Instructables
Picture of Custom Rifle Case from Violin Case
I started with a 4/4 thermoplastic violin case I purchased from http://www.musiciansfriend.com



 
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Step 1: Initial Case Interior

Picture of Initial Case Interior
The case comes lined and custom fitted for a violin.  The material is a type of faux fur that is somewhat elastic.  The base is styrofoam.

Step 2: Remove Interior

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The lining material is glued to the styrofoam with spray adhesive and and styrofoam is glued in with hot melt glue.  It takes a bit to get it started, but after you get under it, it pops out rather easy.  A large flat screwdriver or small flat bar would be well suited for this.  Don't worry about busting it up or tearing it.  It'll all be throw out and replaced.   

The only special note is to ensure you get almost all the hot melt glue out.  It is an absolute bear to pull out in some places, but it all has to come out.  I left a small bit in my first case and it came back to haunt me when I went to install the retention straps and the final lining.

Step 3: Prep for New Base

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Once all the old lining is removed ( I know, I know,   I didn't get all the glue in this one.  It was a major pain later)  tape off all the aluminum edges on the interior with painters tape.

The tape will prevent any of the expanding foam from sticking to the aluminum.  If it does get on the aluminum it has to be scratched off, marring the finish.

The blue tape will also give a guide as to where to fill the case with expanding foam.

Step 4: Add Expanding Foam

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Start spraying the expanding foam into the case trying to stay just barely under the tape line.  Once the foam expands and cures it will rise above the tape in places, but it can be trimmed down.  One can of foam got me about 75% the way through.  I had to make a mad dash to the hardware store to get another and the first section had already started to cure.  The remaining  foam didn't quite adhere as I had hoped it would, so, lesson learned.  Have 2 cans ready.

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thematthatter11 months ago
you can put a little cleaning kit in the area between the hand guard and butt stock.

Are you going to teach your girl how to shoot it when she gets older?
TeeDum (author)  thematthatter11 months ago
She already shoots. And my cleaning kit is stashed inside the pistol grip.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/981463/samson-field-survivor-ar-15-tool-kit-for-magpul-miad-moe-pistol-grip-black

Check them out
does it have a rod to push patches through?
TeeDum (author)  thematthatter11 months ago
It has a cable to pull them through
Eye Poker11 months ago
How long did this take? I have to admit my project attention span is not great.
TeeDum (author)  Eye Poker11 months ago
I have small kids and a wife who works and gets home late so.... forever.

I think it took about 2 months working an hour here a half hour there. But looking back, if I could gut out the case Friday night and lay down the foam and let it cure over night, trim it down Saturday evening and start the straps. Then do the lining on Sunday... I could see doing in one weekend if I didn't have any other distractions.

But when does that ever happen.
andrea biffi11 months ago
it appears very professional, btw I hope it's not related with your profession ;-)
I love to see anyone in any profession dedicated enough to their work to build upon their knowledge and further the art. Any industry with specific knowledge can be put to use in unlawful and dangerous, even deadly ways. Even a well educated chef can easily harm or kill with his culinary skills. No joke. There's nothing out there I know of in the world that can't be used to harm another person. And the more knowledge a person has, and the more critical the skills, the greater threat they potentially pose.
Nice job. I'll have to do this for a ppsh in. 22lr I recently picked up for a laugh
wikiquote36 months ago

yeah thats pretty beast ill give you like 5 dollars for that you know

TeeDum (author)  wikiquote36 months ago
cash?
bethehammer6 months ago
Nice job! In many places people are unnecessarily nervous about guns... But no one thinks twice about a musical instrument case. Protects the guns and avoids unnecessary scrutiny.
drtomperez9 months ago

Your instructions are great just never used rivets need to You Tube and see. Keep up the great AR stuff God Bless You and I was on Dooms Day Preppers second season called The Day of Reckoning and appreciate your AR case Kicks Ass cannot wait to make a few.

CementTruck10 months ago

For your sanity's sake you need to look into EVA foam (exercise mat). It is easily cut with a box cutter/hot knife/x-acto knife/razor blade and can be layered and glued. A lot less messy and I think you'll really enjoy working with it. No need to wait for the spray foam to cure. Another added bonus is that you would be able to make retention strap systems that go all the way around the item in one piece, thereby reducing tearout. Simply cut slits in every layer of foam, Run the strap through one side, all the way to the back of the last layer and back up through the slits other side.

