Packing Foam for Hard Cases at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Home, Away From Home

Home, Away From Home
Studio Space (Home) and Traveling Tips (Away From Home).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 19th, 2009, 10:05 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,554
Packing Foam for Hard Cases

I'm thinking of getting a Porta Brace hard case to make it easier to transport my main and back up camera. I like to avoid buying Porta Brace's foam because its more expensive than the hard case! I'm thinking of going to a local store and getting egg crate foam bed roll, cut it to line the inside, and create divider between the two cameras.

I want to bounce the idea off of you guys before trying it.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 19th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Pete, there are many different grades of foam from rubbish to great and most reputable hard case manufacturers use great. But you can make substitutes, don't know that egg crate foam for 2 cameras would cut it though.

Get a rubber/foam shop to quote on some bulk high grade stuff for maybe 2 cases for next time too.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 19th, 2009, 11:40 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Posts: 201
Search for a mixture you can buy of quick expanding packing foam. I have seen it used and it dries fast and can mold to any shape. This stuff is cheap.
__________________
Mitchell J. Skurnik
http://www.mjcsstudios.com/ - EX1, 4x hoodman 16GB, Libec Tripod, Sony LAV
Mitchell Skurnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Pete, there are many different grades of foam from rubbish to great and most reputable hard case manufacturers use great. But you can make substitutes, don't know that egg crate foam for 2 cameras would cut it though.

Get a rubber/foam shop to quote on some bulk high grade stuff for maybe 2 cases for next time too.

Cheers.
Well that's why I asked, because sometimes cutting corners can cause more headaches than its worth. Can you elaborate on why "cheap" foam is bad? Note, for my purposes the hard case isn't going to take much abuse like shipping or airport luggage. I only need the foam to keep the cameras snug and provide some cushion from the hard sides. I'm looking to combine my many bags of equipment into a couple of stackable cases that can be quickly transported from my car to job sites via a portable hand cart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Skurnik View Post
Search for a mixture you can buy of quick expanding packing foam. I have seen it used and it dries fast and can mold to any shape. This stuff is cheap.
you mean home insulation foam? I didn't think of that, not sure how that would work? wrap the equipment in plastic and then spray it around it?
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2009, 12:34 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Posts: 201
Use something like this:
TheFireStore.com: Pelican: Instapak Quick RT, Expanding Foam Packing Bags
IntelliPack - Foam in place packaging solutions

Spray it into a bag then form it.

There might be a company you can find around you that does this.

FYI this does not seem that expensive:
Porta-Brace Replacement Foam for PB-2750 Case Watertight, Dustproof PB-2750FO portabrace - Vistek Canada Product Detail

$75
__________________
Mitchell J. Skurnik
http://www.mjcsstudios.com/ - EX1, 4x hoodman 16GB, Libec Tripod, Sony LAV
Mitchell Skurnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
Can you elaborate on why "cheap" foam is bad?
Cheap foam slowly sags and crumbles away to tiny bits, and the bits can get in the gear.

2 years ago I bought a cheap Chinese aluminium electronics case for my mics. The foam has now disintergrated so I junked it in case fragments of foam get in the heads of the mics.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 1,104
There is a trick that you can use with expanding foam to prevent handling jars and shock from being transmitted to delicate parts of anything that you are packing with expanding foam. Before activating the foam around the camera (or whatever else), wrap the fragile part of the object to be packed with a few layers of cloth. The purpose of this is that after the expanding foam has been set, the cloth can be removed and then when your camera or other delicate equipment is packed, the part that you don't want to be shocked will not be in direct contact with the foam.

This type of foam is fairly firm and can still transmit jars and shocks to the object it is supposed to protect. You want the camera to be supported by the camera body, not the lens for example.
Jim Snow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Winnipeg , Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 43
Watch out for the expanding foam. Assuming you use the camera or equipment as the 'form' , that foam can actually crush the gear and break or bend parts. I've often seen people use regular expanding foam for sealing up window & door cracks, and after it cures, it buckles the frames, can prevent the doors or windows from opening. Think what that can do with a view finder or lens shade.

Minimal expanding is best, if you go that route.

Myself, I've had great success with the interlocking foam floor tiles you can get from the home stores. I got a 20 sq ft pack for $25, charcoal dark with diamond plate pattern. I find it just the right amount of cushion for my gear. It works best for flat-shaped cavities.

I built a small box out of 3/4" plywood, some screws, latches, and two layers of these pads for my Sony DSR-1000A slow motion deck, it gets transported around quite a bit, and so far the case has held up really well. Ideally you want two different layers of foam, a harder foam and a softer foam.
Greg Paulson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 3,464
For low impact stuff, like transporting my cams around town in the back of my SUV, I got a couple of king-sized foam mattress pads on sale from my local Linens store. They were about six or seven feet square and and about an inch thick and cost about 10 bucks each. I cut them up to fit the drawers of a plastic storage unit and the cams sit nice and snug.

For higher-impact stuff like shipping in the cargo holds of airplanes, I went to a fabric store and bought some blocks of upholstery foam -- basically the stuff you make seat cushions out of. They came in a variety of sizes from one inch to four inches thick. I got a variety and cut them to snugly fit my shipping cases. Not dirt cheap but much cheaper than anything else I was able to find. IIRC, a piece about 18" x 36" x 4" was about $20.
Adam Gold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2009, 06:58 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,207
Another "trick" is to cut off the corners of the foam where it would otherwise fit tightly into the corners of the case - sort of give it a couple of inch bevel

I've been on the fringes of designing packaging for high precision mechanisms and have seen substantial sheet metal damage caused by the foam packing when drop testing on a corner of the container.

The cure was to relieve the corners of the foam packing to minimize shock transmission through the foam.
Jim Andrada is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2009, 04:26 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,430
What you're looking for is ethafoam. It's a closed cell, slightly-rubbery-feeling polyethylene block that springs back when it's pushed in. It's the "good stuff!" Easy to cut with a hacksaw blade or hot wire knife. Do not confuse this with styrofoam... ethafoam is what's used to pack expensive components. Unlike open cell seat cover cushion foam, ethafoam doesn't shred, tear, or "erode" with use.

Ethafoam
Warren Kawamoto is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Home, Away From Home

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:34 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network