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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 03-12-2020, 04:38 PM   #1
Justin Howland
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Default Pipe Case Alternatives

This post may or may not be in the right place, but I'm curious what folks are using out there for a pipe case?

For years I've used a soft sided carry-on wheely tote, but it's starting to show wear and tear and I like the idea of more protection. I know Pelican (or a similar hard case like Apache or Nanuk) is highly recommended, but most seem a bit large to me; an issue I take with most cases.

I don't mind breaking the drones down, but would prefer something with wheels and potentially hard sided. I'd also like to be able to have a bit of storage for some of my maintenance gear, etc. My ideal is to have everything as contained as possible.

Cheers in advance for the help!


Edit: I've attempted to attach pics but cannot. If anyone is curious about how I've got things set up, I can share pics. Basically drones, blowpipe and chanter on bottom level, bag with stocks and bottom drone joints stacked on top, with an internal pouch holding loose odds and ends.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:14 PM   #2
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Howland View Post

..I know Pelican (or a similar hard case like Apache or Nanuk) is highly recommended, but most seem a bit large to me; an issue I take with most cases.

..I don't mind breaking the drones down, but would prefer something with wheels and potentially hard sided. I'd also like to be able to have a bit of storage for some of my maintenance gear, etc. My ideal is to have everything as contained as possible.
This seems to be a contradiction?

I did a lot of research on hard cases and there are a few that fit what I would call the "medium" size case travel case. These would be wheeled, retractable handle, externally 20"-24" in length by ~15" width and varied heights (~70cm x 40cm). Typical flight-overhead-compartment case. A few companies also offer optional lid organizers which I think are key. You can also find moveable padded organizers for the main compartments on many for photographers which work pretty well for pipes too to divide up the space and keep things from knocking around.

I chose a Seahorse 920 with organizer and absolutely love it.

But there is also the Condition 1 #300, the Nanuk 935, and of course the the Pelican 1510 that most pipers know, reviewed here by Matt Willis. There are others beyond this too like Amazon's house brand and Monoprice, IBEX, etc. These I highlighted were just the ones I found were reputable and well reviewed.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:30 PM   #3
EagleJCS
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

I made mine. It's essentially a briefcase with a full-width tray inside for the odds & ends. Made out of poplar, stained dark walnut. A little hefty, but it protects the pipes from being crushed if it's sat on.

I suppose one could put wheels and a tow strap/handle on it, but that would look a little silly IMO. I'm thinking about adding some D rings and a shoulder strap, though, for long hauls.

There may be tow-along tool cases or luggage that could be adapted to your specs. Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:41 PM   #4
Justin Howland
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

Thank you William. I understand how it might seem like a contradiction so I'll try to clarify. My current case has rough internal dimensions of:

16" Length
12" Width
6" Height/Depth

The main dimension I take issue with is the depth of most cases and case alternatives I've looked at. Too much depth means too much moving around of drone sections, blowpipe, chanters, etc. The lid organizers that come with the Pelican, Nanuk, et al seem to address the issue of holding hemp, pull through swabs, extra reeds and seasoning, however; the cases that are compatible with lid organizers are quite large and heavy. And though the smaller Nanuk 930 fits my internal dimension needs, it doesn't have wheels. I travel enough with my pipes to know I'm not carrying around a case which is 7 lbs empty.
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Old 03-12-2020, 07:19 PM   #5
el gaitero
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

I’ve been spoiled since end of 2001 when I popped into the Sinclair shop at #1 Madeira and snagged a Savage & Hoy (Google) black hardside /red-flocked interior fiberglass case of a perfect size and light weight.

This pebble grained case and nickel hardware still looks new almost 20 years later. Very professional, sleek,suave,with contoured carry handle and end fitted D rings to which I’ve attached a comfortable shoulder carry strap.
A bonus is its soft nylon mating edge gasket around the top/bottom. ( my slightly smaller prior issue of this (S&H?) case in the ‘70’s had a disastrously hard aluminum edge..)

It’s 28.5” x 10” x 6.5” size is perfect to fit my old FS pipes, spare chanter,blow stick,practice chanter,...+ an almost too-good to-be-true hinged lid rectangular Tupperware box to carry any incidentals possibly needed at a gig or a day’s outing without carrying the kitchen sink.
The 2-1/2” box nestles perfectly at the end of the case following the pipes.

Not sure this exact same case is still or readily available from S&H..but their website does show some similar bespoke well proportioned long rectangular instrument cases.

For my ‘lesser pipes’ I use a simple ‘Bagpiper’ soft side case from McCallum Bagpipes. Also very adequate,lightweight,suitable,...lots of right adjectives. Like a zippered larger version of the S&H case.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

I went to a luggage store and bought one with wheels and an extendable handle. It is soft-sided, but I was able to put foam behind the satin lining. It also has a gazillion zipped pockets, both inside and out, for all the 'stuff' we seem to gather.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:49 PM   #7
Justin Howland
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by EquusRacer View Post
I went to a luggage store and bought one with wheels and an extendable handle. It is soft-sided, but I was able to put foam behind the satin lining. It also has a gazillion zipped pockets, both inside and out, for all the 'stuff' we seem to gather.
Sounds virtually identical to what I've got now. I'm basically looking for the same sort of thing but in a hard-sided version.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:51 PM   #8
Green Piper
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

I think mine in the Seahorse you mention, but without the padding.

Anyway, it is cabin-baggage approved and given the dry climate in Colorado, keeps some humidity in the case between playing sessions.

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Old 03-13-2020, 07:57 AM   #9
Kevin Palm
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

I use an electric guitar gig bag. I don't have to break down my bass drone, the outside pocket has plenty of room for reeds/tape/hemp/tools, and I can carry it around strapped to my back, which is invaluable at festivals! I do have to duck when entering/exiting tents, however...
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:08 PM   #10
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: Pipe Case Alternatives

I use a triple trumpet case that allows for personal configuration. I break drones down completely but probably don’t have to. It’s a semi-rigid case but definitely strong and sturdy. I don’t use the wheeled version, but here’s the wheeled one.
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