I bought my fifth instrument recently, a beautiful Armenian duduk made of apricot wood. It didn’t come with a case, though, so I decided to make my own using the resources at my disposal.
In the wood milling room at work I dug a few pieces out of the scrap box. I think I ended up with maple, red oak, ash, and possibly mahogany. It’s a bit of a patchwork box, which reflects its recycled nature. I measured a few times, and chopped the wood down to size. Assembly was a simple matter of glue and staples.
After making the basic box and finding a nice chunk of wood for the lid, I went to the hardware store to pick up brass hinges and a clasp. After treating the wood with tung oil, I installed the brass, and then used an old leather wristband as a stop for the lid–if it swings back too far, it’ll strain the hinges and make the box fall over.
Of course, after making the box I still had to invent a liner to hold the duduk securely. For that I obtained a scrap piece of foam from the shipping department at work, and carved out a trench in it the size of the instrument. A quick pass with my propane torch smoothed the jagged foam, and then I glued a piece of leather from my old coat over it. The insert sits high enough that the lid holds the duduk in place, and for extra protection I have another loose piece of leather to wrap around the instrument. Several reeds will fit in the narrow gap between the foam and the back of the box.
The total cost of this project was about six dollars for the brass hardware. I probably could’ve found some old hinges to reuse and made my own clasp, but the brass ones were cheap and they match the trim on the duduk nicely.