$5 Hard Ukulele DIY case

16

February 14, 2011 by Tim


Up front, I lied a little…The case is $5 and you could leave it as is and not spend any money, but it is hard not to look at this and just make it awesome.

Case with legs installed

I was walking around the Beast (What we nerds call Best Buy) and I saw that the DJ Hero cases were $5, and I looked at it for a good 5 minutes and wondered if a uke would fit in it? And by chance it is a perfect size for a concert ukulele (25″ x 12″ x 5.5″) , except that to make one fit I had to modify it a little, the bottom has legs that screw in to make it a Dj hero stand. So the adventure begins.

What I used so far:
  • DJ Hero Case (dimentions 25″ x 12″ x 5.5″)
  • Small Thin sheet of metal found at most hardware strores, thin enough to cut with tin snips
  • Tin Snips
  • Hand Rivet Gun (cheap one with 4 sizes works great)
  • 16 Rivets Sized 1/8″ X 1/4″
  • 3 Rivets Sized 1/8 X 7/32″
  • Padding

The first thing I did was to throw the legs away and pull out the the pieces that were there to  store the legs in the middle of the case. They are just glued in with a rubber cement . Then I unscewed the the nuts and bolts for the plastic pieces that the legs screwed into. This left 4 holes in the bottom of the case.

Legs screw into this bracket

Metal patch and rivets. Notice the one with a washer, It was to fix the blown-out hole

At first I tried to use the exsisting holes that the leg brackets came out of but figured out that it leaves a corner that can’t be riveted since there is a big hole under it. That is when I cut out the rounded squares and used the 1/8″ by 1/4″ rivets. The rivets will not go all the way threw, they will expand and wedge into the hole that you drilled leaving a nice flat surface on the inside. I did have one rivet that blew out the hole, but that was when I tired a larger rivet and I had to use a rivet washer and a longer rivet (1/2″) to go all the way threw to the rivet washer on the inside.

Post Rivet-polooza

After the bottom holes were covered I noticed that some of the rivets for the case had either fallen out or never put in, so I used a few 1/8″ x 7/32″ rivets to secure the corners.

Case closed, Nice feet.

Beyond that I took some foam that I had around and cut it to fit the bottom and used double stick tape to hold it down.

Hollowed case with padding I cut

At this point if I wanted to I could cut foam to make it work for a concert uke, but for now I am leaving it free form. I like the fact that I can use it for a concert or use the padding that came with it and the other pieces to fit 2 small ukes like a Kala Travel soprnao and an Ohana sopranino, and still have room for some music books.

Case with padding that came with the case holding my OU-2 concert

Kala and ohana layer 1

Kala and Ohana layer 2

As of today (Feburary 13, 2011) my Best Buy has 5 cases on the shelf, but none online.

Gallery

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16 thoughts on “$5 Hard Ukulele DIY case

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Barry Maz and Joshua Skaja, Ukeeku.com. Ukeeku.com said: $5 Hard Ukulele DIY case http://wp.me/pwqBX-lu […]

  2. Brett says:

    Whoa! This is really cool. Do you think a tenor uke could fit in one of these cases? Maybe if you went diagonal with it? I can’t believe these are only $5. Wow.

  3. Matt P says:

    A Ukulele Hero sticker would look great on the top.

  4. Victoria Chan says:

    this is a really cool idea. If only I had a concert or soprano uke.. haha.
    even with the DIY work, $5 hardcase is a snazzy deal.

  5. I have got to look up what the heck DJ Hero is hahahaha…… Nice case!

  6. tom says:

    wow haha that’s nifty. i kinda wanna attempt this. i need a hardshell case…

  7. Checked with the BB’s in my area….. none on clearance.

  8. AdventuresOf2Girls.com says:

    Hi Tim, great website. Thanks for pointing it out to me at UU. I’m really impressed with what you did to this… crazy cool!!! I appreciate it lots because in our line of work, we often custom make cases for our props and what you did is just AMAZING. Great job, truly!

    Respect,
    Ning from Singapore

  9. I found three of these at $4.99 at the Mall of America Best Buy store. It is currently under project way and I am hoping when all is done I can still get two ukes plus in it. I left in the leg connections. Thanks again for the tip on this one!

  10. Lynn Shearouse says:

    I have bought two of these. The first I adapted by carving out the shape of my pineapple. I then glued the cloth back over the wood/cardboard. It isn’t as neat as I would like but my soprano fits snugly. I did nothing with the leg holes but may try to cover them with something. Thanks for the idea and the cases were very inexpensive.

  11. Meg says:

    They have Ukulele Hero stickers on ebay!! I say slap one of those on and you’re good to go!!

  12. joyce davis says:

    this is a great idea! at $5+ bucks, can’t go wrong. i always keep my eyes peeled for old hardshelled briefcases (a silver one would be cool) and believe it or not, siding salesmen and window salesmen have hardshelled cases that they carry around with parts in that would probably work with a soprano if i could get my hands on one, probably fit 2 in there. what i really want is a case that turns into a music stand with a uke hanger and cup holder…and maybe an itouch doc, and…

  13. ben says:

    Tim

    What are the overall dimensions l x w x h?

    Yer buddy Ben

  14. ben says:

    Tim

    Looked 1 more time and just noticed the dimensions. Oops. Just bought a baritone and wondering if it will fit, but prolly not.

    Ben

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