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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB: The Classic Live Audio Board => Topic started by: Andrew Broughton on January 04, 2019, 02:24:19 pm

Title: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 04, 2019, 02:24:19 pm
So.... What’s new in portable 4u racks? I’ve seen all the usual suspects - gator, skb, pelican, but looking to see if anyone’s found anything better from perhaps a less well known manufacturer? There’s millions of them!

Ok, here’s what would be ideal:
4u
16-20” deep
Front and rear rails
Lightweight but protective
No external latches that break or don’t close properly (skb/gator)
Anything that doesn’t have those annoying lids? Pocket doors? Flat covers?

I might just go with a 4u “coverless” rack inside a pelican briefcase for shipping, but maybe someone that travels a lot like me has come across something particularly cool that I can check out?


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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: scottstephens on January 04, 2019, 02:45:49 pm
Andrew,

Try checking out Pro X cases; I think their site is something like ProXdirect.com and Roadcase USA. I have a couple of their cases and they have worked out very well. Is it want you want??? You have to decide, but I think almost any company will make what you want; if you want to pay.

Scott
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 04, 2019, 03:23:42 pm
I think almost any company will make what you want; if you want to pay.

Scott
Sorry, I forgot to say, not looking for extrusion/laminate cases - I know lots of suppliers of those kind of custom cases. More something lightweight, plastic/nylon or something like that.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Frank Koenig on January 04, 2019, 03:56:18 pm
Sorry, I forgot to say, not looking for extrusion/laminate cases - I know lots of suppliers of those kind of custom cases. More something lightweight, plastic/nylon or something like that.

Penn-Elcom offers a polypropylene hex-cell material for making light weight cases using, so far as I know, conventional road case construction -- aluminum extrusions, rivets, etc. It takes the place of the plastic laminate covered plywood panels. I purchased a good amount of it to make a headliner for the cargo area of a cargo van, and it worked well for that. I've never seen an actual road case made from it but it might be worth exploring with a custom case builder.

I had a mixer case built by Anvil/Calzone using 1/4 in. (I believe) laminate and it turned out really well. Not tour-worthy, but good for me and pretty light for a conventional case.

Having said all that, if someone knows a small rack that's like SKB, but much, much better, I'd love to know about it, too.

--Frank
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on January 04, 2019, 04:16:14 pm
Check out the EWI cases at Audiopile.net. I just bought a 6U 18" deep with front and rear rails. Padded covers. Was like $150. They have from 1U up to 8U or so. The one I have is almost too heavy with my interfaces, switches and Furman in it.

They also have shock mounted ones if that's a requirement.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Art Welter on January 04, 2019, 04:26:10 pm
I just bought a 6U 18" deep racist with front and rear rails.

They also have shocked mounted ones if that's a requirement.
Justice,

I've heard the slave trade still exists, but now you can buy overweight racists, and have them shocked?

There is progress in the new year!

Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on January 04, 2019, 06:09:23 pm
Well, that's what you get when you post from your phone and don't proof read the auto correct typos.

Don't even know what I meant there.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Mike Caldwell on January 04, 2019, 07:39:57 pm
Here's a company that makes truly mil spec cases and racks.

https://www.ecscase.com/packaging-solutions/rackmount/ (https://www.ecscase.com/packaging-solutions/rackmount/)

My uncle was a rep for them a while back and he gave me a bunch
of his old rep samples, mostly trunk style cases, you can say there built tough!!
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Rob Spence on January 04, 2019, 09:30:11 pm
The latches on the old SKB cases were awful.

The new cases in the 1SKB line are pretty good and the covers fit very well. In fact, I have a 1SKB-R4S shallow 4u (10+”) case coming tomorrow. They have another model that is 17”, the 1SKB-4RU.

I have 2 of the 2u shallow racks and I really like them.



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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Thomas Dameron on January 04, 2019, 10:09:50 pm
The latches on the old SKB cases were awful.

The new cases in the 1SKB line are pretty good and the covers fit very well. In fact, I have a 1SKB-R4S shallow 4u (10+”) case coming tomorrow. They have another model that is 17”, the 1SKB-4RU.

I have 2 of the 2u shallow racks and I really like them.

Agreed, the new SKB and Gator cases are much better than the old style.  I've been using them quite a bit and have been happy with them for moderate duty utility cases.  However, if you're dealing with shipping or TSA, I think the case in the Pelican is still the way to go. 

