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Retrofitting harp cases for backpack straps?

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  • #73582
    hannah-roberts
    Participant

    Hello all,
    I recently discovered that my Ravenna 34 case has metal rings for backpack straps, and am going to be ordering a pair of straps from the awesome folks at Dusty Strings for just around $30.
    What I’d really like to carry around on my back, though, would be my Christina therapy harp or Reverie therapeutic harp (obviously only one at a time), which I travel with far more frequently. And I think tossing the two instruments in my Dusty Strings case is ill-advised!
    But…neither company offers anything but a brand new case – a Reverie backpack case is $70 and the Christina is $170!!!
    So, I’m thinking that once the Dusty Strings straps come, if they are fairly proportionate to the Christina case, I might experiment with retrofitting the case myself for backpack straps, somehow. And if they aren’t, I still wonder if this isn’t a matter of finding the right materials and basic sewing skills.
    It’s not just the money in question – I really hate everything about the idea of rendering the old case obsolete.
    Are any of you “harp backpackers,” and if so, how do you like travelling around with your harp on your back?
    Have any of you undertaken a case retrofitting project like this on your own? (with backpack straps, wheels or other bells and whistles)
    Does anyone have any suggestions for finding materials (in particular metal rings)? I was thinking of outdoor stores if additional straps are needed, the hardware store, and obviously the needlework store for tough needles like leather needles and superpowered thread.
    Thanks in advance for any input you may have!
    Hannah

    #73583
    Kate Hopkins
    Participant

    You can probably find most of the supplies you need form a good sewing store. Most carry D rings, strap webbing, heavy needles and upholstery thread. Just a note, Leather needles are actually sharpened like a 3 sided knife and would not be what you need unless there is leather or pleather in the area you need to stitch. A heavy gauge sharp needle will do fine. You could also bring the case to a shop and have them use an industrial machine to do the stitching. I know mine would go through anything except hard plastic.

    #73584
    michael-rockowitz
    Participant

    Hannah,
    I made a backpack-type carrier from scratch for my Caitlin (made in Pakistan) harp.

    #73585
    hannah-roberts
    Participant

    Kate and Michael, thank you both SO MUCH! All of this information is a huge help, especially in terms of the supplies I’ll need.
    I am heartened and inspired :-D
    Hannah

    #73586
    george watcher
    Participant

    Just a cost saving tip in retrofitting harp cases: I retrofitted a larger case than what you are discussing, but

    #73587
    hannah-roberts
    Participant

    What an excellent idea. Indeed, I have many “sources” of potential materials! I’ll be sorting through it all with that in mind, George, thanks so much!

    #73588
    hannah-roberts
    Participant

    Just an update: I bought the backpack straps from Dusty Strings for $30. I bought D rings and mesh from an outdoor store for $5, and my shoe repairman did the retrofitting on my Christina case for $15.
    Thank you all for the encouragement and the ideas that made it possible for me to save $120! It is fantastic to be able to carry my Christina on my back, and being able to travel comfortably gives me so many more opportunities to play, which is the best part of all!
    Hannah

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