Helpful Hints

Pre-scored Foam Customization

Many Fuerte Cases are available with an optional removable multi piece foam set. We supply egg crate foam in the lid and one or more blocks of pre-scored customizable foam for the bottom. There is one more layer lining the very bottom. The pre-scored foam is a block of vertically pre-scored high-density foam that can be easily adapted and designed to protect your stored equipment from the abuse of even your roughest adventure. 

Pre-Scored Foam

Instructions for Customizing the Foam Insert

For best results, please read the following text in its entirety before altering the foam. Although not necessary or required, here are some tools and items you may want to have available when setting up your case: 

  • White chalk or Magic Marker® 
  • Sharp long scissors 
  • Hobby knife (Exacto® knife, scalpel) 
  • Tooth picks 
  • Hacksaw blade

First, determine the properties of the object you wish to set into the foam. The properties that should be considered are size, shape and weight. Remove the bottom foam block(s) and place your objects inside the base of the case to get an idea of how you are going to lay it out. Often times you may want to set several items in your case, so this is a good first step to determine where everything will be located. Try different configurations for best fit and protection. Place larger and heavier objects towards the hinges and smaller lightweight objects closer to the latches. Try to distribute the weight of the objects evenly to avoid making the case heavier at one end than the other. This can make the case lopsided and carying the case might be unconfortable.

Cutting Foam Insert

Notice how much the object is depressing the foam under its own weight and keep this in mind to allow enough foam thickness between objects and case walls. The heavier or more sensitive the object is, the more foam you will want surrounding it for protection. Keep your case well balanced by placing heavy objects towards the center and surround it with lighter items. Remember that your case will be turned in all directions when traveling and while being handled by others.

You can mark your foam by tracing your objects with white chalk or black Magic Marker®. Another way is to mark the edges of your objects by driving tooth picks into the foam at several locations aroung the objects. Remember that the foam will "give" considerably, so smaller is better. You can always increase the size of your cavity later if too tight. You can then squeeze your objects into the cutouts for a snug and secure fit. 

Another approach is to gently press your object into the foam at its chosen location to reveal the pre-scored lines and then run either a hacksaw blade or even your finger along side your object, tracing it to separate the score breaks. The foam will separate easily during this step.

Chalk marks can be removed with a damp cloth or the foam may be flipped over when removing foam all the way through.

Pre-Scored Foam Removal

The easiest method when working with square or rectangular objects is to simply break the score line all the way through the foam and remove the block you have just created. You can now use scissors to cut this block for placing back into the cavity as an insert to add further protection on the bottom side of your object and to raise the object for easier access. Do remember that you have a thinner layer of foam lining the bottom of your case to protect objects that use up the entire thickness of the pre-scored Foam.

Inserting Insert

Determine the thickness of your objects in relation to the foam and case depth and remove the foam all the way through in one piece. This method will yield a very clean-cut hole. You can also just find the depth at which to remove the foam and simply pluck the foam out with your fingers. Although effective, this method does not leave a very flat or even surface at the bottom of the cavity.

Thin objects can easily be fitted into the foam by separating the score marks to the length of an object and forming a slot. The object can then be pushed into this slot without removing any of the foam.

SE-520 Foam set with steel mold inserts

Note: If you cut the cavity too big you can glue foam back into place.

Several customers have reported using an electric meat carving knife when cutting round shapes and getting excellent results.

We hope you found this helpful in getting your case set up to protect your equipment.

If you find other alternatives when working with the foam or applications for our cases, we'd love to hear about it. Send us an e-mail with your name and town and we will gladly mention it as your idea.

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Care and Maintenance of Your Case

How to keep your new case looking good and performing properly.

To clean any of our cases, wash with a soft sponge and mild household cleanser and rinse with clean fresh water. Do not use an abrasive cleanser, steel wool or a brush that can scratch the surface. Dry your case completely, inside and out. After drying, to enhance the beauty of the case, it may be coated with any one of the products used to clean and preserve the vinyl upholstery in your automobile.

Caution!!! Remove the foam from the case before washing exterior of case. The foam absorbs moisture readily and will retain moisture when case is closed, causing corrosion in and on any metallic components stored in the case.

