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Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25

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peabody58:
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.



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. 




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.



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.



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.



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.



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.




Total cost:  $24.87   ;D

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

Thank you for looking!  I hope some of you find this helpful.

DrumWagon:
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.

peabody58:
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.



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.



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.







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/

Jaay:
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

peabody58:

--- Quote from: Jaay on August 08, 2009, 02:34:26 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?

--- End quote ---

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.

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