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Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?

Mr Happy 29 Nov 07 - 12:05 PM
Bill D 29 Nov 07 - 12:36 PM
Leadfingers 29 Nov 07 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 29 Nov 07 - 03:23 PM
s&r 29 Nov 07 - 04:01 PM
Geoff the Duck 29 Nov 07 - 04:03 PM
terrier 29 Nov 07 - 05:47 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 29 Nov 07 - 05:51 PM
manitas_at_work 30 Nov 07 - 07:57 AM
Mr Happy 30 Nov 07 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Nov 07 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,crazy little woman 03 Dec 07 - 11:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Dec 07 - 02:24 PM
Jack Campin 03 Dec 07 - 02:33 PM
Bernard 03 Dec 07 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,abby_hu from china 04 Jun 10 - 06:41 AM
Mr Happy 04 Jun 10 - 06:53 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Jun 10 - 07:46 AM
JohnInKansas 04 Jun 10 - 10:32 AM
Simon G 04 Jun 10 - 12:05 PM
Crowhugger 04 Jun 10 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Bardan 04 Jun 10 - 03:36 PM
open mike 04 Jun 10 - 08:03 PM
open mike 04 Jun 10 - 08:10 PM
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Subject: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 12:05 PM

'Er indoors just acquired a new fiddle but without a case, so she's using the one her old fiddle came in,

I've now had the old fiddle passed to me but no case!

I'm currently economically diminished so need to make/adapt a bag etc to accommodate it.

Anyone any advice on DIY instrument cases/ gig bags?


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 12:36 PM

for very quick protection, any box or locking container that has room, fitted with a piece of foam that you cut out to fit will do until you can acquire a real case.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 12:38 PM

Any 'Antique' or junk shops you can get a well used one in your patch ??


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 03:23 PM

You can always make a wooden box and line it with foam, cut out for the istrument (don't forget to make it deep enough to have foam UNDER the fiddle as well as around the sides). Simple pine board for the sides and plywood for the top and back should do it. Hinges and a hook-and-eye for closing, or even a belt/strap for keeping it closed, and a simple drawer-pull or screen-door handle will finish it up nicely. Probably cost you $25 for the materials. Use glue and screws for the attaching, not nails.

I'd make the box as a whole, then band-saw it to separate the top from the rest (instead of trying to use thin strips and plywood to make the top separately; you get better alignment and contiguous grain that way).

I did something like this to make my fiddle-and-mandolin-in-one-box case that I never use anymore. Still a nice box, though.

Or just look in local junk shops or on eBay for a fiddle case.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: s&r
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:01 PM

Try a violin shop for a junk case - they use them for packing sometimes.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:03 PM

Personal experience shows that often making something yourself can work out as expensive as buying something already made.
Your best bet for something cheap is probably e-bay. At least there you can say I'm not spending more than £?? and if you are outbid, at least you haven't overspent your budget. Making for yourself sometimes works out dear due to unexpected extra costs.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: terrier
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:47 PM

MrH, if you cut up the fiddle into really thin strips you will find it fits quite nicely into a mailing tube. I will gladly supply one ;)


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:51 PM

To do it properly, that is to provide a sensible amount of protection for the fiddle, is going to cost, 'cos you're doing a one-off, getting hold of small amounts of materials and fittings etc., and unless you're really good at that sort of thing, it still won't do the job properly. A new case can be had for as little as £35. Mug a chav and buy her one for Christmas, then you can have the old one back...Failing that, I'm with GTD - try e-bay.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 07:57 AM

As a melodeon player I find that LP cases (remember?) work very well. Hobbycraft do a nice artist's trolly that is good for larger accordions. These may not be DIY but are much cheaper than purpose made flight cases.

A fiddle is a bit harder to cater for. How about a holdall or duffle bag and lots of bubble wrap for the time being and put a case on your birthday wish-list?


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 08:11 AM

Found a case which used to contain a car wash kit.

Its plastic & although the right sort of depth, it's not long enough, especially to accommodate the bow.

I'm about to remove one end, then lengthen the box using thin hardboard + metal rods to both attach & reinforce the joined on bit.

Thanks for all your tips.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 10:47 AM

I made a carrying bag for a fretted dulcimer by sewing [on my sewing machine] bubble wrap between two layers of fabric. This was the great big bubble wrap, about 1/2 inch thick with bubbles at least an inch across. This kind of bag protects every surface of the instrument and costs almost nothing to make.

The bag was long and skinny and at least 6 inches longer than the dulcimer, and I slipped the dulcimer in from the top and tied it shut with strings that had been sewn in. The excess 6 inches formed a flap which kept the dulcy from sliding out.

[I'm using the past tense because I've given that dulcimer and case away.]

If you don't have a fabric store in your area, get a garment or drapes from a thrift shop and use the fabric in it for the bag.

You could sew a separate bag for the bow [use slick material] and slip it carefully into the case once the fiddle is in place. Be sure to allow the space for doing this when you firat cut the fabric and bubble wrap.

It's important to remember that a fiddle is top heavy from the weight of the tuning pegs. Always lay it down; don't store it standing up, even in a case, or it could tip over.

When in a car, lay it on the floor of the back seat so it won't go far in a sudden stop.

Then have fun with your new fiddle!


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 11:30 AM

Mr. Happy, where art thou?


