How to build an ATA protective case


Old 05-24-00, 08:13 AM
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I'm not sure if I am using the proper forum for this question but I thought I'd ask and see if anyone could help me out.

I'd like to find some information on how to build an ATA style flight case. I will be needing protection for my music gear (guitar amp, digital effects processors etc) and was hoping some kind of "how to or do it yourself" guide existed for such a thing.

Searching the internet I have found that there are many companies that will build custom cases for you but it is rather expensive and I would prefer to take on the challenge myself.

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Old 05-25-00, 10:26 PM
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Not being sure what an ATA flight case is, my answer may not address your question. What I can tell you is that I have had great success over the years building my carpentry toolboxes out of 1/2" x 9 layer "baltic birch" or "russian ply". It isn't too heavy or too expensive and with all those laminations, it is very durable. Can't say that I have any plans for the cases but finger jointed corners are very durable. Wish I had a more direct answer for you. Good luck!
Old 05-26-00, 08:38 AM
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Like the Timber Taylor I didn't know what an ATA case was until I investigated. From the expense standpoint you could try a large used furniture dealer. Some year ago I bought some used cabinets for storage and the place where I bought them must have had 100 plus ata cases laying around, but at the time I neither knew what they were or was interested. On the web check the auction sites like I checked, and found three for sale.

If you want to build the cases the ATA spec 300 regulations are available for $$$$ at BTW, military specs supercede ATA specs, so military surplus might be another source of supply "for a shell".

I'm sure that the Timber Taylor could guide you through the steps to build the cases. The main problems would be obtaining the specs and the reinforcing hardware (channels, corners, latches, and handles) and laminating the ABS sheeting to the plywood if ABS was chosen instead of melamine.

Timber Taylor,
ATA case: Airline Travel Association approved shipping container for hazardous or electronic equipment (something like a sea chest with a flat top).
Typical: 1/4 - 1/2 ACX plywood, full piano hinge (aluminum or stainless), riveted aluminum or stainless reinforced channels at panel junctures, riveted aluminum or stainless reinforced corners, same for the latch work, ABS or melamine laminate on all sides, riveted recessed handles if the size permits, rigid or ploy foam interior infill to suit.
Old 05-26-00, 08:05 PM
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Thanks for the input!
draz: Sounds like an item to buy, but I would be happy to give you any input on fabrication and assembly tools and techniques if you decide to take on the challenge of building the cases.
Following Gov't specs for ANYTHING is a challenge in itself!
Q : Do you know what an elephant is?
A:A mouse built to Gov't specifications!

[This message has been edited by The Timber Tailor (edited May 26, 2000).]
Old 05-30-00, 12:33 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. I have decided to purchase. Way more involved than I thought it would be.

Old 11-06-08, 09:56 AM
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Regulations and Gear

This website may help, it is gear to build an ATA flight case

Pro Audio Stash, flight case harware
Old 11-06-08, 02:32 PM
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Plattini, welcome to the forums. The thread you responded to is 8 1/2 years old, so maybe they got the cases built. I would have given similar them, as they are a PITA to build.
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