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#1876423 - 04/09/12 08:07 PM What's your tool box?  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
I have my old, trusty, hard tool box I got from Tuner's Supply when I was in high school......that would make it 1976. It's the type that is rectangular box-shaped, and opens like a fishing tackle box. I lined the trays with blue felt when I first got it, per my mentor's instruction, and it still has that same lining. It holds everything and is fairly accessible, but it's 36 years old, kinda beat up-looking, and the metal corner covers and latches are getting rusty.

I use it for my tuning box, and I have a small upper cabinet for my regulating and string repair tools.

So, I thought I'd update and try to keep it looking professional and successful, and settled on the Genck "Grand Master" tool case Schaff sells. Just got it today, and color me disappointed. For the kind of money they're charging, I expected a whole lot more. I don't even feel like it will hold the tools I want to carry to be prepared for most things encountered in a routine tuning, let alone a decent set of regulating tools, or, worse yet, string repair tools. I'm probably going to send it back.

I just scanned through a three year-old thread here on the subject, didn't see much helpful in it.

What are you guys using? What do you like about what you have?



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
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#1876444 - 04/09/12 08:38 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Gene Nelson Offline
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Old Hangtown California
Bought the Genck about 10 years ago and had similar impression.
About 3 years ago I bought a nice bag from Duluth. They have several that are tool friendly, the one I really like has a shoulder strap and their lunch bag is insulated - I can carry volatiles in it during summertime. Plus they look nice.


RPT
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#1876454 - 04/09/12 08:53 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Tools grin


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1876466 - 04/09/12 09:07 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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BDB Offline
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Still use this.

I have thought that I might take photos of what is in my tool bag and post them sometime. That might be useful to a lot of people. It is a big undertaking, though, and there are other things I need to do first. Like finishing my taxes! The printer jammed just from trying to print them out today!


Semipro Tech
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#1876530 - 04/09/12 11:06 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
I wonder if the Datamaster cases would be better? I've got an older Genck case too that I'm not happy with. The zipper doesn't always close, it catches on things, tools fall around inside of it, falling out of place when it's opened and closed etc. I bought it so that I wouldn't have to carry so much CRAP around... I used to carry a little sears one just to hold my tuning things but, I found as time went on that I kept adding things to it as I had to walk out to my car. Next thing you know, I'm carrying around a larger and larger and larger case again. Sort of defeats the purpose.

Something like this maybe? http://www.vandaking.com/s-267-datamaster-case.html


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1876538 - 04/09/12 11:27 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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RoyP Offline
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I use a DT Pro technicians backpack from Duluth. It is nice if you have to park a long walk from work, as I often do. They don't seem to carry them any more. I would buy another if I could find one.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
#1876545 - 04/09/12 11:33 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1876589 - 04/10/12 01:11 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Heh. I just knew someone would post, "Geez! What is your problem?? I have that case and I LOVE it!"

Nice to see that hasn't happened..........yet.

I think I'l take a picture of my 'Old Faithful' and post it. Googling everything I could think of, and not a single case that looks like mine(eg., "cantilevered tool case," "vintage tool case", etc.).



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1876653 - 04/10/12 07:39 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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UnrightTooner Offline
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Bradford County, PA
Same one that I have had for years:

Click Here (Don't know why the image won't show.)

It's the right size, no sharp corners, waterproof, sturdy, comfortable handle, inconspicuous, and has a hard body so I am not temped to keep stuffing more and more into it and let the case bulge to the max. laugh


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#1876690 - 04/10/12 09:11 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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jim ialeggio Offline
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Originally Posted by OperaTenor

What are you guys using? What do you like about what you have?


Ha...that's interesting. I've never liked those technician cases, either.

I have a canvas open case somewhat similar to the gatemouth Duluth bags, but its called a Riggers Bag. I prefer to have my screw drivers sticking out of the side pockets where I can see and just grab'em. Other tools are inside in a custom tool roll my wife made me, which goes inside the open mouth bag. The tuning stuff as well has its own tool roll.

I like the tool rolls. I'm a visual thinker, and can organize my brain better if I see all the tools. If any tool is inside some flap thing, where I can't see it...goodbye, man...its gone...I'll never remember where I put it...I'd have to un-zip 5 million pockets to find the poor thing.