If the weight is your priority then I like Besonbox for non-rackmount stuff that you have to schlep around, like laptops. https://bensonbox.com (https://bensonbox.com)

thomas d.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Dave Garoutte on January 04, 2019, 10:25:57 pm
Here's a company that makes truly mil spec cases and racks.

https://www.ecscase.com/packaging-solutions/rackmount/ (https://www.ecscase.com/packaging-solutions/rackmount/)


Those are nice!
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Mal Brown on January 04, 2019, 11:23:14 pm
SKB has shown me very good customer service
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 05, 2019, 12:01:36 am

Drew Curtis is involved in this operation. These are what I emailed you about incorrectly a while back.

https://voidrack.com/store


I ordered some custom fly light cases from another company a while back but they took over 90 days to deliver and were a nightmare to deal with. Even caught them lying after I had to initiate a chargeback to get the goods I'd paid for. The racks were nice when I finally got them, but I lost out on a summer worth of rental revenue because of the delays and incorrect fulfillment.



So.... What’s new in portable 4u racks? I’ve seen all the usual suspects - gator, skb, pelican, but looking to see if anyone’s found anything better from perhaps a less well known manufacturer? There’s millions of them!

Ok, here’s what would be ideal:
4u
16-20” deep
Front and rear rails
Lightweight but protective
No external latches that break or don’t lock (skb/gator)
Anything that doesn’t have those annoying lids? Pocket doors? Flat covers?

I might just go with a 4u “coverless” rack inside a pelican briefcase for shipping, but maybe someone that travels a lot like me has come across something particularly cool that I can check out?


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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Helge A Bentsen on January 05, 2019, 01:41:11 pm
How about these?

http://www.skbcases.com/music/products/proddetail.php?f=&id=1112&o=&offset=&c=80&s=80

Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 05, 2019, 11:12:31 pm
How about these?

http://www.skbcases.com/music/products/proddetail.php?f=&id=1112&o=&offset=&c=80&s=80
As I said, it’s an option.


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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: William Schnake on January 06, 2019, 12:50:20 am
So.... What’s new in portable 4u racks? I’ve seen all the usual suspects - gator, skb, pelican, but looking to see if anyone’s found anything better from perhaps a less well known manufacturer? There’s millions of them!

Ok, here’s what would be ideal:
4u
16-20” deep
Front and rear rails
Lightweight but protective
No external latches that break or don’t lock (skb/gator)
Anything that doesn’t have those annoying lids? Pocket doors? Flat covers?

I might just go with a 4u “coverless” rack inside a pelican briefcase for shipping, but maybe someone that travels a lot like me has come across something particularly cool that I can check out?

Andrew, do yourself a favor call Mark at RoadHawg Cases in Georgia.  I order case from him and they last forever.  I always get front and back rails and pricing is great.  Here is the link to his website http://www.roadhawgcases.com/home.html (http://www.roadhawgcases.com/home.html)

Bill
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 06, 2019, 05:50:37 pm
Andrew, do yourself a favor call Mark at RoadHawg Cases in Georgia.  I order case from him and they last forever.  I always get front and back rails and pricing is great.  Here is the link to his website http://www.roadhawgcases.com/home.html (http://www.roadhawgcases.com/home.html)

Bill
Thanks, Bill... but... https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,169724.msg1565072.html#msg1565072
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 06, 2019, 05:51:57 pm
Check out the EWI cases at Audiopile.net. I just bought a 6U 18" deep with front and rear rails. Padded covers. Was like $150. They have from 1U up to 8U or so. The one I have is almost too heavy with my interfaces, switches and Furman in it.

They also have shock mounted ones if that's a requirement.
Thanks... But... https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,169724.msg1565072.html#msg1565072
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 06, 2019, 05:55:46 pm
Drew Curtis is involved in this operation. These are what I emailed you about incorrectly a while back.

https://voidrack.com/store (https://voidrack.com/store)


I ordered some custom fly light cases from another company a while back but they took over 90 days to deliver and were a nightmare to deal with. Even caught them lying after I had to initiate a chargeback to get the goods I'd paid for. The racks were nice when I finally got them, but I lost out on a summer worth of rental revenue because of the delays and incorrect fulfillment.



