Soft or hard cases? Do you disassemble or not?

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meoweth
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Soft or hard cases? Do you disassemble or not?

Post by meoweth »

Just wondering about how people treat their wooden instruments. I'm relatively new to flutes so I was wondering if it would be better to separate the flute into it's pieces, or have it all connected. Specifically I'm talking about Tenor Recorders and Bass Recorders.

A hard case would be required if disassembly is required, and a soft case would work if the instrument could stay connected. One of the things that used to happen was the headjoint connection part with the cork expanded or shrunk causing a bad fit with the mouthpiece.
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Feadoggie
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Re: Soft or hard cases? Do you disassemble or not?

Post by Feadoggie »

It is customary to break down the sections of a wooden instrument for storage or transport. There are a few very good reasons to do that. I won't go into each here but they represent good sense and experience. Always swab and disassemble your wooden recorders.

Many better recorders will be supplied with some sort of fitted case/box. While not always particularly sturdy they are good enough to place in a backpack for occasional travel.

I store and carry my timber SSAT set of recorders in a purpose-made, fitted hard case that is rather like an attache case. Mine has served me well for over forty years so far. These should be available for purchase through any good specialty recorder retailer.
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Otherwise you can fashion one easily enough from either a commercial attache case (add your own foam) or one of the many molded hard cases (e. g. Pelican, Barska, Plano, Doskocil) supplied to the photography, audio/video and scientific instrument trades that have the cube foam linings. Von Huene, just as an example, sells the same type of hard plastic case used widely for Irish flutes which are manufactured for the small firearms customer.
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I have a dozen or so of those for flutes, fifes and whistles which work very well, as well as the purpose made cases in fact. And they are very inexpensive to purchase (here in the United States).

The bass recorders I have owned were supplied with their own case that while usually being soft sided protected the instrument with generous amounts of thick foam rubber.

I even break down my Yamaha 300 series plastic recorders to transport or store them. I find the fitted zippered nuagahide-ish bags they came in to be enough protection.

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trill
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Re: Soft or hard cases? Do you disassemble or not?

Post by trill »

That is one lovely case !

I want one !
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Feadoggie
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Re: Soft or hard cases? Do you disassemble or not?

Post by Feadoggie »

Yes, it is. I'd wager it is the instruments that catch your eye more than the case. It dazzles me when I see a nice old set of boxwood, palisander or grenadilla recorders in one of those cases. My case is just like that one. I bought it in 1972 or thereabouts - for maybe $25. Things have gone up a bit since then. Heck, the recorders I carry in it were not very pricey back then either.

That photo is off the website of Antique Sound Workshop. That one is made by Jakob Winter for Mollenauer Denner recorders but it will fit many other similar baroque models.

http://www.aswltd.com/recacc.htm#winter

I have a set of rather old (1940's, I think.) Schreiber boxwood/ivory artist model recorders or a more modern set (1970's) Moeck Rottenburghs that I carry in mine. Both fit just fine. It is really a simple case but very sturdy. Like I said, it has lasted a long time and done the job well.

If I were looking for a case to replace it today I would just use a pistol case like the one in the photo from Von Huene. I have one similar to that on the shelf - full of whistles at the moment. It cost maybe $40 retail. It's a good deal - smart money. They sell for under $20 online - plus shipping of course. Looks better with a set of recorders in it.

Image

Just make sure to measure the length of your recorder sections before you order one. They do make several sizes. Shouldn't be a problem finding one that fits your instruments. The more common sizes are sold here in the US at places like Walmart, Dick's, Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops.

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MTGuru
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Re: Soft or hard cases? Do you disassemble or not?

Post by MTGuru »

Feadoggie wrote:Looks better with a set of recorders in it.
Deadlier, too.

C'mon, you were just asking for it. :twisted:
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Re: Soft or hard cases? Do you disassemble or not?

Post by Feadoggie »

MTGuru wrote:C'mon, you were just asking for it. :twisted:
Yes, I was actually. I figured it was better suffering through the usual response to my suggestion of gun cases. You know, I'm from Pennsylvania and we are sometimes accused of clinging to guns and such. :) For reasons that I do not completely understand, the religious communities around these parts also cling to their recorders. Must have something to do with their German heritage. The brass consorts in church are one thing to experience, the recorders are yet another.

I should mention that the picture above is not the case I would use for recorders. It is probably too short to hold a tenor body section. So when you look for these things you want a model meant for long barrel pistols.
meoweth wrote:A hard case would be required if disassembly is required, and a soft case would work if the instrument could stay connected. One of the things that used to happen was the headjoint connection part with the cork expanded or shrunk causing a bad fit with the mouthpiece.
I wasn't going to comment on this particularly but I guess I feel compelled to at this point. The cork is meant to be compressed when you assemble your instruments. That's how the sections stay put. If you leave them assembled the cork will surely compress and will not hold the sections together after a while. And you will not always get all the moisture out of the bore when you swab a flute. Dis-assembling helps dissipate the remaining moisture. Replacing corks is a part of general maintenance anyway. Buy some cork sheet and learn how to do it. And assembled instruments carried in soft bags do tend to be the subject of broken tenons and cracked sockets more frequently than dis-assembled ones. :cry:

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