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Zendrum Stuff => User Reviews => Topic started by: peabody58 on July 31, 2009, 06:59:02 PM

Title: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: peabody58 on July 31, 2009, 06:59:02 PM
Well I thought I’d share with you the custom hard shell case I made for my 2009 custom built dragon themed Zendrum ZX - Z4 – the Draken – the only Zendrum in the world with mother-of-pearl in-lays (3 total).  It also holds the record for the longest build: 173 days from start to Version 4.3 installed.  But I digress….

I found a used mint condition Gator Deluxe ABS Stratocaster Electric Guitar Case at a local pawn shop for $20.  These are available new at GC, MF, etc for $80 plus S/H.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/GatorCase2.jpg)

Using the wife’s kitchen knives (long-blade) and a razor blade, I cut out the lower case section top box and guitar neck USP foam insert and fabric flush with the existing base foam.  I left the front storage box intact for future use. 

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/Prep1.jpg)
(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/Prep4.jpg)

I then reinforced the front storage box center wall by gluing a piece of end of a 2” plastic from an old binder I had laying around the house.  The ‘glue’ was silicon caulking.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/Prep3.jpg)

After filling in the divots from my hacking job with silicon caulking, I relined the exposed foam cut area with a new piece of plush material I got from a sewing supply store.  Here’s wear it got a bit tricky.  I tested rubber cement, Elmer’s glue, wood glue and various other mind-altering adhesives; all of which failed to hold the fabric or leave a clean look.  I finally settled on black silicon caulking.  I could control the spread well, it gave me a lot of time to set the fabric, remains soft and flexible, and being black, it blended into the black plush fabric.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/Empty2.jpg)

The Draken fits perfectly with the tail tip lying in the pre-existing foam notch (I tucked some extra fabric padding in this notch).  When the case is closed, the upper foam sections snugly, but not too tight, sandwich the Zendrum to prevent movement.  Part of the upper lid section has soft padding which lines up with most of the Zendrum surface.  In the photo you can see the pad impressions in the fabric.  With the Zendrum at a slight angle in the case, there is ample room for the strap to lie, including in my situation, the wireless MIDI and Power Box.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/Loaded1.jpg)

The remaining storage box which is spill proof with the case shut stores extra batteries, pens, tape, etc.  The left side of the case holds the extra gear I need such as the other end of my Wireless MIDIJet Pro/Xfrm, my Merge Brick/Xfrm and 20’ MIDI Cable for back-up, and ¼” patch cables.  There is still plenty of room for more stuff if I need.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/InsideStorage.jpg)

As I had several extra custom decals left over, I used one of the 3D versions that is on the Draken for inside of the case.  I carefully cut out the fabric around the decal, mounted the decal to a white plastic backing, and glued it in place.  Using the same concept, I mounted a flat decay to the outside of the case.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/InsideDecal1.jpg)
(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/Outside1.jpg)

Total cost:  $24.87   ;D

All 20 photos can be seen at:
http://s122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/ (http://s122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/)

Thank you for looking!  I hope some of you find this helpful.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: DrumWagon on July 31, 2009, 08:05:31 PM
Awesome job!

Are those business cards in the storage container?  If so, that's a great idea, I might have to have some made up.
Title: Draken Custom Case Version 2.0 Upgrade!!
Post by: peabody58 on August 08, 2009, 01:22:55 PM
If as if the Draken Custom Hard Case wasn't great already... I have now in the spirit of the Z4 evolution process, corrected a couple of engineering flaws and made it even better, cooler and faster!  8)   

After using the case a couple of times, I found that the inner storage box was not sealling tight, and my batteries, pens, business cards, etc., were falling out.  So I set off to design and add a hinged cover lid to the inner storage box.  I again took an old school paper binder and trimmed out a section to form the hinged lid.  After removing the previous backing board and fabric, I adhered the new hinged lid with trusty silicon caulking.  I also took the opportunity to trim away part of the inner foam that was in my opinion too close to the Draken.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/138_3877.jpg)

