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Thread: Gravity and mando case surprise...

  1. #26
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    I have my Weber "Fern" mandolin in one of those Gator cases. It was my choice after Gremlin Music UK,the import arm of Hobgoblin Music & the imorters of SAGA equipment,flatly refused to import a Travelite mandolin case for me.That sort of damage could never happen to a Travelite with it's very tough Nylon,padded outer covering.
    The interior of my Gator case has nothing like as much padding protection as my Travelite. The headstock scroll is also very close to the side of the case,so i put extra padding in there - a wrist sweat band,
    Ivan
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    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  2. #27
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    I guess I agree about the Travelite cases to some extent. I love the padding, no other case provides such thick secure immobilization.

    I have had a couple of Travelite cases for dobros and banjos... And have consistently experienced trouble with the hinges and latch failing, and I've had trouble with the zippers failing and the handles ripping out. If the hinges and latch fail, and then the zipper fails, there's not much left to keep the case securely closed. Dobros and banjos are typically a lot heavier than mandos though, so maybe the Travelite case for mandos will fare better over time.

    Oh, and I have cats -- they love to sharpen their nails on the Travelite cloth covering.

    I won't say the ABS Gator cases are the best on the market, but I sure was impressed with how well it protected my F9. Impressed enough to replace the broken case with a new one. It seems like a great combination of hard shell support and Styrofoam immobilization, plus a little airspace in the corners. Someone here said it... It's cheap insurance.

    I mentioned it elsewhere recently, but I did feel like the ABS Gator was a little too tight around my F9's peghead scroll. I squeezed and compressed the Styrofoam in that area until there was about 3/8" space, so there was not going to be any contact. I did the same around the bridge, around the pick guard and around the end pin and it happened naturally around the tone guard. I'm also using an ABS Gator banjo case for my main playing Mastertone and my wife uses an ABS Gator case for her D41, and we've also compressed the Styrofoam in appropriate places with both of these cases. The Styrofoam does remember compression, and it's probably worth the time and energy to "teach" these ABS Gator cases where to loosen up.

    -- Don

  3. #28
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    The new Gator ABS mando case for my F9 arrived today.

    I took a little time shaping the Styrofoam around the peghead scroll and the end pin, there is good clearance there now. Space atop the bridge and pick guard and beneath the tone guard are fine. The fit is excellent. I'm a happy camper.

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    This evening I'll locate and dig out the net for the back of the SUV and put it in place so this won't happen again. The new case represents a good lesson learned at a very low cost.



    -- Don

  4. #29
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Hi Don - I agree,the Gator cases are certainly not the best on the market,but they are a good case IMO. A bit more room in the headstock area would have been a good idea. The otherwise excellent Calton cases had a similar problem. I've not had any hinge or latch problem with my own Travelite,although i did remove the top part of the latch & re-fit it to align it with the lower part more accurately. The very obvious thing to do with any case of any make,is to be careful with it. I don't want to damage my cases any more than i want to damage their precious contents. My own Stelling banjo is inside one of the TKL banjo cases that First Quality Music used to have specially made for them. Previously it was housed in possibly the strongest make of case ever produced,a Mark Leaf banjo case that i bought in Owensboro back in 1992. The combo.simply got too heavy for me to haul around 33 lb & i sold it to an English guy who lives in the US. The TKL case,i'd bought to house a Gold Star re-issue banjo that i bought close to 12 years back. The guy i sold it to had his own case,so i was able to re-home my Stelling & sell the ML case,
    Ivan
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    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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  6. #30
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    History repeats itself...

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    Sunday night, late, I was unpacking the car and set the instruments on the ground, intending to come back for them. When I came back I couldn't see well enough in the dark, and tripped heavily over the mandolin and banjo in their cases. Stupid... I kicked the mandolin case hard, which knocked over the banjo case, and then I hit the cement hard with my lower left leg landing on the mandolin case.

    The banjo and its Gator case were undamaged. Once again, the Gator mandolin case gave its life to save my F-9. The mandolin was completely undamaged.

    Obviously I'm sold with the Gator cases, the new one arrived today.

    (And, I'm happy I didn't break anything on me, too! )
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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  8. #31
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Don, Im glad it protected your mandolin as it is supposed to.

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  10. #32
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Don, I'm glad you didn't break a limb. And glad the instruments are OK. I have a Gator and for my light usage of it, I like it a lot.

    It's bittersweet to see Ivan's posts in this thread. I miss him. RIP.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

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  12. #33
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Thank you both for the kind thoughts... I feel very happy about the Gator cases and how protective they have been, and very lucky I could walk away with only some extremely minor scrapes and bruises. Honestly as hard as the instruments and I hit that hard cement, I expected more.

    And yes, it took a moment for me to decide to add to this thread given that Ivan had been the last poster. I miss him too. But, I'm sure he would say "let's move along" or something like it.

    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  13. #34
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    I always like reading stories like these where the case did its job. I can see how it could have been much worse, it sounds like there was quite a bit of force on your F9.

