Learn to make a custom Laser X carry case to protect, store, and transport your laser tag game.
Make a custom form fitted case for most any item using expanding insulation foam.
MACGYVER might even use this same technique to protect some of his electronics!
Protect whatever you want easily and on the cheap. You may even use this method of protection for packing valuable items for shipping.
One lesson I have tried to teach my children is to care for your stuff. Especially the expensive stuff! At some point you may no longer want some stuff and want to sell it. If you care for it, it will hold some value. We have resold many of our kids stuff, mainly toys, over the years as they outgrow or lose interest in them
Here is another way to care for stuff and help retain value.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
This is a nice inexpensive project depending on the the case that you decide to use. Enough has already been spent on the laser system already, so let's keep this to a minimum The leather brief case I found at a garage sale for $3! The only additional cost I had was $6 for the expanding foam insulation. Not a bad investment to protect a $50 toy.
- Utility Knife
- Wood board
- Heavy weighted object
- Protective gloves
- Rigid briefcase or small rigid suitcase.
- Old T-shirt, towel, or bed linen.
- Expanding Form Insulation
- Painters Tape
Step 2: The Problem
The main problem we are trying to solve is the tangled mess of cordage when story your laser guns. Also, the risk of the guns or target being damaged if simply thrown in the corner of a room or into a toy chest.
By providing a protective case, we can possibly prolong the use of this expensive game set which retails for $50.
And we may even be able to resell the laser system and case in a couple years.
Step 3: Remove Unnecessary Parts
Let's start by removing any unnecessary parts from the case. We have no need for the dividers in the top have which take up valuable space.
With a utility knife cut along seems or as close to case as possible and remove dividers.
After you cut out dividers, discard or throw in your secret hoard pile for some other project.
Step 4: Tape Components
Since we are going to make a custom form for the components we want them wrapped neatly inside the case.
With painters tape, neatly and carefully wrap cord and target/strap system. Keep in mind when wrapping how you want your form to look and fit. I used Painters tape so not to leave any adhesive on the parts later after the form is completed.
Note that I wrapped my with the intention that the face of the target would be facing the form when complete.
Step 5: Component Layout
Next you will layout your components how you would like them to lay in the case. With that said, keep in mind your final product will be opposite of this as you will be flipping your form over when complete. In other words it will be a negative image.
Step 6: Lay Linen
With the components still in the case, lay your desired linen over your components. I used an old T-shirt that was destined for the garage rag box. When you lay your linen be sure to allow for excess to overhang out of the case.
Step 7: Apply Foam
Next apply a layer of expanding form insulation over the linen. I used a side to side direction to apply several uniform rows of until the entire inside of linen was covered. The foam will begin to expand almost immediately as it comes into contact with the linen and air. Apply rows about 1 inch thick. I used a full 12 oz. can for this project. I had just enough to cover my the entire surface with one even layer So plan accordingly when choosing your amount of form to use.
Let set up for about 5 minutes.
Step 8: Apply Linen and Pressure
Next lay another layer of linen over the foam. In this case it was another old T-shirt. Then apply a gentle pressure to the T-shirt to ease the foam around the components. You will not need to apply much pressure as you form the foam around the components.
Those are my son's 8 year old hands inside those XL vinyl gloves! Always use gloves when working with this foam! Protective eye wear is a good idea as well.
Step 9: Apply Sustained Pressure
Next you will want to apply sustained pressure for about 4 hours or more to let form harden and cure. In order to displace pressure evenly, place a scrap piece of wood over top the linen. Then apply a heavy weight on top of the board. Inside the box is a 16 lb. bowling ball. Pressure is now displaced evenly. Let set for 4 hours or more.
Step 10: Remove Pressure
After about 4 hours my foam had set nicely. This was due to warm and humid conditions in my garage. The two things the foam needs to set is air and moisture. The humidity was perfect for curing.
Peel off the layer of linen that was directly under the board and weight.
Notice that some of the foam did make it out of the inside of the case moving upward due to the pressure that was applied. That is okay. We can trim that away with utility knife.
Step 11: Inspect Form
Flip your form over to inspect.
Nice! Foam formed around components nicely!
Step 12: Trim Excess
Now you can flip it back over to the foam side and trim off excess foam with utility knife
Step 13: Set - Fold - Flip
After you have trimmed away excess foam, fold the edges of linen over and flip your form.
For those that are wondering about the moisture from foam soaking through linen to components.
There was zero seepage. There is no evidence of the foam material or chemistry making contact with the Laser X components.
Step 14: Set Components
Next set your components and close it up for storage!
Voila! Now you have a great way to protect, store, and carry your Laser X laser tag game.
With this technique I am sure other will think of a million other ways to make forms with foam. Would love to see what forms you make. Please share.
Hope my son takes care of this as well has he has some of his other stuff. Could probably get half my money back on resale in a couple years.
Thanks for looking!