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Hardware Projects: Jamcase

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In 2004, I was starting work at a radio station and playing the harmonica a lot. I would carry my harp case and practice amp to friends’ houses and jams various places. The gear setup wasnt bad, but I thought it could be better. the Jamcase was my first more involved build. It entailed a visit to the factory where Fender orders their harcases from (for authentic materials and advice), as well as lots of very slow parts gathering.

Jamcase Overview from E. Drake Martinet on Vimeo.

The Build:

The Outside

I Began with plans for a case I got from the Fender factory people. The case is made of “Luann”  thin plywood, several types of fabric and hardware (all procured from the factory that custom makes these for Fender. Standard Job, wood glue and brads for the build, super 77 for the fabric.

The hardware is riveted into place with brass rivets. Onthe front, where I placed the speaker and grille, there are a few special features. I fabricated custom L brackets out of brass bar stock and wrapped them in the leather that wraps the handle. Those brackets keep the speaker grille in place.

The grille is sprayed with a white primer, then a brown to match the case leather. The black rubber ring was sprayed with a white vinyl seat repair spray from Krylon. It took about a week to dry fully, but once it was, the layer of vinyl was a pleasent offwhite that complemented the tweena nd was as flexible as the rubber ring.


Inside the case is a franken-build fo various off-the-shelf parts and some of my own bits. The amplifier is a modified “Danelectro Honeytone” circuit that runns of a 9v battery. It was stripped of its box, and mounted inside the lid. The potentiometer knobs were extended with brass tubing to stick above the case. Knobs were borrowed from a Boss blues driver effect pedal.

A 1/4in patch cable feeds to an Ernie Ball female-female 1/4in connector that is adhered to a Fender jack ferrule mounted on the outside of the case. A secondary luan panel covers the whole thing.

Jamcase Internals from E. Drake Martinet on Vimeo.

Extra Pictures

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157622394413470″]

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