Jim Ialeggio

Last edited by jim ialeggio; 04/10/12 09:24 AM.

Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA
#1876714 - 04/10/12 09:48 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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RestorerPhil Offline
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I have been using the biggest Plano box, Model 9606, for several years.


At two or three times I have considered something like a Glink, but just couldn't justify it, especially since any box can look beaten and battered after a while. I’m on my third one of these now, since I do replace them due to appearance and due to the fact that the arms which support the larger folding trays die of fatigue after a while and die quickly if you accidentally step on them. (Not that I would ever clumsily do that. smirk )

The weakest point is the handle. It is one piece of molded plastic with a pin shape that takes a lot of stress, if you fill the box up. (Not that I would ever overload a tool box,of course. blush ) When it pops on one side, I install an unseen block of wood in the lid assembly and use a large gauge round head screw to take the place of the pin. Then I am back in business. I have separated out my stringing tools now, putting them in another box so as to reduce the weight in the big Plano.

When I retire one of these, they shift to some other duty around the shop or in the van.


http://www.planomolding.com/fishing/fishing-products/


Lavender Piano Services
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#1876724 - 04/10/12 10:00 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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I've gone to a backpack from SwissGear which allows me to throw it over my shoulder, carry my tool box and shake a hand when the door is opened. Also have a shoehorn, my mouse, business cards, flash disk and update disks for disklavier work. My tools

I'm thinking of trying to make my own pallet with some 1/4 round and black mackintosh cloth to fit in the backpack

Last edited by Les Koltvedt; 04/10/12 10:02 AM.

Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
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#1876752 - 04/10/12 11:15 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Tuner X Offline
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I have used a JENSEN case model 216-402 for many years. You can select your own pallets. It is will hold four of them with a center compartment for stand-up containers of fluids. Pouches on the ends for hammers and mute strips. The best shoulder strap is a Victorinox Lifestyle 3.0 Comfort Fit.
All the best!

#1876766 - 04/10/12 11:40 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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I just use an aluminum/stainless steel equipment case, I think it was about $40, 10 years ago at Costco. My small netbook ETD fits in the middle and it can take the Fujan if I remove the rosewood knob off the end. For my music wire in the field I use an airtight Pelican case with dessicant in it. All my glues, epoxy, solvents, clp ect go into a small portable cooler that has a 12 volt heat/cool function on it. During the winter the cooler is plugged into a digital timer that cycles the heat into it for 1 minute every hour and this keeps everything from freezing if left in the car.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#1877195 - 04/11/12 12:35 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
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Well, I seem to have a "very expensive" tool case. (It's little short of Divine providence that I didn't have to take out a 70-year mortgage just to make the initial down payment on the first week's interest on the loan! shocked )
Considering my current income from piano work (and the income of who I'll compare to), I think it would take me a LOT longer to pay for my tool case, than it would take the United States government to pay off the entire national debt.


OH... I forgot to mention .... my tool case is manufactured, I believe, by S. C. Johnson & Son, and sold under the brand name Ziploc. wink


Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
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#1877828 - 04/11/12 10:03 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Bob Offline
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Florida
I use one similar to BDB's Bucket boss. I keep my liquids in the outside pockets so they don't leak or spill inside the bag. My vacuum (metro vac) goes in a second bag, so I've got a bag in each hand. I put them both on a small wheeled luggage cart for schools and churches.

I just tried the Datamaster type with built in wheels, and found it too big, too heavy, and unwieldy. It certainly holds a bunch of stuff, though.

A tech here uses a back pack, and I know someone in New York City who uses a rolling suitcase - works well on buses and subway.

#1878076 - 04/12/12 08:46 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: Emmery]  
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South Jersey
Originally Posted by Emmery
I just use an aluminum/stainless steel equipment case, I think it was about $40, 10 years ago at Costco. My small netbook ETD fits in the middle and it can take the Fujan if I remove the rosewood knob off the end. For my music wire in the field I use an airtight Pelican case with dessicant in it. All my glues, epoxy, solvents, clp ect go into a small portable cooler that has a 12 volt heat/cool function on it. During the winter the cooler is plugged into a digital timer that cycles the heat into it for 1 minute every hour and this keeps everything from freezing if left in the car.


