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DIY 5U Case Questions
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author DIY 5U Case Questions
RussiaZero23
MrNezumi wrote:


I started this thread and here are some pics of the results. Other than using common sense, I don’t think there are any rules. My cabinet has a mix of (mostly) MOTM and MU. If it were strictly one or the other it would be roughly 17 MU spaces or 21 MOTM.

I used white ash for my rails, but unlike most I drilled holes and used bolts to mount the modules. Since it isn’t very big I can easily move it away from the wall to reach inside to add/subtract/relocate modules


Beautiful work there. I Made mine from Rogers DIY instructions as well. Made out of Red Oak. I do suggest to make the rails out of hard wood as well. My rails was Red oak.

The Stain was hard getting right and I had to do a few takes on it.
It was my first time. These are shots of it. 16U wide and very heavy.


Huba-Swift
MrNezumi wrote:
About the T-slot rails - I have minimal experience with them, but I think there could be trouble using them for a mixed format case. They would solve the width problem, but I'm not sure how well they would handle the difference in mounting hole height. The MU holes are much closer to the (bottom/top) edge than the MOTM ones are.
Didn't even think of that, dang. I don't actually own any MOTM modules, but that's mainly in part because there's no nice way of having the two in the same case, and I wouldn't but enough MOTM to justify them having their own case. Back to thinking!

Great looking cabinet RussiaZero23! That stain looks really nice. Since it looks like we're all posting pictures of our recent DIY cabinets... Here's the one I built for a friend. I'm starting to wish I had stained it instead of using tung oil and clear-coat after seeing Zero's, but oh well. I still like the way it looks.


Rex Coil 7
hamildad wrote:
just a quick question here which seems to fit this thread.

Is there any reason why 5U cases seem to be standard sizes?

I can understand legacy sizes, such as Model 15 cases.

but the cases sold seem to be 11,22,44 (2x22) (DOTCOM)

and up to 10 ( Moon Modular)

thinking about DIYing a case and 11 seems to small and 20 seems too big, so wondered about making a 13wide case.

just wondered if these sizes correlated to power supply boards or anything else I might have overlooked.
My cabs are 14 spaces wide (I have two). I bought them "flat pack" from one of our members *Christopher Winkels when he was selling flat pack kits for 5U modules.

(I promise I'll post just this one picture) ..... this seems like a thousand years ago since that synth doesn't look much like that at all anymore. I made a 1.5" gap between the two 14 space cabinets. The entire works is "screwed ~n~ glued" together, it's nearly one single piece of wood and isn't coming apart without a chainsaw. I also installed "T-Nuts" in every single predrilled module screw hole (88 of those things!) so now each module screw is a 6-32 and they screw into all metal inserts. It really wasn't that big of a job, took my time, everything aligned WONDERFULLY (even though some of the smarty smart guys said I would never be able to properly align those T-Nuts and the module screws wouldn't align with the holes in each module ... WRONG!). Ok ... so two pictures, just to illustrate the T-Nut installation.... but that's all, I swear!






Member *Christopher Winkels
no longer sells these 14 space cabinet kits ... which is a damned shame since they were about $130 shipped! They required full assembly, but the shipping was low due to them being "flat pack" designs.

So, short answer to your question is ~no~, not all 5U cabs are made in legacy widths or "standard" widths.

thumbs up
burdij
MrNezumi wrote:

About the T-slot rails - I have minimal experience with them, but I think there could be trouble using them for a mixed format case. They would solve the width problem, but I'm not sure how well they would handle the difference in mounting hole height. The MU holes are much closer to the (bottom/top) edge than the MOTM ones are.


Because the standard MOTM panel has such large holes, it turns out that if you carefully space the tracks in the case opening it should accommodate both formats.

First of all, it might not work as a retrofit in an existing case as the track is 20 thousandths wider than the average cabinet mounting rail. Because of that, the opening needs to be 8.790 inches instead of 8.750. Making it even a bit wider and using shims to adjust the rail spacing serves to avoid the "I keep cutting it and cutting it and its still too short" problem.

The offset for a MU mounting hole from the edge of the panel is .170 inches and the hole diameter is 0.150 inches. This puts the mounting hole almost perfectly in the middle of the 10mm rail at .197 assuming that the .020 extra rail width was taken into account.

