Crack;Bottlehead OTL
Mar 9, 2013 at 9:17 PM Post #1,576 of 11,216

swmtnbiker

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Quote:
I'm not a woodworker.  I tried using a router (not mounted in a table) and a crappy miter saw today to make a case out of oak.  That worked in terms of making the right dimension pieces, but my saw doesn't cut 45 degrees flat across boards well enough to mate up the corners.   So I decided to take apart the factory box and shore it up using wood glue and metal angle brackets internally.  That worked out OK.  The corners didn't meet up perfectly because the last guy had some dry wood glue in there.  But I think it looks fab-tabulous anyway.   I sanded it down to 400 grit and smoothed off all of the corners and edges just a tad.   I used some Danish wood oil (walnut color) to finish it off when I was done sanding.    
 
The front panel looks cool because there's a knot in the wood, so it sort of looks like an eye.   It catches the light the same way a tiger eye agate does.    Here's some photos now that it's dry.

 
Very nicely done!!
 
Mar 9, 2013 at 9:24 PM Post #1,577 of 11,216

FraGGleR

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Stop it guys!  You are really making me want to order a kit.
 
And possibly one of these: http://www.blumensteinaudio.bigcartel.com/product/wooden-chassis-for-bottlehead-tube-amplifiers
 
Mar 9, 2013 at 9:51 PM Post #1,580 of 11,216

silverhead

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The pre-fab case might seem spendy at 95 bucks, but the tools at Home Depot to make the same thing will run you several hundred dollars :wink:   I was contemplating it today, but I haven't lost all of my mind yet. 
 
Mar 9, 2013 at 10:04 PM Post #1,581 of 11,216

FraGGleR

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Quote:
The pre-fab case might seem spendy at 95 bucks, but the tools at Home Depot to make the same thing will run you several hundred dollars :wink:   I was contemplating it today, but I haven't lost all of my mind yet. 

As someone who has spent more on tools and experiments trying to come up with a way to get around spending money on front panels from Front Panel Express on another project, I am finally coming to my senses.  I adore DIY and will one day have a workshop that can match my passion, but right now, I need to save myself time, money, and frustration and just pay for pretty things.
 
Mar 9, 2013 at 10:24 PM Post #1,582 of 11,216

j123my

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Quote:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

Quote:
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Damn.. I need to learn how to finish wood.. 
biggrin.gif

 
Mar 10, 2013 at 4:38 AM Post #1,585 of 11,216

Armaegis

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Quote:
As someone who has spent more on tools and experiments trying to come up with a way to get around spending money on front panels from Front Panel Express on another project, I am finally coming to my senses.  I adore DIY and will one day have a workshop that can match my passion, but right now, I need to save myself time, money, and frustration and just pay for pretty things.

 
Every time I'm at the hardware store and pass by the sales for their tools, I keep reaching out for one then pulling my hand back. Same thing when I'm at the electronics shop and start wondering if I should pick up a kit to start etching my own boards. I *could* do it, but then I'd have an excuse to spend even more money and take up even more space that I don't have. All to make something that isn't quite as good and probably doesn't look as nice as one that I'd buy... sigh. DIY is a trap sometimes. 
 
Mar 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM Post #1,588 of 11,216

amcananey

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Quote:
@adam, I am hesitant to suggest anyone who has never built a kit before change up something like a volume pot during the initial construction. Different attenuators might connect to the circuit differently than the stock pot and that could be pretty confusing for some noobs. Recently someone went into a series of mods on a Bottlehead kit and bought an "upgrade" pot from someone else that came with the wrong instructions. Mondo frustration vent on the Bottlehead Forum (I guess maybe the guys who sold the pot didn't have a tech forum for him to vent on). If someone feels confident about it, go for it. But if one feels they are in new territory I suggest sticking with the basic program first and then doing mods.

 
Doc,
 
Ermmm....I was that guy.
rolleyes.gif
  FWIW, I never blamed Bottlehead for that problem - it was clearly the seller's fault and Paul quickly straightened me out by indicating that I should just wire it the same way as the stock pot. I was very grateful for his quick and helpful response. Paul also noted that "It is incredibly rare that a volume pot differs from the stock pot in the Crack in terms of connections." For me at least, it would have been 10x easier if I had just dropped that pot in when building the kit, since there are a lot of connections on the volume pot, and redoing them afterwards was a bit challenging to me, but I get why it makes sense for people to build the kit in stock form before experimenting and "upgrading" (FWIW, other than the Speedball, I wouldn't say any of my Crack upgrades were necessary or cost-effective. They were generally fun to do, and trying them gave me peace of mind that I wasn't missing out on anything, but to be clear: the stock Crack does not need to be upgraded in any way to sound phenomenal. Other than the Speedball, mods and upgrades are more about fun and personalization than about objective improvements in sound quality.
 
Best regards,
Adam
 
Mar 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM Post #1,590 of 11,216

elwappo99

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In blue? That would look pretty clean with the aluminum top. Hope you report back with pics! 
 
 
Quote:
I have an order placed, and I've started thinking about how I'd like to finish the wood. My plan is to polish the aluminum plate and treat the wood to look like this
 

 
adapting from these step-by-step instructions for finishing a guitar body.
 
I feel much more comfortable with the electrical assembly than the woodworking. :wink:

 

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