Making a Road Case for the Ophicleide: Bow Pad

Case Shell
Bell Pad
Middle Pad
Top Pad
Bocal Case
Complete Case

The bottom bow of the ophicleide is one of the two main stress points for the instrument; the other is the bell rim. Both points are save to support the weight of the instrument, and are used accordingly in the implementation of this case. In this photo, a piece of 1/4" plywood has been cut to fit the bow end of the case by the wheel wells. The reinforcing bit on the bow will rest against this board. The board also will serve to mount the foam that pads the bow itself.
This photo shows the board in place, but the bow obviously will not stay against it or centered with it unless something else is done. Also, it will not be easy to securely mount the board to the case shell.
This photo shows that a piece of foam has been cut to fit between the end of the case and the board. With the board glued to the foam and the foam glued on four side to the walls of the case shell, the structure is much improved.

The photo also shows another foam piece that has been cut to fit firmly inside the shell and against the board. It also has a cutout into which the ophicleide's bow will be 'plugged'. Note the extra notch in the cutout to clear the key on the bow.

Also notice that the pads and board do not extend above the aluminum valance. 'Liquid nails' type adhesive was used to glue the foam and board together and to the case shell.

This photo shows the completed bow pad assembly with the bow plugged into it. The bow will not 'unplug' as long as the bell end is pressed securely in the direction of the bow; this is one of the functions of the bell pad described in the next chapter.

The internal contours of the SKB case are complex and take some work to measure for accurate foam trimming. Send a large (9" x 12" minimum) self addressed envelope with sufficient return postage to the Serpent Newsletter, and photocopies of the patterns will be sent to you. The Serpent Newsletter, PO Box 954, Mundelein, IL 60060

All photos made using a Kodak DC240 digital camera.

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Copyright Paul Schmidt 2000
added September 2000