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My other hobby - Effects pedals
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Default My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-07-2008, 09:39 PM

now that my 2X12 is finished, i have gone back to my on going D.I.Y. hobby, i build effect pedals, mostly clones but i do have a few designs of my own.

i'd eventually like to break myself into doing it for selling, but currently it requires more capitol than i have, so only per order at the moment, only have one out there floating around that i let slip outta my hands, i made a proto-type strange master (range master) treble booster an actual germanium tranny guy, he wasn't constructed all that solidly since it was a proto-type and intended for my own use only, but i got a bad case of GAS on day and swapped it away, now i have no idea where he has gone.

this lastest round is a MXR script era distortion+ clone, and i went all clone with it so far :-P no part mods, and i even ripped off MXRs original art-work..... prolly get into trouble if i tried to sell it LOL OH WELL!!! and a solasound tonebender professional MKII

before i joined the board i already had the MXR on perfboard and was using it, but the tone bender is still in the bread-board stage, so i'll document the building process as much as possible, i am currently doing the finish work on the cases i generally do that first so i can see what kind of area i have inside for electronics.


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-07-2008, 09:44 PM

first off the cases i typically use are deltron di-cast aluminum, which are not quite as deep as hammond or MXR cases, but lately i have found the room inside the boxes i got from small bear electronics sort of a luxury, i don't have to worry about space, the deltron boxes are a bit on the cramped side, but don't cost near as much as the hammond boxes, so until supplies run dry i'll be using the small bear cases which are MXR sized, i think they are slightly deeper than hammond 1590Bs.


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-07-2008, 09:54 PM

i sand the boxes smooth starting with 150 grit paper to remove any seams left over from casting, then work my way down to (or up to depending on how you want to look at it) 440 grit, once you get to 440 grit they are nice and smoothand start to take on a shine (partially polished) i wash them down with ronsonal zippo fluid, removes any grease, or oils the metal happend to pick up from my fingers if i forgot to wash them then i lay on a really thin layer of chevy orange paint just enough to mist coat the whole box, i do this because orange seems to be cheaper than primer grey lol, i do this on all the boxes regardless of color, it helps make sure i get a uniform coating, orange shows where i missed and through the next layer of paint, i let that sit for about an hour next to the wood stove (it gets mighty warm over there helps cure the thin layer fast), then i put the first color coat on a fairly heavy coat almost to powder coated thickness, and throw the box in my handy toaster oven on 125 for 2 hours, bakes the paint hard (hopefully i don't typically abbuse my boxes so their durability is questionable in the hands of a gigin musician) after which you get something along the lines of this picture, which gets a second heavy coat, i don't bake this one, i haven't found a reason toit's just a coat to make sure the color is uniform


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-07-2008, 10:02 PM

the bottom of that yellow guy had issues i had to sand out i put the 3rd coat on a little bit too soon and the paint started to lift........ the crackles that makes one clear coated look cool, but not what i was going for here lol...... next step i do is create and print of decals, i use waterslide decals and an ink jet, there are better ways of doing this but also significantly more expensive, such as screen printing, hand painted boxes are ok for Zvex, but not my bag..... the waterslide decals do tend to show the decal lines when an insufficient coat of clear is put on, but tht is something i can live with for now...... after printing the decals you have to spray a clear coat on them, i made this mistake the first time...... ink jet ink, will readily run even when dry when introduced to water so a coating of eurathane or krylon clear is needed and stops the run, but makes putting decals on a white box interesting should we say, since the clear coat ambers a bit and shows on white, there are ways around this but be prepared to be spraying clear on the finished box for a while lol


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-07-2008, 10:05 PM

you can see the decal dis-coloration on this white box :-D


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-07-2008, 10:10 PM

a few more coats of clear and the discoloration will fade sort of...... what actually happens is as the clear builds up in layers the decal lines disappear, and the discoloration (ambering) starts to show on the whole box so it blends in i dn't actually disappear, but i'm using poly eurathane not an actual clear coats, so that is probably the reason for the ambering. on darker colors you don't notice the ambering, but the decal lines show more, but nothing a few heavy coats of eurathane won't fix.


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-07-2008, 10:13 PM

and last for today is electronics, the ont that is all wired etc is the MXR distortion+, and the one on the board is the tone bender tomorrow when i get finished clear coating the boxes i'll start working on putting the tone bender on perf-board


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-07-2008, 10:16 PM

tonebender


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-08-2008, 10:24 PM

once i have them bread boarded and know if they work and if it's something i want to waste solder on :-D it goes to the board design stage, i start with the schematic, and use a free program called "DIY layout creator", to position the components and see where my traces need to go once i have it all laid out, i prepare the components


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Default Re: My other hobby - Effects pedals - 03-08-2008, 10:29 PM

in this picture you can see the germanium transistor :-D with teh shrink tubing on the legs, i do this to insulate them from other board components because i actually solder them on the board rather than using sockets, and in theory the longer leads will allow them to disapate heat faster, and hopefully make them more stable, since germanium transistors are very sensitive to temperature, even the temp of your finger touching them can change the tone...., i also solder the wires to the pots, and jacks etc at this time


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