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Author Topic: Case Builders Unite  (Read 4688 times)

(BJ) Benjamin Fisher

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Case Builders Unite
« on: December 11, 2009, 09:22:06 pm »

I am about to start my attempt at building a couple ATA flight style cases and would like to have some input, suggestions, and tips from those you have done this before. If I have good success, I would like to be able to start building and selling cases to locals. After some research, it looks as if it could be a decent money maker for me.

I've done some online research, but more is always great before taking on a task. I will be ordering through Penn Elcom (NJ). Below is a list of products I have gotten prices on, for various case ideas. If you have pictures of your cases, please post! I want to build cases that are professional looking and not some junk thrown together. ATA Flight style only.

Various parts list and parts # from Penn Elcom:
S0740   Large Grooved Rivet
S1090/UNC   ¼-20 X 1.5 Phillips Head Screw - Zinc
6001   ¼-20 Tee Nut (9/16) 4-Prong
R0828   Rack Rail
C0651Z   Large Ball Corner w/Offset - Zinc
E0775/2000   1 3/16 X 1 3/16 Single Angle Extrusion
E0825/2000   Hybrid Valance For 3/8 Wood
W9008   Swivel Caster w/ Brake
W9000   Swivel Caster  
W8375   3" Side Castor
F3852   Plastic Leveling Foot
F1558   Rubber feet
H1064Z   Recessed Flip Handle
1222   4-Hole Tight Radius Brace - Zinc
L907/915Z   Standard Medium Latch with offset
1519   Small Lift Off Hinge
W0968Z   Recessed Caster Dish
H2000   13" Telescoping Handle
2119   Lid Stay Black Nylon Strapping
9967   Telescoping Table Leg Assembly Black
3232LKLK   2 Unit Lockable Rack Drawer Black
R1194/2UK   2 Unit Rack Shelf Black
R1286/1UVK   1 Unit Vented Rack Panel
R1286/2UVK   2 Unit Vented Rack Panel
R1286/3UVK   3 Unit Vented Rack Panel
4510   2lb 1" Ester Foam 54"x72"
4610   1" Plank Foam 24"x108"
M8421   BLACK ABS Laminate Sheet 4x8
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BJ Fisher
Stealthy Sound
Columbus,OH

John Stoffel

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2009, 10:04:39 pm »

I assume you have the right shop tools. Good Luck. IMO Penn/ Elcom have the best stuff in the biz.

John
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Jim Cutshall

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2009, 10:12:27 pm »

be prepared to buy yourself a CNC machine if you are serious about this.  the case shop in my building bought one when they started and it's the only way to do it
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2009, 10:49:15 pm »

Hi Benjamin-

Case building ain't easy until you do it full time, so be prepared for some frustration and re-work.  Once you factor in what your time is worth you'd probably be better off buying (or consider it tuition at Casebuilders U), but frankly it's worth making a few to appreciate the craftsmanship of good case builders.

You might be able to purchase foam locally if you're willing to buy a lot.  I think our local producer has a $250 minimum order now, but that re-foamed a pair of 52 input console cases.  At any rate if you can justify the minimum it will be much cheaper than ordering from a case supplier.  Ditto for the ABS, probably a big minimum order if you buy from a plastics wholesaler but cheaper per S.F.

Like Jim said, if you get serious about this, you'll be looking at auctions for CNC machines, air drive rivet tools, Cleko blind panel holders...

Making nice cases can be rewarding, but learn to make some cheap crap, too, so you'll have an income. Wink

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
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(BJ) Benjamin Fisher

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 03:45:52 am »

What do you use to cut the foam?

I have all of the air and necessary tools minus pneumatic rivet gun which I'm getting.

Do you guys have any pics of your work?

Any tips for typical problems that will arise?

**EDIT** Anyone know of a place that I could get some custom (etched maybe?) metal Tags/Nameplates made that I could rivet on the cases?
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BJ Fisher
Stealthy Sound
Columbus,OH

Bob Leonard

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2009, 08:01:50 am »

Benjamin,
In your other thread you've asked how to succeed in this business. While making a case or two may fill some time and waste some money it won't enhance your appearance with the paying customers regardless of how well the cases are made.

If this is a part of the business plan it's a part you should remove.

Take a look at the link below. These are the cases I use and to be honest if you can't make cases at least this good you shouldn't make them at all.

http://roadreadycases.cust.shopatron.com/dyn_category.php?k= 113874
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(BJ) Benjamin Fisher

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2009, 08:09:17 am »

Bob Leonard wrote on Sat, 12 December 2009 07:01

Benjamin,
In your other thread you've asked how to succeed in this business. While making a case or two may fill some time and waste some money it won't enhance your appearance with the paying customers regardless of how well the cases are made.

If this is a part of the business plan it's a part you should remove.

Take a look at the link below. These are the cases I use and to be honest if you can't make cases at least this good you shouldn't make them at all.

 http://roadreadycases.cust.shopatron.com/dyn_category.php?k= 113874

I've never even built a case, so I certainly cant say this is a "business". And even if it ever was, It would have nothing to do with whatever direction I go in as far as SR is concerned. Who knows, I could completely suck at building a case Smile

I appreciate your concern, as I am here to learn and grow. Building cases is just something that interests me, and something I could do during my free week days.
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BJ Fisher
Stealthy Sound
Columbus,OH

Bob Hulme

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2009, 11:13:32 am »

Benjamin, If you want to do a good job of this, check out this site.  
http://www.do-it-yourselfroadcases.com/home.html

I spent the 30 or 40 bucks for the video and it was worth every penny. The guy even phoned me up to see how I was getting along. Great guy. You can order the Penn Elcom parts through him and get a decent discount because he does a lot of volume and He's made a deal with them to do that.

Hope this helps,   Bob H  
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(BJ) Benjamin Fisher

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2009, 11:29:13 am »

Bob Hulme wrote on Sat, 12 December 2009 10:13

Benjamin, If you want to do a good job of this, check out this site.  
http://www.do-it-yourselfroadcases.com/home.html

I spent the 30 or 40 bucks for the video and it was worth every penny. The guy even phoned me up to see how I was getting along. Great guy. You can order the Penn Elcom parts through him and get a decent discount because he does a lot of volume and He's made a deal with them to do that.

Hope this helps,   Bob H  

I came across that site during my research, but hadnt heard any reviews of the DVD, so I was a little skeptical. I have a tax ID number and the prices PE have given me are pretty much the same as the prices he lists, if not a little cheaper on some things. I'll have to think about that DVD!
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BJ Fisher
Stealthy Sound
Columbus,OH

Tom Manchester

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Re: Case Builders Unite
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2009, 01:21:42 pm »

I've found a standard Jig saw with a fine tooth wood blade works well for cutting case foam. It's a hell of a lot cleaner of an edge and probably 10x as fast vs. using a razor knife, especially on stuff that's >1/2" thick.

Get an electric compound miter saw with appropriate blade for cutting the extrusion, you will wear yourself out quickly with a hand saw. It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy, just good quality. Check Craigslist or Flea Markets.

Good luck! Case building can be frustrating but rewarding. Once you get the materials in bulk and get the hang of it, as long as you have the time to do it, you can save a lot of money on cases for custom applications.
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Electro Sound Systems
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