Today I made a protective case for my Sony 505. A couple of days ago, the reader was inside my daypack, in its leather cover, when the pack fell to the floor. Fortunately, it only dinged the edge.
It was time to get some better protection!
I wanted something that would give it bomb-proof protection while inside the front pocket of my daypack but still be easy to take the reader out and put back in while walking. To me, this means that it has one open end and I can simply slip the reader into the case and have it completely protected. I wanted it to be lightweight, but still give solid protection from knocks, falls, bumps, etc.
I went to a large computer department store and found a selection of soft protectors made for notebook computers and chose two different 'clam-shell' models. I chose one that was made from closed-cell neoprene, like a 5mm scuba diving wetsuit, and one that was made from even denser sorbothane with a nice nylon outer skin. Sorbothane is the rubber that they use for wrestling mats and high quality shoe insoles. It isn't 'spongy' as the neoprene is but it completely absorbs shock. They say that you can drop a raw egg on a wresting mat from chest height and it won't break.
Neoprene absorbs vibration, and sorbothane absorbs shock.
I cut two pieces of hard thin plastic called 'kydex.' I could have used plastic walls from an old file box, but I had the kydex in my hobby closet and it's stronger. I cut it to the size and shape of the Sony reader. Placed between the neoprene and the sortbothane, it will stop impact.
The neoprene case was just about the exact size to fit the Sony 505. One piece folded over with a zipper going around three sides. It was just a little bit long which was fine with me. I cut one end off, cutting through the zipper, cutting it to fit just about 1/2" longer than the reader. I zipped the other two sides closed, removed the zipper pull, then applied a coating of 'Shoe-Goo' rubber over the zipper to fasten it forever. This left me with a pocket for the Sony, opening at the top.
The sorbothane case was similarly shaped but larger. I put the neoprene case inside, cut the sorbothane down to fit the size of the neoprene case, and glued the sides together, again leaving just the top opened. I put one piece of the kydex plastic between the neoprene and the sorbothane on each side.
So now I have the neoprene case inside the sorbothane case with the tops opened so I can slip the reader in its own leather case down inside. This only makes the reader less than 1/2" bigger in all dimensions, which is acceptable to me. It still fits easily into the front pocket of my pack. I can take the reader out or slip it back into the case easily. I glued on a strip of Velcro so that the open end can be secured if needed. Total cost: about $30 USD and 20 minutes work.
It's not pretty, but my e-reader is now protected from small arms fire or impact with a cruise ship, and I think that it should last me a long, long time!