TTSH, on the case

Picking things up from the initial design of my TTSH case, I sure was itching it to get down with some hands-on work. First up, cut the boards which make up the basic frame..:

Frame parts hot off the table saw.

Frame boards hot off the table saw.

In the above state (plain boards loosely mocked up to shape) the frame looked somewhat promising already. Can’t wait to assemble and all that! Steve P.’s house classic playing in my head!! Fast-forward to when I got home from the workshop, had a chance to physically check the boards against the TTSH front panel and a far-from-promising error bit me in the ass:

Side boards turned out one board thickness (18.5mm) too short. F**K.

What had happened was for reasons x, y, and z, I didn’t print the design to go with me. Instead I decided to write the dimensions on a piece of paper, and at this stage I somehow read the height wrong. It was the back edge dimension of the side board that shows 383mm instead of 401mm in my drawing. This was to allow the back board to be countersunk, making it flush with the back edges of side boards. Oops.

Not having more boards to cut new sides, I took a few evenings off the project to figure how to proceed. Then I spent one evening with the drawings, sketching designs and adjusting the dimensions. What turned out a life saver was that the front board had plenty of spare height to play with. So I trimmed it some centimeters shorter and plunge routed both the front and top boards with extra profiles, shaving off bit of the height. The profiles of these boards turned out like:

Front panel router profile..

Front board…

..and the top panel profile.

..and the top board profile. Slanted edges on both are for decoration really.

With these adjustments the front panel fit in once again! Despite my plan all along was to join the boards using screws, I wanted to practice some dowel joinery too. One dowel for the top board and two for the bottom..:

Side boards all good for assembly!

Side boards all good for assembly!

Too bad that all this dowel work turned out mechanically as about pointless as it gets. You see the wood drill bit I had for the task was slightly bent, so the holes turned out too big (= dowels too loose to actually hold anything).

Oh well. Got to test drive the newly acquired drill bit depth limiter and the dowel markers.. Next up on the wood-working tool shopping list: new drill bits :P

Testing the TTSH panel for fit.

Basic frame assembled, testing the TTSH panel for fit.

..and the same after a fuckton of plunge routing, filling and sanding.

Then add about 6 to 7 hours of plunge routing, applying wood filler and sanding.

With the road case cover grooves routed on the frame, the whole design is starting to look more and more like a tolex applying nightmare.  There’s just that many tricky spots to work around. Guess I’ll be wiser by the time I have some of the fabric to play with. Painting the damn thing is still very much an option.

Spring On A Thing

Ok on to some less uncertain parts! For mounting the spring reverb tank to the frame I chose to use my tried and tested method of.. *TADAA*..: Hot-glued board risers! Nevermind if it sounds kludge-y (because it probably is), I just like this approach as it’s fast to implement and requires minimal tools while yielding sturdy results. Here’s how it all goes:

Drill holes for board risers..

Step 1. Mark & drill holes for board risers..

.. add a drop of hot glue ..

Step 2. Add a drop of hot glue..

.. hurry hurry, insert board riser before the glue cools down ..

Step 3. Jam in the board riser before the glue cools down (hammer comes in handy). Hurry hurry!

.. and add spring reverb, spacer and nut!

Step 4. Install the remaining hardware.

Yay, spring reverb mounted inside the frame!

Step 5. Admire the end results!

Front panel mounts

If you had eye for detail, you probably noticed the previous picture also had mounts for the front panel. And indeed; they use the same method as the spring reverb. Only difference being that the board risers are longer, 60mm instead of 14mm. This is because the combination of front panel + main board + loudspeakers weighs way much more than the spring reverb, so the mounts need to be more sturdy too.

Bottom and top mounts for the side board.

Bottom and top mounts for the side board. Top part shows the install depth of board riser.

.. and how they look once attached on the side board.

.. and how they look once attached on the side board.

One issue with the TTSH front panel + main board combo is, it’s mostly designed to go together with the (optional) metal frame. Thus using with any other style of frame gets a bit tricky where mount points are concerned. The clearance esp. for wood work is pretty awful, with top left corner being the most problematic. To (literally) cut myself some slack with this part of the design, I decided to trim down the top left corner:

Main board corner to boot with..

Stock top left corner of main board..

..not much clearance for the panel mount.

..with just a few millimeters of clearance once attached to front panel.

Trim the corner..

Trim the corner..

..and clearance starts looking way better!

..and clearance is looking way better!

Next up on the list of topics would be assembling the electronics, but there isn’t much to write about that. I mean, it’s still just a kit that needs soldering (albeit a large one). I have most of the main board populated with just a few parts missing, and it powered up fine without fuses blowing or parts burning up. Feels like about enough on the topic!

Previous Posts In Series

  1. A TTSHshshstart of sorts
  2. Road Case Design
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