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DIY Stompboxes => Building your own stompbox => Topic started by: Sooner Boomer on May 18, 2019, 12:23:42 AM

Title: Neat enclosure
Post by: Sooner Boomer on May 18, 2019, 12:23:42 AM
I picked up a couple of these.  I'm sure I'll have a project to go in one soon.  One pre-drilled hole for a stomp switch.  I was thinking I would put in/out/power sockets on one end, and any knobs on the end closest to switch.

https://www.allelectronics.com/item/ah-8/8-extruded-aluminum-housing/1.html
Title: Re: Neat enclosure
Post by: R.G. on May 18, 2019, 11:24:10 AM
Neat find. It would also be good for pedalboard amplifiers too.

As a practical matter, I hate machining holes through heat sink fins. This is best done on a mill, which makes it easy - but not many pedal DIYers have mills.

Here's an additional possibility for you:
(https://www.onlinemetals.com/images/h75/h9a/8797930520606.jpg)
The dimensions on that are 1.5" tall, 3" wide, and as long as you want it, up to about 10 feet pet stick. It's sturdy, and for a mechanical duffer like me, it machines easily and I can put footswitches and jack holes anywhere I want them with a step drill bit. A length of 11-12 inches (that is, a just-less-than-a-foot offcut)is ~$10. I believe they may even do custom cuts for a modest fee per cut.

Here's the link.
https://www.onlinemetals.com/en/buy/aluminum/aluminum-rectangle-tube-6061-t6-extruded/pid/7021 (https://www.onlinemetals.com/en/buy/aluminum/aluminum-rectangle-tube-6061-t6-extruded/pid/7021)

Plugging the ends of extruded tubes is always a bit of a pain. One way it to make finished wood ends that fit into the holes. With the extruded rectangle, you can cut off a bit of the tube, or, if it's less than 2" tall, use 2x2" aluminum angle, and cut an L-shaped piece that just fits inside the end, and screws into the end for a flush metal end.
Title: Re: Neat enclosure
Post by: Mark Hammer on May 18, 2019, 07:19:12 PM
I bought, and used, old modem chassis, which are also extruded aluminum, though bigger dimensions.  There are two basic issues with them.  The area where one needs/wants to install controls or switches cannot be guaranteed to have a depth which permits installing what you want to install.  You can machine away what poses an obstacle, but it's a lotta work.  The other challenge is that installing a circuit and controls into a box that has no removable top or bottom is a lot like trying to fix the electronics of an ES-335, or similar.  Do you have pain in your backside?  That's the product of working with a chassis like that.

The material RG suggests does circumvent the first issue, but not the second one.  A possible solution is to machine an opening on the bottom so that you can get at stuff from the sides and underside.
Title: Re: Neat enclosure
Post by: Rob Strand on May 18, 2019, 07:30:33 PM
Quote
I bought, and used, old modem chassis, which are also extruded aluminum, though bigger dimensions.  There are two basic issues with them.  The area where one needs/wants to install controls or switches cannot be guaranteed to have a depth which permits installing what you want to install.  You can machine away what poses an obstacle, but it's a lotta work.  The other challenge is that installing a circuit and controls into a box that has no removable top or bottom is a lot like trying to fix the electronics of an ES-335, or similar.  Do you have pain in your backside?  That's the product of working with a chassis like that.
I bought some extruded stuff and yep for stuff like that it's a pain in the butt.

If you want to mount stuff to the enclosure as heatsink it's best to use an aluminium L-bracket.   Imagine mounting TO3 packages.  You can't get in there to solder them in place so either need sockets or poke the wires through the holes.  For pots you don't have the option to poke the wires through so you have to wire it up out of the box or use PCB mounted pots.   Mains transformers are a pain too.

The good thing about extrusion is it's strong and cheap.   The prices of folded metal enclosures is crazy these days.  They were so cheap with I was a kid.  At first the metal got thinner then later the price went up and now they are starting to disappear altogether.