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Thread: ESB-4 Cases

  1. #21
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    I'll see how it goes. I haven't completely ruled out chucking the whole lot out of the window because I'm fed up with finishes! I do admire you folk with the immaculate looking instruments with intricate staining and the rest, I'm not at all sure I have the right mindset!
    Last edited by JimC; 08-11-2019 at 08:49 PM.

  2. #22
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC View Post
    I'll see how it goes. I haven't completely ruled out chucking the whole lot out of the window because I'm fed up with finishes! I do admire you folk with the immaculate looking instruments with intricate staining and the rest, I'm not at all sure I have the right mindset!
    Nobody ever uses the term immaculate to refer to something associated with me! I messed up the first two finishers I tried. I kept the third one which is on the red bass--but it has enough flaws that I plan to refinish it at some point. The hybrid's not perfect but it's close enough for jazz ;-)

    I can recommend the materials I used which are about as idiot-proof and forgiving as any I have found. I'm sure Simon will be a good resource, and it appears he's not too far from you? Folks on the Forum tend to be pretty happy to help. Hang in there! You did a great job with the routing. This deserves to be a bass!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  3. #23
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Yes, Jim's a good long-term friend, known him since 1974. But he does live a reasonable bit further from me than he used to, so it's not that easy to arrange meeting up. If necessary, I'm happy to work on the finish for Jim. He has lots of dogs at his house, so it's hard to keep it dust and hair-free.

  4. #24
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    At least the climate should be similar, which seems to have an inordinate effect on finishing.

    I hate finishing, but the smartest thing that I did this last go round is use high quality/high solids acrylic paint for solid colors and a good quality acrylic clear coat. I had to put a lot of clear coat to be able to sand it flat afterwards, but the nice thing is that low VOCs and no spray meant I could do it inside. Maybe useful? I have only been to England in the summer and that was cold and wet, at least while I was there.

  5. #25
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    England's summer can be very variable these days. We can have a few weeks of dry weather when it gets to over 30C/86F followed by weeks of wet and fairly cold weather. Or it can be pretty warm and dry all summer, or it can be wet almost all summer. All depends on the wandering jetstream and how far north or south it moves over us. Of course, coming from Florida, it's always going to be a lot colder and it takes time to acclimatise. It's normally warm enough from mid-spring to mid-fall to spray, but if spraying outside it's the rain that limits the good days to about 50% of that time, and strong winds limits that further.

    My trouble is that I like nitro finishes and I've tried acrylic finishes on non-guitar projects and it's not quite the same.

  6. #26
    I just spent a month making a hard case for a YB-4 bass and I have to admit aside from being able to choose custom material like a gold velvet interior and burgundy exterior the whole thing ended up costing heaps and it's pretty heavy too. I could have bought a standard black hard case from my local music shop for half the price. It was also difficult finding gold or brass latches like I have on another hard case. Everywhere I looked there was only chrome/nickel or black. In the end I used a set of suit case locks similar to the type you might remember from old school cases.

  7. #27
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It's very hard indeed to make a light wooden case. The wooden case that came with my Fender DG Strat uses two suitcase style locks and one sprung latch, and it weighs about 3x the weight of the guitar. So I immediately bough a lightweight ABS case for it to stop my arm being pulled off!

  8. #28
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    Standard wood cases are actually made from pretty thin ply and seem to rely on the covering to provide a lot of the strength. I think the tweed covered case that came with my Tokai Jazz is only about 3mm ply, and its showing signs of being well past its best. Quite possibly cheap (and light) softwood ply too I reckon. The trouble for us homebuilders is that by the time you've bought the ply, and Tolex or tweed outer covering and foam and felt or whatever inner and at least two thicknesses of foam there's a lot of different materials at small quantity prices, and don't get me started on the cost of glue...

  9. #29
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC View Post
    Standard wood cases are actually made from pretty thin ply and seem to rely on the covering to provide a lot of the strength. I think the tweed covered case that came with my Tokai Jazz is only about 3mm ply, and its showing signs of being well past its best. Quite possibly cheap (and light) softwood ply too I reckon. The trouble for us homebuilders is that by the time you've bought the ply, and Tolex or tweed outer covering and foam and felt or whatever inner and at least two thicknesses of foam there's a lot of different materials at small quantity prices, and don't get me started on the cost of glue...
    Yes, the best cases I have had for guitar as you say. Even the name brand ones from Fender and Gretsch that I have had were thin plywood under Tolex. The Gretsch was pretty nice, even had an arched top, until a friend left it out in the rain and 30 years of mold spores all bloomed at once...<sigh>. The Fender case once survived a cross country trip in the cargo hold of an airliner, back when I was too innocent to know better. None of these would survive modern cargo treatment--and those were the better ones. The last acoustic guitar hard shell case that I had literally disintegrated. Thin wood just like the rest, but the glues gave out. I gave up on it when--despite practically doubling it's weight by adding duct tape--the bottom just fell out of it one day.

    I have an ABS case for a horn. It's very strong, and shows no sign of wear although I have had it most of my life. If I had to get a hard-shell I'd get one of those--maybe a Road Runner.

    I have thought about making one, but a decent case will be a lot of work, and not a lot cheaper than buying a hard shell case--and not as good as an ABS case. I used to make kayaks out of fiberglass. I could make something strong and light with that, but it is messy, toxic, and probably not worth divorce.

    So, for now, the gig bag seems like the best option. The one I ordered arrives next week. Since it is extra deep I have been thinking about adding some reinforcement. There should be room above and below it...so thinking about that.

    Meanwhile I have been thinking about what the ideal DIY guitar case would look like. It should be light, highly protective and easy to customize. I am thinking a thin plastic or plywood glued to styrofoam like in a bike helmet might work...

  10. #30
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fender3x View Post
    I am thinking a thin plastic or plywood glued to styrofoam like in a bike helmet might work...
    To reduce the divorce risk epoxy resin is much less offensive than polyester as your kayaks would have been, but also far more expensive.

    I've discussed this a lot on a bass guitar forum, where lighter weight cabinets is a significant point of interest, and I have an amateur boat building background and some experience with the materials. The thing is to add stiffness with styrofoam, pvc foam or whatever you need an inner skin. Whilst you can go very lightweight with excellent strength with plastic/foam/plastic sandwich construction, the problem you run into is puncture resistance.

    If you don't want to be repairing a cabinet or case every other week then the outer skin requires a certain minimum strength. And by the time you've given it that, plus the foam and an inner skin of adequate strength, then you are up to much the same sort of weight as conventional plywood anyway. So for an instrument case moulded ABS with non structural foam inside is pretty much optimal. And for we homebuilders I fear the traditional fabric covered ply is still as good an option as any. A layer of fibre on the inside of the ply would add more puncture resistance than the same weight of ply, but at greater cost.

    If money were no object then a kevlar case would have excellent properties and a superficial resemblance to tweed, but boy would it cost...
    Last edited by JimC; 11-11-2019 at 01:39 AM.

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