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Questions re: setting up a Nanuk 908 case


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Hey friends,

 

I bought a Nanuk 908 case for my Kensington Concertina based on all the folks here suggesting it or the Pelican im2075, and now that it's here I find myself entrenched in thought on how to set the foam up in the case and what I should do with the concertinas positioning. 

 

Most people place their concertinas down on the flats in cases, that's usually how it's done i reckon, and it's how my concertina is typically stored in its stock case as well. However, I noticed it's a super tight fit, with maybe a millimeter to spare on either end before it contacts the plastic of the case directly, which means no padding is really possible there. Pelican im2075's looked like the internal dimensions were supposedly tighter, but some of the photos I've seen online make it look like it had a tad more space in this position than the Nanuk 908, which is supposedly larger. 

 

So, I wondered if I tilted the concertina on its north and south points (vertical instead of the standard horizontal) instead would I gain more room (considering the flats are 6.25" across, whereas the points are 7.125" across) and indeed, there's much more room on either side of the concertina in that position for foam padding. Now though, the top and bottom of the concertina are much closer to the lid and bottom of the case, because of course it is.

 

Is there a sensible positioning here? Or are both positions filled with drawbacks? 

 

My current case doesn't have padding which seems to be common enough, just the velvety stuff and the blocks, but I was hoping to protect the body of the concertina from accidental impact, even if it was a tiny bit more. I've never dropped a case before but I like to be prepared for the worst case scenario, especially while I'm traveling with it. 

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Don’t look at photos, look at specs. According to the specs, the internal dimensions of the Pelican iM2075 are 9.50 x 7.50 x 7.25 in, plenty of room for padding around a concertina that’s 6.25 in across the flats, and in fact that’s how I have mine set up with no problems.

 

I have no familiarity with the Nanuk 908, but the specs show internal dimensions of 9.5 in x 7.5 in x 7.5 in, slightly larger than the Pelican, so I am having trouble understanding what your difficulty is (unless your instrument is actually larger than 6.25 in across the flats—have you measured it?).

 

But it looks like you are considering storing your instrument with the axis of the bellows vertical (that is, with the sides on top and bottom). That’s not a good idea. The valves on the undersides of the two reed boards will hang away from the boards while the instrument is in its case and develop a curl so that they stop functioning properly as valves and you will lose air through reeds that don’t play.

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Posted (edited)

I did check all the measurements, but the thing that isn't really illustrated is that the Nanuk is more like 7.25" in the middle. There's these little mounting holes built into the case that just out, so it's not the true available space in the middle. I checked measurements online for both options over and over before deciding (I am an obsessive hyper focuser) 

The issue is that in the first image below, the bisecting point of the concertina is the point to point, not the flats, so that dimension is tight in a case that's 7.25" wide internally. 

 

The second photo shows theres more space at the middle point of the case due to the concertina being rotated, exposing just the flats to the middle point of the case. The trade off is its tighter at the top and bottom of the case. Does this make any sense? I'm not so great at explaining spatial things

 

 

 

IMG_20240618_171938.png

IMG_20240618_172113.jpg

Edited by Oberon
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Do not set your concertina on its North/South (vertical/ends), it will lead to valves sagging downward and their premature demise. Most of my cases only use a very thin foam strip mounted with double sided adhesive tape, which gives me about 2-3 mm of compression on the concertina to hold it snugly in place. The important thing is not the softness around the instrument, but the snugness that stops it from flopping around in the case. Here's a link to a picture of how I do it in most of my single cases:

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/6l429qej0i65tjh7kmyqz/concertina-case-padding.jpg?rlkey=qts5kf24rqxqcwpw3qr4yar4x&st=7g3jyv4u&dl=0

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Matthew Heumann said:

Do not set your concertina on its North/South (vertical/ends), it will lead to valves sagging downward and their premature demise. Most of my cases only use a very thin foam strip mounted with double sided adhesive tape, which gives me about 2-3 mm of compression on the concertina to hold it snugly in place. The important thing is not the softness around the instrument, but the snugness that stops it from flopping around in the case. Here's a link to a picture of how I do it in most of my single cases:

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/6l429qej0i65tjh7kmyqz/concertina-case-padding.jpg?rlkey=qts5kf24rqxqcwpw3qr4yar4x&st=7g3jyv4u&dl=0

I want to double check to confirm what we are talking about when discussing the 'vertical' here. Are you meaning like in the old fashioned concertina case way, where the concertina is stored so that valves sag on one side, or are you talking about rotating the concertina slightly while still horizontal in its case? Because the latter is what I'm talking about and I can not tell if we are all on the same page. 

