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Does anyone know of a good place to buy new foam for the pelican 1700 case (the one that SIG offers on their website)? I'm interested in just the bottom piece and all I can find are complete replacement sets for 50 bucks. I don't mind spending 50 bucks but I would rather just buy a few bottom pieces since the top piece is in good shape.

And what is the best method to cut this foam? I made a few minor cuts to mine already and it seems easy but I'm worried about tracing a whole pattern out by myself. Thanks
 

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Aubie said:
Does anyone know of a good place to buy new foam for the pelican 1700 case (the one that SIG offers on their website)? I'm interested in just the bottom piece and all I can find are complete replacement sets for 50 bucks. I don't mind spending 50 bucks but I would rather just buy a few bottom pieces since the top piece is in good shape.

And what is the best method to cut this foam? I made a few minor cuts to mine already and it seems easy but I'm worried about tracing a whole pattern out by myself. Thanks

I bought mine from a "foam factory" near me that usually redoes couch cushions but had large pieces of the exact foam in the sig case. I had them do the cutouts for me (see my post on that with pics http://sigarms556.com/viewtopic.php?t=8238&highlight= but the owner pulled out a box in his desk with an electric knife that had a serrated blade for turkey slicing that had a $29.99 price tag on it and he said it works "awesome." YMMV
 

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Racer5 said:
Aubie said:
Does anyone know of a good place to buy new foam for the pelican 1700 case (the one that SIG offers on their website)? I'm interested in just the bottom piece and all I can find are complete replacement sets for 50 bucks. I don't mind spending 50 bucks but I would rather just buy a few bottom pieces since the top piece is in good shape.

And what is the best method to cut this foam? I made a few minor cuts to mine already and it seems easy but I'm worried about tracing a whole pattern out by myself. Thanks

I bought mine from a "foam factory" near me that usually redoes couch cushions but had large pieces of the exact foam in the sig case. I had them do the cutouts for me (see my post on that with pics http://sigarms556.com/viewtopic.php?t=8238&highlight= but the owner pulled out a box in his desk with an electric knife that had a serrated blade for turkey slicing that had a $29.99 price tag on it and he said it works "awesome." YMMV
Or you can build one of these.

A homemade foam cutter by using 2X2s, particle board, household light-dimmer switch and a 25 volt, 2 amp transformer I got from RadioShack and I think the end result was pretty good. I used a threaded rod and bent it with heat for the mast, I figured it would work best for the installation on the wooden base. I also used a ring terminal crimp connector to hook the hot wire to the mast, that made inserting the hot wire into the pilot hole of a new cut a lot easier. Since the dimmer switch is not digital, getting the right temp is tricky but once you get the trick its no issue.






I traced the items as described to a poster board and I as read somewhere, I traced the outline about 1/4" inside of the item (If I would do this over again, I would do it about 1/8" or even 1/16". I'll tell you why later on) When tracing some of the items, you'll realize that the actual trace line does not look like the item specially in tight spots. in this situation it is best to improvise by making the lines cleaner and less complicated (Remember that what you trace, will be followed by a hot wire, so the simpler it is the easier it will be when cutting). On straight lines I used a ruler.



The light lines are the original tracing of the item. The darker lines is where the cutting will take place approx. 1/4" inside of the original traced line and cleaned up

After the item's outlines are all traced and cleaned up, I used a X-acto knife and metal ruler with a cutting board underneath. Make sure you have a new blade since it makes a world of a difference when cutting. Once you have all the templates cut out, it's time to open the case and use the templates to figure out the best layout for your items. Remember to keep no less than 1/2" of space between items and the outer edge of the case. Once the items are in place, they will use up that space.
Once I figured out the layout, I proceed to pin down the first template to the foam. This will make sure it does not move while the hot wire is running along its edges. Once pinned down, remove the foam from the case carefully and on a straight edge of the template I cut a 1" slot (pilot hole) tight along the template straight down to the back side of the foam. This pilot hole is where the hot wire will be inserted and connected back to the mast, this will be your start point. Turn on the dimmer at it's lowest setting and work your way up slowly. Be ready to respond quickly if the wire gets red hot by turning it down (These craft wires are not made to get this hot and you don't need this temperature to cut thru this type of foam) If the wire gets red hot for a second or two it will snap and you would need to replace the wire. You will find a sweet spot where the transformer will hum lightly and you will begin to see or smell light smoke. The wire will get hot enough to melt thru the foam but not burn the poster board. Find the right speed of moving the hot wire around the template. If the wire is too hot or you leave it in one spot, It will burn thru the board. The speed will be slow so it can be controlled and you will need to watch it closely, making sure that the wire is lightly running along the edge of the template. When reaching a crucial area (very detail or a bend) slow your speed a bit for better handling of the hot wire.




Once you've cut your first item install the foam back in the case and insert the item which was just cut for fit. If everything was done right, you should not have a problem. While the item still inserted place your next item for proper placement and this point you will start seeing why those 1/2" of space were given. Pin down the next template making sure that it is an adjacent item to the one you just did. Remove the item carefully, remove the foam off the case and repeat function as mentioned earlier.




Below is the finished product which I think you guys will enjoy. Making a 1/4" inner trace leaves the items pretty tight in the foam, that's why I think instead of 1/4" you can due a 1/8" or even a 1/16". It's funny that I started to get better with the foam cutting towards the end but I'm still pretty satisfied with the end result.




and now I'm left with some foam rifles for my sons to play with.....



Just kidding. Actually I took out so much material out of this case that if i decide to only take one rifle instead of both, there would not be enough density to hold it in place. So I insert the cut out into place of the item that I'm not taking at this time for displacement and it works just great.

Max
 

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I bought an electric carving knife at a yard sale for $1. Came with two blades. I saw several others so they're out there.

rambo
 
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