The size of the standard track screw is 3mm or .118 inches so that fits the .150 hole and gives a little clearance.

The MT mounting hole is .243 inches from the edge of the panel and the hole is .231 in diameter. Because the hole is so large, the edge of the hole nearest the edge of the panel is within .128 inches. If the center of the rail is at .197 inches that means that the centerline will fall inside the hole with about .069 inches of clearance to the edge of the hole. This will accommodate the 3mm screw with a few thousandths to spare.

Obviously this calls for careful construction to maintain the tolerances and has one compromise which is that a washer under the MOTM mounting screws will probably be necessary due to the size of the hole vs. the size of the 3mm screw head but it appears that it could work.
MrNezumi
burdij wrote:
MrNezumi wrote:

About the T-slot rails - I have minimal experience with them, but I think there could be trouble using them for a mixed format case. They would solve the width problem, but I'm not sure how well they would handle the difference in mounting hole height. The MU holes are much closer to the (bottom/top) edge than the MOTM ones are.


Because the standard MOTM panel has such large holes, it turns out that if you carefully space the tracks in the case opening it should accommodate both formats.

First of all, it might not work as a retrofit in an existing case as the track is 20 thousandths wider than the average cabinet mounting rail. Because of that, the opening needs to be 8.790 inches instead of 8.750. Making it even a bit wider and using shims to adjust the rail spacing serves to avoid the "I keep cutting it and cutting it and its still too short" problem.

The offset for a MU mounting hole from the edge of the panel is .170 inches and the hole diameter is 0.150 inches. This puts the mounting hole almost perfectly in the middle of the 10mm rail at .197 assuming that the .020 extra rail width was taken into account.

The size of the standard track screw is 3mm or .118 inches so that fits the .150 hole and gives a little clearance.

The MT mounting hole is .243 inches from the edge of the panel and the hole is .231 in diameter. Because the hole is so large, the edge of the hole nearest the edge of the panel is within .128 inches. If the center of the rail is at .197 inches that means that the centerline will fall inside the hole with about .069 inches of clearance to the edge of the hole. This will accommodate the 3mm screw with a few thousandths to spare.

Obviously this calls for careful construction to maintain the tolerances and has one compromise which is that a washer under the MOTM mounting screws will probably be necessary due to the size of the hole vs. the size of the 3mm screw head but it appears that it could work.


I don't have time to run all the numbers, but there might be some problems with the way you're looking at this.

First, the MOTM is .213" (you listed .231) and the MU is .170" (not .150"). Secondly, the MOTM panel is 8.735" not 8.75" like MU. And this is assuming that everything is perfect and not varying in the tolerances. If you have the top aligned it will move the bottom MOTM holes up .015".

I haven't seen anything about how much wiggle there is for the nuts. This could help if there is enough.
tardishead
Does anyone here have any experience with Tolex? I would like to build some portable cabinets bit like the Moog Model 15 but with three rows of 5u modules not the smaller ones at the bottom like on original Moog Modulars.
I want to be able to carry them like guitar amps kinda.
Theres a couple of nice definitive ways to wrap tolex. I wonder how the original Moogs were wrapped. Or dot com for that matter - who also make really nice cabs.
I love real hardwood. I used to work as a cabinet maker. But I hate it when it gets dings in it. Tolex kinda hides the dings. I plan to take cabs home to work on stuff and not at the studio. So its inevitable that its gonna get bashed sometimes. But tolex has got that real hardwearing look together with corner protectors and hinged cover. Definitely not cheap though. Just like anything if you want the real deal you have to pay for it.
MrNezumi
tardishead wrote:
Does anyone here have any experience with Tolex? I would like to build some portable cabinets bit like the Moog Model 15 but with three rows of 5u modules not the smaller ones at the bottom like on original Moog Modulars.
I want to be able to carry them like guitar amps kinda.
Theres a couple of nice definitive ways to wrap tolex. I wonder how the original Moogs were wrapped. Or dot com for that matter - who also make really nice cabs.
I love real hardwood. I used to work as a cabinet maker. But I hate it when it gets dings in it. Tolex kinda hides the dings. I plan to take cabs home to work on stuff and not at the studio. So its inevitable that its gonna get bashed sometimes. But tolex has got that real hardwearing look together with corner protectors and hinged cover. Definitely not cheap though. Just like anything if you want the real deal you have to pay for it.


