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#1
ok well after a rather messy fight with an ex i realized a soft case doesn't really cut it and i don't want to spend 100 bucks on a case. So i built just a rectangular case out of plywood and made some foam insulation for the insides and lined it with a fabric and everything only to find out this thing weighs about 30 pounds empty. So instead of the big bulky rectangle I'm going to cut it to the shape of the guitar which will be cool because the guitar itself is shaped cool (imo) but what i'm not too sure about is bending plywood and how to cut everything to the curves and such, so any help at all would be appreciated

P.S. I do not have any power tools other than a drill, and I could get some but I'd rather just do this with what i have
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#2
rent a jigsaw or bandsaw from a friend/local home improvement store, bending the plywood (I personally would use only 1 ply at a time, probably maple) you would need clamps or some way to hold it in a form

#4
You'd think that plywood, like most real types of wood, can be "molded" with boiling water or steam (you only need to do this if the plywood is too thick to be molded manually)...

Look it up first, it's probably a slow and delicate process...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=aIvyTFx7uk8

You'll need something to bend the plywood around to get the right shape, although it's also possible to use some rope and tighten it in order to bend the wood, and then let it rest until it hardens again...

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Last edited by shwilly at May 26, 2010,
#5
Alright, i live in the middle of no where so it'll be a while before i can get a jig saw but I've heard about like soaking the plywood in water? This will be the first thing i've built to actually challenge me so i'm going to be sure and take every step slow cause i'd like this to end up being the case i mainly use.
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#6
I found quick-clamps with cloths on them work.
P.S. Guitar cases are never made out of regular plywood. They don't have as much layers. They get most of their structural support from beams inside the case.
My experiences state that.
..I was watching my death.
#7
beams inside it? i've never thought or heard of that before, any info on this or suggestions on how to accomplish this?
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#8
Quote by grungebaby
ok well after a rather messy fight with an ex i realized a soft case doesn't really cut it and i don't want to spend 100 bucks on a case. So i built just a rectangular case out of plywood and made some foam insulation for the insides and lined it with a fabric and everything only to find out this thing weighs about 30 pounds empty. So instead of the big bulky rectangle I'm going to cut it to the shape of the guitar which will be cool because the guitar itself is shaped cool (imo) but what i'm not too sure about is bending plywood and how to cut everything to the curves and such, so any help at all would be appreciated

P.S. I do not have any power tools other than a drill, and I could get some but I'd rather just do this with what i have

Maybe this is just me but, I'm pretty sure if I were to go out right now and buy some foam, a sheet or two of plywood, and some fabric, maybe some paint for the outside, a few latches, a handle etc. I'm pretty sure buying a used case off ebay or something would be way cheaper and probably better built.
#9
well i had all the foam and plywood and lathches and hinges already, i'm used to salvaging parts and materials. and the first one i made was VERY sturdy, it was just too heavy though
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#10
So it's heavy, what's the big deal?
Just call me Bobby
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#11
so i'd be hauling it to scool on a bus everyday and i've got bad shoulders as is without having to carry around a huge case.

and honestly if all your going to do is sit there and tell me that i should go buy one or that its not a problem for it to weigh a ton then thats your opinion not mine, i came looking for help on how to make one not to be told to just buy one
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
Last edited by grungebaby at May 26, 2010,
#12
Quote by grungebaby
beams inside it? i've never thought or heard of that before, any info on this or suggestions on how to accomplish this?


Look at a grand piano roof.
Sorta like that. I'm not entirely sure the anatomy of it, but it's sorta like a skeleton. Just make it up as you go. I'm sure you have some common sense.
"Putting a beam here, will make X stronger" Think that.
..I was watching my death.
#13
Quote by timbit2006
Look at a grand piano roof.
Sorta like that. I'm not entirely sure the anatomy of it, but it's sorta like a skeleton. Just make it up as you go. I'm sure you have some common sense.
"Putting a beam here, will make X stronger" Think that.


well i'm kind of a student pilot and common sense is a requirement haha, but for like the beams i was thinking of cutting peices of thin plywood and and making like ribs if that makes any sense, any idea if that would work out?
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#14
Quote by grungebaby
So i built just a rectangular case out of plywood and made some foam insulation for the insides and lined it with a fabric and everything only to find out this thing weighs about 30 pounds empty.
Seems normal for a homebuilt case out of plywood. Wrong material for the job.