Thanks, Tim. A few places do these sort of "rack in a case" deals. SKB, Circle 3, Void, etc. Probably what I'll end up with. The SKB, while inexpensive, isn't customizable, so the rails are where the rails are. I could probably drill them out, but that's ugly.
Your experiences with the Void company sound like it's one company to A-void, or are you saying they were good, it was a DIFFERENT company that you had trouble with?
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 06, 2019, 05:58:08 pm
Here's a company that makes truly mil spec cases and racks.

https://www.ecscase.com/packaging-solutions/rackmount/ (https://www.ecscase.com/packaging-solutions/rackmount/)

My uncle was a rep for them a while back and he gave me a bunch
of his old rep samples, mostly trunk style cases, you can say there built tough!!
They look quite heavy. Also not a fan of the sticky-outy latches ala SKB/Gator...
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 06, 2019, 06:36:12 pm
Void is fine as far as I know, it's Drew Curtis who is a member of this board. I have not bought anything from him but have spoken back and forth with him over other stuff. They are just coming on line with pre-orders.

The company I'm avoiding is OCD labs. It's a shame, too because they make really nice fly racks. I own a couple but won't order from them ever again. I'd offer to sell you mine but they are 1U racks.

I've got to go check out the SKB stuff at NAMM, I haven't seen them close up, yet.

VER rolled their own nice solution for fly racks, as well, but they weren't selling them last time I spoke to a rep. They have 1U racks with an additional try insert for handheld and belt pack TX for their wireless rentals. They can ship out 2 channels of Axient in a pelican case.

https://www.ver.com/product/shure-axient-digital-dual-package/

I'm trying to devise a similar setup for my Lectrosonics Duet and Venue2 rentals. I'd prefer not to have to learn woodworking to get it done.

Thanks, Tim. A few places do these sort of "rack in a case" deals. SKB, Circle 3, Void, etc. Probably what I'll end up with. The SKB, while inexpensive, isn't customizable, so the rails are where the rails are. I could probably drill them out, but that's ugly.
Your experiences with the Void company sound like it's one company to A-void, or are you saying they were good, it was a DIFFERENT company that you had trouble with?
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Jordan Wolf on January 08, 2019, 12:30:43 am
VER rolled their own nice solution for fly racks, as well...
Those are OCD Labs racks, also for the quad packs.

See here (https://www.facebook.com/104437742927622/posts/1784859668218746/).






Jordan
<><
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 08, 2019, 01:38:18 am
They are similar but there are a couple of key differences. The biggest difference is that the VER racks are designed to allow use of front mount antennas. I can't do that with my OCD racks, which is a huge pain.

Those are OCD Labs racks, also for the quad packs.

See here (https://www.facebook.com/104437742927622/posts/1784859668218746/).






Jordan
<><
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: John Halliburton on January 08, 2019, 09:42:09 am
Here's a company that makes truly mil spec cases and racks.

https://www.ecscase.com/packaging-solutions/rackmount/ (https://www.ecscase.com/packaging-solutions/rackmount/)

My uncle was a rep for them a while back and he gave me a bunch
of his old rep samples, mostly trunk style cases, you can say there built tough!!

I've switched to ECS rack cases in the last year.  Mil Spec.  Molded. Watertight if the lid gaskets are in good shape.  Not sure if they're lighter weight than my old R&R racks they replaced, but I believe so.  I use a 3u for each of my QSC PLD 4.5 amps, and the combined weight is about 50lbs. Still easy enough for me to lift solo.  The interlock stacking ability is great, I even made a flat dolly that mimics that feature. 

Shop around, surplus suppliers have them.  Just make sure they come with the racks, as these get pulled with the electronics some of the time when becoming surplus.

Also make sure you get them from the same series.  I've got "Legacy" series, which I think are the first design, there is also a 7000 and 8000 series.  The interlocking features molded into the cases are different, so you want to be sure to get the same.

They also come in different lengths(depths).  22" is smallest, and they go out to 30", without lids.  The rack space and depth are molded in on the inside of the main shell, ie., "3x24".

Some come with butterfly twist style latches, some a spring loaded straight pull kind of latch.

A shot of a couple of these in action with my mixer on top.

Best regards,

John
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 08, 2019, 12:50:49 pm
I've switched to ECS rack cases in the last year.  Mil Spec.  Molded. Watertight if the lid gaskets are in good shape.  Not sure if they're lighter weight than my old R&R racks they replaced, but I believe so.
They do look like a quality product, but I don't think they'll fit my requirement of lightweight and lidless, without exposed latches, etc.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 08, 2019, 01:47:13 pm
Your quest for the not made, unavailable and/or discontinued is almost 100%.

Are you sure your parents didn't first name you Quixote, and then changed to Andrew?
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Rob Spence on January 08, 2019, 01:56:30 pm
They do look like a quality product, but I don't think they'll fit my requirement of lightweight and lidless, without exposed latches, etc.

