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Thread: Gravity and mando case surprise...

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Last night as we were parked and unpacking instruments for a gig, gravity and my mando case provided us with a very scary surprise...

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    We opened the back of our SUV and out shot my F9 in the case, flying about 4 feet, hitting the corner of a cement curb straight on.

    As you can see, the case received a 1"x4" open fracture along the back edge. There was about 1 inch of airspace, followed by an inch of body-shaped Styrofoam cushion immobilizing and protecting the mando from bow to stern. The mando was also wearing a tone guard.

    The mando (and tone guard) were unscathed. The case did its job, it sacrificed its life for my F9.

    This is a Gator case (716408500799 GC-MANDOLIN), http://www.gatorcases.com/p/16134-1359/gc-mandolin, not an expensive case but one I like a lot. Light, solid, lots of firm cushion space, lots of compression space. I like it even more today.

    I've just ordered a new one of these cases this morning.

    -- Don

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    That happened to me last week - everything had shifted in the car's boot and the case fell out as soon as I opened up. Fortunately it fell on my foot and everything was fine (other than my foot obviously!)

    Glad your mando survived!

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    10 years ago, I bought a near mint 20 year old Fender HM Strat. The seller told me the case "had issues." It seemed ok to me, until I picked it up and the hinges let go, spilling the guitar onto my driveway.
    "There ain't too many folks, who can play too many notes... on the mandolin"

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    I use that case as well. Got it with my first mando purchase back in 2004, and am still using it today. Latches and handle are still in great shape. Granted, I wouldn't want to check it on a flight, but it does well for day to day use.
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Good way to look at it, Don. The case was sacrificed to save the mandolin. Cheap insurance!

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    Registered User Rob Beck's Avatar
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    Default

    The same thing happened to me too unloading after a gig in the dark. It seems to be a common problem with tailgates with hinges on the roof of the car. A Hiscox Pro 2 did the job that day saving my Shippey A5. The Hiscox received almost no damage itself, just some very light scuffing. It was a useful reminder of what the real job of the case is! I don't worry about the scuffing at all
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    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    OK, I can understand things shifting in the back of an SUV, and a case falling out the back when the hatch is opened. But how does it shoot 4' out the back?

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Beck View Post
    The same thing happened to me too unloading after a gig in the dark. It seems to be a common problem with tailgates with hinges on the roof of the car.
    Maybe one of those net thingys that hooks across bottom foot or so of the open tailgate would solve the problem -- if we can make a habit of using it.

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    And that's why a hard case is better then a gig bag.
    I think, therefore, I pick.

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Years ago had the back come unlatched on the wagon and my Tubaphone slid out and went down the highway at 55mph. TKL case wore the feet off the bottom of the case, but nothing not repairable. LUCKY, I am sure that there are many of these stories out there, remembered this reading the OP's thread.

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    Registered User Chunky But Funky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard J View Post
    And that's why a hard case is better then a gig bag.
    Well, that is exactly why I have and really like my Reunion Blues Continental gig bag. In that scenario, it very likely would have allowed the mando to survive unscathed...and the case would have been unscathed as well. No need to buy a new one. On the other hand, the Reunion Blues gig bag is probably twice as much as the case in question in the first place!

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Just ABS shell cracked, It can be patched up ..
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    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    Just ABS shell cracked, It can be patched up ..
    I guess it could be patched up for aesthetics, sure, but I would wonder about its integrity. Kinda like patching up a motorcycle helmet that's damaged... you wouldn't ever want to rely on that helmet again for actual protection! I would think that anything with a hard outer shell that's designed to protect fragile contents should be replaced once the outer shell is compromised.

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    That's my thinking too. As you've mentioned, my motorcycle experience may be influencing my thoughts about that.

    I guess Acetone might work as an ABS solvent to fuse the cracks back together, but I'd have to find the pieces that used to be where the hole is now, and that might not be possible at this point in time. And even if the cracks were fused, there's no guarantee they'll stay fused, or that they will be strong there ever again.

    I know my F9 isn't a huge investment, but I like it a lot -- definately well enough to order another case for it. My son works at a music store that carries these cases and he's offered to order it at his discount... And if that doesn't work, Amazon has them for only ~$95.

    I like the concept of the Reunion Blues case and have one for my banjos... But I have been disappointed with how much movement is allowed for the instrument inside the case. I prefer body-shaped immobilization.

    I was surprised to see the airspace within the edges of the shell with the Gator case. The inner Styrofoam had no marks on it, so the breaking of the shell must have absorbed the majority of the shock.

    The other thing that has my attention is figuring out a way to prevent stuff from falling out of the back of the SUV when we open the back hatch. Prevention is the number 1 solution to this.

