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Thread: Vintage Case Repair

  1. #1
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    Default Vintage Case Repair

    Firstly, I apologize if I'm covering ground that has already been covered, but I'm unaware of any posts on the subject...

    In purchasing my F-2 I also got the OHSC, which I love. But should I travel with it, I'd much rather have a sturdy new case that I don't mind getting dinged up and is going to protect my investment (the oblong Bobelock is top of the running). That said, someone suggested fixing the damaged portion of the top of the case and the worn velvet on the inside... they even suggested a specific luggage repair shop in town.

    I can't believe I'm even entertaining the idea, but I've looked for an alternative case for weeks and I'm not finding what I want; a vintage looking shaped case with green lining that I trust to keep the instrument safe and in a moisture controlled environment.

    In my long winded way (sorry, it's my Tao) I share this backstory to show my thought process. I'm not looking for specific advice just looking for discussion. It's a cool case, I'd love to use it, but I also want to preserve it so it lasts another 98 years. Why do we as a community look down on repairs so much? Is it really such a bad thing? Sure it's not original but we can't live in a bubble and still use our prized instruments or in this case (see what I did there?) awesome green lined case.

    Maybe I just need to get my hands dirty and replicate the original.
    Play it, don't display it.

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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    One of the Cafe members with the nickname LoudLoar has a Facebook page devoted to old cases. There is a ton of information there as well as some expert advice from the page owner. If you're on Facebook send him a request to be added to his group.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/vint...strumentcases/
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    Two separate questions, IMHO. If you're clever enough to perform repairs on the original case yourself, some research as Mike E suggested will probably give you enough info to take a stab at it. Otherwise, getting an old case repaired and re-lined will probably cost more than getting a new case.

    You could keep the original case for its historic value, and for its market value if you ever want to re-sell the F-2, and get a new case to actually take the instrument around in. Two cases for one instrument?? Why not? I have the worn and tattered original case for my GB-3/RB-3 Mastertone "conversion" banjo, plus a nice new hardshell for when I want to take it out and play it. If I ever decide to sell the banjo, I'll include the original case and six-string neck, since a collector might want to put the instrument back into original status, case and all.

    And I quibble with the idea that we "look down on repairs so much." We just try to make wise economic decisions, and there are a plethora of new cases out there, and a dearth of people who repair old cases. Most of the "case repair" I've seen, has involved duct tape and improvised replacement handles, and hardly qualifies as repair.

    Good luck, whatever direction you decide to go.
    Allen Hopkins
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  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    Well this new Collings case might fill the bill, esp with the green lining, tho at a cost and I would want to make sure your F-2 fit it. I only brought up this Collings because it seems to come with a green lining. You could get a considerably lesser priced hard shell case, but probably not with the green lining, AFAIK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Riordan View Post
    It's a cool case, I'd love to use it, but I also want to preserve it so it lasts another 98 years. Why do we as a community look down on repairs so much? Is it really such a bad thing? Sure it's not original but we can't live in a bubble and still use our prized instruments or in this case (see what I did there?) awesome green lined case.
    It is always nice to have the OHSC. If you want to spend the money to restore it, go ahead. It might be less than the cost of the Collings case. But do bear in mind that unless you want to have the luggage guy put more padding in there, it will be somewhat less protective than a modern hard shell case. I have never seen an old Gibson in an OHSC that didn't rattle around a bit.

    Who says that we all look down on repairs? I think what you may be talking about is the difference between some repairs and true restoration that would maintain the structural integrity of an instrument. For the most part tho many of us do feel that it is better to have an old instrument with dinged up original finish vs. a completely refinished one.

    As for cases, it may be more of a matter of practicality. Frankly, if it were me, I would keep the old case as-is at home and just get yourself a reasonably priced case like a TKL arched shaped one or, as you mention, a Bobelock that you would take when playing out. OTOH you mighy make that vintage vase look perfect but I doubt it will add any value to the instrument or the case other than the aesthetic pleasure you may feel looking at it.
    Jim

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    Thanks Mike for mentioning the Facebook page on Vintage Cases. There is also a webpage on instrument case repair. It gets 5 times the hits as the case history pages, so there is a lot of interest. http://www.stevekirtley.org/caserepair.htm

    Case repair is not a money making enterprise so you won't find someone who does it as a business. But someone who is handy can certainly do restoration with a little guidance. Please drop by the Facebook page, we love to discuss repair and restoration.

    I agree that the new Collings cases are awesome.

    Steve

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    Agreed that the Collings cases are very cool, just out of my price range. I will certainly have to check out the Facebook page and Steve, don't be surprised if I contact you!

    As for looking down on repair, it seems to me that a lot of people devalue repaired instruments. To me, that seems backwards; a well taken care of and played in instrument should maintain value instead of lose it. As for cases, what is the true value of the OHSC when so many players don't use them? A cool display piece? A collectors item?

    To me, worth is determined by practicality, which is such a modernist view.
    Play it, don't display it.

    Rover RM-75 Practice Instrument
    SS Stewart A-Style
    1918 Gibson F-2, FON: 11130 S/N: 49022

  9. #7
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    For "totin' and haulin'" I'd get a something simple, save the original and use that for "state occasions". TKL is a reasonable case, if you intend to fly commercial airlines and carry it along, that will fit nicely in the overhead, I'm told. Other than that just get something that fits the use for you.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  10. #8

    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    As for looking down on repair, it seems to me that a lot of people devalue repaired instruments. To me, that seems backwards; a well taken care of and played in instrument should maintain value instead of lose it. As for cases, what is the true value of the OHSC when so many players don't use them? A cool display piece? A collectors item? To me, worth is determined by practicality, which is such a modernist view.
    We're having a conversation about Vintage cases, which are different that a "used" case. People collect them because they're cool and rare and potentially go with an equally cool and rare instrument. As you say, collectors will buy vintage cases, not to be used and worn out, but to keep as a companion to a special instrument.

    To you "worth is determined by practicality". That's a perfectly valid view, it just means you are not a collector.

    On the subject of repair/restoration of collectible vintage cases, it's comparable to repair/restoration of vintage guitars. The greatest value goes to a perfect specimen in original condition, followed by examples with some wear or repairs that keep the original appearance as much as possible. Then extreme wear or repairs that alter the original appearance are at the bottom. There are many minor case repairs that are positive, such as replacing a handle or latch with an original style part, or minor repairs to the covering. A totally trashed vintage case can be made functional again but will never be as valuable as one in excellent original condition. See my Case Repair page for some examples of case restoration. http://www.stevekirtley.org/caserepair.htm

    Steve

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  12. #9
    Registered User dustyamps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    I have original cases for most of the instruments which I play. I don't consider myself a collector, I just like old cases for my old instruments.
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  14. #10
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Case Repair

    I travel with my 1920 A3 in its original case all the time. I also use a Colorado Case Cover, called the, "Small Dog." It's a nylon case cover that has an accessory pocket and nice straps. So, I'd suggest getting your case fixed and getting a Small Dog. Voilla! Perfect!

    f-d
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