Flareless did a few recently. He posted a video he followed in this thread:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=183143&highlight=

Scroll to bottom to Flareless' post.
Flareless
That video was VERY helpful in working with Tolex.
tardishead
Yeh I've seen that video. Its a bit rough and ready especially at the corners - he seems to use the heat gun to bodge things together a bit. But hey if it looks good and you can't notice the slight discrepancies who cares. Some guys finesse it some beat it into submission - everybody has their own technique.
Rex Coil 7
Here's another .... it's about putting new Tolex on Rhodes EPs.



seriously, i just don't get it
tardishead
Ah ok haven't seen that one
A bit more skill I would say
I've got equipment with different stylles of Tolex wrapping
Some classy some not so
There seems to be no standard
If I'm going to bother to do some more cases I wanna have a strong idea of how I'm gonna do it.
tardishead
Ah ok haven't seen that one
A bit more skill I would say
I've got equipment with different stylles of Tolex wrapping
Some classy some not so
There seems to be no standard
If I'm going to bother to do some more cases I wanna have a strong idea of how I'm gonna do it.
CZ Rider
I made a few Moog P style cabinets. Never did tolex before, but with only that first video as instruction, was able to do an OK job. Used the same pattern as Marshall cabinets use, as that was the closest match to the original Moog pattern. I used brush on glue to apply the tolex. Had a nice razor knife on a wood surface with a good metal straight edge. Did it all outside as the glue had strong vapors.
A few pics of the project.
Here is the wood cases to be covered.


I made three small 8U wide cabinets and one Moog size P cabinet.
Here are the three 8U cabinets after covering.



And the P style cabinet, tolex covered with modules mounted.


And the back of the cabinet.


I did not make front covers as I did not really need any. I was surprised how easy it was to do tolex, and the cabinets looked great. With all supplies cost less than purchasing one manufactured cabinet to make four cabinets. Supplies included a roller, heat gun.glue, brush, razor knife and a 3' straight edge, along with the tolex and wood.
Pic of the finished cabinets with the original Moog IP. Matched quite well.
Rex Coil 7
^ Holy shit, *CZ. This is WAY out of my league. And here I thought you were just some lucky bastard with a bunch of Moog stuff! Was I ever WRONG!

Between what I've seen you do (making full-on DIY joysticks, ring mods, and now CABS TOO?) ... you're quite the synthesizer master craftsman. Where I am the journeyman by comparison, doubtlessly so.

Precisely why I went with Rustoleum Truck Bed Liner as a finish. Sometimes I call it "tolex in a can". It is very easy to do touch ups with, and is far more durable than Tolex. Especially useful for those of us without the patience or ability to do such nice work (as you've done). I could do it, but chances are it would look like ass on a box.

With the bed liner, I just apply it in several layers after finish sanding and fixing imperfections with wood filler. Dents are easily fixed with touch up coats.

Not to say that it is better or even appropriate to use in given situations (such as how you were matching an existing covering). However, for people that want ~that look~ but are frightened away from using Tolex because of the process, the truck bed liner spray is a very viable alternative.



One may also apply it to module panels or other panels to achieve the exact same finish as that which is applied to their cabinet .....





By the way *CZ .... that keyboard of yours .... it looks like a Roland or even an old Oberheim that you've attached a Moog badge of sorts to it. Or is it ...... ??? hmmm.....

Excellent work, per usual!! I don't think I've ever seen anything you've done that stinks.

thumbs up
tardishead
Quote:
And the P style cabinet, tolex covered with modules mounted.


Hell yeh that looks amazing
Do you have dimensional drawings for those?
tardishead
Quote:
Used the same pattern as Marshall cabinets use, as that was the closest match to the original Moog pattern.

What pattern exactly. Is that when the seam is next to one of the bottom corners?
CZ Rider
tardishead wrote:
Quote:
Used the same pattern as Marshall cabinets use, as that was the closest match to the original Moog pattern.

What pattern exactly. Is that when the seam is next to one of the bottom corners?

