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Old 18th January 2006, 07:14 PM   #1
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Default what to use as a nice amp case?

So I want to get my amp built already, I have all the parts, I just don't know what to build it on! I could fashion something out of metal but I know if will not look the greatest. It's a guitar amp with two transformers, three tubes, two pots and a switch or two. Where do you all get your chasis from?
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Old 18th January 2006, 07:25 PM   #2
Trebla is offline Trebla  United Kingdom
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There's a similar thread in the Class d section.

Enclosures, where do you get yours?
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Old 18th January 2006, 07:41 PM   #3
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Yes I read that one, unfortunately it's of little help. None list prices, and they are all overseas (for United States at least). Anyone know of any American suppliers?
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Old 18th January 2006, 07:50 PM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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Go shopping at a kitchen supply store.
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Old 18th January 2006, 08:03 PM   #5
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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YAAAAAAAAAAA, I can see the valves through the door of the microwave captain!!!!

Cool Idea though... will be spending some time in those sections next time at the shops.
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Old 18th January 2006, 08:09 PM   #6
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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It's true, kitchen shops are great for valve chassis and accessories. I regularly visit them in the hope of picking up something useful. There are currently some rather nice chromed "utensil holders" made of rings of 3mm wire and coarse gauze that are ideal for protecting 813. Candle-driven food warmers are ideal for valve preamplifiers (they even have ventilation slots). This week, I saw some (cheap) nicely jointed wooden bread bins that would make ideal power supply cases.

Think laterally.
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Old 18th January 2006, 08:18 PM   #7
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Just to echo what SY and EC are saying: don't forget IKEA. You can find many different wooden knick knack boxes there. Add an aluminum plate top and/or bottom, voila, a case!

I actually make all of mine, it's pretty easy. Just 3 pieces of wood and 2 pieces of aluminum. I make rabbets in the pieces of wood both to join them to each other and to attach the aluminum to, and all I use is my cheapo ripping blade in the table saw.
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Old 18th January 2006, 08:27 PM   #8
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Cleveland Ohio has just GOT to have more than a couple of enormous
scrap metal reprocessors. Some let you wander the yard; some don't.
Luckily my local ones do and they have mountains of cast off stainless and aluminum shapes and extrusions that just boggle the tinkerer's imagination, especially if you have the means to do some fabricating at home (god I'd love a tig welder for Christmas!). Very cheap by the pound.

Check out the yellow pages.

Incidentally, you can do astonishing things with aluminum using carbide bits on a table router, and ferrous-use blades on a table saw.
It's almost like woodworking. Extremely problematic SAF though. Even with the best dust removal going, you'll still end up finding little chips of aluminum tinsel throughout the house.
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Old 18th January 2006, 09:39 PM   #9
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The old standard method still works, and I use it for guitar amps. Buy a Hammond pre-made aluminum (or steel) chassis. Drill or punch the holes for the tube sockets and transformers, mount all of the parts, and make some type of front and rear panel covers. Marshall used Plexiglass, Fender used aluminum. The end result looks similar to an old Fender or Marshall chassis. Then you make a wood box and cover it with Tolex.

I have made the entire amp from Lexan (a plastic like material). This looks cool, but is a pain to work with. Lexan is the only clear material that doesn't melt at vacuum tube temperatures.

You can also use an aluminum top plate with wood sides. My 845SE stereo amp was made from a street sign that was left in my yard by a hurricane.

As mentioned previously you can find aluminum baking pans at the kitchen store. These are good chassis for small tube amps.

If you go the conventional box route you can get all of the supplies at Antique Electronic Supply. www.tubesandmore.com
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Old 19th January 2006, 01:10 AM   #10
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I've made an amp or two out of clear and smoked acrylic sheets. The base was made out of wood. My amp does get a bit warm but not too bad so the top does not warp. Plus, it is on the thicker side, about 3/16" I think. The clear top looks pretty neat if your wiring is all laid out nicely. I have a picture somewhere but need to figure out how to post it...
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