Instructables
I'm going to teach you how to make a flight case for a Boss GT-10 guitar pedal, but you could use these instructions to make a flightcase for any purpose you want, and you'll find it's a lot easier than you thought.

Before I tried to build this case I had absolutely no experience doing anything like this, so if you have no experience than you're perfectly qualified. I have no fancy equipment - the only powered tools I used were a jigsaw and a drill - so you really have nothing holding you back. Before making this project I thought that a flightcase would be very difficult and precise work, but it turns out you can be a lot sloppier than most projects. The pre-made aluminium extrusions cover up all manner of mistakes, so relax, it's going to end up looking amazing.

My case has a patch panel on the back of the inside shelf [pic 3], and a built in cable storage compartment in the lid [pic 4]. It also integrates my wireless receiver so when I set up at a gig I plug the power cable in, plug it into my amp or the house, and I'm done. That's it - my bass case, my pedal case, and two cables - that's all I need.

Materials needed:

- A big sheet of laminated plywood, I used 7mm. You could use non-laminated and paint it, but it is nowhere near as strong.
- Flightcase hardware from Penn Elcom . I'll be detailing what I used as we go through, but there are so many different parts you could use to change the functionality or the aesthetic. I wanted to get the base part of the case (the side with the pedal in) as thin as possible, so that I could still easily hit the buttons with my foot. For that reason I got specific corner pieces and butterfly catches, which I detail in steps 3 and 4.
- Aluminium blind rivets. I used 4.8mm diameter, 9.6mm grip.
- Washers the same size as the rivets.

I haven't given any measurements for the pieces I used because you'll most likely want to customise the box to your specific requirements.

Tools used:

- Jigsaw
- Power drill
- Hacksaw
- Mitre block
- Rivet gun
 
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Nabil3 years ago
I was shocked when a national company asked 450 US$ for a little case I wanted, because i needed 2 more a lot bigger, so i tried making the little one, and after learning what it takes I also made the 2 big ones :)
IMG00332-20100925-1149.jpgIMG00293-20100730-1150.jpg
alang (author)  Nabil3 years ago
That's fantastic!!! Love the pics, thanks for posting them. :)
sickboy43310 months ago
I was looking into building something like this for a portable booth, you've inspired me to do it like this even more. Just looks more professional ! I'll be sure to post ya some pic's
Thanks a million!!!
cbluze2 years ago
Can you build this using MDF instead of plywood?
alang (author)  cbluze2 years ago
I wouldn't. MDF is nowhere as durable as plywood for the same thickness. It also doesn't handle getting wet very well if you were to spill a beer on your case. With the plastic laminate on it, it might do pretty well, I'm not sure about that. The good thing with the plywood is that if you can find a supplier, you can find it already laminated with the plastic.
sivad22 years ago
Where did you get the laminated plywood for your build? I've been searching the internet and can't find the right stuff. I'm in the process of attempting this but I'd like it to end up as profesional looking as I can make it.
alang (author)  sivad22 years ago
I just went to a company that makes custom flightcases and bought a sheet of plywood from them. Any company that makes the cases or stocks parts for cases will have it.
This is really cool! I really want to get started on it. quick question though: has anyone ever tried to take this through the airport? I Need to know so I can fly out to Canada for a gig and spend an extra $300 on concert goodies.
alang (author)  capt. caveman2 years ago
I've flown internationally with my case several times with no problems. You could install lockable catches if you wanted additional security.
What a great Ible. Just what I needed.

Steve
spawnos37172 years ago
Do I have to design my own case and THEN have the total parts cost or is there an individual price list from Penn Elcom so I know how much I can afford beforehand?
What a great job. I had a question about actually using a rivet tool. Never used one, but I've seen stuff online and it looks as if there are different types, and types of rivets. Could you clarify what you use? Also, does the company, Penn Elcom sell directly to consumers? Their site looks like they are a wholesaler. Another thing, would you have a rough estimate as to what this project cost?

Thanks again. Great stuff. Very inspiring. It's making me want to walk to my garage through the snow and build one now.
Penn Elcom does sell directly to customers.
I am one of the salespeople in the Canadian Division
When it comes to pricing...it all depends on what you are looking for.
There are many options to suit your needs.
Thanks!
alang (author)  dogbitelogos3 years ago
Just a standard hand rivet gun. It cost me $10 I think. Looked like this one: http://www.ldemporium.co.uk/images/68000C.jpg
mgordon123 years ago
Hello. Thank you for posting this how-to!

I am currently gather and pricing materials for my build. I am a little confused about the lid extrusions and the L extrusions. I understand the L extrusion as that is fairly straight forward, but what exactly does the lid extrusion look like? You have a link, but it just goes to the home page.

Much obliged!!

-Matt
alang (author)  mgordon123 years ago
It depends on the size of your ply, but choose any of the "Hybrid Location" extrusions on this page. You put one on the lid and one on the base rotated 180 degrees. Since they are the reverse of each other, they lock into each other. I've updated the instructions with a picture of what the extrusions look like, thanks!

http://www.penn-elcom.com/products/hardware/extrusions/edge-extrusion/58/

Penn Elcom must have deleted the original one I linked to.
abadfart3 years ago
thanks i think build one for my zoom 505 and another for my strat
alang (author)  abadfart3 years ago
Good luck! Send me a pic of it when you're done.
Nabil4 years ago
Thanks for the ible!
Robglacier5 years ago
Hey,  I'm wanting to build something similar as my pedal board and I was wondering about how you dealt with Penn Elcom, did you order through their New Zealand contact in Auckland, or did you do it straight from their website. I live down in Wellington and I can't find any local suppliers either.

Diesel Phoenix?
alang (author)  Robglacier5 years ago
Haha yep :D

I got most of the hardware from http://www.livesound.co.nz/, and a couple of items plus the audio connectors from http://www.jansen.co.nz/.  The L extrusions I just got from Bunnings as it was much cheaper.

John from Livesound was great, really helped me out and gave me a couple of pointers.  They build a lot of roadcases so it was quite cool to have a look around their workshop.
dcribbs1055 years ago
What size are the extruded corner strips?
alang (author)  dcribbs1055 years ago
19mm x 19mm. I got them from Bunnings.
Thanks!
looks like a really, really nice result. if i had money...
alang (author)  sterlingsilver5 years ago
Surprisingly it's not that expensive. A commercially made case in New Zealand would be about $350, and that one cost me $120 for the case materials, and about another $60 for the audio hardware. The plywood was the biggest cost at $80. These are all New Zealand dollars of course.