Cool 'ible.

http://www.harborfreight.com/4-piece-anti-fatigue-...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/TG-EVA-Foam-Exercise-Mat...

k2iran11 months ago
This is far than awesome!!!!!!!!!!!
k2iran11 months ago
This is far than awesome!!!!!!!!!!!
rugerp51211 months ago
Very cool project...nice work
n8dizzle11 months ago
Any suggestions on how to best remove the glue that held the foam in? I tried a razor blade and a plastic scraper but I can't seem to get all of it off. Heat? Chemicals? Cheers!
tinker00011 months ago
Cool project. found this alternate idea also, http://tinyurl.com/kcwhgc7 basically it says put your stuff in a drawer, cover with an old t-shirt or other fabric, fill with expanding foam, put newspapers over it and a weighted board. Flip over when dry. check it out.
andywolfs11 months ago
why would you make this case? I don't see the purpose to hide a gun in a violin case...
The purpose of "hiding it" in a violin case is for close-minded people that immediately get their hackles up with anything that has anything at all to do with guns. My daughter nearly lost her best friend because as she was getting dropped off by the girl's mother I happened to have just returned from the range and still had my 1911 on my hip. Now she will not let her daughter come to my house because I'm a "gun nut". (Hypocritical as that is because her ex-husband has more guns than I do and HE has custody) If I had simply been removing a "violin" from my car, there would have been no issue. Keeping them out of conspicuous sight is sometimes better than having to deal with the false judgment that automatically comes along with it.
Menirz andywolfs11 months ago
the purpose isnt to hide it, per say, but to carry it for a cheaper price. There are many people who have old violin cases from their elementary school days and should they stop playing the cases fall to waste. This is a way to make, relatively cheaply, a gun case that would otherwise be a very expensive investment. And, outward proportions of the case notwithstanding, his design is entirely legal - at least from my experience with illinois laws. This is assuming, of course, that you transport it with the magazine empty.

So for any gun enthusiast who is looking for a nice custom case to transport their rife to a range, this is an ideal instructable.
TeeDum (author)  Menirz11 months ago
EXACTLY!!! Some people won't get it. But for the guys who are going to the range weekly to shoot, they'll understand. Some will get really excited and want one while others just smirk and move on. Everone who's seen it in person hasn't been able to hold back the smiles. Reminiscent of the ganster Tommy gun cases of years gone by.
Menirz TeeDum11 months ago
Its unfortunate, but it is a fact that some people simply wont get it. For some reason the debate surrounding guns has become so polarized that people are unable to think critically and see things from other perspectives.

Its sad that these sort of arguments and flaming are a given for anything that attempts to deal with guns. Still, great instructable! Im really tempted to get a violin case from a garage sale or something and do a similar process for a recurve bow I recently bought - since all of the cheap cases are literally cheap, and likely will fall apart before they keep my bow safe.
onemoroni111 months ago
This is really cool. Thanks for posting. I have seen beautiful violin cases at the thrift stores lately and wondered what to do with them. I have an 18" shotgun and will have to check it out for fit when broken down. I want to do this and add a lock for legal transportation. I had a thought of wrapping the firearm parts and pressing into the foam to save custom cutting. Thanks again.
TeeDum (author)  onemoroni111 months ago
I wouldn't reccomend that. I tried it and it failed. Read the other responses
onemoroni1 TeeDum11 months ago
Thanks again.
rondust11 months ago
Great job to see, nice 'ible, lots of pics.
My own opinion, nothing wrong but a lot of work for you.

