Fitting of parts

These two recent weekends gave me a few hours to keep moving forward on the chassis. I had done the bulk of the drilling according to the drill chart and was ready to dry-fit some parts to make sure I was on the right track. My intention is to paint the chassis, so I have to know that I’m not going to drill any more holes prior to finishing.

Inside the chassis

Inside the chassis

The parts themselves I bought from 4 sources:

  • Hoffman – great for high quality parts oriented towards scratch building and Fender amp repair/modification. Also some excellent tools to aid the amp builder such as the turret lug tool and the bias checker. I got some of the potentiometers, the circuit board material, turret lug squashing tool and plenty of turret lugs, from here. Shipping speed and accuracy is always excellent.
  • Triode Electronics – From here I got the remainder of the pots, in/out jacks, pilot light assembly, tube sockets and the fuse holder. Shipping very fast as they’re only about 100 miles away.
  • Angela Instruments – With a windfall from my birthday (thanks mum!) I was able to buy the output and power transformers. Shipping has always been VERY fast with this company too.
  • Ace Hardware – I was somewhat confused as to why I needed a SPST for the standby switch, but a DPDT for the main power switch. SPST is easy…it is an ON-OFF switch for one circuit, hence single pole, single throw. It was soon revealed that the DPDT was going to switch both the live and the neutral wires coming in the power connector. This guarantees that there will not be any 120V AC in the circuit when that switch is off. Time will tell if these switch are as good as the Carling brand, which seems to be the defacto standard. Shipping very fast indeed as they are a two minute walk from my house 🙂
Transformers and an EL34

The transformers and an EL34

So I was lucky enough to have the shipping gods smile on me and I had everything ready to go. I was not however lucky enough to have drilled the holes the correct sizes last time. After 20 minutes or so of measuring and re-drilling, I was done. The last job was to use a jig-saw to cut the power connector square, which went well. I then trimmed up every hole possible with my Dremel. This helped get rid of any burring or uneven cuts.

Next I basically attached as many parts as I could to the chassis. I already had some #6 and #8 screws/nuts so I could use them to fasten the tube sockets. I’ll need some more for the transformers…oh and I’ll need 4 rubber grommets to protect the transformer wiring. If you are familiar with the AX84 P1eX design, you will notice that I have way more 9 pin sockets than required. I decided to do this to give me more options in the future. For instance I can switch to a noval output tube, such as the EL84. Or I could add more gain stages…or use more 12AX7s for reverb or tremelo. I am hoping this amp is going to let me experiment and therefore learn.

Whole chassis

The whole chassis looking more and more like an amp

If I had a time machine, I would’ve naturally drilled everything the right size first time. I have no excuse except for not having the parts when I drilled. Working from the chart seemed to confuse me, and I haven’t yet worked out why. I’m thinking that the size markers on the step-bit I used were literally out of line. This meant that I was always one step too small. The second time I drilled I measure the parts with my calipers and was able to choose the correct step imemdiately. Lesson learned 🙂

Next step, the circuit board and the actual electronic components!

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