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Detachable wheels for flight case: Warning - MacGyver bass nerd content

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, May 3, 2019.


  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    This may seem like a really silly first world problem, but....

    I'm flying to Ecuador next Friday for a clinic and taking my travel bass. The best way to fly with it is to carry on the neck and ship the body as luggage so as not to get an oversize charge (both in flight cases). I flew with the bass like this to Reno in January, and it worked perfectly, But the flight case the neck goes in, in addition to making everyone in the concourse look at me like they were wondering if I was auditioning for Amercian Sniper II, was a real pain to navigate through the gates area. There's just not a comfortable way to carry it.

    I thought it might be nice to fashion a small set of wheels that could detach to the bottom of the case so i could wheel it around instead of carrying it. The caveat is that they would have to be small and detachable, hopefully small enough to fit inside the case. I'm stewing on this, but at present my MacGyver-Fu is not strong. Any ideas? Hopefully something that can be picked up at Lowes or the like.

    EDIT: The flight case looks like this (it's snapped on to the body case in this picture):

    Unknown.jpeg

    I was thinking of looking for a small set of wheels that I could strap/velcro/otherwise-attach to the bottom of the case and then pull it along behind me with a leather strap like a belt sticking out of the top. If the wheels were small enough, they could store inside the flight case. maybe a pipe dream, but some of you folks are pretty creative with this kind of thing, so...
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  2. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    can you try a small hand cart?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    @neddyrow I could, but then I'd be stuck with an extra thing to deal with at the gate. Clarified in edit above.
     
    neddyrow likes this.
  4. A soft long bow case with a strap would be great and work fine - unless they ever forced you to gate check it. You should be able to adapt a bass buggy, and those things are not bad to have.
     
  5. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    I would start here....

    [​IMG]
     
    charlie monroe likes this.
  6. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Then add this...
    [​IMG]
    You need some Tony Hawk-Fu....(T. Hawk is the Elvin Jones of Skateboarding, FYI.)
    Thanks.
     
    Reiska and Silevesq like this.
  7. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Chris, can you post some pics of the neck case? Inside and out? I couldn't find any with a quick search. What's material is neck case made of? One thing to consider is the extra weight and length wheels will add; it's a trade-off. Would you consider a permanent set of wheels installed in the case? You'd have to drill some holes in it.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  8. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I absolutely love industrial strength Velcro as anyone who has seen my bass or bass bag can attest to, but in my experience with important things that have any leverage-able weight, I wouldn't trust it. In my experience shear strength is high but compression strength is low especially where there is motion involved. Ask my GoPro Hero 7 Black, among other things, about that...

    In my experience, Velcro is great in a situation where geometry mostly keeps something in place, against gravity and other forces, and all you're asking the Velco to do is hold it there. So if you're able to find a bracket situation for your wheels that keeps them in place, Velcro would probably hold them there, provided vibration and jarring didn't move them out of place.

    Would something like this work? Maybe use lugs and/or wingnuts instead of bolts and/or nuts?
     
  9. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    He needs to find Animal Chin!

    I think just some tiny casters from lowes would work fine, the dual-lock velcro stuff I bet would hold it if you mount them in the right spot.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald and Don Kasper like this.
  10. 1. They make castors that clip on/clip off. Screw the bracket to the case, attach castors. Store castors in bubble wrap inside the case.

    2. There’s removable pop-out castors that just slide in (Fender amp style) but pop out too easily IME. Drill hole + screw a bracket in place.

    3. Attach castors to small piece of wood, then attach that to the case (wingnuts, occy strap, etc). Bulky.

    4. Skateboard trucks from a kids skateboard. Insert threaded holes into case, use removable wingnut bolts to attach/remove it easily.

    5. Cut out the wheels section of the base of a suitcase. Not sure how to attach, prob too big to go in neck case.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The case is fiberglass, so I'm hesitant to drill into it. I can look at the little bumpers on the bottom that are attached so you can stand it up on them. If they are attached with screws, I may be able to attach something to them. Will look into it tomorrow.
     