I would use styrene foam and hot wire cut the shapes for the firearm (or use electric carving knife), then bond that to the case with the expansion foam or construction adhesive.
For softer material that would grip the parts, high density sponge foam hot wire cut, and bonded in as the above method.
Use a guitar case for Long arms like a rifle, MUCH cheaper and plenty of storage space for cleaning gear and the like accessories.
Good job sir.
TeeDum (author)  rondust11 months ago
I considered Styrofoam but the price was more than 5 times higher than using expanding foam. Unless I was using re-purposed foam from shipping containers. But the solid block foam I found online and at the local craft stores were pricey. And considering the weight of the two cases I have I doubt I would go wiith a larger case like a guitar or cello.
rondust TeeDum11 months ago
I know what you mean about cost, I'm lucky enough that there is always styro panels around that come with Refrigerator packaging, or off cut styro wall panels used in Australia.
Guitar cases are a novelty gun case here, solid ones can be heavy if made of plywood, but the plastic ones are okay, but you can even use the soft cases to do this, I have several,
Best thing is you can ride you motorbike to the range with no raised eyebrows, just sling it over the shoulder or tie it down on the rack.
Or jump on a train/tram.
I'm a huge fan of repurposing gear and trash - made some great trolley case archery targets. Just cut old carpet into strips as long as the case is wide and stack into the case when it is standing up with the top open. Then just keep stacking the strips until it is full, compress them down and squeeze as many in as possible, pin the target to the face with some wire, close the lids and away you go.
Wheel it to the zone, open the lid and shoot the arrows.
Got it from another Instructable but he was filling it with rags, they kept falling out unless you shot thru the case cover.
I do see the merrits of your method, its not to hassle you, just an alternative if available.
TeeDum (author) 11 months ago
It's just that you don't get it. That's fine. I grew up poor, on a farm. We hunted, trapped and fished. Not purely for fun, but for food. Many times if we didn't come back with meat, there wasn't meat on the table that night. I started shooting with my father and uncles and granfathers at the age of 5. Rabbits, squirels, dove, quail and pheasants. Hunting is and has always been a way of life for us. When my brothers and I got older and started bringing in food on the regular, my father quit hunting. Our house was and still is to this day filled with guns, bows, traps, ammo. All for one purpose, eating. I fire a gun dozens of times a year. Either to sight in a gun, to hunt, or to teach. I've got two small kids and they need to know not only how to shoot but that the guns in our house are not toys anymore than the knives in the kitchen, or the matches next to the fireplace. The case is just a quirky way to carry the guns from one place to another. And my assortment of guns has grown to include target shooting guns (I'm not hunting with either an MP5 or AR15) but that in no way affects the reason behind me owning guns.
Tv one511 months ago
Huehuehuehuehue
Call it a "custom Violinece case"
gabryllo11 months ago
Thats great! I was searching for cases for my bow, but here in Brazil it's quite hard to find, and extremely expansive. I've tough about making it myself, but never guessed how to do the internal! Once I get a nice case, I'll give it a try! Thanks for the instructable!
Darrell_H11 months ago
I could see where the original hot melt glue would interfere with installing the Velcro & pop rivets since hard bumpy stuff would get in the way, but how would it have affected inserting the lining? If the retention straps were installed and taped over with painter's tape before the foam was installed, would removing the hot melt glue have been necessary? Or deciding where to positioning the straps at the start to hard to determine?

The thing I would suggest doing differently would be to wrap the big parts with plastic (food wrap, grocery bags, etc. and fully tape over, then place them in the foam when it is first sprayed in so the foam makes a "perfect" better form-fit around the parts. The parts will be cut free during the leveling process, and the remaining holes would only need to be enlarged slightly to make room for the liner. Any small retention holes for tiny parts could be cut from scratch later.

Good job!
TeeDum (author)  Darrell_H11 months ago
The glue that was left on the side wall was a pain when it came time to install the liner and trying to tuck in in behind the foam.

And the first time I tried to foam in the gun, I wrapped my MP5 in newspaper and then completely covered it in painters tape. I lined the case with wax paper and I foamed the case and then pressed the gun down into it. The foam wound up enveloping the gun. It was a huge pain to rove and then after I took it out of the case and cit the gun free, the foam's shape changed and it wouldn't fit back into the case later. It was a mess and I started over. The method shown was practically headache free.
wrsexton Darrell_H11 months ago
I agree with using the stuff to make the forms. I have made several foam race car seats, That process uses a giant plastic bag, foam beads, resin, and the driver. beads and resin get mixed in the bag, the bag is pushed into place in the car, driver gets pushed into place in the bag. Use a laundry/cleaners bag to lay over the foam, push your stuff down in it. No bubbles and it's easy to glue the fabric to the cleaners bag.
TeeDum (author)  wrsexton11 months ago
I tried that on the first round but the great stuff foam I used didn't cure properly. I think it needs air to cure. After leaving it for three days it was still a slimy non-expanded mess.
I've seen the race seat method on How It's Made. I'd definatley consider that a better alternative.
Doing it your way would also allow you to embed pieces of hard plastic/wood /metal anchors where appropriate for the velcro anchor strapping, thus eliminating the random looking riveting on the outside of the case.

Overall, a very neat idea. And for apartment dwellers who have don't have the space for a gun cabinet, a good way to hide your rifle from burglars.
stevenrterry11 months ago
This is a very nicely done instructable and a great idea. I offer you heaps of praise. My one and only problem is that when closed, the gun rubs against other parts of the gun. This increase wear unnecessarily. Perhaps a thin neoprene sheet, cut to the size of the violin case to keep separate all the important stuff?
M4011 months ago
That's sweet, but I think I'll skip the spray foam and furry fabric... I'd just make a big mess! I'll probably go with 3" thick black foam and cut from there. It will avoid a lot of the headaches and make it easier to add cutouts later for other bits of gear, or to alter the cut if I add a laser, a light or other shape changing option.
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