Quote by grungebaby
I'm going to cut it to the shape of the guitar which will be cool because the guitar itself is shaped cool (imo) but what i'm not too sure about is bending plywood and how to cut everything to the curves and such, so any help at all would be appreciated
You're not gonna save all that much in weight, really. If you're very lucky, you'll get the weight down to 20 pounds. That's still a shit-ton compared to a properly built hardcase. Plus your hinges won't line up correctly unless you do some very careful planning and placement.

Quote by grungebaby
P.S. I do not have any power tools other than a drill, and I could get some but I'd rather just do this with what i have
And you think you're gonna build a case with a curved outline?

Quote by grungebaby
i don't want to spend 100 bucks on a case.
Spend it anyway. You'll pay more than that for the aspirin you'll need during the build of this overweight monstrosity.
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#17
its an esp ltd f-50
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#18
Quote by grungebaby
well i'm kind of a student pilot and common sense is a requirement haha, but for like the beams i was thinking of cutting peices of thin plywood and and making like ribs if that makes any sense, any idea if that would work out?


Exactly my idea.
Go to your local guitar store, and look at the cases also. See how they're made.
What I reccomend, is not do a thick lip around the edge, just a thin one. That should hold. Also, 3 or 4 clasps.
I wish I had the time to make a diagram of what I mean right now, but you may get the point.
..I was watching my death.
#19
well i'm going to the hardware store soon, any suggestions on the thickness of plywood i should get? or what kind of wood other then plywood.
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
Last edited by grungebaby at May 28, 2010,
#20
Depends on the weight.
With the lessening of weight, you're losing strength. I'd say 1/4" would work. Even thinner might do. My minds kinda all blurry right now.
..I was watching my death.
#21
of course, and i think i have a friend that will loan me a jigsaw so good news there, and my original idea was to screw all the sides together but if i'm going with thinner plywood or something how would i piece them together?
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
Last edited by grungebaby at May 28, 2010,
#22
Quote by grungebaby
of course, and i think i have a friend that will loan me a jigsaw so good news there, and my original idea was to screw all the sides together but if i'm going with thinner plywood or something how would i piece them together?


maybe finger joints and glue? that might work.
#23
yeah, or i just had a good idea, if i made the back out of thicker plywood and made the sides thinner i could put the sides around the back and slowly bend them to it and screw through the sides of the thin stuff instead of the ends of them, if that makes sense
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#24
Hmm, it makes sense, but if I remember correctly plywood doesn't take a too friendly approach towards screws going into the end of a plate. Splitting galore!

How about a kerfed approach with glue and pins?
#25
Try rivets.
Or an Air Nail Gun.

Might I suggest using Memory Foam, for the neck rest?
I'd imagine that'd be the best for it.
..I was watching my death.
#26
Quote by Pikka Bird
Hmm, it makes sense, but if I remember correctly plywood doesn't take a too friendly approach towards screws going into the end of a plate. Splitting galore!


well the way i usually get around that stupid splitting problem is i use a drill bit thats the size of the part of the screw thats not threaded and CAREFULY drill down it then screw in the screw so its not pushing and spreading the wood apart as much

Quote by timbit2006
Try rivets.
Or an Air Nail Gun.