Off to WalMart for some more supplies, this time a yard of Dragon print fabric (4 unique dragon figures surrounded by red flame), red felt and spray adhesive.  The dragon fabric colors match the Draken theme and colors perfectly.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/138_3883.jpg)

I padded the top of the lid with felt and then wrapped it with the Dragon print fabric.  The inside of the lid is covered with red felt and has one of the 4 dragons cut out and glued to the felt.  I cut out all 4 of the dragon images from the fabric and glued strategically glued them to the inside of the case.  On the left side is 2 dueling dragons.  A hidden dragon lives under the Draken and is only visible when the Draken is removed from the case.  One final dragon on the right evens out the presentation.

(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/138_3880.jpg)
(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/138_3881.jpg)
(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/138_3889.jpg)
(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/138_3891.jpg)
(http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/138_3888.jpg)

I have really enjoyed creating this custom case, and I hope it gives others ideas for their Zendrums (i.e., the Jolly Roger sure deserves at least a floating 3 masted case!)  ;D  With the new supplies, the case now cost $34.44.

Full set of the Draken custom case pictures can be viewed at:
http://s122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/ (http://s122.photobucket.com/albums/o264/peabody58/Draken%20Case/)
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Jaay on August 08, 2009, 02:34:26 PM
That is one hell of a case!  My band is playing in LA in January and I've been wondering if I should try and do something about beefing up the travel case--this might be the ticket!  I'm saving this in my files man... good job!

Did I see a notch to accomodate the edge of the instrument in one of those pics?  The tail is resting in the cutout section, but did you cut away another one for the other edge?

-Jaay
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: peabody58 on August 08, 2009, 03:25:02 PM
Did I see a notch to accommodate the edge of the instrument in one of those pics?  The tail is resting in the cutout section, but did you cut away another one for the other edge?

Thanks for the compliments Jaay.  The pictures really don't do it justice - the dragons just pop out at you.

From my original post: "The Draken fits perfectly with the tail tip lying in the pre-existing foam notch (I tucked some extra fabric padding in this notch)."  So no, I didn't need to do anything to create the notch, just added some extra padding behind the fabric.  The Zendrum feet have already created depressions in the bottom foam, so now when I put the Draken in the case it slips right into the depressions with the tail in the notch, but not touching anything hard.  With the lid closed, nothing moves inside and it is well shock protected.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Pyrate on August 10, 2009, 04:11:33 AM
Avast Thar Matey:

       Shiver me timbers, it be a case that is shipshape and bristol.  Methinks you might be able to start a side business creating these works of art for other Zendrummers, such as myself, that have less than stellar talent in such pursuits.  I have been looking for a case that would resist the vibration of the Jolly Roger Harley.  Arrrggghhhhh!!!!

Fair winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: THUMPER on August 10, 2009, 12:24:52 PM
Me thinks that I have less talent than Mr. Pyrate so I would also be interested in someone else that would maybe build another layer of protection for my beautiful Zendrum ZX Thumper  :)
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Jaay on September 22, 2009, 09:50:16 PM
I just got finished making one of these for myself!  It's an entirely different world both physically and mentally fm carrying the Zendrum gig bag. 

I can post pictures if people are interested, but I doubt they'll look as nice as Peabody's case.  Proud as I am of my instrument, this was a utilitarian case and the only decoration I added was a Zendrum-symboled sticker to the front.

Mr. Peabody; again, amazing contribution you've made.  Thank you.

-Jaay
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Pocket Master on September 23, 2009, 03:41:36 AM
I agree, great contribution.  I made a case myself and posted the pics on my myspace and facebook pages.  My case was a little more expensive but well worth the money for the money that I have put into my gear.  You are right about getting used to carrying the case rather than the gig bag.  I have found for shows I use the case, but rehearsals and quick open mic night type shows, I still go back the the gig bag and a backpack.