Grain might be a more accurate description. I chose the closest match to the original Moog grain.
Can't recall exactly where I purchased the tolex, but it was a vintage amplifier parts retailer.
Here is a link to see the various grain and colors available. I chose the "rough black" grain.
http://www.thevintagesound.com/store/tolex-and-tweed-specialty-tolex-c -8_34.html

The Moog P cabinet dimensions are 8" deep, 24 3/8" high and 18" wide. Moog used 1/2" plywood. I did simple butt joints and glued them together. So my top and bottom pieces were 18" X 8" and sides 23 3/8" X 8". I think that was I cut them to. Just purchased a 4' X 8' X 1/2" sheet of plywood and ripped it with a table saw.
I did a few walnut cabinets, but those were the first tolex type. Wanted to expand the original Moog.
Here is an almost 5U Aries modular I did in walnut.
Can see the general construction, with walnut sides, top, cross pieces and a valance panel. Used a 3/4" plywood base.


The walnut turned out nice.
2 rows of Aries and bottom row frack.

tardishead
You did a stellar job
In the moog cabs it looks like all edges are routed with a 1/4" roundover apart from the front face is that right? What did you do for fixing rails - aluminium or hardwood?
Really inspiring! I'm going to do tops for mine because they will be transported
CZ Rider
Rex Coil 7 wrote:


By the way *CZ .... that keyboard of yours .... it looks like a Roland or even an old Oberheim that you've attached a Moog badge of sorts to it. Or is it ...... ??? hmmm.....

Excellent work, per usual!! I don't think I've ever seen anything you've done that stinks.

thumbs up


That's a Roland MKB-1000. The Moog logo was found on eBay, a large badge that went on the Sonic-6. Really nice 7 octave MIDI controller, let's me split or layer two MIDI channels and has a great weighted action. Helps tuning the 901's when you have a piano on the same key as reference. So much fun to layer the low note priority Moog with other poly synths. That stuff was magic back in the 70's.

My favorite DIY project was a custom Moog 1150 ribbon controller made into a synthesizer/guitar. Done in red mahogany, looks wicked badass.
]
CZ Rider
tardishead wrote:

In the moog cabs it looks like all edges are routed with a 1/4" roundover apart from the front face is that right? What did you do for fixing rails - aluminium or hardwood?

Yes, the back edges of the Moog style cabinets are rounded. Probably the only reason for this is for those metal corner pieces. I did not notice until I tried to fit those metal corners. I just used a rough grit drill disk to round the back edge.

I used aluminum 1/2" bar stock tapped for 6-32 for my mounting rails. The original Moog used two metal pans for both strength and mounting surface. I tried to replicate this using aluminum L stock and aluminum plate bolted together.

Here is the mounting surface.


And how I bolted it together.


Here are the three mounting rails. The bottom pan was made shorter due to circuit board clearance that I had mounted in the bottom of the cabinet.



Here they are mounted in the cabinet. Painted black similar to the dotcom rack mounts.


The top was just the rail mounted to a small 1/4" wood strip, screwed to the top.


For that Aries cabinet I used a different method.
I used tinnerman clips mounted on aluminum with a bent L.


The tinnermans just tap in with a hammer and have a little wiggle room so the drilled holes can be less accurate.


Both methods work great. Tapping the 6-32 and aligning the holes required a bit of accuracy. The original Moog modules did use larger mounting holes and wider truss head screws giving a little wiggle room.
Rex Coil 7
Tapped aluminum .... tinnermans .... PEM nuts .... there are a few viable options!

PEM nuts are a good choice if you don't have access to taps/dies or aren't skilled in metalwork enough to do solid and square drilling/tapping and well done layout. All that is required for PEM nuts is angle aluminum, a drill, either a vise or a hammer to install the PEM nuts, some PEM nuts of the proper size, and the patience required to do decent layout.

Same with tinnermans.

Good layout is paramount to doing straight, properly spaced work.

PEM nuts ........

Laughing wrote:




Now the rails might actually be, as you put it, a workaround, really.



