Case Foam

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Marvin, May 24, 2010.

  1. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    I have a nice hard case that I use for my Bronica ETRSi system and the foam is beginning to break down. Just wondering if others have found good replacement foam for their cases.
     
  2. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Pelican cases have foam inserts that you can custom fit. They may sell the material separately from the case.
     
  3. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    One of the best foams for inserts is Plastazote

    http://www.zotefoams.com/pages/US/plastazote.asp

    You should be able to find it relatively easily - common here in UK.

    Its a fairly dense closed cell foam that comes in different hardnesses and sheet thicknesses. Often also comes with a self-adhesive backing.

    The great thing with plastazote is that not only can you literally carve it with a *very* sharp blade, you can also machine it with a wood-working router, so its relatively easy to make up a plywood jig to machine multiple sheet layers to the same profiles and make a very fancy insert.

    I used to work for a company that did this commercially.
     
  4. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    If you already have the case/dividers as I think might be the situation, perhaps the dividers etc could be stripped back and a closed cell foam glued on to them. Camping shops sell rolls of closed cell foam for reasonable amounts - used for seat pads, under sleeping bags etc. Very good for absorbing big knocks. For little jolts a further layer of open cell foam on the top will cushion the gear like it was being carried on feathers ! :D
     
  5. largely

    largely Member

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  6. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    If it's breaking down into small bits, I'd get the equipment out of there asap. Think of it like sand.

    I get replacement foam from an upholstery specialty store. Many grades of foam available. I cut it with a fillet knife. If possible, I freeze the foam first (seems to help a bit).
     
  7. Theo43

    Theo43 Member

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    I have a Pelican case with "pick 'n puck" foam which, as it is relatively new, works well; however, it seems to me there is a lot of wasted space. I think I will be getting a padded divider insert. You can buy foam inserts, and padded divider inserts, separately, just browse the Pelican web site to identify the one that would best fit your case. B&H Photo has good prices.
     
  8. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    Thanks for all the info. The case is actually a Western Union technicians case for tools but it is a well made case and I have used it for years. The foam is not falling apart it is just not as firm as I would like. Dividers are a possibility and would give more space, I may look into going that way. I could look at a new case with more room. The case will hold 2 Bronica ETRSi complete with back, prism and 75mm lens. Also 50mm, 150mm lens, lens hoods and grip.
     
  9. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I've used the sound deadening/eggshell style foam to protect gear in transit on airlines and it works perfectly.
    Wish I had purchased earlier - would have saved us a bundle on modelling globes and flash tubes!
     
  10. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    be careful with soft/cheap foam. It has a tendency to powder/fragment as it ages, and also may not be chemically inert, particularly if an open-cell structure has absorbed any contaminants. High quality high density closed cell polyethylene foam is very safe to use.
     
  11. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    An electric knife does a pretty good job of cutting foam.
     
  12. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Thanks for the info. Something I've been wondering about.
     
  13. patricia de roeck

    patricia de roeck Member

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    Keep clear of foam! I have the pick-out foam in my Pelican case and it sheds bits of foam like cat hairs - I've resorted to packing each bit of equipment in sealed plastic before I put it amongst the foam sections - what a pain.
    Patricia.
     
  14. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I have to disagree - at least in terms of a blanket prohibition of foam. While I've never used the "pluck" type foam, I've never had a problem with quality foam suitable for packing cases. I only get it from foam specialty shops that carry a wide variety of different foam materials.