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[Professional] Peavey 112

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Hi There!
Welcome to my second mod log. I wrote this just as I would any other project log... as if you were actually here reading and responding to my updates. As such, it may be a little weird... it was definitely weird for me to write, as I found myself missing the positive feedback and constructive criticism at times, writing into empty space as it were.
Well, now it's unveiled... it's a little late for helpful advice for particular situations, but I always welcome new tips and tricks, so feel free to let me know if you have a better/different way of doing things in some of those funky situations.
A bit of a Disclaimer - (no, not the safety disclaimer... you should know that already, and I do mention it several times in the log, actually.) While I did have the full 6 months to plan and do this, I slumped, got diverted, procrastinated and ended up making a mad dash to completion that was Not A Good Idea! I barely refrained from tossing certain parts through walls or taking a hammer to them at times, and kicked myself senseless for stupid mistakes that would have been much less painful with a more sensible timeline. Some of my design flaws would have been more evident earlier if I had planned adequately and left myself time. I ended up sacrificing some of my design goals to time and material concerns... but never fear... like any mod, this will get modded more down the line (again feel free to contact me with suggestions.)
This is my first modding contest entered, and I have to say I didn't really end up enjoying the whole process. The timeline was what killed it for me (not OCN's fault... solely mine.) At this point I'm not sure I'd do it again. To be fair, I'm saying this after a week of averaging 5 hours a sleep, and basically going to work 8 hours a day, then modding the rest, so my perceptions are a bit off.
Buckle yourself in for a ride!

I went from this:


To This:


More Final Pics in Final Pics Post (see Table of Contents)


Table of Contents:
1/15/09 - Intro, Original Case Parts Pics, and Planning <-- (You are Here!)
6/6/09 - Oh, Hello Again & Mobo Tray
6/7/09 - Full Day (side and mobo cuts)
6/8/09 - Front Cuts and PlastiDip
6/9 & 10/09 Front Window Cutting
Tool Time Videos (6/9 &10/09
Front Fits
PSU Plans
Full Day #2
Another Full day in the Garage
#11 – no pics
Eventful Week
Arggh!
Mobotray revisited
Drivebay
Quick Late Update
6/25
#18
PSU Cable
Saturday
Fortune Cookie Sez (Sunday)
Monday
Tuesday
Final Pics

Materials:
Peavey Bandit 112
Plexiglass (Cast Acrylic, bought from TAP Plastic's as Scrap, mostly. )
Nuts & Bolts
Sleeving materials
PlastiDip - Aerosol

Tools:
Table Saw
Coping Saw
Dremel
Cordless Drill
Measuring Tools + Cardboard for layouts/templates
Laminate Trimmer
Jigsaw
Files
Razor
Chisel
Hacksaw
Sandpaper

Design Goals:
Music/Amp Theme
-ReUse of Amp parts
Quiet operation
Future Growth/Ease of disassembly and assembly ( last night assembly was a PITA!)
-Removable Mobo Tray
-Upgrades (SLI?)
-Front window Interchangable inserts
--Stage 1 - Window
--Stage 2 - LCD (later)
--Stage 3 - Touchscreen (later)

Plexi Practice
-PSU cover/Vent/Cable Mgmt - Clear or Black? Clear shows off PSU board and sleeving...
-Window
-Mobotray & I/O
-Engraving
-Lighting
Electronics Circuits Practice
-Leds (scrapped)
-CCFL
-Fan Control (scrapped)

This mod is the second mod I've started, but one of the first I imagined doing. It started with my noticing a post on Freecycle.org (a creative recycling/reuse site, all free stuff, highly recommended, btw). The post offered someone's old busted guitar amp, a Peavey Bandit 112.

I responded to the ad explaining my intentions to mod it rather than try and fix it, and asked that I be considered as a grateful recipient, if no musicians wanted it. A few days later I got an email back saying I could come pick it up.

I promptly took it apart to do what I could to imagine the layout and possibilities. I was pretty good about documenting it, and plan to continue this during the build stages.

It's pretty hefty and large size, Here's pretty much the state I received it in (I took out the speaker):
Exterior








Control Panel:










Interior:


Initial Layout Ideas:






PSU:




Jan 16, 09
Move parts around a bit:


I like the mobo in the middle with the backplane down. I'll raise it up a bit with custom feet to allow connector height to work, and having it in the middle gives me more room to play with/stealth things.

I plan on building some plexi vents as a PSU vent, cover & cable management solution. I'll have adjustable lighting (hopefully some circuits sound activated if my skills are up to it) and fan speed. This will be air cooled (for now, but I'm keeping my eye and plans open for future watercooling, should the budget allow.)

