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Case Foam - not really business

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Todd TerryCase Foam - not really business
by on Apr 26, 2008 at 7:08:25 pm

This is extremely NON "business and marketing" related... but this forum has so many people that know how to do so many different things well, that I thought I'd try here first...

I'm packing up gear to fly out for a bare-bones shoot in Vegas next week... so I pulled out an unused Pelican case and started yanking at the foam to configure it for the gear.

I HATE "pick and pluck" foam, but there aren't too man fast/easy options. Has anyone ever tried to do anything to the foam after it's customized to keep it from "plucking and picking" after the fact? I thought I might hit it with some spray mount or Super77 or something to keep it somewhat glued together... but might risk making an even bigger mess.

Any thoughts?

And should I put our webaddress on the case? (just kidding, but that turns it into a marketing question).


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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David Roth WeissRe: Case Foam - not really business
by on Apr 26, 2008 at 8:10:02 pm

Todd,

Here's info on the subject I found earlier on the Pelican Case site and saved for just such an occasion:

"If you find you’ve made a mistake and have any loose areas, cut off corresponding piece from cutout and glue back to wall with spray contact adhesive made for polyester foam (3M™ Super 77 Spray Adhesive is available at most art or office supply stores). Follow the application directions on the spray can."

David



David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Steve WargoRe: Case Foam - not really business
by on Apr 27, 2008 at 12:23:58 am

Also, after it coated, run a bead of hot glue around your cut outs.

the really good foam in the thermodyne cases is special "closed cell" foam which you can buy on the web. You can cut it with electric knives and "hot knives" which are those blades that work like a soldering gun. The foam guys can give you the details. We use a pelican shotgun case for our sound package and we paid a touch more for the closed cell foam but it's worth every dime.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Todd TerryRe: Case Foam - not really business
by on Apr 27, 2008 at 6:39:23 am

Thanks guys...

We have custom-cut foam in most of our cases... but this was an emergency throw-it-together-on-a-Saturday deal. I was stuck with the pick-n-pluck that was in the only appropriately-sized empty Pelican that I had on hand (a 1650, I think). I'll get "real" foam later if we continue to use this set-up, but this will have to do for now. Fortunately this particular equipment combo is likely a one-time deal.

Just as a test, I Super77'd a big chunk of the excess foam that was removed to make a hole for a camera body. After several hours, although it was "dry" it was still darn sticky... and didn't really seem to be reducing the "pluckability" factor too much... so I think I will forego that.

I'll just be extra careful loading and unloading the case next week... maybe it will hold together long enough to get the shoot in the can without stray cubes of foam going everywhere.

I promise a more legitimate business topic next time!


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Mark SuszkoRe: Case Foam - not really business
by on Apr 27, 2008 at 6:24:07 pm

I feel the best foam to use inside a case is EPP, encapsulated PolyPropalyne, or a variant called Elapor, which is something they use inside car bumpers. Has some "give" to it, but retains good enough rigidity that your gear can take a lot of gee forces yet not bounce all over the inside of the case. They don't crumble like styrofoam does.

One technique I came up with a long time back for making custom inserts was based on procedures I saw other shippers of computer gear and decks use... line the case (or suitable Heavy Duty cardboadrd box) with a thick plastic drop cloth , like visqueen. Fill the largest void areas with cut- out chunks of Styrofoam or EPP or elapor. Packing peanuts could possibly work here as well, you could loosely bag them or corral them with strips of cardboard. You will want a layer of such rigid material on the bottom so your gear will not be resting directly against the container's outer wall.

