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View Full Version : Let's build a ukulele case!



Rawks
03-28-2013, 02:38 PM
Hello UUers!
I've had an idea and I would really love to know what you think of it.
I want to build a ukulele case. Even more, I want as many of you as are interested to help me do it!

My name's Ryan and I live in Melbourne, Australia. A couple of weeks ago I graduated from university studying a degree in music. As happens to all of us, after study we need to find gainful employment. A couple of months ago, I decided to design a case for my tenor uke just for fun. Well, it quickly became a little bit of an obsession. I've been researching and sketching and sourcing materials for a few weeks and am amazed at how much I am enjoying it. It's something I would really like to develop into a small business. With modern materials, I believe we can make a case which is better than any other. :)

I'm only a small new member and I don't know many of you very well yet. But I do know all of you are supportive and kind. If you would like to assist me, I've provided a link below. It will take you to a very short survey (hosted by kwiksurveys.com), the aim of which is to give me an idea of what kind of case you would like to protect your instruments. You won't need to supply any personal information or sign up for anything.

http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=jl1qnfcnrws4cep105090

If instead you just want to leave a post describing the sort of qualities you look for in a case, that's super helpful too! :)

As many questions or comments as you like are gladly welcome. I hope this is an idea that excites some of you. I personally love the idea of having our own community-built case!
Ryan

connor013
03-28-2013, 02:49 PM
Survey completed, and looking forward to seeing your ideas/design.

Cheers.

Tigeralum2001
03-28-2013, 03:12 PM
Rawks, you are on to something big, my friend! Most cases are afterthoughts. Few cases are quality, and even then they typically do not consider the whole picture, just the instrument. Most of the time when I need a case (am transporting my uke), I also need sheet music (or a book- I would recommend using The Daily Ukulele as the size needed to transport), a tuner, occasionally a cable if using an amp, an extra set of strings, a charger for my MiSi, and maybe some other small accessories. Not to mention the humidifier, when needed, and maybe a hygrometer. With all of that stuff, how do you fit it in a compact case? Well, "compact" is relative. However, a well designed case should be able to handle most of that stuff without too much difficulty.

Maybe I'm the only one with these issues, but I am interested in your work!

electrauke
03-28-2013, 03:15 PM
Awesome idea, I completed the survey.

davidrboy
03-28-2013, 03:27 PM
Survey completed. Good idea and good luck.

Tuko
03-28-2013, 03:49 PM
Survey completed. Excellent concept; looking forward to seeing what you end up with.

ScooterD35
03-28-2013, 04:13 PM
Survey completed! I wish you success in your endeavor and look forward to hearing about your progress.

Something that wasn't on the survey, color. Lighter colors reflect heat and sunlight. I have never understood why most case manufacturers insist on making black cases.


Scooter

hawaii 50
03-28-2013, 04:18 PM
a case with internal hinges and latches..everybody scratches their instrument no matter how hard you try not to on the latches..

or latches made of something other than steel..

my 2 cents

Hippie Dribble
03-28-2013, 04:34 PM
this is brilliant Rawks, I wish you all the best with it mate.

My suggestion is also the same as Scooter's re the question of colour. For myself, I avoid black cases like the plague though it's not always easy to do with limited options around. Really looking forward to following your progress brother. Cheers!

Katz-in-Boots
03-28-2013, 05:16 PM
I've completed it too Rawks, look forward to what you come up with. Here are a couple of my thoughts on cases in addition to the survey.

Not all concert cases fit my 24" concert ukes - especially if there's a pickup jack as well. I personally think removable pads to customise fit is better than the case being too snug. I know violin cases have this.

Agree totally about colours other than black, soooo boring as well as heat absorbing. I also suggest an outer material that doesn't get scuffed or the scuffs can be easily cleaned off, as well as not easy to scratch. Oh, and that stickers have to stick to it well.

vanflynn
03-28-2013, 05:23 PM
Well thought out survey Rawks.

Love to see the end result. Best of luck to you

remy26
03-28-2013, 05:29 PM
Cool idea! Just finished the survey myself. Just a couple of items that weren't on the list that I'd like to mention. I'd love to be able to carry a laptop (not just an ipad or tablet) with my ukulele, so having something that could accomodate ti=his would be great. Having something that's relatively lightweight is also important to me. Good luck with your endeavor!