What do you mean by lidless?



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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Rob Spence on January 08, 2019, 01:58:46 pm
They are similar but there are a couple of key differences. The biggest difference is that the VER racks are designed to allow use of front mount antennas. I can't do that with my OCD racks, which is a huge pain.

Hmm, I try and make my wireless cases have the antenna on the rear for a clearer view of the stage.

I finished building my new wireless rack into the new SKB 4u case and I like it.



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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 08, 2019, 02:46:16 pm
I need to build patch panels for the rear rails. I was trying to figure out how to do it without a bunch of insertion loss on the coax pass-through adapters, and I don't own coax crimping tools.

I was pondering building new racks that are shallow enough to expose the back of the units, but I fear 7" deep racks might be a bit tippy if stacked several units tall.

Hmm, I try and make my wireless cases have the antenna on the rear for a clearer view of the stage.

I finished building my new wireless rack into the new SKB 4u case and I like it.



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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Jason Glass on January 08, 2019, 02:55:57 pm


I was trying to figure out how to do it without a bunch of insertion loss on the coax pass-through adapters, and I don't own coax crimping tools.

BNC bulkhead pass through connectors of good quality (think Pasternack), in good condition, have total insertion loss <0.5 dB.

Shure BNC male to panel mount female jumper cables in new condition have total insertion loss <0.3 dB.

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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 08, 2019, 06:38:21 pm
Well Pasternack is certainly handy, and they're just up the road. Thanks for the heads up. I've got my solution on the way.



BNC bulkhead pass through connectors of good quality (think Pasternack), in good condition, have total insertion loss <0.5 dB.

Shure BNC male to panel mount female jumper cables in new condition have total insertion loss <0.3 dB.

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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Jason Glass on January 08, 2019, 06:47:04 pm
Well Pasternack is certainly handy, and they're just up the road. Thanks for the heads up. I've got my solution on the way.
I'm happy to be of service!

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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 08, 2019, 10:18:14 pm
Your quest for the not made, unavailable and/or discontinued is almost 100%.

Are you sure your parents didn't first name you Quixote, and then changed to Andrew?
It does seem that way, doesn't it? In reality I am more successful than not in my endeavours, as I don't mind rolling my own when what I'm looking for can't be found. I try to update when I've found a solution, but sometimes I forget or just get busy and move on. If I can't find the answer on my own, I like to finally inquire on forums as sometimes others have also been looking for a "better way", have done the legwork, and don't mind sharing.
I'm always surprised that most people I meet are fine with living with things just as they are and never striving to find a better way. I've learned that most people don't really care, which I accept, but can't relate to at all.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 08, 2019, 10:20:40 pm
What do you mean by lidless?
Poor choice of word. I meant the annoying covers that SKB, Gator, Pelican, and others have on their racks, as I mentioned in the OP.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Chris Hindle on January 09, 2019, 08:12:56 am
I'm always surprised that most people I meet are fine with living with things just as they are and never striving to find a better way. I've learned that most people don't really care, which I accept, but can't relate to at all.
My wife is always on me for the same thing.
I bring home a new widgit, and the first thing I do is "fix" it to suit my needs.
And hers, of course. Never really bought anything that was perfect, right out of the box. Well, the last living room set was OK.
Why do new desk lights have the damn power switch 8" down the power cord?
A bit of hot glue fixed that in a flash.
Chris.
Title: Portable racks
Post by: Samuel Rees on January 09, 2019, 01:06:23 pm
Glad to see his thread as I’m looking for ultra light fly racks to hold an LV1 / IEM rig. Unfortunately the 14” depth of the Digigrid IOX’s in this rig and the largest Pelican Air case (1637) being only ~17” wide, it’s been touch. The Circle Three racks look really nice, but might not fit the IOXs in practice. Weight increases dramatically when you have to pick a case besides pelican air. Is anyone else making Pelican Air weight class cases?


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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 09, 2019, 01:46:09 pm
Use SKB i3 cases instead of Pelican. They are lighter than even the Pelican Air cases.

https://www.skbcases.com/industrial/media/dynamic/icategory_view_image.php?id=17&role=isheet

Glad to see his thread as I’m looking for ultra light fly racks to hold an LV1 / IEM rig. Unfortunately the 14” depth of the Digigrid IOX’s in this rig and the largest Pelican Air case (1637) being only ~17” wide, it’s been touch. The Circle Three racks look really nice, but might not fit the IOXs in practice. Weight increases dramatically when you have to pick a case besides pelican air. Is anyone else making Pelican Air weight class cases?