 

If the latter, I would counter that based on the reed pan design of my Kensington, I can rotate the concertina and still avoid valve sag in a few positions as the reeds aren't parallel to the ends to begin with.

 

I've attached more photos for reference. In them you can see the lack of space I'm mentioning. I can understand that hard direct contact is valuable enough for immobilizing the instrument, which is likely to save a concertina more than being loose by a wide margin, but a bit of firm padding would likely help in the event of a fall no? force from the case being impacted could transmit into the concertina if directly contacted I imagine.  

The other possible downside to this position is that there's no single point that is flatly stabilized against a firm surface either. More room for padding, but the surface area of a flat would be more secure I guess. 

 

The internal chamber does not measure 7.5" wide either, only at the flat sections is that the case, the little plastic nubs reduce the width to 7.20", and even then the space between the nubs measured 7.40" deep.

 

Pelican cases are legitimately 7.5 wide, so I'm a bit miffed at the misrepresentation of nanuks case. Had I been able to redo it, I'd probably get the Pelican instead, even though the latches and build of the Nanuk is a bit nicer. 

IMG_20240618_223515.jpg

IMG_20240618_223313.jpg

Edited by Oberon
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I'm confused on what you are trying to achieve. A picture of your current case would be helpful.

 

My brand new G/D Kensington (7 fold bellows) was shipped safely across the Atlantic last autumn in a Peli im2075, as fitted out by Dana with velvet and corner blocks. The Peli case itself is very rugged and the concertina ends are held snugly by the corner blocks so will not move around within the case if it is dropped. (The concertina in its case fell off a chair the day after I received it with no damage at all!!!)

 

I have since bought another im2075 and fitted it out in a similar fashion for my Norman. I did consider buying the foam lining kit for the Peli, and customising that to fit the instrument. But in the end decided to follow Dana's example.

 

Peli cases are used professionally worldwide to protect and ship delicate equipment of all types. The important thing is to stop the contents from moving around within the case.

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You should be OK with your configuration, BUT.....make sure the pressure support is on the "flats" of the frame and not on the corners where the glue joints are (use wedge shaped pads to achieve this). :

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/lyto21fgtkga6tqrkt795/concertina-support.jpeg?rlkey=7kwh58rp03mzjmnoewhjogu5w&st=7zmn0sc7&dl=0

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I use Nanuk for my concertina's, great product. I have experimented with padding, but for me the best solution was to line them in 'camera wrap' so that the corners reach over the case at the 'middles'. This allows me to unfold and retrieve instrument with ease, leaving the wrap in the case.  No danger of buttons catching on foam, but snug enough to keep secure when returning to the case. The velcro at the corners also hold the bellows closed. I have used 'Domke' products for cameras over the years and transitioned to concertina's. They are quality 'stuff' and would work in most types of case tbh, but there are plenty other options out there.

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Ah, thanks Matthew that helps, cheers. That gives me something to ponder. I was banking on using a denser closed cell type foam for support instead of the light fluffy stuff that's included and bound to disintegrate over time. I should be able to make a cradle of sorts for sure.

 

And regarding your first photo in your earlier response, I would have happily padded the concertina that way too if it was a pelican case, as there were be a bit more room but as I mentioned the Nanuk is actually smaller in width internally so there's maybe only enough room for a sheet of some fabric and that's about it

 

Andy, I'm attempting to solve what to do with the insanely tight fight my concertina has in the Nanuk case. Pelican cases have a bit more space in the width internally (being a true 7.5" compared to Nanuk's 7.20') so you can add a small pad front and back to protect the corners of the instrument. In lieu of being able to do this, I was asking if folks position their concertinas 'on the points' instead of 'on the flats' as I've tried to indicate in the photos above, as that grants more space for padding.

 

Stephen, that's a good idea, makes it a lot easier to pop in and out. Did you do anything with the void space on either side of the concertina though or does it move laterally inside the case while it's being moved?

Those little tapered tube things (mounts I assume) jut out so much that they would press into my concertinas bellows frames without a covering. I'd even consider 'filing' them down flat to get that missing space back but I'd worry about altering case integrity and voiding warranty on the case. 

 

Simon, bubble wrap doesn't breathe and I'd worry about accumulated moisture if I was traveling around. I live in New England in the States and our humidity and heat is insane right now (we are in a 92 F degree heatwave, going on for days, 70 percent humidity where I am). I should be able to pad the case out in an elegant and accessible way though, it's just this lack of space fore and aft of the concertina is concerning 

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Oberon, some fitted snug with just the camera wrap. If there was play, I used redundant camera bag/case 'spacers'. But In the end I removed these, as I found the 'play' was minimal and the wrap was sufficient protection. You could also double wrap if you want a very tight fit.