Very cool! I often leave stuff in the car too, and have wondered if there was a way to keep its temperature better regulated. Where did you get the cooler/heater?

I carry my tools in an aluminum briefcase -this exact model I think. Some of the larger tools can fall around inside, but hasn't been too much of an issue. I've thought about attaching some kind of velcro straps to the inside to hold things down.

Only problem is that when I place it upright on the floor or something, it usually falls over. Weight isn't very evenly distributed.


Ben Patterson, RPT
South Jersey Piano Service, LLC
www.sjpianoservice.com
#1878108 - 04/12/12 09:54 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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RonTuner Online content
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Chicagoland
I used to use a nice bag from Duluth Trading company - two sided with lots of tool slots - too bad they don't sell it anymore! It got to be too heavy to carry when I was having trouble with my hip, so I went back to the little video camera bag with a shoulder strap. Two sections in the middle allow for a small amount of liquids and basic tuning/regulating tools. Zipper front pouch for the basics for tuning. Two end pockets. It's looking a little worn, I'll have to go look for another one soon!

I spread out everything from the old bag on the ping pong table and went through a brutal selection process. The big bag stays in the car along with stringing stuff and vacuum. I must've done alright, because I don't often need to go out to the car...

Ron Koval

#1878116 - 04/12/12 10:12 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Dave Stahl Offline
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Last year I broke down, forked out the cash, and bought a Genck 2700. Yeah, I know, there are a lot of less expensive bags that would work ok, but I wasn't satisfied with anything else I saw. It isn't light, but the shoulder strap is nice. Here's a link to a pic: Genck 2700 case

I posted a review of this case exactly a year ago, so I should give it an update.

After a year's worth of home service calls, it still does a great job. Nothing broken, zippers all still good (one of my major complaints with the cheapies I've had in the past). It fits an amazing amount of stuff, and is solidly built in the USA! Best bag I've ever owned by a long sight.


Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
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#1878162 - 04/12/12 11:33 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: Dave Stahl]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by Dave Stahl
Last year I broke down, forked out the cash, and bought a Genck 2700. Yeah, I know, there are a lot of less expensive bags that would work ok, but I wasn't satisfied with anything else I saw. It isn't light, but the shoulder strap is nice. Here's a link to a pic: Genck 2700 case

I posted a review of this case exactly a year ago, so I should give it an update.

After a year's worth of home service calls, it still does a great job. Nothing broken, zippers all still good (one of my major complaints with the cheapies I've had in the past). It fits an amazing amount of stuff, and is solidly built in the USA! Best bag I've ever owned by a long sight.


This is the case they list as the "Grand Master" on the Schaff site now. It's the one I just got, and upon initially attempting to fit my tools in the pockets, it seemed like everything was going to be an awkward fit. I guess I had a preconceived notion that I'd have individual pockets for all of my regulating tools, much like a tool roll, and that there would be a pocket for my tuning hammer so it would be right at the top when I opened the case. As far as I can tell, the only suitable space for the hammer is down in the hard tray, which seems to me like it would be kind of buried. As for the regulating tools, the way the pockets are shaped, they would have to be bunched in the pockets in order to both have enough storage for them, and so they didn't fall out.

Maybe I'm too picky?

I haven't sent it back yet, so maybe I'll pull it out again and reexamine it.

Also, did you get a neoprene pad with yours? Is that supposed to be a cushion of some kind?

[edit to add] So there *is* supposed to be a shoulder strap with it? Missing in mine.

Last edited by OperaTenor; 04/12/12 11:36 AM.

Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1878175 - 04/12/12 11:56 AM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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BDB Offline
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I go through lots of shoulder straps. I generally replace them when the hook is worn about half-way through, although they tend to break at the swivel. I was fortunate enough last time that I got a new one about a week before the old one broke.


Semipro Tech
#1878182 - 04/12/12 12:08 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Phil D Offline
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Has anybody been able to find a decent shoulder strap that doesn't wear through? I've given up, the brass/plastic fasteners break too easily with the weight!

