April 29, 2013 by Tim
For the past few years I have been obsessed with making a double ukulele hard case. There are a few soft and padded gig-bags on the market, but I have always felt weird about putting a $1000+ ukulele in that while I travel.
Here is the first one I made: Double Concert Case
A couple months ago my good friend Mim (Of Mim’s Ukes) responded to an artist who was asking if there were any double tenor hard cases, and it would have to fit in the overheard of most planes. The reason is that they travel with 2 ukes and photography gear, that would be 3 items and that will cause problems when you try to board. Long story short she told them that I may have some ideas on this, and they contacted me.
I don’t want to bore you with all the ideas and solutions I came up with, but I ended up sitting drinking a beer playing uke when I looked at 2 Fremont cases I had that where back to back. I measured them and it would WORK!! Now how the world do I make them one case?
Ordered 2 black cases and got to work taking them apart. Handles and back feet came off, cut a patch of the “leather” from the backs for the glue to stick, added a filler since the wrapped edges made a 1/4″ gap. Then pulled up some of the lining and drilled and uses posts and screws with flat heads to hold it firmly (With thread locker). Next I used black caulk to make it look nice between the gap. Then wrapped a 1/16″ piece of steel in the reclaimed “leather” and used it to span the handle holes. Last thing to do was put it back together and get the lining glued down. (Used a non-toxic foam glue to cut down on smell)
30″ Wide X 11.5″ Deep X 9.5″ tall
Inside Dimensions of Each Side:
28″ Wide X 9.5″ Deep X 3.5″ Tall (Up to the soft foam in the top)
Weighs 18LB empty
$250 (Slightly cheaper for smaller sizes)
When I do this to the cases it voids the warranty from Takumi, that is a bummer, but I have several of these cases (as single cases) and I put them through hell. I have not had a single issue.
I chose these cases because they are HUGE! one of the few cases that fit my wide butt super long Kanile’a K1 8-string, so it should fit pretty much any uke.
there is very little I would do different on the next ones. I may shave the lip of the end wrap down to cut the height by a 1/4″, and make sure that the handle plate is a little straighter when I drill the holes.
I have been throwing it around trying to break it. put a couple cheap ukes in and dropped it about 6 feet on a ton of angles, no issues.
Contact me if you are interested in one (Tim@ukeeku.com). For the moment it will take a few weeks to build them. If people show interest I will make more to have them on hand in the future.
A few questions were asked about it actually fitting in an overhead bin of a plane, so I took it to the airport.
As you can see it is too long, other than that it does fit. Luckily there was a TSA and an AA employee outside having a smoke break. I talked to them briefly about going through security and the TSA said it would be fine and the ukes should not have to come out unless they were nosey. The AA person said the only issue is that it is too long, but if you ask before you board for special permission that there is a good chance that they will let you on with it, other wise it would have to be gate checked, meaning it goes with the strollers and other little bags. When you get off the plane you get the case back right away.