Rob
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: peabody58 on September 23, 2009, 08:40:12 AM
Jaay / Rob - gald I helped inspire some to get creative.  However - If there aren't any pictures on the forum, did the case really exist? 

Come on guys, pick out your best pictures, fully loaded of course, and post it here.  The rest of the Zendrummers would love to see what else is possible.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Pocket Master on September 25, 2009, 05:05:45 AM
Here are a few of my pics.

Rob
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Pocket Master on September 25, 2009, 05:06:48 AM
Another pic.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Pocket Master on September 25, 2009, 05:07:22 AM
Last pic.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Jaay on September 27, 2009, 09:47:06 AM
I'm trying to put pics up of mine, but I can't shrink them down enough to fit within the size limit!  Help?
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Pocket Master on September 27, 2009, 01:48:26 PM
I am using paint with microsoft windows.  I just load my pic in which is huge and you cannot see the entire pic at first.  Then I goto image, resize, then select 50% for width and 50% for height.  It resizes, I save it under a different name and then check the size of the photo, if it is still too big, I load the newly saved pic, resize again at 50% for each H and W, and then for sure it is under the size limit.  Don't know what to tell you if you are using a Mac.

Rob
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: peabody58 on September 28, 2009, 11:21:18 AM
I'm trying to put pics up of mine, but I can't shrink them down enough to fit within the size limit!  Help?

I use photobucket.com for photos I want to post on forums.  Sizing is very easy then.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Jaay on October 04, 2009, 07:15:39 AM
I did the next best thing... had it done for me!  ;D

Here's my contribution.  It ain't as fancy as the Drakencase, but it has a charm all it's own, methinks.

For the storage compartment, I used double-sided adhesive squares to affix the binder side to the original case wall.  I also caulked a piece of fabric aroud that lower box, not only to protect the wall and finish of my instrment, but to help keep the binder/lid in place.  I'm thinking that maybe later on I'll fill in the gaps with some more caulk.

I thought about adding a hook-and-loop closure to the lid, but nothing seems to be rattling around thus far so I may just leave well enough alone.

-Jaay
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: peabody58 on October 15, 2009, 08:43:59 AM
I did the next best thing... had it done for me!  ;D

Here's my contribution.  It ain't as fancy as the Drakencase, but it has a charm all it's own, methinks.


Looks great Jaay.  I've found the case is subbing as my 'stand' for when I'm on breaks.  Hence the case is open most of the time, and people really like to look inside the case.  A few more finishing touchs and yu'dd be in case heaven.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: tigerxchaos on March 31, 2011, 01:21:18 PM
So I recently made one of these for myself. However, I changed the configuration a little bit. I didn't utilize the notch, as I felt that put the "nose" of the ZX a little too close to the hard edge of the case. So instead, I arranged it at an angle with the "nose" in the bottom corner of the case, the flat side of the "tail" where the two compartments are (facing "up" towards the handle), and only cut out enough foam to nestle the instrument fairly snugly in that position. That way there is foam protection on all sides and if it's bumped, it's got suffiicient support to absorb the impact in any direction. The weight of the ZX is therefore also supported by the top surface where there are no triggers, when the case is being held by the handle.

One thing I've noticed is that the lid of the case (which is also made of styrofoam like the bottom) is rather firm and I have to sandwich the ZX pretty tightly into the case. This raises a bit of concern; while it means the ZX is held in place and can't move much, I'm a little worried about how much pressure it's putting on the triggers. It only comes in partial contact with them; the specific place where it doesn't have clearance is where the lid juts out a bit to seal up the two compartments when the case is closed. I'm just hoping that it won't cause any problems and that the styrofoam will settle in soon enough so that it's snug, but not so tight.

