A case for a Warmoth VIP

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,306
I looked for a case that would fit my VIP, and wound up modifying one which worked out pretty good. 
Here's the saga.
The first thing to note is the size and weight of the guitar.
Weight: 7 Lbs 15.5 Oz. (Hollow Body)
Lower Bout: 13" (all measurements could be off by 1/4 inch, and are as close as I can tell, but they are more or less accurate)
Waist: 8 5/8"
Upper Bout: 11"
Body Length: 18.5"
Body depth, including a Gotoh Wrap around bridge: 2 7/8"
Body has a contoured heal
Total Guitar Length: 38"
Neck Pocket Angle: ~2 degrees
Tilt Back Headstock (Vortex) Angle: ~13 degrees

All of this geometry adds up up to it being like a mix of a strat, an ES-335 and a PRS, mostly PRS. 

So I tried a PRS case by Gator, but the headstock bumped into the back of the case.  I tried a strat case, and a tele case but the lower bout was too big.  The 335 was too deep; I tried a jazz master case and it had the same issue as the PRS case.  I then tried a gig bag, but the body including the bridge was too thick ... what to do ... (I'll say one thing, it's definitely not a PRS, it's its own thing)  I think the gator prs might have worked if I had a fender headstock.

Short of making my own ... modify something close.

I perused the Gator, SKB, TKL and Sweetwater websites.  Wanted something that was not too deep, so that would be between 3.5 and 4 inches deep (remember need to accommodate the angle so that the fretboard is flat when it meets the case lid), then needs to be at least 15 inches wide in the lower bout so that the padding is at least an inch wide , long enough to hold the entire guitar, and a body size of at least 20 inches to accommodate some padding at the top of the body cavity.  Also, less than 46 inches overall externally so it would fit in my closet.

So ordered the Ibanez EP100C from sweetwater which is designed for the Steve VAi EP Euphoria Series Acoustic.
Internal Dimensions
Body L: 23
Body Depth: 3.75 
Lower Bout: 16
Upper Bout: 12.25
Overall Length: 43
Cost: 130 (140 minus 10 in something called bonus bucks.  Bought a Music Nomad Cradle)

Then I needed to pick the padding and saw (thanks to google) that the army ships guns in polyethylene foam containers.  I looked at a 1.7 pcf crush weight.  Sort of midrange on the softer side, but not the softest, so I got a 3 x 15 x 22 sheet on ebay for $20.  Polyethylene is good because you can recycle it and it's inert.

Next I needed glue, so I used my wife's craft glue, 3M 90 spray contact cement, about $10 worth.  A big can is $20.  It's a glue that doesn't melt polyethylene.

Then I saw that Joann's fabric had faux fur.  So headed over there.  The only way I can describe it, is that my local Joann's is staffed by the coolest, sweetest best rocker chicks you could meet.  I described what I wanted to do, and they said let me take care of you, and they showed me premium black velvet, made from Rayon in Korea.  I said I was thinking about fur, or felt, and they said the felt could be rough and fur hard to handle and the low-end velvet not sturdy enough.  The premium velvet is good because the rayon is also inert, responds well to glue, is durable and relatively easy to drape.  I bought a yard, and it was on sale for ... yes $20.

So went home and started  cutting and drapping and sculpting the polyethylene, and here are the results.  I'll dig them out of my phone and post them after I post this.
I'm really happy with the results.  I used the knife to sculpt the foam into shape, and on two of the neck ramps, and the lid pad,. I used a hammer to pound the high parts of the foam (after wrapping with velvet) to make the neck wind up being perfectly flat when it was resting in the guitar. Of course, pound before you glue into the case. Install one pad at a time starting with the bottom.



 
 
 

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Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,306
More files ...
 

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  • VIP Case Foam Cut 1.png
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Cagey

Senior member
Messages
24,425
Beautiful job! I'm impressed! About how much time do you suppose you put into it? Would you do it again?
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,306
Total time once I got thru the cases that flunked ... about 10 hours total spread over two weeks.  And I learned something and made  something.    Would I do it again?  I dunno I suppose yes.  if I didn’t find a case, but my next build will be a strat so no case issues there.  It’s actually easy.  It’s good enough for an amateur.  We’ll see how it holds up after 6 months of lugging around.  Anyway it was a good wholesome distraction ...
 
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