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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 09, 2019, 02:26:42 pm
Glad to see his thread as I’m looking for ultra light fly racks to hold an LV1 / IEM rig. Unfortunately the 14” depth of the Digigrid IOX’s in this rig and the largest Pelican Air case (1637) being only ~17” wide, it’s been touch. The Circle Three racks look really nice, but might not fit the IOXs in practice. Weight increases dramatically when you have to pick a case besides pelican air. Is anyone else making Pelican Air weight class cases?


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For my "flyable" console, I ended up going with Underwater Kinetics as they had products that were slightly different dimensions but still light enough to keep everything under the checked baggage limit.
https://www.underwaterkineticscanada.com/products/view-category/cases
For some reason the USA site doesn't have the same selection, so I would contact the place and see where they're sold in the USA.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Samuel Rees on January 09, 2019, 02:53:17 pm
For my "flyable" console, I ended up going with Underwater Kinetics as they had products that were slightly different dimensions but still light enough to keep everything under the checked baggage limit.
https://www.underwaterkineticscanada.com/products/view-category/cases
For some reason the USA site doesn't have the same selection, so I would contact the place and see where they're sold in the USA.

Thanks for the link. They said they don’t ship to the United States. I’m having them send weight and some specs anyone in case they’re interesting enough to go get myself. The pelican air weights are impossible to match, in my searching so far.


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Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 13, 2019, 01:33:38 pm
What is the material OCD uses for their racks? (Not a carpenter)
I assume it's a coated wood, but if so, what's it coated with? It's a great finish.
IIRC, it has a hexagonal texture, like the attached pic.


Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 13, 2019, 01:40:40 pm
1/4" plywood with spray on bedliner type stuff. Definitely not any laminated type finish.

What is the material OCD uses for their racks? (Not a carpenter)
I assume it's a coated wood, but if so, what's it coated with? It's a great finish.
IIRC, it has a hexagonal texture, like the attached pic.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 13, 2019, 01:59:43 pm
1/4" plywood with spray on bedliner type stuff. Definitely not any laminated type finish.

I dont think so.  This is a common stage deck top surface.  My experience with the decks shows this to be a finished item that is laminated to the structure.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 13, 2019, 02:17:10 pm
I have one here in my hands. It's spray on stuff. There are no visible seams. Also OCD has their logo routed into the top of the rack and that's all coated nicely down to the bottom of the routing.

It it absolutely not like the photo Andrew posted above. . .except that it's also black.

I dont think so.  This is a common stage deck top surface.  My experience with the decks shows this to be a finished item that is laminated to the structure.
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 13, 2019, 03:02:57 pm
I have one here in my hands. It's spray on stuff. There are no visible seams. Also OCD has their logo routed into the top of the rack and that's all coated nicely down to the bottom of the routing.

It it absolutely not like the photo Andrew posted above. . .except that it's also black.

There we have it.  Visual deception!
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 13, 2019, 09:50:46 pm
Thanks, Tim!
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Craig Hauber on January 13, 2019, 10:35:17 pm
Thanks, Tim!
It's called hexagrip and you can get it from Penn/Elcom in 4x8 sheets
it comes in 3/8" or 1/2" thick panels and the panel itself is a premium birch ply
I built many a case out of it in the past and it was wonderful to work with

-obviously "OCD" or whomever you are discussing can built cases out of many different materials of the customer's choosing

I used to do case-over racks with the shell made of the hexagrip and the interior rack made of 3/4" birch using the bedliner type coating or nicely stained and clear poly coated if the customer wanted
Title: Re: Portable racks
Post by: Tim Hite on January 14, 2019, 03:30:27 am
McNally Enterprises down in Anaheim is doing their ATA cases in house from the hex grip material. They are very nice. They will build for others.

Cool production house with a full carpentry and paint shop and lots of other bells and whistles in addition to AV gear.

It's called hexagrip and you can get it from Penn/Elcom in 4x8 sheets
it comes in 3/8" or 1/2" thick panels and the panel itself is a premium birch ply
I built many a case out of it in the past and it was wonderful to work with

-obviously "OCD" or whomever you are discussing can built cases out of many different materials of the customer's choosing

I used to do case-over racks with the shell made of the hexagrip and the interior rack made of 3/4" birch using the bedliner type coating or nicely stained and clear poly coated if the customer wanted