How should I transport my steno machine?
July 16, 2013 2:20 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a bag to carry my steno machine around in and was wondering if anyone had any ideas.

This is what my machine looks like.

I currently transport it with the pods close together. While the body of the machine is robust, the keys are very delicate and I would like to find some sort of case that will not squish the keys down.

Right now, I am using a rolling laptop bag which it fits in, but once I zip the bag up, it squishes the keys. I would love to find some sort of a hard shell case for it, but the keys extend out a bit past the body, making the whole thing pretty thick.

I'm not even sure what I'm looking for; pretty much a bag where I can put the machine in horizontally (like you would a laptop), with the side with the bar going down first but that is roomy enough where zipping it up wouldn't cause the keys to be compressed. Ideally, something of a harder material; I could put some foam on top of the keys to pad it, but at least if the bag was accidentally squished, the machine wouldn't be.

posted by shipsthatburn to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
StenoWatchDog has some ideas.

The phrase you want to use to search the internet is "stenograph machine case", I think.
posted by blob at 2:41 PM on July 16, 2013

You should get a hard shell (e.g. Pelican, but there are other brands) gun / equipment case with "pick and pluck" foam.

The cheapest way to do that will be to buy a used Pelican case of the appropriate size off of eBay or similar, and then get some fresh foam for the inside and pluck or cut it to fit the equipment. Pelican sells fresh foam direct, for much less than the price of a new case, as do other suppliers.

(You can also get foam custom cut if you want, that's by far the most secure, but probably not worth it unless you are shipping the machine by air or something. Very high-end gun stores will sometimes do it, using a hot-wire X-Y axis cutting machine.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:46 PM on July 16, 2013

I have a vintage (antique?) steno machine that came in a hard case with a handle on top. It has a red velvet lining with a black leather exterior. It has a base with a box that clamps on top. Thing is indestructible but heavy.

Here is a link to an eBay auction that has one similar now. Maybe you could buy the whole thing and put yours in?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:50 PM on July 16, 2013

Something like a Samsonite Spinner case might also work for you. This one is 20"H x 13.5" W x 9"D, but there are larger sizes too, and they are easy to get around with.

My father used to line his camera case with firm egg-crate-type foam, and he simply cut out sections to fit his cameras, lenses and accessories. I think that approach would work for your machine too, plus space for a tripod and other accessories.
posted by MyTwoCentsToo at 3:04 PM on July 16, 2013

Lee Valley sells layered foam sheets that you cut to fit. I didn't like the "pick and pluck" case I had because the foam was cheap and it was in a state of constant disintegration.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:28 PM on July 16, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone. I'll look into those.
posted by shipsthatburn at 2:02 PM on July 17, 2013

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