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Thread: Case hardware

  1. #1

    Default Case hardware

    I can't imagine this hasn't been discussed, or maybe it's a problem of recent distribution/availability, but I'm struggling to find hardware to repair my lute case. Apologies, though, if this is a recent repeat.

    The rivets are so worn they've busted off the two hinged connections. The three latches and one keyed latch aren't much better off. I'm hoping to find something the same size, or even blanks that I can drill to fit the current holes.

    The case is a hard-formed plastic lined in felt - so, nothing special - but replacing it would be almost the cost of the instrument and I can't possibly justify that, financially.

    Pictures, I hope:

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Case hardware

    I searched eBay for "guitar case hardware" and found some that might work, but the cost of several latches and hinges might exceed the cost of a new case...

  3. #3
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by StringMeAlong View Post
    I can't imagine this hasn't been discussed, or maybe it's a problem of recent distribution/availability, but I'm struggling to find hardware to repair my lute case. Apologies, though, if this is a recent repeat.

    The rivets are so worn they've busted off the two hinged connections. The three latches and one keyed latch aren't much better off. I'm hoping to find something the same size, or even blanks that I can drill to fit the current holes.

    The case is a hard-formed plastic lined in felt - so, nothing special - but replacing it would be almost the cost of the instrument and I can't possibly justify that, financially.

    Pictures, I hope:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20220720_211859255.jpg 
Views:	56 
Size:	317.4 KB 
ID:	202139

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20220720_211843622.jpg 
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ID:	202140
    You can remove the rust with steelwool or by removing them and place them in oxalic acid, which attacks rust but not chrome or steel and then just pop rivet them back on.
    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
    Hora M1088 Mandola.....Hora M1087P Octave
    Richmond RMA-110-VS .Noname (German?) mandolin
    Pochette Franz Janisch...2 Pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912
    Mandolinetto Neapolitane 1910
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...Böhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs Møller 1945............Fangel 1915................Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Crafton.......................Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case hardware

    Cafe member Steve Kirtley (Loudloar) has a website (and a Facebook group) dedicated to vintage cases. There is repair information on those pages as well as (if I recall) some sources for materials and hardware. His site is here.

    Case hardware is pretty much the same as luggage hardware and there are a lot more suitcases sold than musical instrument cases. Ohio Travel Bag has a site with many items available. Brettuns Village is another source for hardware. You can also find luggage hardware on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Case hardware

    Yes, clean up the hardware if all the parts are still there as Poul suggests, and either spray clear lacquer or paint to preserve them. The rivets seem to be pop aluminum, which isn’t too bad, but not good either. They come in different materials and lengths and are hardware store items, as well as a low cost tool. Often omitted, but necessary on anything soft or weak, are the washers which will let you reuse the holes. If the plastic is just coming apart and looking ratty, and you have a drill, make some large backing plates to reinforce. Aluminum or whatever you have. The old rivets are either drilled out if they won’t spin, or ground out.
    All new hardware would be faster and easier if you find some, but you still will need a few tools. Just make sure that the fasteners wind up flush enough inside to not damage the instrument and are covered in something soft. Plain rivets would be best, but more skill and tools needed.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Case hardware

    If you are near a metro area that has a good luggage repair shop (or 2) you might check with them for an estimate. Even an older shoe repairman might have the ability, since they often have to tackle things like handbags and such. Either will likely have the tools that can make all the difference in whether the repair works or not.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Case hardware

    On the latches that are merely rusted and not broken, I have used a dremel with a tiny wire brush to remove the rust. That will make them look better, (no rust) but it does scratch the surface of the metal, so it is a tradeoff.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Case hardware

    Sorry for the late response!

    Thanks for all the helpful input, folks! I really appreciate it. Mike, I'll take a look at those sources, thank you! Richard, great thoughts on hardware reuse and riveting concerns. The hinges have to be replaced for sure, though I might be able to salvage the latches. Fortunately there's a bit of space I can work with inside the case if I need to add felt or foam as additional padding for rivet backs and whatnot. It's also fortunate that the plastic case itself is in pretty good shape, no cracks at all. I just really need it to be able to close securely, haha.

    Anyway, I don't have much time for projects (even very small ones), but if I remember to, I'll update here with how it all ends up. Thank you again for the resources and considerations!

  10. #9

    Default Re: Case hardware

    Split rivets lie flat inside the case, under the lining - worth investigating them (I get mine cheaply in lots of 20 or so via eBay).

    Open up the rivet inside the case using a blade, press each half flat to the case, then tighten up by tapping legs down with a small hammer (I use my pliers as an anvil against the rivet head). Easier to do than to explain!

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  12. #10
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    If you are near a metro area that has a good luggage repair shop (or 2) you might check with them for an estimate.
    This is a good way to go. A few years back I had a luggage shop in Vancouver add two latches to my solid three-latch no-name mandolin case. Good neat job, and there's no worries at all with five latches!

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