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"looking for foam" Topic

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896 hits since 23 Feb 2016
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Tom Bryant23 Feb 2016 12:02 p.m. PST

Ok, I'm working on a harmonica case project and I need a sheet foam material that has been bugging me. The material is sponge-like but very firm, almost like a plastic. I know its used in packaging for electronics and sensitive instruments. The closest material I've found is a foam pipe wrap. Unfortunately its round, I need a sheet of the stuff. Does anybody here know what I'm talking about and where to find it?

bc174523 Feb 2016 12:32 p.m. PST

In the uk it is called ethafoam…..

PJ ONeill23 Feb 2016 12:37 p.m. PST

I guess I'm not surprised to see foam that is used as a packing material and costs pennies, being sold for 10GPB. Does the foam come packed in foam packing ?

jfleisher23 Feb 2016 1:03 p.m. PST
VonTed23 Feb 2016 3:30 p.m. PST


zoneofcontrol23 Feb 2016 6:50 p.m. PST

I don't know how much you mean when you say you need a sheet but could you go and try to bum some from a musical instrument dealer, TV/Audio retailer, furniture manufacturer?

I worked in the music field years ago and we frequently had people stop in and ask for a box to ship an instrument or component plus some packing material.

The big box-stores or even smaller retail TV/Audio retailers may have something. Even appliance dealers.

I had a customer years ago that was across the road from a small furniture maker. They frequently put out leftover wood and other materials with a "Free for the taking" sign on it. I nosed through it a time or two for gaming project materials.

Tom Bryant26 Feb 2016 12:48 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the replies guys. I needed a technical name for this material. I know what closed cell foam is but I suspect those who suggested it may have a different idea of what I'm talking about. The material I'm looking for is "firm" not spongy.

I could probably use pink, blue or whiteboard polystyrene however, I've had other instrument cases where this material has worn out. I'd like to make something a little longer lasting. To give you all an idea of what I'm thinking of take a look at these:



The major difference in my design is going to be a pocket in the top for documents, and paperwork and a velvet instead of a plush liner. The Fender cases for some reason use a red plush material reminiscent of Elmo fur which looks tacky to me.

zoneofcontrol29 Feb 2016 11:57 a.m. PST

Those cases look similar in design and construction to the old (50's – 60's?) Conn and Artley Clarinet cases. I assume they are a little larger to accommodate the mics as well as the harmonicas. I fixed more than a few in my day. My recollection is that each compartment has a lightweight wooden frame filled with a soft bead-style foam and covered with a plush felt lining.

I am also a rental property owner & manager and have used sheet foam and spray foam for various fixes. My understanding of foam is that "open-cell" foam is just that, light density and susceptible to vapors passing through it. "Closed-cell" foam is more dense and rigid and therefore provides some vapor protection.

The plush felt lining was important because it provided a soft enclosure around the instrument to prevent scratching of the plated or silver keys. It also added a measure of soft padding between the instrument and the case itself.

Two more places to try:

#1 – there are many road-case and shipping case manufacturers for audio, video and musical equipment. This is a link to a supplier of the lining material they use.

#2 – Being that this is a wargame site, did you consider trying to work with a miniatures carry case? Some of those are customizable. I have no experience at all with them but have seen them and know that you can order them to meet certain size drop in compartments.

I always liked the pocket idea for the interior of the cases. Just drop in your sheet music or show book and you have one less thing to have to carry. A lot of the newer style cases come with optional covers that have a pocket in them.

Good luck

Mad Mecha Guy Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Mar 2016 7:41 a.m. PST

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