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Tired of not having a decent organizer in your rifle case? Well, there is a fairly simple fix that could be as cheap as $60. When I purchased my Pelican 1740, I was looking at the lid and thinking there was a lot of potential space wasted.
It dawned on me that it could be a great place for a velcro panel, but there were some snags. By creating your own panel, you have nearly endless possibilities in storing handguns, magazines, knives and almost any other accessory.
First, most “Patch Panels” on the market aren’t rigid and are designed to hang from a wall. The second problem I came by was the lack of velcro resources in my area. I searched high and low trying to find yardage of velcro and sourced only one supplier. Unfortunately, they sold it by the 45 yard roll only. Luckily, there’s a fantastic traditional hardware store close to my house, so I was able to track down a better solution. The velcro I found was 2 inches wide and featured a very strong adhesive backing. It’s essentially velcro with carpet tape backing, so it stays where it’s put. A better source that I found after making mine was Bryan’s DIY Patch Panel where there is a link to an online supplier that sells more types of velcro.
- Hard Case (sturdy)
- Acrylic Board (cut to fit your case)
- Velcro Backing (adhesive backed or non*)
- *Can of spray adhesive if none on the Velcro*
- Box Cutter/Utility Knife
- Cutting Mat (or surface you don’t mind cutting into)
- Measuring Device (ruler or tape measure)
The start of this project was with a 12″ x 40″ x 1/4″ acrylic panel. You could use particle board or anything rigid that would stand up to the strain of use. Acrylic or some form of plastic will work better because the adhesive will bond better vs. wood and is much lighter than metal. Once you source a strong back for your velcro it’s time to start cutting the velcro. Starting at one side by pressing down the velcro and remember to go slow. Once the velcro sticks to the acrylic, it’s not going to want to come off. You can make minor adjustments, but be patient when placing the strips.
After setting the strips down flip the panel over to cut off the excess. Using a utility knife cuts it very easily, but mind your fingers. Once you trim the edges, it’s time to push down on the velcro to make sure the adhesive is fully bonded to the panel. With the acrylic, it’s pretty easy to see where the bubbles are to push them out, but all you really need to do is push down the velcro thoroughly.
Once you’ve made sure the velcro is fully adhered on the front, it’s time to fit it to your case lid. On the Pelican cases like I’m using here, there are four raised surfaces that get in the way. These also make it easy to place velcro though. What I did, was to adhere the loop strips on the back of the case first. Once they were put on, I then took the hook lengths (parts that go onto the back of the patch panel) and placed them onto the hook lengths on the case lid. Be sure to very lightly place them on, you do not want them to fully connect.
Next, take off the plastic that protects the adhesive and then carefully line up the panel with your case and put it against the lid. Because you lightly connected the two lengths, you can peel off the panel and they will stay adhered but separate. Now you can press them down firmly and then you are done!
Once you have made the panel, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how you want to organize. Here you can see three ITS Gen II Holster Inserts and two ITS Shock Cord Inserts being used to organize weapon lights, knives, firearms, etc. I’ve had little to no movement with the heavier items in the case. I’ve slammed the case around and the firearms don’t budge. Hopefully you’ll find this helpful and if you have any questions, feel free ask in the comments below.
Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Please welcome Maxwell as a contributor on ITS Tactical. Maxwell aka HUFFwell is proud to be a member of the Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue team and a long time gear enthusiast. He’s a photographer by trade and enjoys spending a lot of time outdoors gaining experience through training.
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Could you do this with a shallower case? remove the foam from the lid and do this... would the rifles and gear below move around too much to make it worthwhile?
Huffwell, gorgeous write-up; it inspired me to do a little more with my own 1740, for rifle storage. I just emailed the support@ address with the PDF; I'm not done, but you can see what I did to embrace and extend your work - made sure to reference you as the source for it, too.
Thanks for your work!
I confess, the first thing that came to my mind (besides "Wow!") was "How thick are those four raised ribs? What could you fit between them, under the acrylic?" Sneaky sod that I am...
I thinking about doing this project for duty rifle i am using the 1700 case with custom inserts but Would like to see more pic's of the lower part and it open but showing upper and lower at the same time.
Where di you source the plastic sheet from? I cannot find a source that offers any large pieces of acrylic. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks.
where did you purchase the acrylic panel? i cant find a source online for the dimensions you mentioned/
The knifes shown are from top to bottom:
Spyderco Laci Szabo
H&K 14800 Tumult OTF
And the plate carrier fits just fine as well as a bump helmat and a smaller pelican 1400 as well. The plates are medium size and the carrier is slim but it all fits just fine. Granted all of this makes the case pretty heavy, but still manageable due to the rolling wheels.
fantastic idea, I have a 1740 inbound from amazon and cannot wait to add this to my case, a great idea and will free up lot sof space
I had a question about your setup, what knives do you have in your case and also will your plate carrier fit in that case?
