What You Need


“A fully set up hard case does look stun­ning.”


A hard case with foam in­serts, a cut­ting tool of your choice (we’re us­ing an elec­tric carv­ing knife), a marker, and the items you wish to place in the hard case.


A typ­i­cal foam set will in­clude as many as four pieces of foam. We will only be work­ing with the mid­dle two sec­tions. You’ll no­tice that we have “pull ‘n’ pluck” style foam, which is pre-cut with a grid that you can tear out with your fingers. We learned that this fea­ture could be both good and bad for our project. We’ll ex­plain what we mean as we go through the steps.


Mea­sure how thick the foam is and com­pare it to how deep you want your items to sit within the case. Our Pel­i­can 1510 case is pretty deep, so we only want to cut into the first layer of foam and just a small part of the sec­ond un­der­ly­ing layer.


Place the items on top of the foam and fig­ure out what con­fig­u­ra­tion works best for you. Keep in mind practical fac­tors such as weight dis­tri­bu­tion. Some say that se­ri­al­ized parts such as re­ceivers should have their se­rial num­bers fac­ing up for eas­ier iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, such as when trav­el­ling. Oth­ers pay special at­ten­tion to the ori­en­ta­tion of their ri­fle-mounted op­tics, pre­fer­ring to have them “right side up” when car­ried, which means it looks “up­side down” when the case is opened. We rec­om­mend leav­ing at least half an inch in be­tween each of the items if not more. (In ret­ro­spect, it looks like we broke a few “rules” with our setup.) No­tice that when mock­ing up our setup, we took the flash­light off the up­per re­ceiver so that it could sit more flush against the sur­face of the foam.


Now that you know how you want your items to be placed, you’ll want to use a marker to trace the pieces. Be sure to trace “in­ward,” to­ward the cen­ter of each item, so that each “foam hole” is a tad bit smaller than the parts them­selves so the foam ends up hug­ging your parts for a nice tight fit. Prior to trac­ing, we rec­om­mend mir­ror­ing the part place­ments by flip­ping the parts over. This is done so that any traces of marker won’t be vis­i­ble when you’re done cut­ting. When cut­ting is com­plete, you’ll sim­ply flip the en­tire foam piece over for a nice, clean look.

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