Might I suggest using Memory Foam, for the neck rest?
I'd imagine that'd be the best for it


How would the rivets work?
I hadn't thought about memory foam, i was just going to use the insulation foam for it but i like that idea a lot better.
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#27
Quote by grungebaby
well the way i usually get around that stupid splitting problem is i use a drill bit thats the size of the part of the screw thats not threaded and CAREFULY drill down it then screw in the screw so its not pushing and spreading the wood apart as much

Yeah, that's what I'd do too if I had to screw it together like that. However, I would positively loathe having to actually drill all those holes into the ends of two entire full-size guitar-shaped plywood plates.
#28
I built my own hardcase, see HERE for pics, and yes it weighs a ton, but yeah basically man up and deal with it unless you want to buy a professionally made one
#29
Quote by Pikka Bird
Yeah, that's what I'd do too if I had to screw it together like that. However, I would positively loathe having to actually drill all those holes into the ends of two entire full-size guitar-shaped plywood plates.


well i only have to do one since the other is going to be held on by hinges and latches
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#30
^You'd have no sides on the lid? I think it'd warp in due time without some sort of stiffening kajiggers.
#31
My coffin case uses only rivets, and 4 screws.
What I think is doing a lot of reinforcing is the tolex.
..I was watching my death.
#32
Quote by Pikka Bird
^You'd have no sides on the lid? I think it'd warp in due time without some sort of stiffening kajiggers.


Well no, I don't really see how it would warp as long as the hinges are lined up correctly

and timbit you said you made a coffin case, what did you use to make it?
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#33
^Plywood (and other large-ish wooden/particle boards that span a large area by their own humble selves will tend to warp, but if you have enough hinges and latches at the edges then you might force it to stay in shape around the perimeter, but I wouldn't be surprised if it started to dip a bit at the middle of the surface.
Last edited by Pikka Bird at May 28, 2010,
#34
^^Ohhhh I see well the way I'm thinking of doing it is that I'll have the lid bigger than the case so it sits ontop and not like recessed, so there won't really be anywhere for it to sag or dip. You don't see any problems with that do you?
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#35
Nice way to make a light case is to use aluminium angle extrusion to make a 'frame' so to speak, and then do the sides in hard plastic sheeting (like some ABS or something). Corner balls or similar over the corners, lined with foam/polystyrene or whatever.

I still need to get round to lining my flightcase with fur now.... It's only been about 4 years haha I'll get round to it this summer!
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
#36
Quote by Calum_Barrow
Nice way to make a light case is to use aluminium angle extrusion to make a 'frame' so to speak, and then do the sides in hard plastic sheeting (like some ABS or something). Corner balls or similar over the corners, lined with foam/polystyrene or whatever.

I still need to get round to lining my flightcase with fur now.... It's only been about 4 years haha I'll get round to it this summer!

Hmmm that sounds interesting, do you have any pictures or blueprints? I'm still doing the planning and taking everything slow cause I'd like to use this all the time and not have a bunch of problems with it, Can anyone tell me a good design software (preferably for free).
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#37


That type of style. I have an old 80s one for my Strat in this style and when the lid is closed it's rather sturdy indeed.
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
#38
Quote by Calum_Barrow


That type of style. I have an old 80s one for my Strat in this style and when the lid is closed it's rather sturdy indeed.


Looks very nice but also a bit on the expensive side and the way i'm making my case is i'm fitting it to my guitars shape so it'll look like a hard case for the acoustics you always see.
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
#39
Fair enough, it's often heavier that way unfortunately, believe it or not. If the guitar will fit a standard case - I'd just buy one. I only made my case for my guitar because it's a double neck.

I'm not putting you off or anything, I love making things. But it's going to be a heavy case being home made most likely. Could look very nice though depending on how it's done!
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
#40
yeah, It'll be ok as long as its not over 20-ish pounds and the guitar has been compared to a bat wing which i think is kinda cool and i'm gonna take my time and smooth the edges off the case so it'll look less blocky and I'm going to make some stencils and try to give it a good paint job.
Guitars:
LTD F-50
Yamaha EG-112
'77 Harmony
Roadworn Starcaster
Gretsch G5120

Amps:
Vypyr 15
Epiphone Valve Junior combo
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