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 Post subject: Re: Homemade flute cases
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Posts: 1867
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Gromit wrote:
That's the usual method, the top and base panels should not be glued on all edges - to allow for movement.

Correct, Gromit. We're all familiar with the 19th century flutes whose metal-lined heads and barrels cracked because they couldn't shrink in drier weather or climates. At the same time, they were putting these flutes in (typically) mahogany cases made by gluing up a frame (typically with mitered corners) and gluing thin panels of timber to top and bottom. It's quite common to find them with a big split running full length on top or bottom or both because the top and bottom shrink front-to-back, but the frame across the ends doesn't. Ironic that the same problem faced both case and flute.

I have a chap who makes cases for me - Ken Free, these days living in Victoria. His cases feature box-jointed corners, with the top and bottom panels let into slots running all round inside the top and bottom of the frame. These floating panels are free to expand and shrink with the weather.

Another option I've used previously is to mitre the corners, and glue veneered ply or MDF panels into a rebate running around top and bottom. The ply and MDF don't move significantly with the weather.

But these methods require having a reasonable workshop to play in, which is perhaps taking us away from a DIY approach.


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade flute cases
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:04 am
Posts: 1150
Location: Mercia
I recently used close cell foam (1970's Karrimat!), velvet and Copydex to fit out a very basic ABS flute case, having pulled out the nasty expanded polystyrene Boehm flute-shaped inner. I wanted something that fitted into a bag easily and was safe if dropped or tripped over on the pub floor.

Something I wonder, that I think would apply to the pistol-case type equivalents, is if that set-up is breathable enough for those of us who live in humid temperate climates. There nothing in there to soak up moisture and it can't leak out. I leave it open after coming back from a session. I was going to use felt instead of closed cell foam but took the lazy "let's get the job done now" option.

Any opinions?


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade flute cases
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:12 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
david_h wrote:
I recently used close cell foam (1970's Karrimat!), velvet and Copydex to fit out a very basic ABS flute case, having pulled out the nasty expanded polystyrene Boehm flute-shaped inner. I wanted something that fitted into a bag easily and was safe if dropped or tripped over on the pub floor.

Something I wonder, that I think would apply to the pistol-case type equivalents, is if that set-up is breathable enough for those of us who live in humid temperate climates. There nothing in there to soak up moisture and it can't leak out. I leave it open after coming back from a session. I was going to use felt instead of closed cell foam but took the lazy "let's get the job done now" option.

Any opinions?

I like cases that aren't hermetically sealed, and allow at least a little air/moisture transfer through a gap around the edge when they're closed. I keep most of our musical instruments in one room in the house that's climate controlled for temp and humidity (more or less). So for "wet" instruments like a flute, I like a case that breathes a little, and can adjust to the room.

Right now, I have my Aebi flute in a cheap plastic pistol case with open cell foam (image link earlier in the thread). It doesn't have a gasket, but it still seals a little tighter than I like. After coming home from a session I just open the latches and lift the lid slightly, so the damp insides can adjust to the room. If I was going to keep this case long-term, I'd probably cover the foam with velvet or some other material, to keep the foam from absorbing and holding too much moisture. For now, just cracking the lid while the flute is at home is enough.

My keyless Windward came with a Northwind "French style" case that I think is the ideal flute case, if a bit expensive. I'm going to get one for the Aebi when I can afford it. It's a wood shell with rounded corners, covered in leather, with a fitted velvet interior. There is a tiny gap between the lid and base even with the latches closed, so there is a little bit of air transfer. I think a home-made wooden box, or one adapted from a wooden pistol or cutlery case could work in a similar way to "breathe" a little, if you build it so the edges aren't a tight fit when the lid is latched.


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade flute cases
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:15 pm
Posts: 1280
Location: Pender Island, B.C.
I very much agree re: breathing. For touring I use Pelican cases and a decent double pistol case for the Burns A, but I’m sure to let them breath with the cases open in the hotel/friend’s basement/cardboard box I stay at.

As to the real topic, the last wooden case I built was a repurposed chef’s knife case. Lovely wood (thanks, Sabatier!) but it wasn’t as well made as I’d hoped - the finger joints came apart. If I did it again I’d start fresh, as with some of the lovely examples above. Mechanical joints and floating panels, even.
Oh, and billiard table felt lining, in RCMP red.

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