I am a little weird when it comes to organizing stuff. I am kind of like this dude in Chekhov’s “A Man in a Case”. I like cases. In particular, I like custom cases.
For instance, if you purchase an expensive telescope, chances are it will come with a case. This case will be a box filled with a special kind of foam. This foam has a pre-cut silhouette of the scope and accessories. This way everything fits exactly.
This reminds me of the Kazbek-U Soyuz spacecraft couches that are custom made for each cosmonaut.
A chair made for Norman Thagard at the National Air and Space Museum.
I’ve seen cooler chairs in a museum in Moscow when I was a child, probably from Salyut or maybe even Vostok missions, but I can’t find any references.
Anyway, back to custom cases. I really want a case for my bedside table. It should hold my glasses, keys, wallet, watch and wedding ring. This may look comical, but is rather convenient. I can’t just leave all this stuff on the tabletop because Tilde the cat likes to play with things. Tilde already “disappeared” my nice titanium wedding ring. I don’t want to just put everything into a box because I don’t want my keys to scratch up my really, really expensive glasses.
So anyway, the are three steps in making a custom case. Get a box. That’s easy. Get some foam. That’s a bit harder, but you can get it a good photo store like B&H or Adorama. Now comes the hard part. Cutting the foam.
My first attempt failed miserably. I tried cutting the foam with a sharp blade, and I could not make any straight cuts. Then I tried to cut the foam with a hot knife. That generated a lot of stinky smoke and the results were not very good. But finally I found a solution on the Net.
It’s really ingenious.
What you need to do is soak the foam in water, wring it out and then freeze it. Frozen foam can be easily cut with a knife or drilled with a drill or a sharpened pipe.
Here is the article.
Of course, it’s best to use multiple layers of foam to create the relief effect like this: