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funaddict
08-22-2010, 07:21 AM
Just wondering if any of you have dabbled in building your own uke case? Other than just a straight-sided wood box? As uke builders we all have a high degree of DIYness, and I'm interested in building custom, from scratch cases to go with my custom, from scratch ukes.
Thanks,
Alan

ProfChris
08-22-2010, 10:25 AM
Case are quite easy, but time consuming to make. I'm documenting a build here:

http://ukulelecosmos.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18828

Should be finished in a week or two, depending on how much other stuff I have on.

Note that materials alone cost about as much as a cheap case, so this is only worth doing if you have an odd-shaped instrument or want something different.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-22-2010, 11:02 AM
I've done it out of necessity but it's the main reason I don't build double-neck ukes anymore. No thanks!

salukulady
08-22-2010, 11:05 AM
I would love to have a hard case for my 1925 gibson banjolele. Anyone wanna take that on?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-22-2010, 11:36 AM
Calton can make you one. Be prepared to spend upwards of $1000 though.
http://www.caltoncases.com/

salukulady
08-22-2010, 11:39 AM
Calton can make you one. Be prepared to spend upwards of $1000 though.
http://www.caltoncases.com/Yikes! That's more than the ukes worth. I think I'll stick with my gig bag.

dave g
08-22-2010, 01:55 PM
I've done a few of them over the years, but they don't compare to even a cheap "store bought" one. Too darn many trades involved... cabinet making, upholstery, etc. It can certainly be a satisfying experience, but you'll never make any money at it :)

JBennett
08-23-2010, 10:32 AM
I'm glad this thread started. I'm going to begin building my case soon for my telelele (http://telelele.tumblr.com/)...

It will be a simple rectangular tweed fender style case, but still, I'll look here for any tips.

I'm planning on building something like the old fender electric mandolin cases (http://www.flickr.com/photos/9627770@N07/4285622849/), but to the exact size/fit of my uke.

AnnaUK
08-23-2010, 10:38 AM
That's a very impressive build you're doing there, Chris. I liked Alli's case a lot.

I am hoping to get ideas for something similar as my uke is a concert pineapple shape and I can't find a suitable case anywhere here in the UK. I hadn't even thought of using cardboard.

I'll be really interested to see how it ends. Thank you for sharing :)

ProfChris
08-23-2010, 01:25 PM
That's a very impressive build you're doing there, Chris. I liked Alli's case a lot.

I am hoping to get ideas for something similar as my uke is a concert pineapple shape and I can't find a suitable case anywhere here in the UK. I hadn't even thought of using cardboard.

I'll be really interested to see how it ends. Thank you for sharing :)

Anna,

If you went to a British primary school you've done lots of cutting and glueing. This is just the same, but with stronger glue and you get to use the sharp-ended scissors.

Give it a try - Alli's case is all card, and pretty strong.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-23-2010, 02:18 PM
...and you get to use the sharp-ended scissors.

That's only good advice if you are certain not to run with them.

cashew
08-23-2010, 02:21 PM
I've built my own cases for various things before-- my first ever case was for my Kala Kiwi... Its a semi-soft case (its basically open and closed cell foams and epoxied duck (in the manner of fiberglass, but without the foam melting uckyness for rigidness. Its surprisingly solid, but I wouldn't check it under a plane.)

It is something I'd like to redo, it was a load of fun to make, but time consuming and VERY exacting work.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-23-2010, 03:22 PM
15539
Here's a rectangular case, they're much easier to build than a coffin case. I used redwood for the framing and 1/4" hardwood ply for the panels. The interior cutaway is from 2" builders' styrofoam and the lid is backed with 1/2" foam. All lined with velour and attached with contact spray (headliner stuff that's compatible with styrofoam. Real case hardware can be very expensive. Some cool handles (and even other hardware) can be found on old suitcases for a few bucks from the thrift store.

JBennett
08-24-2010, 09:02 AM
Wow. Nice case. Well done.

AnnaUK
08-24-2010, 09:25 AM
Anna,

If you went to a British primary school you've done lots of cutting and glueing. This is just the same, but with stronger glue and you get to use the sharp-ended scissors.