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  12. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Do you travel with a “carry-on” suitcase that has wheels and an extending handle?
    Can you strap the neck case to the extended handle (on side facing you)? Or, strap it to the side of your suitcase?
     
    Tom Lane likes this.
  13. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I think Jim's idea is the best I've considered. I've tried to do similar things in the past and found that if it's not well considered, it tends to fall apart at multiple inconvenient times because it's not robust enough and then it's more trouble than it's worth. But, as Jim suggested, they used to make carry-on luggage like this, with a single case with wheels for the over-head and another smaller, briefcase sized case for under your seat. You could achieve this with two or three bungee cords.
    Ah, but thinking about this further, you're only going to carry the neck case on the plane, is that right? If so, we're back where we were before.
    The issue with fiberglass is that it easily splinters and flexes so it'd need reinforcement, either from within or without. Probably there's not much extra room inside the case, so, on the outside.
    Maybe the best you can do on short notice is to make a small wooden platform out of 1/4 to 3/8 inch plywood to hold the wheels and then figure out a way to strap that to the neck case with straps. It won't be easy because there's not much to grab a hold of on the case, but with some glue, a few small nuts and bolts, and maybe some rivets, you might be able to make a lightweight, easily removable "bag" with wheels that won't fall off the first time you change direction suddenly.
    Hopefully that'll generate some better and more specific ideas.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  14. 6. Glue the clip-on wheel bracket to the fibreglass case. Or glue a 3” x 3” piece of Perspex to the case in between for extra reinforcement. Obviously a non-reversible mod.

    7. A ski bag with wheels and handle would be ideal (Shorter ones are available for kids skis and trick skis).
    The neck in that case should fit inside the ski bag perfectly. Check if they’ll allow that as carry-on first though.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    Tom Lane and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm going to be at Lowes tomorrow to pick up some stuff for my garden, and I'll see if anything they have in the casters section looks appropriate.

    A number folks who travel with this bass don't even take the flight case for the neck; they just carry the neck in its soft bag onto the lane and stow it in the overheads. I don't want to do this because in a less than ideal situation i might be asked to gate check it if the bins are too small or I don't get early enough boarding to be able to fit it in before the bins are full. The thing is, I hope to travel semi regularly with this bass, so I would like to find a reasonably removable solution that wouldn't affect resale if I ever decided to sell it and move up to a full size travel bass. I like the idea of a skateboard truck and will run that by my son today to see if he has an old crappy board that I could scheme on.

    Kind of what I was thinking. A sort of corner bracket that could fit (possibly with dual lock) onto the bottom corner of the case that I could attach some small wheels to.
     
  16. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    It’s probably easier if you don’t insist that the wheels fit inside the neck case for storage. You could put them in whatever small bag that you carry on, or in your man purse.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  17. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    I use a P-bass gig bag to carry the neck, tailpiece, bridge, endpin, and soundpost. Not a lot of padding, but not a lot of weight either (plus shoulder straps).

    I'm sure you've got your own travel style, but I have the most success with instruments at airports when I just act like I do it all the time ("no, I gate check this at the front of the plane, it's what I always do"). If you ask the attendants for suggestions, they usually have an idea that is not very safe for the instrument. Don't give them the chance :D
     
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    My son doesn't have any leftover skateboard stuff. What about a couple of these bolted to a small piece of wood?

    074523029886.jpg

    It could be the width of the case and fitted to the back bottom at the corner with dual lock. In theory, the caters wouldn't touch the ground when the case was upright, but would roll when at an angle.
     
  19. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    I'm not sure you even need the wood, might be better just to have two loose casters in your backpack? But it sounds like it'll work!
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  20. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Coolest idea yet!

    Get a pair of Dunlop Dual-Design Recessed Straploks from Guitar Center (or anywhere else). Drill 2 small holes in the lower corners of the case and put a wood block from corner to corner inside the case to mount the strap locks to. This will also provide some stability to the case. Replace the large washers on the strap locks with some small plastic wheels. You could then pop the wheels on or off in a matter of seconds and store them in the case.

    Or you could replace the wood screws with machine screws and put a nut on the inside of the case instead of the wood block.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 10, 2021

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