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For some of my "custom" and amateurish cases I have made when there is a very tight clearance I have used thich/heavy glue backed felt products. These can be doubled up too. Theoretically in my mind I would want a cushioning that yes, holds the instrument firmly in place but also has as much shock absorbing qualities as well, just in case.

 

Those rugged cases are very sturdy,but cumbersome too. I've always prefer a case that is protective enough but also is as small as it can be, while doing it's job. 

 

RE: bubble wrap... certain materials and plastics might have a long term detrimental chemical response to the varnish on the instrument.

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Posted (edited)

Richard,

 

I have a splendid case that came with the Kensington, blocked and fit, with a special holder for the tools Dana supplied. That case is for normal circumstances, but I got the Nanuk for abnormal circumstances, such as traveling and enduring potential rainfall situations while traveling. I make instruments and sell them online and at Renaissance faires and it's specifically the traveling for Renaissance faires that I find myself in sometimes less than ideal situations where sky moisture may be an issue, as well as the late evening and early morning condensation. 

 

So this particular case needs to suit the traveling aspect a bit better, with a tad more protection overall. 

 

I intend to block the case and fit it properly, either with kaizen foam or some other means, but now to the group I ask another question;

 

What do you all think of lining the inner chamber of the case with leather? I have this splendidly large cut of leather with a softer suede like backing. I was wondering if this would potentially hold up to the frequent removal of the concertina overtime and more importantly, would it potentially wear the concertina in some way?

 

Also... How would you bond the leather to the case? Velcro and adhesive for removal? PVA? Hot glue? I suspect not much will want to bond to the non porous plastic

 

The frames of the Kensington are dymondwood so that's not much of an issue but I'd be worried about the bellows a little 

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Edited by Oberon
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I put a suede lining in most of my recent cases and it seems to work nicely. What I usually do is cut a piece of thick card that is a loose fit for one of the case sides, then cut a piece of suede that is 1/2" bigger all around, glue the suede to the card with PVA, and fold the edges over and glue them to the back of the card (with a piece removed in each corner so the folds don't overlap). I then glue the suede-covered panel into the case. If adding foam padding to a side, I make up a sandwich of suede, card, foam, then a second sheet of card with the edges covered with the folded-over suede.

 

For bonding leather to plastic maybe a solvent based contact adhesive (e.g. barge cement) would work. Try gluing a small offcut to the case first; let the glue fully dry and then pull it off to find out how well it stuck.

Edited by alex_holden
grammar
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If any of you have still have one those lovely Mums - that made things all the time? Then get her to make you a really comfy lined bag for your concertina? My late mother was always making things and made me a very 'posh' bag with a satin interior for my concertina years ago! So soft I would not mind have been a concertina myself to snuggle into it! It still sleeps inside there decades later. 😊

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Alas, my mom never made me any cases or sewed at all, but my grandmother certainly used to make tons of things with needle and thread. 

 

 

In regards to the Nanuk Case, Ultimately I've cut padding to shape and lined the padding with synthetic suede for now. It has enough rigidity to hold the concertina closed just as snugly as my boxed standard case. No errant movement in the box and there's padding on a number of surfaces. The only areas that can't be padded are the sidea directly contacting the concertina. I might grind or trim those eyelets down eventually to gain a small amount of padding space but for now this will do. I just need to not drop it, haha. 

 

I'll be putting a carrying strap on this case too, Nanuk have a specific place near the handle where one can be attached, so between that strap and handle, I won't be dropping this any time soon. 

1000015346.jpg

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Long term the lining materials need to be non friable and much synthetic material becomes friable over time.  Anything hairy needs to not shed hair. Those fine fibres will inevitably end up in a reed.  
 

Nothing much bonds well to the plastic in these cases.  Contact glue will do OK if there is enough contact area and as long as no peeling action is involved in getting the instrument in and out.  You can’t fix things through the case side because they are very thin.  
 

I use soft leather covering over cotton waste padding, its about 15mm thick and I bought this from an outfit called Clarke Rubber, a known chain store in Aus.  It was cotton a while ago and whether what they sell is still cotton I don’t know.  These days I feel lucky if the shop is still there when I go back. I glue it on with contact.  For narrow gaps I do the same as Alex. 
 

With cases a lot depends on what you want the case to do. Vintage cases have no actual padding and if dropping the case the only thing guaranteed is no surface marks.  If you want padding, how much is enough? DHL recommend you pack as if the parcel might be dropped 6ft.  Thats like someone standing on the tray of a truck dropped it to the ground.  Off the top of my head,  2” or 50mm of softer slower packing might do it.  For falling off a table maybe 1”/25mm? 

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