A $3.50 investment for a 9-1/4" piece of thin schedule PVC water pipe, friction fit end caps, craft shop felt -- 20 minutes and you're ready to blow.
The end caps are for normal 1" inner diameter schedule 40 PVC plumbing pipe fittings. I used thinner schedule (1/16" wall thickness) tubing, so the outer tube diameter is 1-5/16" and inner diameter is 1-3/16" (will accommodate hi-wave lip plates). Still tougher than any wood case. Fastidious guy that I am, I even put a dot on the end I prefer to open.
Best of all, it's an "any idiot can do it"
project unless you buy self-adhesive felt like I did -- never could
figure out how
to get it inside the tube before it started sticking to the tube, to
to me, etc. Besides, the stickum might outgas who knows what -- I've
no trouble with silver tarnishing so far.
I hear that some people glue the end caps on, then saw the pipe longitudinally and glue on hinges and a latch, but that seems like 'way too much work to me.
Now I need another 11' of headjoints -- it would be a shame to waste the rest of the $2 pipe....
Since there can never be too much of a good thing, compare my cheap-o model with the "more is better" headcase above. Using 2" heavy schedule PVC with plumber's pipe threaded "clean-out" end cap and plenty of room inside for interior padding, one could use this puppy to fend off muggers without fear of damaging the headjoint inside. It can also help flutists cope with feelings of inadequacy around musician friends with bigger instruments....
Images © J. W. Sallenger