I was introduced to angle aluminum as a method for mounting boards, but tapping them would not only be a bitch, but probably not entirely reliable in the long run. I drilled out holes at as-precise-as-I-could-get spacings with the help of a compass and a good ruler, and then gave it the secret weapon... Pem-Nuts! Old HP test equipment made ubiquitous use of pem-nuts to hold the panels to the frames of their test equipment, and now I'm doing the same, since I know where to find the nuts. Just drill a 3/8's hole, line up the nut, and SMACK it in with a hammer, and it's like I've got a tapped hole. A place called the Olander company has a store nearby that I can get these at, with the item code here: http://www.olander.com/default.aspx?page=item%20detail&itemcode=CS632- 1 if you want to give it a try. With this, I can make rails to fit any size I want, really. Could even have an 8' wide cabinet if I really wanted.


PEM nuts .... thumbs up
tardishead
Wow thats great thanks for the info guys.
So in the Moog the pan braces the whole cabinet. Fascinating!
tardishead
I've done plenty of tapping but I don't enjoy it at all. Those PEM nuts are great I think we call them insert nuts/self clinching nuts here but theres no wiggle.
Tinnermans we call spire clips. They're great cos they allow a bit of wiggle.
I'm thinking of doing a 3mm pan but folded at the front or with angle so I can use the spire clips/tinnermans. I think that bracing is definitely worth it.

As for the fixing rail how far is it set back from the front of the cabinet?
Rex Coil 7
CZ Rider wrote:
.... Just purchased a 4' X 8' X 1/2" sheet of plywood and ripped it with a table saw....
By the way .... I recently discovered a new set of tools by Kreg that can replace a table saw for longer rip cuts.

This one depends on the wood having a nice square/straight edge to work from .....

$40.00 bucks - Link = https://www.kregtool.com/store/c48/saw-attachments/p424/rip-cuttrade/

This one uses a track system so if the sheet you have doesn't have a straight edge it won't matter ....

$80.00 bucks - Link = https://www.kregtool.com/store/c48/saw-attachments/p425/accu-cuttrade/

What Kreg needs to do is offer the small one with the large one as a kit, so you're only buying one saw trolley. While those tools are not anything as good as a table saw, for those of us that can't afford a true table saw or don't have the space for one, them Kreg units look like good solutions. In fact, the long one may be easier to use than a table saw when ripping an entire sheet of something. Watch the videos.

I still have my old Skill 77 that I built from parts.

Which reminds me ..... when I used to own/operate my power equipment repair shop I gathered up ~better~ pieces of "DOA" (Dead On Arrival) Skill 77s that were given to me against the troubleshooting bill. My policy was if you brought in a power tool for repairs, and it was beyond practical costs to repair it rather than replace it, we allowed the customer to trade in the dead tool instead of paying us for the time spent on troubleshooting it. That said, over the course of fifteen years of owning my shop I was able to slowly repair and build up a few nice power tools ....

(Milwaukee Hole Hawg, Skill 77, DeWalt reciprocating saw ... aka "Sawzall", several Makita 4" - 4.5" - 5" right angle grinders, B&D 14 inch cutoff saw, B&D 9" 4 horsepower right angle grinder, two 10" bench grinders, a Miller Dialarc HF TIG/ARC welder, a Lincoln SP200 MIG welder, two Makita corded drills, a few Onan generators, and so on .... plus boxes of extra repair parts for all of that).

When you're the Factory Authorized Warranty and Repair Center for over forty manufacturers, and writing over eighty invoices per week for fifteen years you get the opportunity to outfit a small home-based workshop! Not to mention all of the tools I bought back then, enough to fill three full-on roll-aways, as well as two drill presses a nice ZX45 clone mill, and a 22" x 12" metric/SAE lathe as well.

Now ... if I only knew how to use all of that stuff .... hmmm.....

Here's my wife and I a few months after we opened "Service Depot" for business (June 1994). Sold it in 2009 after some health issues got in the way for both she and I, and a permanent neck injury I rec'd while helping a customer load up a 600Lb generator got away from us and it fell on me. State of Arizona said "nope" to workman's comp.



There I go again ... ramble ramble ramble ..... Back to topic .....

thumbs up lol
Dave Peck
CZ Rider wrote:

Here is a link to see the various grain and colors available. I chose the "rough black" grain.
http://www.thevintagesound.com/store/tolex-and-tweed-specialty-tolex-c -8_34.html



Well your new cabinets certainly look great, but next time you just gotta use the 'brown alligator' or 'brown ostrich' patterns! This is fun!
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