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 02:24 PM

I once found that a padded bag meant for a squash racket was exactly right for a mandolin.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 02:33 PM

I've made a lot of instrument cases and bags but I have a lot of instruments of non-standard shapes and sizes (cumbuses, a Black Sea fiddle, sets of recorders, umpteen ocarinas, a cobza, a Moldavian kaval, a C-melody sax). For soft bags (for ocarinas and the cobza) I use two layers of fleece with a layer of discrete-cell foam in between - the sort of stuff used for camping mats or as an underlay for road paving. That would be enough protection to carry a fiddle on a bus, but wouldn't protect it against having a suitcase dropped on it. When I want something stronger, I use scrap plywood, with internal reinforcing by partitions that also create spaces to store accessories and foam pads to suspend the instrment away from the external walls. Usually I can find enough plywood and foam lying around in skips for the whole job - the things I have to pay for are latches, glue, paint and lining fabric.

It takes a very long time and the designs can get very complicated. I enjoy making stuff like this, but I don't think I'd consider it for a fiddle - it's so easy to pick up a broken case cheap and fix it.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Bernard
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 04:39 PM

A rectangular box (allowing room for padding. etc.) is simple enough to make. A cabinet-maker friend of mine once told me the best way to make a case with a lid that fits is to make a box, then slice the lid off carefully with a band saw. That way the lid will always fit! He made my banjo case and accordion case about 25 years ago, and they have proved indestructible!

I have to agree with Jack, though, fixing a broken case has to be easier!

If you do decide to go DIY, make sure to allow accommodation for a couple of bows in the lid, and a little comparment for rosin, spare strings (electronic tuner?) and other stuff.


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Subject: DIY instrument cases with factory price
From: GUEST,abby_hu from china
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 06:41 AM

I am abby from china , a instrument cases supplier.our factory supply all kind of intrument cases . we also produce products based on customer requirments .if you get interested in and want to get to know more ,pls feel free to contact me !!!
    My telephone number 086-13040857277 and my email address is ahu0521@gmail.com .


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 06:53 AM

Re my original post, at 2007/8 New Year party, a kind associate donated an old fiddle case he'd acquired on ebay for next to nowt!


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 07:46 AM

While we're on the subject, I've had great results from using camera tripod bags for flutes & whistles. A single tripod bag will carry a session's-worth of instruments, and the more fragile wooden instruments can be further insulated by buying a length of the appropriate diameter drainpipe and having that sit inside the tripod bag. In this very way the rauschpfeife has survived all attacks from agents of the Noise Abatement Society throughout Europe.

Apart from my general gig-bag which is several years old & still going strong, the best one I got was a tripod bag from Calumet which fitted my soprano shawm as if it had been made specially ...


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 10:32 AM

I've made a few cases for lap dulcimers, and a much more complex one for a 4-string banjo, and must warn would-be DIYers that, at least in my area, it's very difficult to find appropriate wood for cases for instruments of significant size, unless you're young and husky.

Getting something sturdy enough to protect the instrument that doesn't weigh "tons" (relative to the instrument) is - IMO - the toughest part of the task.

Hinges and latches are fairly easy to find and not too expensive, but local sources offer only "structural" weights in plywood. Wood veneer, the only thinner stuff available isn't very resistant to "puncture wounds" and "composites" like masonite (or counter top laminates) are incredibly "dense."

The "apparent weight" can be made less objectionable if you make the box first, and then select an appropriate handle. For a decently sturdy case that comes out even a bit heavy, you need a handle that you can get all four fingers through up to the first knuckles.

Carrying even 8 or 10 pounds with just your fingertips gets annoying rather rapidly, so drawer pulls and such usually end up being a bit too small for comfort. Gate handles may be more appropriate, even if they're not so pretty. True "luggage handles" would perhaps be nicer, but in my area at least they tend to be a bit expensive if your purpose in building your own is to save money.

"Cardboardish" materials and even "masonite panel" stock can be bent using the same heat/steam methods as for wood, but require a bit of "extra care" and more gentle "working" of the bend; and they're among the materials that often end up as a heavier box than you'd like.

John


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Simon G
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 12:05 PM

What about foam cored laminates. We have a wonderful case made by my wife Sandra for a travel guitar made from foam core board designed for mounting pictures and posters. Very easy to work with, cuts with a knife, bends with a little heat and retains its shape. Amazingly strong and very, very light.

It you want better puncture resistance then there must be equivalent structural sheets, used for boats.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 12:47 PM

Glad you got what you need for the best price! On the topic, I quited a soft case for my cello, with exterior pockets for bow, a bit of music, strings, rosin etc. It works well enough for the intended purpose of going between home & lessons in the car. Only the long zippers were purchased for the job; other materials were in my stash. Some day I'll find an affordable hard case.

Simon G's foam core stuff sounds like a very workable material to keep in mind.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 03:36 PM

just to add to the squash racket point further up, a lot of the local busking violiny types use tennis racquet cases for some reason. They do look vaguely like gig bags and I think they must be cheap enough. Can't imagine they provide amazing protection though. Maybe they sew in extra padding or something.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: open mike
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 08:03 PM

i have tennis racket cases for both my mandolin and my swedish clog fiddle. Most nyckelharpa cases are home made, as are most 'harpas. Many wooden boxes with handle and latch are seen in Sweden It also happens to fit in a gig bag made for guitars. hope yours works out well.


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Subject: RE: Instrument cases: Anyone DIY?
From: open mike
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 08:10 PM

http://www.nyckelharpa.com/shop/page.asp?folderID=shop&contentID=harpa-cases-hard


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