Building an instrument caseI figured I would eventually tire of trying to learn to play my ukulele, and to be able to put it in the closet without worry, I'd need a case for it.
The most logical shape is a tapered box, but I wanted to avoid having sharp corners on the wide end of the box.
Next I cut the fingers for the box joint in the curved ends using my box joint jig
I put a spacer behind the wood at the top to mount it at the desired angle.
I cut 1/4" (6 mm) box joints. Most people use dado blades to cut box joints, but I have mostly stopped using dado blades. I just make three cuts at different positions with a regular saw blade to clear a 1/4" wide slot. I mark the positions at which I need to stop the main gear with some pieces of electrical tape. With just a regular saw blade in the saw, I can push the jig across much faster, so I can make three cuts in about the same time as one cut takes with a dado blade.
I'm also rounding the piece at the end of the box. Part of the reason for that is that I cut the sides a little bit too short (the piece of wood I started with wasn't long enough). So by rounding the wide end, I get an extra bit of length.
Here I'm marking the space that the ukulele will take up, though I ended up making that cutout more generous.
Once the blade got close to the clamp, I moved the clamp to the already cut part of the workpiece.
And this is where I goofed. I had intended to cut what was to be the lid off, so I would have the wider part of it to glue to the bottom. But I put it on the saw the wrong way, so now I just had a narrow frame that I cut off. As such, that narrow part will now form the top lid.
I rummaged through my hardware drawer and found these tacky looking hinges. But I liked the black colour and texture. So I drilled two extra screw holes in them and snipped the ends off with tin snips.
I like how these now look.
The hook hooks onto a notch I chiseled into the top lid.
The hooks are made from a bent piece of coat hanger wire, with a piece of 1/2" dowel through the case for pushing the hook back.
The dog-leg end on the right side of the coat hanger wire causes the hook to spring shut.
The dowel has shoulders to fit between the parts of the hook, and a washer screwed to the end of it to make it captive between the coat hanger wires.
I also added some blocks with padding on them to the lid, to securely hold the instrument. The blocks are positioned so that they hold the ukulele where it's not as vulnerable to damage. I sized the blocks so that they push lightly against the ukulele when the lid is closed.
A piece of leather belt, attached with three sheet metal screws on either end serves as a carrying handle.
A fit check - giving the case a good shake to see if the instrument rattles at all. So far so good. Just in case I ever need to take this ukulele on United Airlines (cause United breaks guitars). But that won't likely happen, cause I'm not a musician, and I don't even know how to play it!
And I can't play my homemade pipe organ either.
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