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Stainless Steel for Chassis?


 
10/18/2000 10:48 AM
PeterH Stainless Steel for Chassis?
I have been looking at various materials for a home brew amp chassis. Aluminium was the preferred option until my brother-in-law offered to make me a stainless steel chassis. An offer almost too good to refuse. Are there any drawbacks with using SS or is it just avoided because of cost reasons?  
Can you solder grounds to SS?  
Thanks  
Peter
 
10/18/2000 1:45 PM
Les
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I did a tweed pro in SS about 4 months ago... looks really nice... nope, can't solder to it, easily anyay...  
 
Les
 
 
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10/18/2000 3:14 PM
Scott Swartz
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Well, if he's making it I guess its not your problem, but drilling and/or punching stainless is much harder.  
 
I think you can silver solder to stainless, but you'll need a torch and that will discolor the chassis.
 
10/18/2000 3:54 PM
Graywater
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Peter,  
 
There are many alloys that are referred to as "stainless" and you should determine the properties the material that your brother-in-law has available. You'll get a 3 - 4 digit number sucha as "440" or such. Some alloys are actually pretty soft and some are rigid and hard to bend. Most are extremely difficult to weld or solder to but with an experienced welder available you can weld on a post or lug of a more easily soldered material to connect your grounds (pretty much forces star grounding unless you trust mechanical connectors). Also, as compared to copper and silver, most stainlesses have higher resistance to current flow.  
 
GW
 
10/18/2000 4:18 PM
Gil Ayan
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quote:
"I have been looking at various materials for a home brew amp chassis. Aluminium was the preferred option until my brother-in-law offered to make me a stainless steel chassis. An offer almost too good to refuse. Are there any drawbacks with using SS or is it just avoided because of cost reasons?  
Can you solder grounds to SS?  
Thanks  
Peter"
 
 
With SS, your chassis will be very strong. It will also be extremely difficult to cut (drill, punch, etc.) in any way. If you have to go steel, I would see if he could make it out of a softer variety, like teh zinc plated type that Fender used in their old amps. The plating prevents the chassis from rusting away, and being a softer allow makes it easier to work with the metal.  
 
Mesa Boogie Mark amps, in their current incarnation, as built stainless steel chassis. They look great, and seem to be extremely strong... but of course, those chassis have all the right holes in the right places when they leave the machine shop!  
 
Good luck,  
 
Gil
 
10/19/2000 1:29 AM
dpcoyle
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Go for stainless, say I. It's not that bad to deal with, compared to what you get. You need to get your brother-in-law to trim the angle on your drill bits for stainless, lubricate frequently, and don't overheat enough to keep the lube oil smoking, (nuther words, get the bit pressure right). SS is chunky and cohesive and hard and dulls bits quickly, but then it's done.  
 
And... It'll last forever, even in humid climates, (your work will be enshrined forever, like Commrade Stalin.) You won't need to spray or plate it, and it will never chip. If you want really gooder kind, plate the inside with copper to be an electrostatic short. You can choose magnetic SS if you want a magnetic short, or non magnetic. You can sand it out with emery/crocus, etc, and end with fine wet sandpaper.  
Yea. Serve with a garnish of teflon wire and a 10 Ga copper ground plate for star earthing. Step back.  
Dan
 
10/19/2000 3:37 AM
Chris B
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Another finishing option is to swirl the front like they do on custom car dash panels. To do this, I have used a wire end brush, which I found at the local hardware store. Put the brush in a drill press, and then turn it on and press the brush to the metal. Then move on down the line. Looks great when you use a new brush and don't press too hard!  
 
Chris B
 
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