How To Make A Flight Case

Oxford University

9th Apr | "How To" Information

How To Make A Flight Case ( at Exhibition Plinths, not only do we make plinths, glass display cases and fabricate acrylic display cabinets; we also design and build in house flight cases. We have found this a great way of transporting our rental products around the UK and abroad by courier without getting damaged, so now we’re going to show you how to make a flight case for yourself.

We start off by getting the dimensions of the product looking to be flight cased. It is then important to look at how fragile this is and calculate the thickness of foam required as padding. This can range from 5 mm to 80 mm thick. Here at Exhibition Plinths we use a Plastazote foam. Plastazote foam is a vast number of nitrogen cells held in a mass of

polyethylene. Because the foam is not like a sponge, where the cells are open and connected, gases and liquids

How To Make A Flight Case (

are not readily absorbed.

Unlike other foams it is tough and flexible, making a great for flight case linings, defined by the regular shapes, sides and walls of the cells made from polyethylene.

Once we have decided on the thickness of the foam, this can be added to the products size to give an overall internal dimension for the flight case. This shows why the material is so light weight. If Plastazote foam is compressed or squashed, each cell acts like a balloon and the foam bounces back to its original shape and form.

How To Make A Flight Case (


How To Make A Flight Case (

Channel Extrusion

Flight Case Aluminium Extrusion

We use channel aluminium extrusion on the flight cases we make, this is a much stronger option than the standard capping flight case aluminium extrusion.  The difference between these two types of aluminium profiles is shown in the images opposite.

Flight Case Channel Extrusion is available in various channel thicknesses from 4mm to 10mm. As standard we use 9.5mm channel. This is to allow for the 9 mm birch throughout plywood that the case sides are made from, and then .5 mm for the birch plywood covering. We like to use a faux crocodile skin. Not only does this give a great look to the flight case, is this super tough and resists scratches.

Once you have the internal measurements you can start to cut the birch plywood to size. We use a Felder K700 professional panel saw to cut the panels to size. Once this has been completed,we mark the positions of the handles using recessed sprung handles. They give two main advantages as the name suggests; they are recessed into the panels of the case so you can’t catch anything on them when moving your cases around, and the handles string back into position (tight against the case) as soon as you let go of them.

How To Make A Flight Case (

Having cut out all the panels and marked the position on the handles, the next step is to cut the recessed holes. We use our CNC router for this, but you could use a jigsaw.

The next step is to glue the faux crocodile skin onto the plywood. We use a high strength contact adhesive. Whilst this is curing we cut the aluminium profiles to length. We like to mitre the corners for the neatest finish.  The length of the flight case aluminium extrusion is the flight case side length + 2 times the thickness of the extrusion being used.How To Make A Flight Case ( We also use a male/female flight case lid location aluminium extrusion. This keeps everything secure when attaching the lid of the flight case. These have to be mitred together at the corners.

 Flight case Parts

Once all the aluminium is cut to length and the panels have dried from the contact adhesive, you can start to assemble the case, sliding the panels into position in the channel of the extrusion. The next step is to position the flight case ball corners. Once everything is in place we drill a 4.1 mm hole to take the 4mm rivets.

When the flight case has been assembled and we are happy that it all fits together perfectly, the next stage is to add the exterior fittings like the handles, catches and hinges if required.  These items are attached to the case in exactly the same way as the ball corners; using rivets.

How To Make A Flight Case ( To Make A Flight Case ( are many options when it comes to catches; various sizes and locking mechanisms. It is important to choose the best one to suit your requirements. If you require a hinged lid for the flight case, you need to think if you require a hinge that will allow the top of the case to lift off. This is a great idea if your item is heavy or if you require access all around the case. Alternatively you could have a standard flight case hinge.

When all the exterior parts have been riveted in place, it is now time to think about the internal lining. As written earlier, we use plastazote foam in our flight cases. This is cut to size using our table saw. If you have a CNC machine then this can also be used to shape the flight case foam. We like to use self adhesive plastazote foam when constructing our flight cases which can be purchased from our online shop.

You now know how to make a flight case! If you would like to make a flight case yourself then we are able to supply all the parts.

Alternatively, we are able to make them to bespoke sizes here in our workshops and deliver them all over the UK.

Contact us today by calling 01934 708 717.




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01934 708 717

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