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This case is rectangular (more or less) and wood. The wood is mostly in good shape, except for one corner, which I can build up with epoxy and wood bits. Half an hour with a rasp and a sander should make that good and solid after the epoxy kicks off..

the original exterior fabric is about 40% intact, the rest is really ripped up. I was going to just tear it all off and either put on other fabric, or paint. However, the edges have this "apparently" stitched-on leather...which is torn up all over the place, and I have no idea how to replace that with new leather. Any suggestions?

The inside of the case absolutely reeks of cigarette smoke. I was going to tear out all the old velvet and padding and replace it with new stuff. The interior shaping...the curve around the bell and the 'accessories box" we affixed to the case with nails, actually, brads, and they're all pulling out. I was going to take them all out, rip the old velvet off them, and gorilla-glue new velvet on them. Then I'd re-attach them with wood screws, to the body of the case.

I was also thinking about coating the entire inside of the case with an interior polyurethane, or shellac. Hopefully that would seal in the embedded cigarette residue, before I glue in the new velvet or velour..

If needed, I can take some pics of this whole process. I'd sure like to hear from folks who've done this before!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'd like to hear some discussion about whether this is worth the time. I'll probably wind up spending $30 in materials, and I would guess that this would take 8-10 hours of my time.

The horn is a great old Buescher, but it's not a Big B or B400 or Aristocrat II it's the Elkhart 30-s rebranded as the S-40...theoretically a student instrument, but more than adequate for my use.

I don't care two cents for the value of the case, I just want a box to protect my instrument when I carry it around. I don't care about super-lightweight. I'd rather have some room for carrying mouthpieces, neckstraps, a reed rack etc. I've toted an original 1930's case for my Buescher alto for 45 years, having a boxy case doesn't bother me in the slightest.

With that in mind...thoughts about case options and whether this is worth my time or not, are welcome.
 

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not worth your time, in my opinion. lots of work to end up with a moderately protective case, at best. there are so many after market good cases available for all tastes, shapes, materials. BAM, Hiscox are the usual top contenders.
 

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I can relate to this, I just rebuilt a bari case and it was a bigger project than I had thought. I had to replace the top and bottom panel, used close cell foam instead of the molded cotton and replaced every piece of the hardware. I managed to salvage the inner lining and opted for fake croc from JoAnn's and a suitcase handle off Amazon instead of the sisal rope that was the leftover of the original ... By the end of the day I might have gotten something cheaper than what I spent on it and certainly lighter but, my hands sometimes can't resist when it comes to restoring "ruins"
 

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Personally, I think it would add value to the instrument to have an original or refurbished case.

Sounds like you are "handy" and if you have the time, patience and will to then attempt to refurbish the case. Tandy leather would be a great source for replacement leather for the edges and the waxed thread that I assume was used to stitch it onto the case with and the needles etc... The thread would have been stitched with two needles crisscrossing within the hole and a simple square knot tied within the hole to secure the thread tightly. Interior velvet would be readily available in a variety of colors as would be foam padding in a variety of densities (closed cell preferable I'd think). Spray adhesive will hold the foam to the 1/4 lauan board that was likely used to create the interior shaping in the case. I've seen brads with ridges used to hold the lauan to the exterior plywood but any method that holds would work and I'd be thinking a combo of glue and fastener. As far as the smell, I'd look for a sealant (kilz?) like they use on wood in a home after a fire. Should be readily available at your local home store.

Good luck! Before and after photos would be great. I have a Selmer Paris clarinet case I'd like to restore and would except the velvet is folded to form cradles that the joints sit in and it is obviously a skilled effort. I may try anyway if I can figure out how to document the original folds.
 

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not worth your time, in my opinion. lots of work to end up with a moderately protective case, at best. there are so many after market good cases available for all tastes, shapes, materials. BAM, Hiscox are the usual top contenders.
I'm assuming it isn't about the protection for the instrument. Lots of work but the end result, as the original case, would likely be more elegant than a new case and vintage looking to accent the instrument. Plus it can be somewhat personalized and unique. It will never pay him back the time and effort but may very well increase the value of the instrument in his eyes. :)
 

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I can relate to this, I just rebuilt a bari case and it was a bigger project than I had thought. I had to replace the top and bottom panel, used close cell foam instead of the molded cotton and replaced every piece of the hardware. I managed to salvage the inner lining and opted for fake croc from JoAnn's and a suitcase handle off Amazon instead of the sisal rope that was the leftover of the original ... By the end of the day I might have gotten something cheaper than what I spent on it and certainly lighter but, my hands sometimes can't resist when it comes to restoring "ruins"
Very NICE job.

May I ask ?...how did you affix the leather strip edging to the case (on typical cases it is stitched on) ? Or did you ?
 

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Very NICE job.

