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Old 15th July 2009, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default Source for tube cages?

I'm trying to nail down the final layout for my new Tubelab Simple SE and am hoping someone can give me an assist. I really love the simple "Wooden box/aluminum plate/tubes and transformers on top" look but I've got a problem and she just turned 18 months old. Little fingers love glowing things.

I've got some really nice exotic hardwood from Africa that will make a cool base, but I can't find anyone that sells tube cages, other than the ugly (IMHO) Hammond cages on AES. I'm just looking for something simple/easy that will cover the tube complement of the Simple SE. Any sources? Anyone making anything like that that would to sell one to me?

If I can't find a cage than I think I'm going to go with something similar to the Fisher "enclosed box" cabinet that Tubelab shows on his website. That's my second choice because I really love to have the tubes on top, but I love my little girls fingers more (and my dog's nose!).

Thanks for any insight.
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Old 15th July 2009, 01:35 PM   #2
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My kids get into EVERYTHING so I have to think worst case with regards to safety. Even putting an amp up high on a shelf isn't good enough. One thing that Tubelab suggests is to take a wire basket and plop it on top upside down over the tubes. You can find things like that at Wal-Mart-like stores cheap in the office supplies section.

I've gotten into the habit of finding old dead amplifiers and gutting them for the chassis. You can replace the front panel with a nice piece of wood and do it on the cheap.

What I'd like to find is a perforated metal plate instead of the solid metal plates that are sold by Hammond. Then a wood box with one on top and one on the bottom should provide plenty of ventilation.
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Old 15th July 2009, 03:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by whitelabrat

What I'd like to find is a perforated metal plate instead of the solid metal plates that are sold by Hammond. Then a wood box with one on top and one on the bottom should provide plenty of ventilation.
If you have an industrial metal supply house in town, they should sell perforated steel and aluminum. I have one right down the street from my work
that sells perforated metal in different hole sizes, spacing, and mat'l thickness. I cut the stuff with a metal cutting table saw blade (Freud $40 at Home Depot) The metal supplier sells "rems" by the pound, but I have to stop in frequently to find appropriate sized metal. The metal cutting saw blade cuts AL like a hot knife thru butter. I routinely cut up to 1/4" thick AL for the chassis end plates with it.

The piece in the pic is .050' thick AL with 1/8" holes.
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File Type: jpg perf 1.jpg (65.9 KB, 439 views)
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Old 15th July 2009, 03:43 PM   #4
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Hi bigjppop,

Here are some tube protection frames which might have your interest. OK, I know they will probably not protect your daughters fingers to much, but at least it will protect the tube and a dogs nose.

http://www.vt4c.com/shop/program/mai..._id=2&hit_cat=

If you wrap some nice (golden) brass mesh around the tube between the tube and the protection frame this could be very nice, I think. In this way you will end up with a nice looking amp and good protection regarding small fingers.

A tube amp made of a cool wooden frame with at top like the one shown by Boywonder and the protection frames might be looking really cool. Give it a try (?).

Karsten
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Old 15th July 2009, 08:44 PM   #5
JimB is offline JimB  United States
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perforated metal plates such as boywonder describes are available at Small Parts- check their website, can't remember the url, just google small parts
Jim
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Old 15th July 2009, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by whitelabrat

What I'd like to find is a perforated metal plate...
www.mcmaster.com page 401, but you might not like the prices.
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Old 16th July 2009, 02:56 AM   #7
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Try OnlineMetals.com. Prices seem reasonable.

Martin
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Old 16th July 2009, 04:27 AM   #8
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
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Two things I can think of

Home Depot sells "expanded metal". It s got diamond holes cut into in. The real cheap kind is for using under plaster and tile but I'm thinking of the nicer type sold near the aluminum sheet stock. This metal is for covering vents. Paint it with a thick black paint. Comes in 2 foot squares.

The other option is to build the amp as if it were a guitar amp. Use that style. It can look good. See the photos for the "hi octane" on this guy's site. He does good work with low cost materials.
http://www.silvatone.bravepages.com/...et/Frame14.htm
http://www.silvatone.bravepages.com/...et/Frame15.htm

Click on "gallery" at the URL below for details.
http://www.silvatone.bravepages.com/

You might also combine the two ideas and build the Tolex covered box with handles and metal corners but use the home depot metal in place of the speaker grill cloth and get even better cooling.
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Old 16th July 2009, 05:24 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I had never thought of doing things guitar amp style; you learn something new everyday! If anybody has any thoughts on where to find tube cages I'm still looking. Both of the websites provided look very interesting as well. Now I just need to find one that will ship USPS (harder than it sounds!).
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Old 16th July 2009, 05:29 AM   #10
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P.S. Boy do I miss HOME DEPOT! I've lived a lot of places in this world and I'm not saying the US has the best of everything but in all my travels I've never come across anything quite like a Home Depot. All you guys that have one just down the street should be grateful for what you've got!
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