Did a bit of sketchup work (My first sketchup model)

This is supposed to show the bottom panel from the inside, with the PSU and back plexi piece in place.

I'm liking sketchup. Fairly easy, though I feel like there's gotta be easier ways to do what I did already.
Edited by ModMinded - 7/2/09 at 3:17pm
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post #2 of 55
Thread Starter 
I've been sidetracked by life (and my flighty brain that constantly wants to try new things...), and haven't been doing much on this. A little thinking now and again, but no work. :sigh: I'd figured that I'd already missed the deadline, but just realized I have until 7/1... so I'm gonna see if I can get this complete by then. I'm gonna be abandoning Sketchup once again (or should I say "postponing!"... I gotta learn this one of these days.) so pardon the lack there of

So today I got back in the garage and started working on a new version of the Mobotray. Rather than using the metal sliding/folding tray I got from a scrap case, I'm making my own out of ~1/4 blue plexi. It'll drop into the base of the amp, into a inset hole cut to size.

The hard part is going to be aligning the I/O ports and slots with appropriately sized/located holes. I've started on that with a practice piece.

I used the old tray as a template for drilling the standoff holes. It worked out great, as the tray had stamped indicators that showed through the back indicating ATX or AT locations.


I couldn't fit the entire piece on the drill press, so I did most of the holes with a 7/64 bit there, then did the last couple with a cordless drill, working carefully to keep it at a 90deg angle.

Then I tapped with a 6/32in thread for the standoffs. (I use water as a lube and go slowly.)

Edited by ModMinded - 7/1/09 at 9:57pm
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post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 
I had a busy day today in the garage. About a full 8 hours were spent on this project, minus a bit of time where I fixed a neighborhood kid's bike, and answered a lot of "what are you doing?" and "what does this do?" questions. I also broke a couple tools, but was able to get most of them back up and running...

I started by making some cardboard templates of the mobo tray and an 80mm fan.

Then I used a laminate trimmer (like a small router) to groove out the windows on the side, and the mobo tray mounting area. I was able to use some scrap and my metal square as guides for the trimmer's base plate, giving me some good straight lines.
(btw, I gotta give love and advertisement to the Temescal Tool Lending Library, which is a great resource for those without tools! Unfortunately, due to the financial situation, they are contemplating cutting back on the hours it is open, and are contemplating charging fees to use the tools (now it's just with your library card, and you only pay if you keep the tools past the due date.))

Here's a shot of me using the trimmer on the first side window. You can see a couple of the scrap pieces of wood and plexi that I used to serve as stops for the trimmer.


Once I got the shape routed out, I drilled some holes set in from the corners a little bit, so I could cut out the window. I don't own a jigsaw, so I improvised. I used a little circular saw attachment for my generic dremel (now called GRT, Generic Rotary Tool). I'd bought it a while ago and never had occasion to use it, so I pulled it out and started to work. Within a minute there was a loud sound and the bit shot out of the GRT.


I don't know how it happened, but that mandrel is toast... and its not a normal size hole for the saw blade, so that's the only mandrel I can use.

I moved on to Plan B! A Coping Saw!


However, the throat of the coping saw was not large enough to accommodate all the cuts I wanted to make. I was able to connect 3 of the holes, but still had 2 more lines to cut.

Plan C was back to the GRT, this time with the little mini circular saw blade that came with the kit. It wasn't big enough to cut through the 3/4 in particle board, even with portions routed out... and then this happened!

That's the whole shaft of the flexible shaft attachment, with the blade still attached! I don't know why it came out like that, but I stuffed it back in after checking all the pieces and doing a little cleaning of caked on dust. (It still works!)

That's when I gave up, and called my dad... I knew he had an old sabre saw (aka Jigsaw) and a chisel set, so I popped over and borrowed that. (After all, he's been using my table saw!)

With the jigsaw in hand, and some fresh blades, it was easy to cut through the rest of the holes and pop the window out.

I also worked on the mobotray mounting area, using the trimmer and some more scraps to help guide the area to be cut. Again, I drilled some holes at the corners, and used the jigsaw to cut it away. I had another mishap with my tools, this time having my cordless drill get knocked off the table. As a result, the brad point bit I was using to drill the holes got bent, and while the drill still seems to work ok, I think I messed up the shaft/chuck.


Here's the layout on the bottom of the amp, where I've drilled the holes for the saw blade.


Particle board is nasty stuff... after the routing, drilling and cutting, I needed to do some filing to clean up the edges. The tape is there to serve as a guideline.


Some areas were pretty far from the line so I took a shortcut... GRT and Sanding Drum! Here's an action shot... watch those particles fly!


Here's a shot of the window, with the jigsaw I'm using.