May I ask ?...how did you affix the leather strip edging to the case (on typical cases it is stitched on) ? Or did you ?
Bicyle sow-on tire glue - that stuff mends your fingers together if you are not careful ... LOL I would have liked to sow it on but there was a limit to my patience

Oh, and beware the rusty tacks, but my tetanus shots were still good
 

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This case is rectangular (more or less) and wood. The wood is mostly in good shape, except for one corner, which I can build up with epoxy and wood bits. Half an hour with a rasp and a sander should make that good and solid after the epoxy kicks off..

the original exterior fabric is about 40% intact, the rest is really ripped up. I was going to just tear it all off and either put on other fabric, or paint. However, the edges have this "apparently" stitched-on leather...which is torn up all over the place, and I have no idea how to replace that with new leather. Any suggestions?

The inside of the case absolutely reeks of cigarette smoke. I was going to tear out all the old velvet and padding and replace it with new stuff. The interior shaping...the curve around the bell and the 'accessories box" we affixed to the case with nails, actually, brads, and they're all pulling out. I was going to take them all out, rip the old velvet off them, and gorilla-glue new velvet on them. Then I'd re-attach them with wood screws, to the body of the case.

I was also thinking about coating the entire inside of the case with an interior polyurethane, or shellac. Hopefully that would seal in the embedded cigarette residue, before I glue in the new velvet or velour..

If needed, I can take some pics of this whole process. I'd sure like to hear from folks who've done this before!
It'd be cool if you can post some pics of the case in current condition.

1) once you remove the old velveteen and padding, that will take care of 90% of the cigarette aroma.

2) it shouldn't be hard to find leather strips for the edges. This is why I asked Lostcircuits. I dunno how artful one has gotta get with affixing.

Personally, while I have 'repaired' around 50 cases at this point, I cannot say I have 'restored' any. JB Quick Weld, Glue Guns, New Velveteen/Velour, squishy foam, cardboard, bubble wrap, contact cement, elastomeric paint, and on occasion "Great Stuff" foam-in-a-can followed by a dremel or file have all been in my arsenal.

If the vintage case is salvageable, my tendency is to repair it when the case is original to the horn.

But for me a 'repair' means Structural Intergity/Usability = #1 Priority.

Aesthetics = a distant second.

As to whether it is 'worth it'. Not in any monetary/market sense. But if you like your horn and you are good with your hands, heck it could be a fun project.
 

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I can relate to this, I just rebuilt a bari case and it was a bigger project than I had thought. I had to replace the top and bottom panel, used close cell foam instead of the molded cotton and replaced every piece of the hardware. I managed to salvage the inner lining and opted for fake croc from JoAnn's and a suitcase handle off Amazon instead of the sisal rope that was the leftover of the original ... By the end of the day I might have gotten something cheaper than what I spent on it and certainly lighter but, my hands sometimes can't resist when it comes to restoring "ruins"
Nice work. Years ago I restored an original Selmer case that my SBA came it. I found the leather exterior to be the biggest challenge---especially making the corners look good. I used a spray on contact adhesive and it was really messy to work with. If I ever do another which I probably won't, I will stick with brush on contact cement. I found Tandy has a large assortment of attractive rivets, but you need access to the interior to use them. My mistake was doing the interior first.
 

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Nice work. Years ago I restored an original Selmer case that my SBA came it. I found the leather exterior to be the biggest challenge---especially making the corners look good. I used a spray on contact adhesive and it was really messy to work with. If I ever do another which I probably won't, I will stick with brush on contact cement. I found Tandy has a large assortment of attractive rivets, but you need access to the interior to use them. My mistake was doing the interior first.
For the large surfaces I used the spray-on contact, and it worked fine on the flat surfaces. The concave surfaces were a real challenge, the best way I found was to take a roll of paper towel and clamp it length-wise with a carpenter clamp to the case to get some even distribution of pressure. And then there were still some pockets/bubbles that I had to fix using a syringe to inject some more glue / massage it into all areas but eventually I got it. If I had to do it again, I would probably eliminate some of the errors that I made. And, what I got is far from perfect (for me at least) but it is a head turner nonetheless because it is one of a kind.

One of the unintended features (and you can see it in the last picture where the bottom is darker than the sides) is that the faux croc is two different colors, I cut a piece wrong and had to get more but there was a 4 month gap in between and they no longer carried the stuff so they had to special order it and it was at least 4 shades lighter than the first batch ... I call it "character"
 

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I keep all my original cases as is, and think of it as part of the horn in a way. So easy to buy a decent case like a protec and you'll probably spend as much or more in materials for your rebuild.

Shellac btw for stains and odors.
Also if you can find Smith & Sons penetrating epoxy it's good for what ails ya.
 

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Years ago I restored an original Selmer case that my SBA came it...QUOTE]

saxoclese - did yours have a zipper or latches? If it was a zipper did you need to repair/replace it and what method did you use?

I have a Selmer alto case, probably MKVI era that has a broken zipper and needs new leather trim, the rest is in pretty good shape. I had a thread a little while ago asking about case repair and the recommendation was to bring it to a luggage shop - they said they could do the leather but didn't have the machine to replace the zipper. Apparently it was done using an old method/machine that most shops don't use or have anymore.
 
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