on November 18, 2008


I made a case for my 4 track tape deck a few years ago, using nice dense gray foam from hard drive shipping cushions and a nice new Olfa knife blade. (you know, the snap-off kind). had a small samsonite suitcase/makeup case that i put it in.

an electric carving knife does wonders too. no dust like a saw will make.
posted by KenManiac at 6:56 PM on November 18, 2008


You can send Pelican either CAD files, or your actual equipment and they will laser-cut foam to exactly fit the items for you.
posted by odinsdream at 7:00 PM on November 18, 2008


"Pick & Pluck" is the easiest stuff to find; it comes in a lot of gun (and other types of equipment, e.g. Pelican) cases.

However, if you really want a custom fit, what you want is some very high-density polyethlyene foam (such as Minicel), and then cut it to fit yourself. I have used a band saw followed by a razor knife to smooth the cuts and had pretty good results, although it takes some practice to get it looking good.

You can also get foam custom made for various firearms or pieces of equipment. I have no idea what the price or lead time is like, but it looks really slick.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:53 PM on November 18, 2008


CaseCad has software to design your own custom cut. One day I'll find an excuse to try it out, until then -- I'll just tell everyone I know =)
posted by mmdei at 9:03 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


That sounds like a challenge to me.

You should check out the Pelican website, there are videos of them putting a laptop in a case and then doing things like throwing it off a 20 story building, shooting it with a gun, driving over them in a monster truck, etc. and then taking the laptop out and booting it up.

I keep all my photo gear in them and they are indestructible. They even float and are chemical proof.
posted by bradbane at 10:45 PM on November 18, 2008


Your local foam/futon shop will carry something similar a lot less expensively.
posted by artdrectr at 10:50 PM on November 18, 2008


I bought this foam at.... Office Depot, I think. Or maybe some other shipping/office superstore.

As the above say, it's made of small squares of foam you pull out (break apart) leaving the hole you wish.
posted by rokusan at 11:14 PM on November 18, 2008


Hot-wire foam cutting.
posted by mandal at 7:11 AM on November 19, 2008


Wow, this is great! Thanks everyone. I searched for quite awhile, but my google-fu was failing me. I should have thought of the Pelican cases :P Now my laptop will be safe forever!
posted by Glendale at 7:15 AM on November 19, 2008


This should be exactly what you are looking for as far as how to cut it goes.

posted by prjo at 11:39 AM on November 19, 2008


I don't know what I did wrong, but try this

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=292695
posted by prjo at 11:40 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, prjo. That's an awesome walkthrough! Thanks man!
posted by Glendale at 8:08 AM on November 20, 2008


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