DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

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Jabberwalky
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DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by Jabberwalky » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:41 pm

I'm looking to build a case for my Minikorg700s.

I'm sure some of you have built custom cases before, so I'm curious where to begin.

I'm looking to do this as cheaply as possible. All I have is a circular saw, and a pop rivet gun. Aside from that, I'm unsure what I need. What sort of wood? What other hardware?

Are there any good sites for parts, such as metal corner pieces, handles, leather covering etc.?

Any help, or stories would be a great resource!

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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by gtivr6fan » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:24 pm

I don't have any schematics for you but have purchased hardware from here before...
http://www.parts-express.com/cat/case-c ... rdware/201

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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by yorgatron » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:38 pm

I built this speaker cabinet with only a circular saw, a drill, and a few random hand tools.

Image

and a LOT of wood putty. :facepalm:

Image



I bought the hardware from Antique Electronic Supply; https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/amplifier_parts_0

at first I tried covering it with spray-on truck bed liner, but ended up using rubberized undercoating.

I filled the cracks & crevices inside with expanding foam.

can you tell I usually work on old cars instead of woodworking?

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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by Zamise » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:12 pm

For the cost of wood and effort etc., I've usually found a second hand cabinet/case for cheaper that was adaptable or already fit. If you have to, you should have a Home Depot, or Lowes, or some home improvement store around you can pick up such supplies? Aside from what you already have, I'd also say wood screws will probably be better than nails and rivets so an electric screwdriver will be very helpful but not necessary (drilling pilot holes will help keep wood from splitting, so maybe some drill bits you can use with electric screwdriver too), and maybe a staple gun and staples, and then you'll need to go to a fabric store to get some cleaner for the wood, probably sand paper, cheese cloth to wipe dust off with after clean and a can of spray on or wipe on contact cement and some vinyl or carpeting. Cutting the vinyl properly can be tricky and tacking and it down with staples or tacks and gluing, there is a skill and some tricks to it to do it the proper and right way to hide seams and staples and bending around corners, I'm not very good at it, so maybe look in to it before you give it a go or do some practicing first, or if you know someone or a shop that does it maybe take it in and have them do it for you if you want it to look well and professional, and having some extra material may help. I'm not sure the type of wood, but some nicer laminated stuff is what I'd go with, it can be thinner and stronger rather than some cheap plywood or particle board that easily warps and breaks apart, you'll probably know it when you see it at the store I hope because I'm not sure what that stuff is called off the top of my head. Oh and you may want something with straight edge like a framing square ruler and a pencil for marking the boards before you cut them and the material. Razor knife tool and or large scissors to may help. Hmmm... that's all the knowledge I can think of and drop on you for right now, good luck Jabs.
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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:04 am

Very cool! Thanks for all the tips. Zam, I will check on Lowes for sure. I may skip the laminate and just paint and seal the wood. I know it probably won't look pretty, being my first case project, but it's really just for utility. As long as it likes to close, and latch, I'll be happy.

I plan to use the Minikorg live, and don't want to snap off one of the switches during transport.

Thanks or the link Gtivr, that's a great site. Also that cab turned out great Yorg.

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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by Weirdofromouterspace » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:18 am

I also built a few cases in the past, including one for an electric guitar and one for my DX21. Both (cases, that is) are painted in a somewhat 'psychedelic' style :lol: .

Anyway, multi-layer plywood (not the cheap stuff) works well, and I really recommend using aluminum profiles for protecting the edges. And be sure to build a nice shape on the inside so the synth rests in its place neatly. Some wood blocks will do. I then covered the insides with panne velvet, and used fine nylon fiber (so-called 'filter wool' for aquarium filters works well) for the padding.

Build it with screws and/or good wood glue. Attach the aluminum profiles with screws. Pre-drill screw holes.

I got all I needed (except the aquarium filter wool) including hinges and handles from a common DIY store; the filter wool is easily available from pet or aquarium stores.

If you want, I can post pictures later on to give you an idea :) .
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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:11 pm

That sounds awesome! I'd love to see pics, not only for the construction of it, but the psychedelic paint job.

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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by Weirdofromouterspace » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:23 pm

OK, here they are:

Both top sides (the bottom side of the black & red guitar case is almost identical to the top side):
Image

Bottom side of the DX21 case:
Image

A look inside:
Image

With guitar (the two blocks in the cover hold the guitar in place):
Image

And with DX21 (the padding I mentioned is in the cover, I dunno if that's clearly visible):
Image
Don't forget to TURN ON THE SYNTHESIZER. Often this is the reason why you get no sound out of it. - ARP 2600 manual, 1971

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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by sigment » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:03 pm

Weirdofromouterspace wrote:OK, here they are:



With guitar (the two blocks in the cover hold the guitar in place):
Image
Question: with knobbier synths, is it advisable to place blocks on the lid (similar to your guitar case) on the edges to hold it in place VS having the knobs take the pressure and lateral movement?

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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:51 pm

Wow! That looks fücking awesome. How did you fasten the interior velvet? I think I'll be using the metal bracing along all the edges as well. That looks very sturdy.

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Re: DIY Custom Hard Cases, where to start?

Post by Weirdofromouterspace » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:45 am

sigment wrote:Question: with knobbier synths, is it advisable to place blocks on the lid (similar to your guitar case) on the edges to hold it in place VS having the knobs take the pressure and lateral movement?
I recommend shaping the bottom compartment so the synth can't move laterally - like the two blocks in the corners of the DX21 case, which I mainly added so I'd have proper place for the cable. Synth cases are usually relatively easy to build since most synths are more or less rectangular.

I'd use blocks on the lid against vertical movement in a place where they don't touch the knobs nor any other moveable parts (sliders, wheels, keyboard) of the synth (-> preferably on the side edges/panels, one block on each side will do). Exposing the knobs etc. to any kind of lateral and/or vertical force is not a good idea, imho.
Jabberwalky wrote:Wow! That looks fücking awesome.
Thanks :) . These cases are almost 25 years old now - I built them somewhen between 1990 and 1994 ;) .
Jabberwalky wrote:How did you fasten the interior velvet?
All-purpose adhesive, and lots of it :lol: . Just make sure you do this in a well (and I mean well ;) ) aired place unless you're a professional glue sniffer 8-) . I spread the stuff very evenly in a thin layer so it wouldn't soak through the velvet and leave unsightly stains.
Jabberwalky wrote: I think I'll be using the metal bracing along all the edges as well. That looks very sturdy.
Best edge protection I could think of.
Don't forget to TURN ON THE SYNTHESIZER. Often this is the reason why you get no sound out of it. - ARP 2600 manual, 1971

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