Give it a try - Alli's case is all card, and pretty strong.

Thanks for the tip, Chris, I most certainly will try it. I have experimented with a rectangle box case, like Chuck's one above, but made it out of 4mm MDF and hence the whole thing is mega-heavy. I will most definitely try cardboard.

I wonder whether it might be possible to use corrugated plastic (like art portfolio type folders are made from) as a 'net' could be made from one piece and folded up... Hmmmmmmm.

This kind of stuff:
http://www.alligata.co.uk/media/gbu0/prodsm/correx-sheet.jpg

This is a really interesting thread, thanks for all the ideas. I'll let you know how it turns out (if I don't cut myself with the sharp scissors...)

:)

lochtessmonster
08-24-2010, 09:42 AM
Boy howdy, am I glad this thread is around! AnnaUK do tell us how that corrugated plastic works out. My custom has displaced my other tenor out of a case, and I've been kicking around the idea of making a custom case for this new uke. I'd be concerned about the level of flexibility on that plastic, but if it works with cardboard, it may not be too bad.

Lori
08-24-2010, 10:21 AM
Ralph Shaw has a song about it, and it is pretty funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj4N0I7kby4
–Lori

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-24-2010, 10:31 AM
Unless you've got an ukulele built from titanium I'd really stay away from corrugated plastic or card board like materials. Otherwise, forget the hassle and just go with a gig bag or carry it around in a card board box. A sheet of 1/4" Phillipine mahogany will set you back about $25 and will give you enough material for a handful of cases. It's up to you to decide what your uke is worth.

dave g
08-24-2010, 11:17 AM
How about paper mache?

My old Triumph Herald (a car) had a paper mache tunnel over the gearbox (not that this is relevant :))

AnnaUK
08-24-2010, 11:20 AM
Thank you for your input, Chuck, I appreciate the voice of experience :)

In monetary value, my pineapple uke isn't worth thousands, but I do love it, and would be devastated if it got mangled :(

I'll have a think before I start sawing and cutting things up. I always seem to get in a mess with these sort of tasks(!) I shall let you all know how it goes...

(Dave - did you get rid of the Herald? I've got a 1972 Triumph GT6 and he's a BEAST :D )

Mr Bill
08-24-2010, 05:27 PM
Hi Folks,

When I purchased my inexpensive Makala uke, I asked about a hardshell case,
well at 30$ more than the instrument I passed. I've been storing it in it's polygon box
which is better than a gigbag, After reading this thread, casebuilding is on my order of the day list.

Thanks for the tips

Cheers.

ProfChris
08-25-2010, 08:04 AM
Unless you've got an ukulele built from titanium I'd really stay away from corrugated plastic or card board like materials. Otherwise, forget the hassle and just go with a gig bag or carry it around in a card board box. A sheet of 1/4" Phillipine mahogany will set you back about $25 and will give you enough material for a handful of cases. It's up to you to decide what your uke is worth.

Corrugated plastic is pretty fragile, but a double layer of 2mm card glued together is pretty tough. Plus, once fabric is glued over the outside it becomes even tougher. I'd say there's an even chance that the case I'm making (hardboard top and base, double cardboard sides) would take my 180lb weight if I stood on it, though I'm not going to try!

Not up to a hardshell case in toughness, but much better protection than a gig bag against knocks from sharp corners.

The problem with the sheet of Phillipine mahogany is (a) how to bend it round curves for someone without luthier skills and tools? and (b) in the UK at least, I don't know where I could buy such a sheet (and it would cost nearer $75 if I could).

Edited to add that I'm not using the kind of cardboard used for packing boxes, but the solid stuff sold for making or mounting artwork. Here's one I made for a friend to fit her unusual-shaped uke:

15563

15562

SweetWaterBlue
08-25-2010, 08:13 AM
How about paper mache?

My old Triumph Herald (a car) had a paper mache tunnel over the gearbox (not that this is relevant :))

Wow does that bring back memories. I once had a Triumph TR250 and part of the console from the dash to the floor was damaged. At the time, I was too poor to afford a real part, so I fashioned one from cardboard and liberally coated it with paint and varnish. It worked as well as the original and unless I told them, no one ever knew.