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Marcus Bonna Case Zipper Pulls

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I recently used a product from the electronics world to make my Marcus Bonna (Adams) euphonium case more convenient to use. The older Bonna cases had zipper pulls with an extra leatherette tab for each zipper pull. These were handy because when you are closing the case, the 2 zipper pulls are behind the case and out of your line of site. The leatherette extensions made the pulls easy to find by touch.

But the new Bonna cases have a zipper tab that is a custom design. It's attractive, but there is no "hole" in it large enough to attach a supplemental pull tab. The metal tabs are not very large and have a tapered shape (smaller end at the zipper). So I went to my local parts store and bought some heat-shrinkable tubing. This is used in electronics very often. Imagine you have made a solder connection between two wires. Wrapping electrical tape around the joint is not a great long-term solution. So instead you would have a piece of tubing over the connection that is slightly larger diameter than the wire. Then you hold a match under that tube and it shrinks up to 50% of its original diameter and neatly seals the connection. The tubing is pretty tough once shrunk.

For my situation now I cut some tubing about twice the length of the free portion of the metal tab. However, I began to worry about the nylon (or whatever) cover on the Bonna case being damaged by a lit match in close proximity. I grabbed little piece of leftover packing cardboard that had a convenient-size hole in it and put that over the zipper before I applied the match. The heat of the match shrank the tubing neatly around the metal pull, so you can see it shrank more near the zipper itself. That taper will hold it in place nicely.

Below are photos showing the results. It's not very artistic but it works quite well!

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  1. ghmerrill's Avatar
    Clever and effective (and quick). What I've done in similar circumstances is to cut off the original pull tab and replace it with a small split ring that a pull can be attached to. I suppose it helps if you have split ring pliers to take that approach -- or a lot of patience and commitment.
  2. Eupher6's Avatar
    I'm just not fond of cases with zippers, except for gig bags, which don't lend themselves well to a traditional case catch. Eventually - it's inevitable - that zipper will fail.

    My grumping aside, Dave, that looks like a great solution.
  3. bhodson's Avatar
    HI Dave
    Quick question. I know this is probably not the right place to ask... I have an Adams with the Bona case. I'm going to be flying to NYC with it and was wondering if you think the case is 'good enough' to protect my horn? Or if not, do you have any recommendations on another case I should use? Thanks very much.
  4. davewerden's Avatar
    bhodson: If packed properly in the Bonna case it should be as well protected as in any hard case. Use the wide leather strap that is at the end of the case to pull the horn "into" the padding there. This will keep the bell from hitting the end of the case if it is dropped.