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Anyone build a DIY Hard Case (why the hell are custom keyboard cases so expensive!?)
Old 17th May 2007
Anyone build a DIY Hard Case (why the hell are custom keyboard cases so expensive!?)

I've got a Grundorf hard case that I bought a few years ago, and now I need a couple more. It's just a carpet covered plywood case as far as I can tell, and I was wondering if any of you guys have gotten crafty and made any cases/cabinets for anything before. If so, any suggestions on the construction? For some reason, putting on the carpet cover seems like it will be the hardest part (at least to make it look halfway decent)...

Love to see some DIY cases, so chime in!

Old 17th May 2007
Lives for gear
uptheoctave's Avatar
Not for keyboards but I've built loads of pedalboard cases over the years.

The design is about the same- I'll take some pics if you like- I think I have an old one in my attic that is fairly naked so you can see the design I used.

It is pretty simple - get some ply and cut it to shape on your table saw, then use a biscuit cutter to do all the joins and then put the hinges and clasps on and cover with either vinyl or carpet (glue and staples)
Then I put rivets through angle iron on all the corners and some metal or plastic corners, again rivetted.

A case should cost you about $50 in raw materials but then about $600 in tools if you want to do it properly.
Table saws aren't cheap and you'll need a good $40+ finishing blade on it.

I make a lot of studio furniture so it is worth the expense for me but otherwise you might be better buying an skb case secondhand.

I saw one on CL yesterday for $50.


Old 17th May 2007
Lives for gear
poncival's Avatar
Yeah I made a couple cases out of plywood and angle iron etc. but after a lot of hard work (and not really having the right tools) they came out kind of crappy looking and weighed more than the keyboards I was trying to carry around in them! I was having the same feelings as you- "I need a case for my DX7 but I don't want to spend $150 or $200 on it" but when I was done I had a much better appreciation for the mass-produced cases... My cases ended up costing about $100 with the hinges and handles and plywood etc. not to mention the fact that I am not really a woodworker so it took a considerable amount of time to end up with some relatively crappy looking cases...

I would second the motion for finding a nice used pre-fab case, it's definitely worth the money. They're expensive because they're good and reliable, some of them have a lifetime warranty too. It's worth it...
Old 18th May 2007
Lives for gear
uncle duncan's Avatar

I've made a few, using 1/4" plywood, 1X1's glued and screwed inside at the seams, (1X2's ripped in half, which comes out to about 3/4 X 3/4) foam glued on the inside, black paint on the outside with 1" aluminum angle protecting the outside edges, with a hinged lid and thumb latches. By the time you do all this, you've spent probably at least $100. Maybe more. So the last case I got was made by a case factory, to my specifications. I wouldn't want to stand on it, but it's holding up just fine, and it was only about $250 brand new. If you've got way more time than money, or access to free lumber, DIY might be okay. Just keep in mind, commercial cases only use 1/4" plywood, so there's no need to go with thicker stock.
Old 18th May 2007
Gear Maniac
4stringerfinger's Avatar

I built a 6 spack rack case. I bought the rack rails on ebay and used plywood I had lying around. Probably about 4' x 4' worth.
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone build a DIY Hard Case (why the hell are custom keyboard cases so expensive!?)-rackwork013.jpg   Anyone build a DIY Hard Case (why the hell are custom keyboard cases so expensive!?)-rackwork017.jpg  
Old 18th November 2012
Here for the gear

Case I just finished is also a stand-1 sheet of 1/4 plywood

I made a Case for my Yamaha CP300 keyboard out of a sheet of 1/4" plywood,
a grey foam "Topper" 1" thick (22 x 60 about), 2 yards of Tonneau cover vinyl (78" wide on the roll) 2- 1x3's, staples, glue (spray and wood). $125 plus stuff below = $200 prox.

The top of the case is in 2 halves which provide the legs to hold up the bottom of the case, in which the keyboard sits. Pictures below. I made a 19.5x56x 9"
box, then cut it in half making 2 - 4-1/2" x 19.5x56 trays the top plywood
is 28x19.5, so I cut the sides (56x19.5) to make 2 pieces for the top.

I assembled it and tested it out, then painted the plywood black and upholstered it.

It took about 10 hours to built and about the same to come up with the idea and get the stuff, and about $200 for materials. I used some scrap aluminum diamond plate for the braces. Not seen, but in the budget and knobs with 5/16x18 studs (10x1.50 ea at McMaster Carr) Casters $10 Harbor freight and hasps $40.

Anyway, there's room for a drink so you don't put it on your keyboard. I'll put a handle and some fixed casters on the bottom, some latches, and posts in the corners and it'll be a rolling case.

Wish I took pictures during the process.

Anyone build a DIY Hard Case (why the hell are custom keyboard cases so expensive!?)-keyboard-case-stand-yamaha-cp-300.jpg

Anyone build a DIY Hard Case (why the hell are custom keyboard cases so expensive!?)-keyboarrd-case-stand-ymanaha-cp300.jpg

Last edited by johnowhite; 18th November 2012 at 08:38 PM.. Reason: spelling and enhancing
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