Trimming Padding and Fitting Padded Grid Together
Things are starting to come together. Tonight I trimmed the foam on the dividers cutting out what had been masked last night when the foam was glued to the dividers using contact adhesive. A steel rule, square and very, very, very sharp knife (I keep 'em extremely sharp) helps. Foam is still difficult to cut, even with exceptionally sharp knives. It helps to saw slightly on the corner of an edge to get a cut started, and then slice carefully with a shallow cut at first, and repeating the cuts at gradually increasing depth until it cuts through. This is one of the mid-size dividers set up to begin cutting. It is one of the four vertical dividers has the lattice slots in the top which is why the slots are masked an inch wide. I've already removed the 1/8th inch wide masking from the ends, and trimmed off the notched corners that will have to fit along the curved corner in the bottom of the valise along its edge.
This is the same divider with the foam cut back over all its slots on one side and the masking tape peeled up. Next step is flipping it over and repeating on the other side to completely uncover the slot and 1/2 inch of divider on each side of the slot's center-line. Reasonably straight works, and it doesn't have to be "finish" quality cutting as it will not only end up being covered, the cut edge will hidden by foam on the horizontal dividers.
Finally finished all the vertical dividers, and had to stop cutting to do a partial fit-up just to see how they looked
Using a small square, narrow sections of foam were removed from the horizontal dividers with the slots in the lower half, just a hair wider than the slot in the Plexiglas. Note that I stopped just short of the top of the divider. That foam will show and needs to be there! I started with the short ones first that will end up on the right side of the valise as there is a slight "learning curve" on exactly how to cut the foam away (how wide and how close to the top). Working with one that has only one slot allows testing fit without having to cut several. As with the other dividers, the cut edges will end up hidden when they're all latticed together.
Now, it's on to the longer ones with four slots. This is the last one just after the last slot was cleared of foam. Finally done with the foam cutting on the dividers (and I will need to sharpen the knife before I use it again ).
The horizontal dividers are now all fit into the case latticed into the vertical ones. Everything fits, and the cut edges are nearly completely hidden. What very little does show will get concealed when they're covered with Ultra-Suede. A few tricks learned joinery in cabinetry work about how to hide things in the wood joinery to make the finished work look "clean" helped immensely here
The final test for this evening, my largest watch, the Seastar 1000 again, to see how it fits. Foam has a very high coefficient of friction! Grabs onto everything that tries to slide across it. Fits a little tight, but it fits, and most of that is the friction of the foam. Better than rattling around loosely! Once covered with very smooth and soft Ultra-Suede it should slide in and out of the pocket much more easily.
Enough for one night. Next is covering the dividers. There will be more foam to cut, to go in around the edges, and to raise the bottoms of the pockets, which are too deep. I need to measure how many layers, but my guess is two will do the job. That will all get covered with Ultra-Suede as well.