Here's what the mobotray area cutout looked like with the trimmer and bit I used:


The other side window was a snap, in comparison, now that I'd had all that practice and the tools were on hand.


I had a problem with the Jigsaw stopping while cutting, and eventually not starting at all. (I know... can you believe it!?) So being the handy dude I am, I took it apart and checked all the contacts and did some cleaning and tightening...

It worked after that!

Here's all the holes cut:


I cut more cardboard templates for the windows:


Then I used those template to mark out some of the extra plexi left over from the mobo tray into side windows. I used the scroll saw to slice em out.


After a lot of paintstaking trial and error (involving much chiseling, sanding (had 3 sanding drum thingies split on me and fly away!) and filing both of the plexi and the cutouts), I was able to get all 3 pieces into their appropriate spots.


Wrapup...
Whew! :wipes brow: It was a long and eventful day. I'm not totally happy with these side windows. I plan on using plastidip inside the case, so hopefully it will blend well with the outside vinyl covering, and cover up the recessed particle board areas. The smarter thing to do would be to route from the outside just to the thickness of the plexi. This would allow me to make a much larger window, and might look more professional. Also, I realize that the plastidip will be adding an additional thickness to the edges, so more sanding will have to be done.
Edited by ModMinded - 7/1/09 at 10:02pm
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post #4 of 55
Thread Starter 
I had to return the laminate trimmer to the library today before 8:30pm, so I rushed home after work (well, I stopped at an ACE hardware to pick up a can of PlastiDip) and put the trimmer to work on the front window.

Basically, I removed the metal panel area, took the 4 velcro pads from the corners of the particle board off by removing staples and prying them off from their very sticky glue, added a stop with a block of wood and a clamp, and let the trimmer run around the edges to route out the window. I started off lightly, and adjusted the depth each pass. I also had to move that block from side to side, depending on where I was cutting.

After I was done, it looked like this:

I love routing!

Then I took my cordless drill and drilled big holes in the center of each side (except for the bottom which was already curved) and used the jigsaw to cut to the corners, leaving a lip. I wasn't as successful as I'd hoped to be, with the jigsaw blade bending on me, I cut into the router channel a bit too much in some places. I should still have a pretty solid lip to hold the plexi in.


Lots more filing and sanding to do to smooth out that pita known as particle board.

I also tested the plastidip on one of the cut out pieces.

Here it is after 1 coat-
With Flash:


Without Flash:


See how that stuff reacts with the styrofoam I was using as the base? Melted it away! It looks promising, but I'll probably need more coats to cover up that rough particle surface.

I did another coat before closing up the garage for the night and coming back here, but no pics as of now.
Edited by ModMinded - 6/9/09 at 12:37am
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post #5 of 55
Thread Starter 
I cut the plexi for the front window today. It's ~1/4 bronze. I used the table saw to cut a corner out of a decent sized piece that was sold to me at scrap prices for being such a good customer! Gotta love scrap bins at the plexi store!


That's the toolmarking I get from the saw blade.

Here's a video (well, once it's edited) of me cutting on the table saw.

I purposely left a wide margin for my cuts, and had to get rid of the extra. I was able to cut off a sliver with the table saw for one edge, but the table was too small for a fence to work for the other dimension.

So it was on to the file!

Clamped down with a square scrap bar on the line. This was taking too long as I had so much material to remove, so I brought out the dremel and sanding drum.
video
Much faster! But I realized that the drum wasn't an exact cylinder... it bulges in the middle due to the compression method of keeping it on. This results in some pretty deep depressions in some areas if you're not careful.

I used it to round the corners as well, and then started a long (still unfinished) series of test fits and shaving off of obstacles to fitting!


My file wasn't cutting it, being clogged with particles. My new favorite trick with Plexi is to use a razor blade (like from a utility knife, or similar) to scrape the edges flat and smooth. It works like a plane and you get some great and quick material removal.

Last shot before I called it a night.

You can see that the bottom is not really in, especially the bottom right corner. Soon... Soon...
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post #6 of 55
Thread Starter 

Here's the action shots of various tools I used.
It's been a long time since I had formal instruction (if you count 7th grade woodshop), so any tips you want to share on methods or jigs would be greatly appreciated. I've learned a lot from other modder's logs, and always appreciate a good jig or a "you're doing it wrong".

Tablesawing the Front Window:


I've got a sliver in my plexi:
Fairly straightforward... align saw blade edge to cut line or as close as you're comfortable... push!

Material Removal 1 - File
I like to use a flat metal edge as a guide for filing. It can be good for rapid removal in a straight line, depending on the file. I lack a file card (or brush) so my files are all filled in with plexi particles, so it's hard to get good cuts sometimes.

