DIY Flight Cases

Written by matt gerrard
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DIY Flight Cases
A Flight Case is an essential piece if you want your equipment to survive a trip overseas. (silver case image by Vladimir Georgievskiy from

If travelling to gigs and shows with your equipment is to be a regular occurrence, you'll learn quickly and possibly expensively, that your equipment needs to be properly protected. Custom-made flight cases can be extremely expensive, especially for oddly-shaped or sized equipment. However, a solid, sturdy flight case is simple enough in design to construct one yourself, with relatively few specialised components.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Butterfly or Guitar-case clasps
  • Hinges
  • Steel or aluminium edging
  • Steel corner protectors
  • Pivoting carry handle.
  • 2 x Sheets of 10mm thick plywood, larger than required to cover your equipment.
  • 4 x planks of 10mm thick plywood, tall enough to cover your equipment.
  • High-density foam sheets, 10-15mm thick.
  • Glue Gun
  • Screws
  • Jigsaw

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  1. 1

    Place your piece of equipment on to the sheet of plywood, which will form the base of your case. Draw around equipment, measure out around 15mm from each edge of the rectangle you have drawn, and mark another rectangle, surrounding it. These two boxes represent the outer and inner edges of the sides, accounting for the thickness of the wood and the attached foam.

  2. 2

    Cut around the larger of the two rectangles marked on the plywood using the jigsaw. Place this base piece onto another sheet of plywood, draw around it, and cut it to match the size of the first. Stand each of the plywood planks along the edge of the base, and mark the length. Cut each side to the appropriate length. Screw through the base and into the edge of the plank to secure it. Repeat on all four sides until you have a lidless box, with all 4 sides attached.

  3. 3

    Pipe glue along all the internal seams of the box before placing the lid on and screwing it down. Leave overnight to dry. Measure 3/4 of the distance from the base to the lid and mark it. Repeat this 3 times on each side, allowing you to rule a line that continues around the circumference of the box. Cut along this line, separating the lid and base.

  4. 4

    Attach the hinges along one edge and the clasps along the opposite. Attach the carry handle either to the centre of the lid, or along the same edge as the clasps. Do not fit it to the hinged side, as this will obstruct the box opening fully, and could cause your equipment to fall out if one of the clasps is improperly closed.

  5. 5

    Line the inside of the box using the foam sheets and the glue gun. Screw on the metal edging and corner protectors. Allow the glue to dry and insert your equipment.

Tips and warnings

  • If your item is an irregular shape, measure it at its widest points, and use these figures as the side measurements for your box.
  • Always use ear, eye and hand protection when using power tools.

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