I also replaced the "stock" strap with a nice padded lambskin one with softer rolled edges. While I liked the stamped logo on the original strap, in my opinion, it's about the same quality as the ones that come with Guitar Hero guitars, except it has to hold something 7 times heavier. I'm not a big fan of having a chafed neck and was a little surprised that the Zendrum came with something so flimsy and cheap.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Pocket Master on March 31, 2011, 02:08:58 PM
I think that the reason that the Zendrum comes with a generic strap is that there are so many different "guitar" straps out there, that nobody would use a strap that came with the Zendrum except when you take it out of the box and play it for the first time, I did, it wasn't until the following weekend that I went to the local music store and bought 2 straps that I thought were cool.  But what I like is not going to be the same as another, so why put money into a nice strap that ZD likes and sent it off to be left in the plastic bag and not be used because of personal preference.  Just my opinion.

Rob
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: tigerxchaos on March 31, 2011, 03:19:07 PM
I get that, and considered that possibility myself. I don't want to turn this into a criticism thread--I am satisfied with my instrument, and I know the strap is a personal choice that has to be made. The strap is just far more bare-bones than I am accustomed to with all the attention that goes into manufacturing a Zendrum and the obvious TLC that David puts into the process. It seemed incongruous on the far end of the scale and it would have been nice to get at least a little life out of the strap before running out and having to get a new one right away.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: THUMPER on March 31, 2011, 03:43:26 PM
I am still using the strap that came with my Zendrum.  I guess I will have to get with the program and find me a statement strap that I can be proud of.Thumper
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: tigerxchaos on April 01, 2011, 07:23:04 AM
Hey Thumper,
I don't really care how the strap looks. Honestly, I don't think many people pay attention to the "guitarist's" strap--I know I never have, in the hundred-plus concerts I've been to. It was just so uncomfortable to wear, that I had to constantly reposition it, move it around, move it away from my neck so the edges wouldn't rub and chafe my skin, etc. I wasn't expecting that given the quality of the rest of the package.

It's a matter of personal preference, I guess. It's moot at this point, I have a strap I can wear now for more than a few minutes. It's not flashy and it doesn't make a statement...it's just nice and soft and padded and comfortable.

Sorry if I insulted anyone by commenting on the strap--I'm starting to get the feeling I've committed some sort of faux pas here.
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: THUMPER on April 01, 2011, 11:56:12 AM
I might have to go to one of those soft wooly ones. Mine is always slipping down on me. Hmmmm come to think of it I had a mic stand like that once. >-D Thumper
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: randtor on April 01, 2011, 09:31:36 PM
Funny this should come up! I still use the strap that came with the zendrum, and thats going on 5 years now, lol! So, a few months ago I decided to buy a new strap, as the band I am with plays americana music (alt./outlaw country rockabilly), and I thought I would buy something more suited to the genre. I was at guitar center for a nice electric strip (filters, etc to bypass line noise), and happened by the straps. Perused for 10 minutes and bought a real nice one. Brought it home, and it's still in the bag, 2 month later, lol! I dunno, for some weird reason, I just can't bring myself to change straps. Kinda like a nice old pair of slippers I guess.  :-\

Rand
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: drshark on April 01, 2011, 11:33:49 PM
 Hey. I just thought I would jump in here. My Z4 is made from figured cherry with purple heart center and it is a little heavier than the average. So I went out to GC and bought a Bass guitar strap which has a grid pattern of air pockets that sit on my shoulder. I like it and I have had it from the begginning. Hope this helps.

DrShark
Title: Re: Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
Post by: Zendrumdude on May 08, 2011, 02:34:42 PM
I never have used the straps that have come with any of my Zendrums, but I would really dig a black leather one with the "Z" logo embossed on it.  109, if you do this, I'll buy one!  You could also offer different colors of leather.  Leather can be classy and timeless, like the wood construction of a Zendrum, but it can also be edgy (biker-style.)  I think it would have more universal appeal and feeling of "quality" than the nylon ones, although at a higher cost of course.

Jer