#1878249 - 04/12/12 02:20 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Tuner X Offline
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Best shoulder strap, Victorinox Lifestyle 3.0 Comfort Fit. The best I have found in
35 yrs. Heavy duty with great cushion.
All the best!

#1878275 - 04/12/12 03:05 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: Tuner X]  
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Boone, Iowa, USA
Hi all - Nice topic. Here's a couple of photos for a toolbox on the cheap.
On the outside - a mild-mannered $2 suitcase from Goodwill.

[Linked Image]

On the inside - weighing more than a small St. Bernard - a tool case which has everything I need on 95% of my calls.
[Linked Image]

Not very inspiring to look at, but it gets the job done. Chuck



Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke
#1878394 - 04/12/12 06:34 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Chuck, I love the adaptation. Thanks for posting.


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1878408 - 04/12/12 06:55 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Here's my old case. As I mentioned earlier, from Tuner's Supply, back in 1976:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

It holds most of what I need it to, and I'm pretty sure I could cram my regulating tools in without too much trouble, but not my stringing stuff.

Has anyone seen a case like this available these days?


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1878426 - 04/12/12 07:27 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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jim ialeggio Offline
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shirley, MA
Originally Posted by OperaTenor

[Linked Image]

It holds most of what I need it to


Hey, where's the snickers bar!!

Jim Ialeggio


Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA
#1878429 - 04/12/12 07:39 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: jim ialeggio]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by jim ialeggio
Originally Posted by OperaTenor

[Linked Image]

It holds most of what I need it to


Hey, where's the snickers bar!!

Jim Ialeggio


laugh

You can probably see what I have instead. I get those Nature Valley peanut bars from Costco. Those are enough to stave off the Snickers cravings...


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1878434 - 04/12/12 07:47 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Rich Galassini just posted this on FB for my benefit. I think he wants me to stop whining...

[Linked Image]

His caption: "Jim Boydston thinks HIS piano tool case is old the battered. He don't KNOW old and battered!"

I'm humbled...


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1878562 - 04/12/12 11:34 PM Re: What's your tool box? [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Dave Stahl Offline
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There are places to clip a strap on, though I do remember that a strap is not included. One could purchase a shoulder strap with the case, but it would be extra (not much, though).

I created more pockets by using the pallet from an older version of a Genck that I had. It fit in the main part of the case just fine, and gave more more slots for skinny little metal things...

Most of my day to day tools went in the side zipper pocket: hammer, mute strips, a few regulation tools. Invoice folder went in the bigger side pocket.

The foam pad I used just to secure all the tools, though it is really for laptop protection.

I'd recommend giving it another try.
Originally Posted by OperaTenor
Originally Posted by Dave Stahl
Last year I broke down, forked out the cash, and bought a Genck 2700. Yeah, I know, there are a lot of less expensive bags that would work ok, but I wasn't satisfied with anything else I saw. It isn't light, but the shoulder strap is nice. Here's a link to a pic: Genck 2700 case

I posted a review of this case exactly a year ago, so I should give it an update.

After a year's worth of home service calls, it still does a great job. Nothing broken, zippers all still good (one of my major complaints with the cheapies I've had in the past). It fits an amazing amount of stuff, and is solidly built in the USA! Best bag I've ever owned by a long sight.


This is the case they list as the "Grand Master" on the Schaff site now. It's the one I just got, and upon initially attempting to fit my tools in the pockets, it seemed like everything was going to be an awkward fit. I guess I had a preconceived notion that I'd have individual pockets for all of my regulating tools, much like a tool roll, and that there would be a pocket for my tuning hammer so it would be right at the top when I opened the case. As far as I can tell, the only suitable space for the hammer is down in the hard tray, which seems to me like it would be kind of buried. As for the regulating tools, the way the pockets are shaped, they would have to be bunched in the pockets in order to both have enough storage for them, and so they didn't fall out.

Maybe I'm too picky?

I haven't sent it back yet, so maybe I'll pull it out again and reexamine it.

Also, did you get a neoprene pad with yours? Is that supposed to be a cushion of some kind?

[edit to add] So there *is* supposed to be a shoulder strap with it? Missing in mine.


Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net
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