    Thank you all for your shared thoughts here!

    -- Don

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    I guess that's why they always warn you about opening the airline overheads after a flight. Contents really do shift!

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin View Post
    OK, I can understand things shifting in the back of an SUV, and a case falling out the back when the hatch is opened. But how does it shoot 4' out the back?
    That was my fault...

    We had sound equipment as the first "layer" of junk in the back of the SUV, and then I put the instruments on top of that because I didn't want anything heavy on top of the instruments. And the sound equipment provided little or no friction to hold the instruments in place once the SUV hatch was opened.

    I had had experience with the instruments shifting toward the hatch in the past, but my poor wife was the person at the hatch this time and she had no idea this would happen. So unfortunately she felt all the stress after it happened. I checked the mando out initially, and re-assured her that not only was it not her fault, but that the mando was fine and the case had done its job well. We were both a little unsettled until we started the music for the gig, but then we got into the groove and all went well.

    We do have a net for the back to prevent this kind of thing from happening when the SUV hatch opens. I'll locate that and we'll use it in the future.

    -- Don

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    I didthe samething unloading for rehearsal. I had my Ellis F5 in a Hoffee case on a strap on my shoulder. Somehow, when I turned back to get something out of the car, the strap slipped and the case fell from chest height to the asphalt and bounced a couple of times. Once my heart began beating again, I got it inside and checked. A few scratches in the clear coat of the case, but no damage whatsoever to the Ellis. I had been thinking it was overkill and considering replacing it with a Travelite or something else. No way now.

  23. #18

    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunky But Funky View Post
    Well, that is exactly why I have and really like my Reunion Blues Continental gig bag.
    Doug, are you saying there is a gig bag that offers more protection than a hard case? Doesn't seem logical.

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Jeff, maybe this will help:

    http://reunionblues.com/products/gui...etted/mandolin

    (The "Continental" line is of particular interest for your question.)

    -- Don

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Doug, are you saying there is a gig bag that offers more protection than a hard case? Doesn't seem logical.
    I don't know about an A/B, but I have the continental and I would put it up against many a hard case. I am sure one could contrive a scenario where the hard case would fare better, and dang it that would be what would happen in my experience.

    But yea, as a general statement I think the Reunion Blues Continental is one heck of a lot of protection.
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin View Post
    OK, I can understand things shifting in the back of an SUV, and a case falling out the back when the hatch is opened. But how does it shoot 4' out the back?
    That's what I wondered...
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by zedmando View Post
    That's what I wondered...
    I guess the vehicle was either not parked on level ground but facing upward, or the case was shot like an arrow from the upright bass strings it was pressed against...
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    If you have an SUV piled high with speakers, etc., and have a mando case right up on the top, it is quite a drop... they can slide out too easily.

    Padded soft bags or semi-rigid cases like the Travelite are very good at protecting from shock... drops, etc., but poor at protecting from heavy crush damage or sharp penetrating objects, conversely hard cases might not be quite so good at shock protection. Ideally, you want the best of both worlds.
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Yea, and that was the scenario.

    Plus, ABS cases are very slick, as the Gator case was, so there was very little friction slowing down its movement on the way out of the SUV.

    I happened to glance from about 15 feet away as the SUV hatchback was opening, and it was like the mando/case was being spit out of the vehicle. It was all very fast, unless someone had actually been expecting and waiting for it to happen, it would have been impossible to catch. And of course my poor wife didn't have any idea that that was happening, so she didn't have a chance.

    I don't see any option to packing the SUV that way, the heavy sound equipment has to be the lower level of junk. But the net will keep things from shooting out of the SUV in the future.

    It is interesting about the Gator mando cases, being a teardrop shape they are pretty much like a Travelite inside of an ABS shell. So you get the shock protection of the Styrofoam, and you get the crush/penetration protection from the ABS.

    That combination seems to have worked very well this time. We'll try to avoid a next time.

    -- Don

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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    I like the concept of the Reunion Blues case and have one for my banjos... But I have been disappointed with how much movement is allowed for the instrument inside the case. I prefer body-shaped immobilization.

    -- Don
    This is the link to a post I had about this 5 years ago (post #10). Steve Miklas @ AMW in Pgh and I figured out that the tenor uke case was a MUCH better fit for an "A" style mandolin than their mandolin case. This was long before anyone, including Reunion Blues, mentioned it as an "A" style mandolin case. We should get marketing perks or something for that! How about a Dread guitar case Reunion Blues? Not as good as a fit for "F" style mandolins for the actual mandolin case though. Too much extra room. Agreed.

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