I contacted Pelican today about what adhesive to use for something like this and the y recommended what they use: Loctite 770 primer and loctite 410 instant adhesive. I will be using materials I have on hand. That would be fast dry lacquer thinner and 3M Super Weather Strip Adhesive but it is not instant bonding. I will let you guys know how it works out on my 1650.
and i just realized the yardage is for hook tape. Need more coffee. Anyway, lovely weather we are having
Good stuff right there! As far as velcro yardage, here is a company that sells 12" velcro in one yard increments
Good stuff right there! As far as velcro yardage, here is a company that sells 12" velcro in one yard increments http://www.industrialwebbing.com/Industrial_hook.html
I wonder if you are open-minded enough not to assume everyone is like a liberal, and only willing to listen to their own viewpoint.
Why would you need all these guns? Two possible things spring to my mind: a) savage mentality or b) boys will always need toys. But hey it the US we are talking about they still debate the things that in the rest of the civilized world have been considered obvious for a long time...
Did you put any thought into using grommets, Kydex and Velcro and then attaching it permanently to the case? You may void the warranty on the case but you would have achieved your goal of adding extra and sturdy storage space that wouldn’t come off. Thanks for all the great DIY ideas. Great site! Todd
3M makes a series of contact adhesives that are cold and heat tolerant. See http://www.mcmaster.com/#plastic-cement/=ldhn8h
McMaster-Carr is a great supply house that won't gouge you on shipping. If you are a DIY guy in the boonies, this is the best supply house going.
3M makes a series of contact adhesives that are cold and heat tolerant. See http://www.mcmaster.com/#plastic-cement/=ldhn8h McMaster-Carr is a great supply house that won't gouge you on shipping. If you are a DIY guy in the boonies, this is the best supply house going.
And I forgot to echo the other kudos. I have been a pelican case guy since the mid-80s and I still have my first case that has been rattling around in the trunk of cars since my 82 Ford Tempo up to my current Land Rover. This is a great solution to a problem I have had all along. There is so much room in the lid, it has always felt like wasted space. The dedicated 1500EMS boxes are so much more expensive than the no-foam bare cases. This is a well thought-out and well executed solution. Well done.
For a better bonding of the velcro to a hard plastic backing, I have found that scouring the backing with a knife or very coarse sand paper will give a better surface for the glue on the velcro to bond to. Just make sure that you want the bonding to be permanent, as the scouring (especially with a knife) will be permanent (or at least very labour intensive to undo). And as Epic Earth said, give it plenty of time for the bonding to set.
I have a large Pelican case and rolls of tan velcro but never thought of this. Doesn't say much about my imagination, does it? I'll be all over this idea tomorrow, seriously! :)
Awesome...I love velcro! Another option for large area velcro (inside back packs, messenger bags etc) is replacement floor mats for cars. The carpeting is tight pile that is usually bonded to a rubber mat.
No problem. As for the environmental influences, I live in the Pacific NW so it is pretty humid here but not much heat. I have used this tape for my truck's lock box and it survies just fine in the heat of the desert and the cold up on the mountains. It holds up just fine with big tools hanging off of it, so as of currently no issues yet. The best way I can describe it is that it's very similar to carpet tape if you have ever used the stuff. Its incredibly sticky and seems to do its job more than most heavy duty adhesives can. If the adhesive doesn't hold up you could always use a staple gun or brad nailer to really keep it on the panel.
I am a huge fan of DYI velcro. I would caution one thing; Make sure the velcro has plenty of time to bond to the backing before putting in use in a cold weather environment. Don't rush that step.
This is a great idea!
Does anyone know of folks who do "nose art" on pelican cases?
Thanks in advance
This is a great idea! Does anyone know of folks who do "nose art" on pelican cases? Thanks in advance Bob
As always good stuff Bryan. Just a quick question. How long have you had the Velcro in there? Reason I ask is I did this a while back and the heat here in GA in the summer, it always comes off, and same in the winter. I will have to go back and look and see what brand I used, but I am pretty sure it was Velcro brand Industrial Strength.
As always good stuff Bryan. Just a quick question. How long have you had the Velcro in there? Reason I ask is I did this a while back and the heat here in GA in the summer, it always comes off, and same in the winter. I will have to go back and look and see what brand I used, but I am pretty sure it was Velcro brand Industrial Strength. Cheers, RJ
Nice work there, basically velcro and duct tape ingenuity. I may have to look at doing this later, just waiting on my TrekPak Pelican case. Don't know if anyone at ITS has heard of them since their main customer base is for photographers, but I can't wait to use it for an M&P hard case. That, plus this with the velcro should make for a pretty versatile set up.
Ok, do you need to have the Acrylic Sheet? I'm thinking that the Loop Velco could just adhere to the Pelican case right? dose the adhesive not stick to the Pelican case?
This is so awesome. I just called that company and ordered the loop.
Ok, do you need to have the Acrylic Sheet? I'm thinking that the Loop Velco could just adhere to the Pelican case right? dose the adhesive not stick to the Pelican case? This is so awesome. I just called that company and ordered the loop.