I'm a mostly proud owner and frequent user of Adorama's now-discontinued "CS500" lighting bag. It's an inexpensive, pretty solid, and most importantly, voluminous bag: it will hold a 40" boom stand (one of the few bags under $300 that does), a bunch of smaller stands, a lot of LED lights, and a whole load of other bits and pieces of grip, and will just fit in a Car2Go Smart car (with the front passenger's seat folded down), or across the back seat of most subcompact cars. There's one little problem with it, though: the clearance between the wheels and the bottom of the bag isn't quite enough to keep the bottom of the bag from dragging on the ground if the bag is fully loaded. Which, after a couple of photo shoots, causes the bottom of the bag to rip:

cs500-mod1Not good. It occurred to me, though: all it takes is a piece of aluminum angle and a quick run to Home Depot to solve this problem. This bag is constructed to be sort-of user modifiable: the inside padding can be removed if you find a #0 zipper and put it on the zipper track:

cs500-mod2which nicely separates the "outside" from the "inside" and gives you access to the balsa wood bottom (which we'll be drilling into), and the plastic exterior (ditto).

Being a bit of a packrat when it comes to useful parts, it turns out that I had the perfect piece of aluminum angle already around my storage area: the angle support from an Ikea Expedit bookcase. A quick run with a reciprocating saw to cut it down, a few screw holes later, and...voila!

cs500-mod4Almost there! Just a quick bit of measuring, a few screws and washers (I "upgraded" the inside washers to larger fender washers...when you carry around 50lbs of sandbags in your grip bag, it never hurts to be a bit anal and overengineer things!) later, and the wheels were back on. The hard part was reattaching a zipper to the zipper track to zip the interior back together. But, when all is said and done, the bag works well and actually looks pretty decent underneath also...not that anyone's going to be looking at it!

cs500-mod6And there we go. I also took the liberty to haul out the glue gun and squirt hot glue into all the bottom-facing screw heads, which should hopefully keep them from scratching anyone's floors on location.