Spray in some expanding "great stuff" polyurethane foam over the top of the clear plastic sheeting, and as it is puffing up and expanding, lay down another large sheet of the plastic on that to make a plastic sheet-expanding foam-plastic sheet "sandwich", THEN carefully lay your item (temporarily swathed in saran wrap would be good) into the case and let the foam and top layer of plastic expand up around it without actually *touching* it. Be aware that the foam expands considerably, and if you over-do the initial spraying, it may grow larger than you wanted. We are trying to make a nest, not fully encapsulate. Try a tiny test squirt into a paper cup first to get a feel for the volume and time it takes to expand and cure. Use the waiting time to make a cardboard template of your camera or other gear, if you don't want the actual gear anywhere near this messy process. Plunge the cardboard template into the plastic/foam sandwich instead of the real unit, and get a similar final result.

When the foam has nearly cured and expansion has slowed, remove the piece of gear or template you used to mold the custom cavity. WARNING: 2-part Polyurethane foams and "Great Stuff" type expanding foam are among the stickiest things in the universe, you will regret it if the wet material touches anything you don't want goobered-up. Clean-up generally requires solvents. Once hardened, it is pretty benign and can be cut or sanded, but don't melt these foams indoors as they release toxic vapors.

This is not going to be as good as a custom hot-wire-cut EPP or Elapor cavity. What you DO get is a relatively cheap form-fitting encapsulation that you can use once and discard or re-use as desired. The "great stuff" type foam doesn't have the same g-force resistance of the denser foams, so it needs to be thicker all the way around to give comparable protection. But if you mix the expanding stuff with scraps of the more rigid stuff, you can get something fairly sturdy, but custom-formed.


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Mike Cohenthis is so a business topic
by on Apr 27, 2008 at 10:39:03 pm

Todd,

Since there is no McGyverisms forum, I would say this is absolutely a business topic. Protecting your investment from damage or loss is in fact one of the cores of your business.

Since we have a order fulfillment department, we have several giant rolls of foam sheeting on hand at all times. In the event we need to ship something valuable, and if we do not have the original box with foam inserts, we wrap the heck out of things, pack them in a plastic case of some sort, and if shipping via FedUpsDhlEx place that case into a cardboard box or Anvil shipping case.

One thing we routinely ship are 19" LCD monitors for various demo computer setups. We have Anvil style cases designed for such a monitor, but we add sheets of foam to fill in the gaps.

Mike


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Todd TerryRe: this is so a business topic
by on Apr 27, 2008 at 11:19:31 pm

Thanks Mike.... maybe we SHOULD have McGuyverisms forum.

We almost always without fail ship all of our gear and have FedEx-dedicated anvil cases with removable wheels just for such use... I always say I never ever ever fly with my own gear (it's just such a hassel and so much easier to pick them up on location at FedEx), but tomorrow I am pretending I never said that.

Rules are made to be broken, I suppose... even one's own.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Ron LindeboomRe: this is so a business topic
by on Apr 28, 2008 at 2:07:43 pm

[Todd Terry] "Rules are made to be broken, I suppose... even one's own."

No, Todd. That sends the wrong message, especially to those suffering from pre-gray affliction. ;o)

Instead, I like to say that "For every great rule, there is a great and glaring exception." That way, I get to keep the rule but make my friends with pre-gray wonder why there's an exception.

It's that old 'kill two birds with one stone' adage. (But man, just think if that old adage was a rock n' roll turn of phrase -- the face of music could have been changed forever!)

McGyver forum, eh???

Ron Lindeboom


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Steve WargoRe: this is so a business topic
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 7:26:26 am

[Ron Lindeboom] "McGyver forum, eh??? "

maybe we could call it "Tips and Tricks"

I'm in. Being a metal fabricator, machinist, welder and wood worker (and an old Harley mechanic from the 60s), this is right up my alley.





Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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grinner hesterRe: this is so a business topic
by on May 7, 2008 at 10:18:35 pm

shoot yeah. I'd openly share the proper way to get a high definition camera secured to bike!


oh I have loads:
the right and wrong way to tell a client that page turn aint happenin'
why one should not use the wall in the hotel as bounce for the HMI
and my favorite, how to make the generic press pass without printing!



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