For all of you folks out there that would love to have a fiberglass case for your instrument, have a look at this: http://www.tcb2000.com/teye/oudcase.htm Hey Beenie, if you are building instruments, this project shouldn't be too daunting for you.
Very cool. I was thinking of doing this to make a case for my tablas. Definitely a money saver and you can customize it for your accessories, if only I had more free time... My only suggestion would be to form a 1/8" lip (or more, depending on how many glass layers you want) around the top of the case mold and add an extra 1/4-1/2" to the top height so the the finished case can be recessed into the lid and sealed nice and tight. Maybe it would help to leave off the lip about 3-4 inches around where the hinges are to let the case open better. More work early on but I think it looks more professional and is probably sturdier.
Any thoughts on where to find foam lining, and what particular type of foam (i.e. open or closed bubbles)? I would guess medium density for support and "give" while lugging it around. thanks and good luck to anyone else who tries this, be sure to let us know how it goes!
Hi All: I've made fiberglass and composite molds and parts before and am in the process of building a carbon fiber/Kevlar/fiberglass case for my Mangla right now. If your idea of fun is spending weeks measuring, cutting, fitting, re-cutting, re-fitting, sawing, grinding, dealing with sticky, stinky, gooey resin, grinding, sanding (itching), etc. then THIS PROJECT IS FOR YOU! Of course if you wanted to cut down the construction time by a few days, you could use foam to shape the mold (plug) instead of the cardboard� but that might take some of the fun out of it. Trust me, considering the time spent and the costs (at least $200-$300 for resin, glass, case hardware, lining materials, etc.) you'll wish you purchased one of the generic Rihki Ram type cases!
I'm relining the inside of my generic case as the regular foam is about as soft as cotton candy. It took me a while to find the foam for it, no luck at the hardware and craft stores... The upholstery supply store is where it's at, and they make custom sizes too. You can also order online at: http://www.foamorder.com/ http://www.rochfordsupply.com/
I needed about 4 sheets of 1"x24"x72" medium firm high resiliency foam which was about $22, not a bad investment for the peace of mind... And now I can take advantage of the molded accessory pocket in my case, it was covered over by the cheap foam and velvet so I don't know why they bothered to mold it in the fiberglass shell in the first place...
Hey Swansong: If you're going to be using medium-firm foam, may I suggest laminating some softer foam, on the side that is closest to the sitar, at least it the area surrounding the gourd. The idea is to use the foam as a shock absorbing system. This way, in case of a jolt, the sitar will sink into the soft foam (absorbing enery) before it hits the firmer foam. Just my 2 cents theory