Patrick Madsen
03-28-2013, 06:26 PM
I for one, like to have the ability to use a strap over a handle or backpack. I use a wheelchair so need a case that has a strap so I can psuh with the case on my lap. All it takes is a couple of rings to hook the strap on ; like a Uke Crazy case has.

Rawks
03-28-2013, 06:52 PM
Thank you, everyone! I'm really glad that you've been so positive about this idea so far. Really appreciate the feedback too. I'm making note of all the points you bring up. Haha, I'm wondering what I'll do about colours as well. I suppose a purely practical road to take would be to paint them all in white heat reflective paint. :p


A ukulele case for $20 would be revolutionary.
I think there would be more money in violin cases myself. You could start your Masters paper by reseaching violin case design since Stradivarious time, document the features and then apply the information to modern materials. The planet has way more professional violinists than ukulele players at present, so the market is much bigger, and the violinists will pay for quality that works, possibly unlike the ukulele market. When the violin case is sorted, just adapt it for a ukulele, that is what is happening already with polystyrene/zip style cases.
A second thought is to team up with a materials/textile engineer and focus on a lightweight tough case using cheap materials like cardboard or signboard.
A third thought is to contact the company in Geelong that makes Geelong brand tool boxes and get a galvanised toolbox style outer case made in a size(s) to fit various ukulele sizes, and work out the lining part with another company or yourself. A coat of nice paint will change its appearance it needs be. If they make a large quantity the unit price could be competitive.

Well, $20 might be a bit optimistic. But I would if I could! =P
I am actually looking at violin cases as well (it occurred to me too that ukulele's alone probably aren't a path to riches). As it happens though, the needs of a good violin case are quite different from a good ukulele case. Essentially, they have to be larger to accommodate a bow and shoulder rest. While you could fit a uke in a violin size case, the case would be larger than it needed to be. Haha, I like efficiency when it comes to use of materials!
Thanks for your suggestions! :)


Cool idea! Just finished the survey myself. Just a couple of items that weren't on the list that I'd like to mention. I'd love to be able to carry a laptop (not just an ipad or tablet) with my ukulele, so having something that could accomodate ti=his would be great. Having something that's relatively lightweight is also important to me. Good luck with your endeavor!

A whole laptop!? I suppose that kind of storage would also help people who want to carry music or books around too... Haha, ok. I like a challenge. I do have an idea how it could be done... I'll play around with it and see if it looks feasible. Honestly, it's a bit unlikely at this early stage to become a reality but, there is no problem which can't be fixed by sufficient engineering. And light weight is always a priority! :)


I for one, like to have the ability to use a strap over a handle or backpack. I use a wheelchair so need a case that has a strap so I can psuh with the case on my lap. All it takes is a couple of rings to hook the strap on ; like a Uke Crazy case has.

Sounds perfectly reasonable. As luck would have it, I have a Uke Crazy case sitting right next to me. I'll see what I can do. :)

electrauke
03-28-2013, 08:14 PM
Yes make sure you can stick stickers to it.

Ben_H
03-28-2013, 09:25 PM
I second the single shoulder strap suggestion, with different anchor points available depending on how you want to wear it. Also make sure that the shoulder strap is large/long enough. I have a TGI soprano case where the strap is so short that if I put it over my head, so that the strap runs across my chest then the strap is tight up under my armpit. I've had to replace it with a strap off an old laptop bag so that I can cycle comfortably.

Regarding other items to carry, I'm currently using an old fashioned music stand and bunging everything into a rucksack as I don't have a case that will take all my bits a pieces.

Final "wants" are available in the UK and in baritone size please! ;)

Good luck in your endeavour

Patrick Madsen
03-28-2013, 09:39 PM
Good idea Ben; have a couple straps on the top to tie on a stand.

Rawks
03-29-2013, 03:40 AM
I second the single shoulder strap suggestion, with different anchor points available depending on how you want to wear it. Also make sure that the shoulder strap is large/long enough. I have a TGI soprano case where the strap is so short that if I put it over my head, so that the strap runs across my chest then the strap is tight up under my armpit. I've had to replace it with a strap off an old laptop bag so that I can cycle comfortably.

Regarding other items to carry, I'm currently using an old fashioned music stand and bunging everything into a rucksack as I don't have a case that will take all my bits a pieces.

Final "wants" are available in the UK and in baritone size please! ;)

Good luck in your endeavour

I hadn't thought of that! Thanks! :)