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PhilipKT

How to fix a broken case pull

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Probably not the right place to post this question but can anybody give me some advice on how to fix this?

One is as original, the other is broken. Most of the clasps on this violin case are broken, but it’s still a nice case.

0A88DF38-DF8C-499A-8CAB-FBDB30CEBA36.jpeg

19FE6D38-7BFB-4259-80C0-44C5C6DD1FB4.jpeg

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I don't think there is any way to fix this other than removing the cover from the case and replacing the zipper.  I've taken the covers off of a few cases and put them back on and found that it's quite a project.  And I think you would pay someone more to replace the zipper than you would pay for a new case.  It's a shame.

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If it were my case & my time were free, I'd be tempted to cut some hardwood to glue to the top of the slider, with a hole sized for a ring of some sort.

Edited by Hierony

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I was going to give you a step by step of how I've done it on pants (my tux is 30 years old). It involved buying a new zipper at a fabric store, remove the slider and substitute new for old with some cutting and stitching at the ends.

But these things look interesting to me:

https://www.fixnzip.com

https://www.zipperrescue.com/

Worth a look.

Of course the simplest would be to just slide the broken one to the end of its travel and leave it there, using the working slider to open and close the case.

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 It is metal, and unfortunately the broken parts are on the zipper that zips the two halves of the case. The music pocket above has one broken clasp but that’s not much of an issue, although if I can fix it anywhere I can fix it everywhere. 

I will check on the links as soon as I arrive at my destination.

Brad, I echo your lamentation. It’s silly to make nice quality cases that have such flimsy bits as to render them useless before their time.

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31 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

The zipper works fine. It’s the pull that is broken.

Cut a small leather strip to use as a pull.  Super glue the outside to the slider at one end, then loop the strip over, and glue the suede inside faces together.  Pass a thin braided cord through the loop you just made, and knot it.  Repeat the procedure if necessary, as long as you have the case.  :)

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replacing the entire zipper pull is easily doable.  You have to have needle nose pliers to be able to slide off the broken pull and replace it.  BUT - you must be careful not to pinch the teeth of the zipper.

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2 hours ago, violinnewb said:

replacing the entire zipper pull is easily doable.  You have to have needle nose pliers to be able to slide off the broken pull and replace it.  BUT - you must be careful not to pinch the teeth of the zipper.

Yup, but remember, we're dealing with a classical player.  He can't damage himself or the case as much with scissors and glue.  :ph34r:  ;)  :lol:

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3 hours ago, violinnewb said:

replacing the entire zipper pull is easily doable.  You have to have needle nose pliers to be able to slide off the broken pull and replace it.  BUT - you must be careful not to pinch the teeth of the zipper.

I can’t visualize this process. The slider slides easily. It’s just impossible to attach a pull to the slider though VdA’s suggestion might be workable( although I spent 6 years in the infantry, VdA, m’dear and can handle scissors)

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I've done things like that! On the existing pull, file off the remnants of the old loop, and file that top surface flat. Get another zipper pull, and grind/cut away the entire back, leaving a flat plate, with the loop an pull attached. Use JB Weld to glue the new zipper pull plate to the old zipper pull plate.

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Since "Most of the clasps on this violin case are broken too," maybe the best solution is just to trash it. Sometimes it can be psychically cleansing to just get rid of stuff.

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11 hours ago, FiddleDoug said:

I've done things like that! On the existing pull, file off the remnants of the old loop, and file that top surface flat. Get another zipper pull, and grind/cut away the entire back, leaving a flat plate, with the loop an pull attached. Use JB Weld to glue the new zipper pull plate to the old zipper pull plate.

This is a good solution.

I have run across a problem with kids who prop up their cases on the ends and rock back and forth on their cases, impatiently ( and mindlessly checking social media ) waiting for their rides. This rocking on the case distorts the plastic teeth on the zipper as it is exposed. If it is possible to catch the signs of wear, after-market rubber bumpers with screw-able fittings are installed. The rubber bumpers were purchased from a local shoe/ luggage repair store ( so i could actually see what they were like ) though online they were about $1 usd per piece, purchased in bulk. Install 3 or 4 bumpers.

For nice cases, the above work suggested by FiddleDoug is cheaper than purchasing a new cover, though a color change might also be psychologically altering ( perhaps not cleansing. ) It should also look more proper than the suggestion made below.

Bobelock covers were relatively cheap to replace, so am thankful to them. The luggage repair person told me that a YKK - branded zipper replacement was about $50 a foot, so about $200 for a fullsized violin case? or $400+ for a zippered cello case? 

On inexpensive cases, if possible, the zipper teeth should be waxed on occasion to reduce drag on the tab.

I do not want to spend much time on student cases but if a parent is unwilling to spend any additional money...

1)  wax zipper teeth and pull the tab over to a termination point. 

2)  chip ( chisel ) or file ( better ) paint off tab but leave any protrusions. Clean surface with alcohol. 

3)  use a larger gauged paperclip and bend many narrow loops with a needle or narrow nosed pliers.

4)  adhere the modified paperclip to the tab using strong epoxy, making a bubble to enclose clip and protrusion and wait a long time to dry. Leave loops on either side of the tab. 

5)  attach string to the loops on both sides.

6)  scold kid. Takes about 15 minutes. The repair takes about 20 min before drying time.

Key rings work fine when replacing a broken metal pull tab, but lately the yellow or orange or green or red miniature ( 3 - 4mm dia ) climbing rope material has been a better substitute. It is easier to see and it tends to pull better around the radius of the case when the kids are in a hurry.  

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Any shoe/luggage repair shops near you? They usually do this for far less money then the aggravation it will cost you.

Getting to be a dying business though.

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16 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I can’t visualize this process. The slider slides easily. It’s just impossible to attach a pull to the slider though VdA’s suggestion might be workable( although I spent 6 years in the infantry, VdA, m’dear and can handle scissors)

General comment first- lots of replies dealing with attaching loops for the pull assembly.  Phillip's issue isn't the pull grasp, but the entire mechanism itself.  See picture.

Philip, in reply to you, I am suggesting a new pull mechanism.  Using needle nose pliers, you will pinch the ends of the zipper where the pull mechanism stops.  This way, you can slide it off completely.  Then, slide in a new pull system. You will have to re-pinch the ends to prevent the pull from slipping all the way off.  I will try and find the website I used in the past for this issue.  I have replaced several zipper pulls this way.

Edit: I guess the correct term is the "slider."  Replace the slider.

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I don't think the Patagonia video applies to PhilipKT's situation. The zipper in the video is separable, like on a jacket. The zipper on PhilipKT's case only slides to the open position then stops, with the two sides still attached together. My vote is still for trashing the case.

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19 hours ago, MarkBouquet said:

I don't think the Patagonia video applies to PhilipKT's situation. The zipper in the video is separable, like on a jacket. The zipper on PhilipKT's case only slides to the open position then stops, with the two sides still attached together. My vote is still for trashing the case.

For a case, you just have to remove both zipper stops.  It is a 5 minute process and the zipper slide can be bought for about $5. Not sure if it gets any simpler and cheaper than that.

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