This is a hack that I have been thinking about for a few years, but never got around to doing it. And…I hope that this counts as a hack.
My guitar case is really heavy. This is not so much a problem in Los Angeles, where I can drive and park relatively close to the venue at which I have a show or a performance. However, when I was living in New York, I didn’t have a car, and spent a lot of sweat and muscle (or lack thereof) lugging my guitar up and down the subways, often walking up to several blocks at a time to get to different venues. During these times of sweat (literally, in the summer) and tears, I thought about how great it would be if my guitar case had wheels.
Since, I have learned to skateboard (or, longboard, really), and a skateboard has parts that can be taken apart – namely, wheels. While I did not take apart my board, I purchased trucks and wheels, but stupidly forgot to get bearings, and didn’t want to spend more money buying them. I just took some painter’s tape and made bearings (that work!) to make sure the wheels didn’t slip off.
Painting tape to the rescue!
Because I don’t want to do too much modification to my actual case, and because I didn’t want to spend too much time doing carpentry or welding work, I merely used mounting tape to attach the wheely contraption to my guitar case…
And voila! Wheels!
So why does this bug me? I’m a rather wimpy person, and having a heavy guitar case that I have to carry is just…not fun. Maybe I’m just lazy. Maybe I should work out more. But showing up to a show sweaty and out of breath doesn’t lead to a good show.
That’s a lot to spend. My guitar case came with my guitar, and it is a nice, hardshell case. If I were really cynical or really paranoid and suspicious, I would say that companies are doing this to get guitar players to buy an additional case with wheels, but I don’t really think that’s the case (no pun intended). I think putting wheels on a guitar case just isn’t a top priority for case makers. After all, not everyone is as wimpy as I am. But there clearly are economic implications here, however slight they are.
Moreover, guitars come in different shapes and sizes. Even if you were to buy a case with wheels, there is no guarantee that your guitar will fit into it. Different guitar models have different styles of bodies. My first guitar had a jumbo body, and did not fit into standard guitar cases. The guitar case that I did this hack on is specific to the body shape and size of my Taylor 312CE, which has what is called a Grand Concert body, not a very popular body style/size for any guitar. $30 seems like a paltry amount to spend on this hack to give my case wheels than dealing with all these other factors.