I’ve recently started playing the ukulele and am loving it. I bought myself a cheap pineapple Makala soprano uke on eBay – it isn’t the finest uke in the world but it does the job and I like the shape. One issue I quickly hit was where to store it – the cardboard box it came in doesn’t really do the job.
No-one sells non-bag cases for pineapple ukes. So I took a punt on a Stagg semi-rigid case on eBay. It didn’t fit but wasn’t too far off, so this post is about how I got it to fit.
These cases are actually made from expanded polystyrene, covered on the outside in thick fabric and on the inside in soft fabric. They won’t survive being trodden on but are much more robust than a gig-bag. They are also very light and fairly cheap, so overall I’m happy with the compromise.
The case I bought was a concert-sized case (Ukes come in 4 main sizes: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone). Pineapple ukes are a bit bigger than the equivalent normal shaped ukes for some reason, so the concert case is the right one for the soprano pineapple uke.
Most of the pictures here are from the operation on my daughter’s ukulele case. She’s just got an Ohana PK10-S from Eagle Music – great prices and great customer service. They didn’t have the Stagg in stock so substituted a Tanglewood case which was a lot cheaper. Still a nice case though it doesn’t fit as well. This case is for a much larger ukulele – probably a tenor. The key dimension is whether the neck length is right; then there needs to be enough material in the case so that cutting out the waist doesn’t reduce the strength of the case too much.
First step is work out where to cut.
Then cut the fabric away with a sharp knife, starting as close to the bottom as you can reach. Leave the fabric attached at the top.
Then carefully trim away the polystyrene until the ukulele fits. It is very easy to go right through the case so care is needed.
Then it is simply a job of getting out your contact adhesive of choice and sticking the fabric down again.
Any gaps in the fabric can be filled in with marker pen. If you are careful and a bit lucky then there won’t be any gaps – the fabric should cover the polystyrene as the distance it needs to cover will be a bit smaller than before.
Ensure the adhesive has gone off (you don’t want to glue your uke into its case!) and the job is done.