Material Removal 2 - Dremel
Cuts away excess plexi quickly... but it's hard to get a straight line. The rounded edges and bulging middle can leave indentations.

Material Removal 3 - Razor
I like it! It's probably slower than filing with a good fast file, but it's really good for making a straight edge, and smoothing out toolmarks. I was basically shaving off the areas that interrupted the smooth fits! I've been experimenting with a few different speeds/motions and they all seem to work great. Moving to fast or at the wrong angle can get you some "chatter" marks but they're easy to remove.
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post #7 of 55
Thread Starter 
Finally! After feverish filing, foolish, ferocious dremel sanding, fairly fine finagling of a razor, and fit after fit failing! Film up above!

Front:


Back


W. Mobo Tray

Edited by ModMinded - 6/12/09 at 5:58pm
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post #8 of 55
Thread Starter 



PSU Parts


Socket and Power Switch Assembly



Closeup after desoldering attempt


my soldering setup

Edited by ModMinded - 6/13/09 at 12:53am
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post #9 of 55
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Here's some pics of the PSU socket:
I started with the socket from an old dead one, figured out where on the amp's backpanel it could fit in, and traced it out. I cut it on the scroll saw.

I wanted to add a little signature, so I left space on the bottom.




Today I did a bunch of shopping and picked up some electronics parts, some router bits, and a bunch of plexi. I raided the scrap bin at TAP as usual, but also got them to cut 2 bigger (wider) pieces that I needed.

I got a thin 1/8" sheet of plexi for the back, and also as a cover plate for the Amp control panel.

I marked it up for cuts


Then started at it with a sabersaw(jigsaw). That went badly. I had set it up with a guideblock to get a nice straight cut, rather than setting up the tablesaw, and it went really slow. I changed out the blade for one of the new ones, and continued the cut, and it immediately cracked!


Video

As you might expect, this immediately made me angry... so I stepped away for a minute before re-evaluating. Did I really need to buy a whole piece? I had left some wiggle room in my measurements... I decided to pretend it hadn't happened and continue, as I wanted to get 2 opposite 90 bends, and figured I should practice!

video

It turned out ok, even though the first bend I made started to come unbent as I applied heat for the 2nd bend.



It was a little long, so I set it up for the scroll saw on top of an appropriately thick piece of wood, so I could carve more of the lip off.
video
It worked pretty well, though I still had some area's that needed to be brought level. I was repositioning the board in the amp, when I dropped it. I thought all was well, until I noticed this!



I tried to reglue it, and went to work on other parts:

Plexi circles!


Man that's a lot of work! The holesawing didn't go as fast as I thought it would. Not only did the saw attract melted plexi to the teeth like college student and $1 beer, getting the disc out of the saw was a continual challenge, taking forever to poke out.


I like this picture... It's really not that dark of a blue, but this looks sweet!

Here's a (time-edited) video of me doing the blue... just to show you how long it takes. Multiply that by 16 to get all the parts pictured above.

video

I also practiced my engraving... still not happy with it.




For those that haven't seen how I do this in my Lexa Log: I started with word, and created some word art in various sizes and fonts. I flipped them over so they're backwards, printed them, and glued them to the back of the piece I want to engrave. Then I trace with my GRT's pointiest grinder bit, and engrave away.

Oh yeah, here's my new router bits!

Edited by ModMinded - 6/15/09 at 4:58pm
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post #10 of 55
Thread Starter 
Despite staying up late to edit video footage and choose among blurry pics last night, I got up early today, gulped some coffee and headed back to the garage.

Let's see, I've done some many things, and skipping around, so I kinda forget everything!

I cut some plexiglass rectangles for badge ideas and Front panel idea.


Also printed out some more logos in reverse and glued them to pieces for potential use.


I cut fanholes in the amp


Cut (started) wire and air throughway through the Front Panel


Cut and glued Mobo side braces (not yet to I/O, still need to get that taken care of... tbh it scares me!)






Reglued cracked backpanel piece from yesterday


Bought some long bolts and fasteners, tapped and spun discs with file and 220 and 400grit paper. (also bought a battery terminal cleaner, due to my car dying at Ace!)




Profiled a few edges (and screwed up a few) with the router table.






Worked on a plan for the amp front panel... found out that my switches have too big of a booty... so I can't fit them as close together as I'd planned. Plan B (or is it D now?)



And of course, took lots of pics and videos to be sorted and editted. (I'll edit those in later.)
Edited by ModMinded - 6/15/09 at 11:30pm
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500 GB Maxtor XP 32/Vista64/Win7 beta64 19" Viewsonic logitech basic 
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Zalman ZM-1000HP ThermalTake Element S MX Laser desk 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Case Mods & Cases › Case Mod Work Logs › [Professional] Peavey 112