Tweed Case Wrap Up

In keeping with my intention to construct individually singular builds for my Signature Series guitars, I’ve made certain that the cases are unique to each guitar as well. The Crow, inspired in part by travelling musicians and the escapades depicted in Kerouac’s On the Road, will receive a lacquered, woven-cloth covered hard case. The covering, which is often erroneously refered to as tweed, is actually a twill material familiar to guitarists as the finish used by Fender on their 1950s amplifiers and guitar cases. My reference was a 1940s suitcase that I found in a junk shop in New Hampshire.

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The modern material supplied by the manufacturer was not an acceptable reproduction, so I went about lacquering it myself. I wanted the patina of age and experience that would be a fitting companion to the guitar itself.

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The final touch was to add a hygrometer to monitor the humidity within the case. The gauge was inserted into the case pocket from the outside, which required a pair of pass-throughs to allow the interior air to reach the sampling point on the back of the hygrometer. I used brass grommets to match the rest of the case hardware.

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Here a setting tool is used to crimp the grommet onto the pocket lid. This connects the main chamber of the case to the pocket.

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I combed through my leather selection to find a remnant to use for the case pocket’s pull tab. I’d entertained making the pull something crow or bird-themed, but rejected the idea as too cute and just went with a utilitarian pull tab of brown leather to match the case trim.

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Once trimmed to size and burnished to match, I punched a hole and fastened the pull to the pocket door flap with a brass rivet.

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After the gauge was sealed to the outside with silicone I could insert the pocket into the case. The orientation is such that it can be read easily when the case stands on its end or side.

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Now it was just a matter of fitting everything and screwing the mounting blocks into the case. The inside is finished with red velvet plush and the back of the gauge is covered except for another brass grommet.

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The entire idea is to allow the interior humidity and temperature to be read from the outside. This is particularly useful when the instrument is in a rack with other guitars.

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For an all analog solution, I think it turned out quite well. After living with the results for a few days, it has become so normal to check the readings that I can’t imagine not having it there. The Crow’s nest is ready.

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Jol

Jol Dantzig is a guitar builder, designer, writer and filmmaker. He has worked for Gibson, Fender, Guild, Ovation, Gretsch, and was a founding partner of Hamer guitars—one of the first boutique custom guitar brands. Dantzig’s work has been played by hundreds of artists including Sting, Steve Stevens, Larry Coreyell, Dug Pinnick, Billy Gibbons, Keb Mo’, Nick Lowe, KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, John Abercrombie, Glen Campbell, Rick Nielsen, Kenny Vaughan, Lita Ford, James Honeyman Scott, Elliott Easton, Andy Summers, Peter Frampton, Martin Barre, Lyle Workman, Brad Gillis, George Harrison, Jeff Ament, Dweezil Zappa, Jeff Tweedy, Nancy Wilson—and many others.

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