O-RING SEAL: To insure water resistance, keep the perimeter O-ring gasket free of cuts, abrasions and foreign debris (sand, grass, dirt, etc,), and check it on a regular basis. The best way to check the O-ring is by removing it from the case and wrapping it around your finger. Visually inspect different sections to ensure that there is no evidence of cracking, peeling or abrasions that could cause your case to leak. Case manufacturers have chosen different material choices for their O-rings. By far the best choice is Neoprene Closed Cell Foam, which is more like a plastic resin and not prone to dry rot like rubber. Another good choice is Silicone O-ring, it also offers better longevity than rubber. Rubber, unlike plastic, is an organic material and will degrade and decompose over time.

MANUAL PRESSURE RELIEF PURGE VALVE: To insure that the case is water and air-tight, tighten the pressure relief screw by hand or with a coin before use. Do not over tighten the pressure screw. This may result in damage to the O-ring gasket under the screw. Periodically remove the pressure screw and inspect the small O-ring gasket for tears or deterioration. Replace if necessary.

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Do the Hiss Test

Making sure the Neoprene O-ring is doing it's job.

This part applies only to our line of Seahorse Cases, since these are the only cases that have an automatic pressure purge valve incorporated under the right hand latch of every case.

We recommend that you also test your case periodically, especially before heading out on that wet adventure where you are wanting to make sure your case does what it's supposed to do, protect your equipment. An easy and convenient way to confirm that your case is airtight, and therefore watertight is to do what I call the "Hiss Test" Before starting the test, remove any really large objects you have stored in your case, like the main camera you are using the case for.

1. Place your Seahorse Case on a flat stable surface with the latches and handle facing you.

2. Open the case and carefully inspect the perimeter gasket for signs of excessive wear. Ensure there isn't any dirt, sand, or foreign matter resting anywhere along the tongue (case body) and groove (lid) where the case seals. Also make sure that under the right hand latch, you have the small o-ring that seals the purge valve. Visually inspect it to make sure it looks okay. Close the case lid.

3. Close the left hand latch, leave the right hand latch open.

4. Slowly but firmly begin pushing down on the center of the case lid with the heel of your hand, collapsing the center. With the right hand latch open you should hear air exiting the case.

5. Push as far down as possible, and close the right hand latch before letting go. You have now created a vacuum inside the case.

6. Lift the case to your ear, (pick a good one) and when ready, open the right hand latch. You should hear hissing while the case is equalizing itself to atmospheric pressures. 

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Long Term Storage Suggestions

Planning on storing your valuables for a long time?

We make the following recommendations for optimum safe storage conditions of long duration.

1. Be positive that the foam interior is perfectly dry. If the case has been opened and exposed to rain, heavy fog or mist, or if liquids such as water (or pieces of ice), have been spilled inside, Do Not Use For Storage. Just as our cases will not allow moisture to enter when closed, moisture trapped inside will remain inside. Remove the foam from the case and place in a dry, warm area with good air circulation. It will dry in about a day or two. Do not set foam directly in sun light. All foam will rapidly deteriorate from UV rays.

WARNING: The foam supplied with your case is flammable! Do Not expose to flames or excessive heat. When ignited the foam gives off noxious fumes. It can be extinguished easily with water. 

2. Be certain your gear is completely clean. With firearms, lead and copper residue should be removed from barrel. The bore should be coated with a long lasting oil or grease sold especially for this purpose. The exterior of the gun should be coated with a preservative made especially for this purpose. A firearm should also be placed into a gun sleeve before it is finally closed into the case for long term storage.

Consider adding a dessicant material inside the case to help absorb any moisture that may be getting trapped inside the case. In very humid climates this is a must. Place the dessicant pack away from the objects in the case. Contact us for more information about dessicants and their use.

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Military Specifications

Cases sold by Fuerte Cases have been tested beyond the limits of ordinary storage, transport and shipping containers.

All our cases have been procured and/or tested under numerous MIL-SPEC testing and certification procedures including: fungus resistance, 48-inch free-fall drop, salt fog, cargo bounce, submersion, temperature and humidity, vibration limits, and low pressure (altitude).

The following specifications are among the most popular used for constructing and evaluating reusable cases manufactured for world-wide shipping, handling and storage. Contact us anytime with your requirements.

Our Seahorse line are the only cases that when using our waterproof panel kits for mounting electronics that meet the purge valve performance specifications.

MIL-STD-2073B MIL-STD-794 MIL-P-116 MIL-STD-648 MIL-HDBK-304 MIL-C-4150J MIL-T-21200 MIL-T-28800 - Seahorse Cases Only MIL-T-4734 MIL-STD-454 MIL-STD-810 FTMS-101 MIL-STD-130 MIL-STD-1472 MIL-I-45208