How To Build Your Own DIY Custom Cases For That Gear That Won’t Fit In Standard Cases

May 21st, 2013

DIYcasesBack a couple of weeks ago Vince DeStefano of Melbourne told us about his new UAV. As you can imagine, a $3500 UAV is not something that you want to just throw in the boot without some kind of protection and of course most UAVs don’t come with a nice carrying case.

So Vince built his own custom carrying case out of parts you can buy from

Vince says:

It’s relatively cheap and easy to build a high end road case for your equipment and may be a good alternative to commercial case for guys just starting out. For example, this  case in the photo cost a little under $220 (1 USD=$1.02 AUD=$1.03 CAD=0.77 EUR=.66 GBP) to build.

Penn Elcom is world wide so most people should have an office close to them.

While I mainly use pelican cases for my camera, I have a few sets of large red head lights that I have always wanted cases for, hence I will probably build a few for my lighting.

Building my own case was very rewarding as it saved me a lot and I was able to completely customise it.

Most important thing I learned when building this case was, make a box or cube first with all 6 sides glued together, then cut the lit off that. That way you will have a perfectly fitting lid every time.

Also with this case, while its super strong, I made it out of a ply with an ABS coating. I really should have made it from Aluminium wafer panel because that’s much lighter, and it’s a fairly large case. I will probably keep this case for interstate transport as it will handle any baggage handling departments punishment, but I will make an aluminium version for day to day use.

The ply is very strong, but the aluminium wafer panel that Penn Elcom sells is very light weight.

DYI is not for everyone. Vince is clearly a DIY guy. Over the years he’s shared several his DiY projects (here, here and here). There are some cases where if you don’t do it DIY you have to do without or pay more than necessary.

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10 Responses to “How To Build Your Own DIY Custom Cases For That Gear That Won’t Fit In Standard Cases”

  • Having photographers such as myself go to the table saw isn’t always pretty. I believe DYI means “Do Yourself In.” : )

  • That looks interesting. I am always looking for a new project.

  • Please, writers should know when using abbrivations they shoudl define them with first use. UAV? United Army Veterans, Unattended Area Viewer, United Auto Victim, Unwed And Vampire, Unbelievable Artic View? What is your UAV??
    For travel cases I use “Pelican.” They are indestructable, water proof, float and guaranteed for LIFE. I believe the model 1510 is approved for carry-on luggage with wheel and handle. They have thousands of models of cases.

  • @Richard- I like “Unwed And Vampire”, lets go with that!

  • Richard, Do you carry your United Army Veterans around in cases very often?

    Common man are you serious?

    There is a photo of the UAV, its pretty damn obvious.

    Lighten up buddy the world is changing!

  • Looks great Vince! fabulous mate.

  • Thanks Allan, And thanks Larry. If anyone needs any advice on building their own cases please feel free to send me an email.

  • I have to agree w/ Richard – I did not know what a UAV was either! Just out of courtesy for those of us still ramping up,
    having it written out once at the beginning of the article would have been helpful…

  • The DIY approach may be a bit daunting for many. The type of case depicted is often called an “ATA” case. They are manufactured by Anvil, Calzone, Stagegear and many others for rock shows (and jazz and opera). They can often be found used on eBay as empty shells where you can install some foam and dividers to fit your equipment. They are rather on the heavy side, but perfect if you need a rugged case to ship your photo gear.

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