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Building a Case to Suit a Jeffries


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So when I got my Jeffries, all it had was the original leather jug case in a rather poor condition.  After 100+ years of the jug case, the bellows were a bit lop sided when closed and needed some re-training.  I know I needed to move it into something new so in came the Pelican case, which I really like, but the Jeffries just seemed to need something that matched its personality... which set me off on a rather expensive and lengthy journey to build the "perfect" case.

 

Next came a bunch of measurements and the search for wood, which immediately led me to mahogany, but it needed something extra which brought me to aromatic cedar.  Brass parts were more difficult to find as I wanted something solid, not stamped sheet metal.  Eventually, I found a company that hand cast brass parts.  I didn't want a lot of padding on the inside, so I landed on 1/8" thick 100% merino wool felt.

 

Well the all in total came to a whopping $400 in parts and then many hours of work in my shop, but I am pretty pleased with the end results.  Needless to say it's quite heavy.  The top and bottoms are 1/2" thick and the sides are 1/4" thick mahogany and additionally it all has an extra layer of 1/8" aromatic cedar on the interior not to mention all the solid brass parts.

 

Enjoy and if anyone wants any more details on the build, I'm happy to share!

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5 hours ago, Richard Mellish said:

 From the top left section of the third image it looks as if the blocks don't actually hold the bellows closed. Is that right?

 

I had the same concern when I first looked at that pic, but I think we were both mistaken, and that the blocking does hold both vertical edges, front and back, closed.  You can see it on the near edge, and with a different camera angle I think the far edge would look the same.

 

As someone who's had a concertina case come unlatched on me, I appreciate the belt and suspenders approach to keeping this case firmly closed.  Nice work!

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Yeah the four latches might be a little overkill...  the problem I was wrestling with is because I was using thin stock lumber, I really couldn't use long screws.  The majority of screws are #5 3/8" long and a few where I could use them (like the handle) are #5 5/8" long.

 

So with the latches I was afraid that with just two latches being held in by 3/8" long screws they might just rip out, figured 4 latches might better distribute the strain per screw.  And the added bonus of a little security was nice, you can forget to latch one latch and maybe even two, but I dare you to forget latching 4 latches ;)

 

As far as the blocks go, yeah that's bad shadows and pixilation. The blocks are 3/4" thick so they "bite" onto enough of the "corner meat" to hold the bellows nice and even.

 

Edited by Jewish Leprechaun
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  • 2 weeks later...

One suggestion on the handle - I initially used nice brass drawer pulls for the first cases I built that looked great, but I quickly discovered they really hurt my fingers when carrying the cases for any length of time. A switch to a nice big fat padded leather handle made all the difference.

 

Gary

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On 10/29/2022 at 12:07 AM, gcoover said:

One suggestion on the handle - I initially used nice brass drawer pulls for the first cases I built that looked great, but I quickly discovered they really hurt my fingers when carrying the cases for any length of time. A switch to a nice big fat padded leather handle made all the difference.

 

Gary

I'd had a long debate about leather handle versus the brass.  I couldn't quite find the right brass hardware for fixing the leather to the box and didn't want to get the brass stock to fabricate it, so I abandoned the idea... but I agree it would me more comfortable for carrying.

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  • 2 months later...
On 10/30/2022 at 12:31 PM, Jewish Leprechaun said:

I'd had a long debate about leather handle versus the brass.  I couldn't quite find the right brass hardware for fixing the leather to the box and didn't want to get the brass stock to fabricate it, so I abandoned the idea... but I agree it would me more comfortable for carrying.

 

Why not just take the brass handle you have have and wrap it with leather or paracord? You keep the brass look and give it a little easier carry.

 

As an upside. it is easily undone/ changeable. And very cheap to experiment with to find the right fit.

 

 

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