    I agree with you about trying to patch the case. If money were really tight I would give it a go, and I honestly think it would most likely be fine, but with a new case you also get peace of mind, and that is worth the modest price of these cases.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

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  15. #35
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Filed under "Still learning lessons at 65: Always keep the lights on while unpacking the car at night!"
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  16. #36
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    Filed under "Still learning lessons at 65: Always keep the lights on while unpacking the car at night!"
    Hi Don,

    Thank you for posting this cautionary tale. I am really glad you weren't hurt, believe it or not, even more-so than your mandolin not being hurt. You, me, and many of our friends here in the Cafe are of an age where we have to start being more careful. That's the take home message for me, and one I am trying to listen to.

    At just about the same time you took your spill, a good friend of mine (also in our age group) also took a fall. He broke his hand. Think about what that would do for your playing. In his case, he is a professional pianist. Not good.

    On a lighter note, being bearded as we both are (that is you in the avatar, right?), we have built-in gig bags for our faces. Might help when we do a face-plant, huh?
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  18. #37
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    Filed under "Still learning lessons at 65: Always keep the lights on while unpacking the car at night!"
    Either that, or: Always carry each item from the car to the house, leave the ground clear, leave the car locked. Whatever you put on the ground may no longer be there when you come back...
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  20. #38
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    ...we have built-in gig bags for our faces. Might help when we do a face-plant, huh?
    yes, but it takes time to remove all that dirt and gravel afterwards.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  22. #39
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Bob View Post
    I always like reading stories like these where the case did its job. I can see how it could have been much worse, it sounds like there was quite a bit of force on your F9.

    I agree with you about trying to patch the case. If money were really tight I would give it a go, and I honestly think it would most likely be fine, but with a new case you also get peace of mind, and that is worth the modest price of these cases.
    Yes. I may seem a little cavalier about Gator cases, but they are relatively inexpensive and having seen a bunch of them for all our fretted instruments, they seem to be very (if not exactly) similar in their production details... I don't think many details on them are made by hand anyway (although I could be wrong about that). It's not that these cases are disposable, but I do see them as similar to bicycle or motorcycle helmets, where if they are used in a serious direct accident, they should be replaced. And to try to repair a fractured ABS covering is going to require adhesives that melt the ABS pieces together, producing somewhat of a jigsaw puzzle of parts; it may be watertight again, but I doubt it would be as strong as it was originally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    Hi Don,

    Thank you for posting this cautionary tale. I am really glad you weren't hurt, believe it or not, even more-so than your mandolin not being hurt. You, me, and many of our friends here in the Cafe are of an age where we have to start being more careful. That's the take home message for me, and one I am trying to listen to.

    At just about the same time you took your spill, a good friend of mine (also in our age group) also took a fall. He broke his hand. Think about what that would do for your playing. In his case, he is a professional pianist. Not good.

    On a lighter note, being bearded as we both are (that is you in the avatar, right?), we have built-in gig bags for our faces. Might help when we do a face-plant, huh?
    Thank you for the kind thoughts... Sorry to hear about your pianist friend, having just learned about arthritis in the hands this winter, I'm very sympathetic about hand maladies! And yes, guilty as charged, that bearded fellow in the avatar is me; my observation is that beards cover, but don't protect, it's unfortunately not like the Styrofoam cushion in my Gator cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Either that, or: Always carry each item from the car to the house, leave the ground clear, leave the car locked. Whatever you put on the ground may no longer be there when you come back...
    This is a good consideration. My biggest problem that night was visual, but theft is also a concern. Our street is pretty quiet and safe, but you never know.

    Anyway, gravity is alive and well and doing it's job!!!
    Last edited by dhergert; Feb-26-2020 at 10:55am.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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  24. #40
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Too bad Gator doesn't make a piano case. Angela Hewitt really needed one a few weeks ago. Her $200k piano was dropped - total loss.
    Last edited by HonketyHank; Feb-26-2020 at 12:53pm.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

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  26. #41
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    History repeats itself...

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    Sunday night, late, I was unpacking the car and set the instruments on the ground, intending to come back for them. When I came back I couldn't see well enough in the dark, and tripped heavily over the mandolin and banjo in their cases. Stupid... I kicked the mandolin case hard, which knocked over the banjo case, and then I hit the cement hard with my lower left leg landing on the mandolin case.

    The banjo and its Gator case were undamaged. Once again, the Gator mandolin case gave its life to save my F-9. The mandolin was completely undamaged.

    Obviously I'm sold with the Gator cases, the new one arrived today.

    (And, I'm happy I didn't break anything on me, too! )
    I am 2 months short of 65, and fell on the ice a couple of weeks ago, My comment was "I am usually not happy for my 'padding' on the rear of my body, but I was this time." Kind of a natural protective case, but we of a certain age need to remember we don't "bounce" anymore! I am also glad neither you or the instruments were hurt!

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  28. #42
    All in FredK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    Too bad Gator doesn't make a piano case. Angela Hewitt really needed one a few weeks ago. Her $200k was dropped - total loss.
    That was such a painful read when the article came out.
    "If your memories exceed your dreams, you have begun to die." - Anonymous

    The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. Its your mind you have to convince. - Vince Lombardi

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  30. #43

    Default Re: Gravity and mando case surprise...

    There is a great video review where a lady in the UK reviewed a Hiscox case she had bought for her prized guitar. Part two came after a trip to Australia. The case was demolished. She could not believe her guitar was not. Very happy to buy another $600 case with knowledge it could deliver the protection she needed.
    Silverangel A
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