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MatthewVanitas

Strap Or Belt To Keep Single-Latch Case Closed?

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I'm up to three concertina cases now, all from reputable sellers, which feature but a single latch to keep the case closed.

 

Am I, a relative concertina novice, just totally missing something here? Is there some great reason that there aren't at least two latches on a given case? I take care to carry my cases with the latch outboard, since I've had at least one or two occasions where an inboard latch bumped my leg and came open. Thankfully it was my cheaper Elsie, and thankfully the case is a good snug fit and it didn't fall out.

 

I vaguely recall a few past threads where a few alternative case makers opined it's daft to have a case design where the handle is on the lid, thus allowing the case to fall open even with the handle held firm. I do wish the "standard" case had a more secure design, but for the moment I've gots what I've gots.

 

 

That being the case, does anyone have a preferred luggage belt/strap to keep their case closed? Not necessarily a shoulder/hand strap, just a cinchable piece of material that has to be deliberately loosed to allow the case to come open. Either with a sliding buckle, unlocking velcro, knot, velcro, whatever?

 

Not to be too gearheaded, as I'm sure I could just loop a piece of whatever I have laying around the house about the case and it'd suffice, but if anyone has a favorite $5-10 item that looks good, works smooth, etc. I'd be glad to hear of it. I'm vaguely inclined to get something with a sliding buckle rather than one that snaps open, thinking that such a buckle has even less chance of failing than a snap that could somehow be bumped or break a tooth inside. Most hits for "luggage belt" or similar on Amazon, however (such as the pretty little ones from Orb) tend towards the plastic squeeze-buckle, and most are more like 80" long when I reckon 40" or less should work for my concertina cases.

 

I'm probably overthinking this, but am open to any suggestions. And/or people to tell me using a strap is silly, or to endorse that a single latch is a poor idea and a strap is wise insurance.

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A simple cloth strap with a few inches of velcro on each end works just fine. If passed through the handle when attached, it cannot slip off the side of the case. Also, it can't catastrophically fail without warning like a plastic buckle can.

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I'm up to three concertina cases now, all from reputable sellers, which feature but a single latch to keep the case closed.

 

Am I, a relative concertina novice, just totally missing something here? Is there some great reason that there aren't at least two latches on a given case? I take care to carry my cases with the latch outboard, since I've had at least one or two occasions where an inboard latch bumped my leg and came open. Thankfully it was my cheaper Elsie, and thankfully the case is a good snug fit and it didn't fall out.

 

 

I love the Button Box, love their concertinas, but their cases have a major deficiency: only one latch. On both of mine, that latch wasn't very secure, and I had several near disasters.

 

My answer: I drilled out the single latch and attached two of these. , the same latches used on the Fallon cases.

 

Properly positioned, they are very secure. One would probably do the trick, and cover up the holes from the original latch, but I really like the security of two latches.

Edited by Jim Besser

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I've never gotten a satisfactory answer as to why people just use one latch; seems a major failing for $4k+ instruments. I wouldn't put a single latch on a case for a $100 ukulele, but I'm not a pro dealer.

 

The good keyword to search seems to be "velcro cinch strap". Just they're not as colorful as the nicer luggage straps, but I suppose my stickers are pretty enough as it is. Just need to get some lady's garter to decorate the ends of my concertina like Peter Bellamy used to.

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The problem with cinch straps is the plastic loop that they loop through - if it breaks, the strap fails in an instant and dumps your instrument. A fabric belt, with a little stretch in it, that wraps around the case twice and sticks to itself with adequate velcro panels is about as strong as you can get and is about as failsafe as you can get for minimal cost.

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Try a conventional, buckled trouser or waist type belt trimmed for length and hole-punched appropriately. Thread and fix onto this a small strong comfortable secondary loop through which you can insert a finger or two whilst lifting and carrying the case This will also cover the eventuality of the handle itself from parting company with the lid of the case. Leave nothing to chance whatever it may look like.

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The standard case from Hobgoblin (£35) has two catches whilst the case supplied by Steve Dickinson (Wheatstone) with my Dickinson Wheatstone has a buckled leather strap across the top which doubles as the carrying handle. Neither have ever let me down,

 

The Wheatstone strap as it is foolproof and the case is carried 'lid uppermost' It would be a simple matter to add a similar leather strap (cut from a trouser belt?) to any other case.

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I've never gotten a satisfactory answer as to why people just use one latch; seems a major failing for $4k+ instruments. I wouldn't put a single latch on a case for a $100 ukulele, but I'm not a pro dealer.

 

The good keyword to search seems to be "velcro cinch strap". Just they're not as colorful as the nicer luggage straps, but I suppose my stickers are pretty enough as it is. Just need to get some lady's garter to decorate the ends of my concertina like Peter Bellamy used to.

 

It's a mystery to me. My other old concertina came in a Savage molded fiberglass case. Very small, very durable, perfect fit - but a single latch easily opened by accident.

 

The custom Greg Jowaisas case I ordered for my Jeffries, OTOH, has three latches, properly positioned to ensure tight closure.

 

For protecting a valuable concertina, you can't beat Greg's cases.

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I've also got a metal case with just the one latch and it's on the same side as the handle, meaning that when you pick up the case by the handle, it is possible to accidently catch the latch opening lever with the tip of the thumb, causing the lid to open and the concertina to fall out with obvious consequences. It's a really bad piece of design. I did consider fitting a strap of some sort round it, as has been suggested here, or fitting an extra catch to it but in the end, I settled for putting the case inside a suitably sized hessian shopping bag and I now carry it around in that. It also helps to disguise the fact that I am carrying a potentially valuable concertina around, from a theft point of view.

 

Chris

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Do what my wife does. She keeps her EC treble in its case, and puts the concertina complete with case in a square soft concertina bag from Hobgoblin, with the case handle poking through the not-quite-closed zip of the bag (there is a fastener on each end of the zip, so they can meet in the middle). This means she can either carry the whole lot by the handle, or sling the whole lot over her shoulder using the bag strap. Extracting concertina from case is no problem, you just undo the zips and you can get at it.

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I inherited one of those single-latch cases in good condition with my New Model some years ago and recognized the potential for great harm. Someone recommended I check with The Music Room UK. Although it wasn't in their catalog they had a nifty brown Cordura case cover in two sizes.

 

The case consists of an upper and lower half that is one piece on the back side and zippered in the middle around the sides and front. It doesn't have a place for a handle to poke through but does have a full length shoulder strap. I can remove the case from this cover easily or just flip back the un-zippered top half of the cover to open the case and remove the concertina. I have given this case cover plenty of use for years and it still looks like new - keeps the case looking like new too.

 

Makes it easy to lug the New Model around with other instruments - over the shoulder and riding on my back out of the way of the rest of the gear.

 

 

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