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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Modular Synthesis
Aluminum Panels
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joshs



Joined: Dec 05, 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Home

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:06 am    Post subject: Aluminum Panels Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Disclaimer: I realize this going to sound like shilling, but I have absolutely no connection at all with Online Metals.

I'm in the (extremely slow) process of building a DIY modular synth. I'm doing something in the vicinity of Eurorack format, but I'm building everything myself, so it's not exact. I just scored a great deal on Craigslist, spent about $50 for two rows of about 80HP (recycled lab equipment). But what I wanted to share was that based on a recommendation from a Muff Wiggler post, I checked out OnlineMetals.com for aluminum panels. Ended up being a great deal and arrived in a couple of days (I live one state away from them). I got 6 2.5'' x 5.125'' panels (umm... in hindsight, I probably should have gotten them in an exact HP width) for about $3 each. Way cheaper than I've seen blanks for elsewhere. Of course, you need to do all the drilling yourself. They say they do 0.125'' precision, but the pieces were within what I can measure with a plain old ruler. Spent a lot of time looking around for a good source, so I wanted to share what I found. I still haven't turned them into panels, but they feel sturdy. I got Aluminum 6061-T6 Bare 0.063” thick, although the recommendation I read used 0.08''... I'll try and report back here when I finish a panel and let you know if that thickness works out. I have a picture on my latest blog entry:

http://zackfacco.net/2015/04/state-of-the-synth/
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joshs



Joined: Dec 05, 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Home

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I can now confirm: 6061-T6 Bare 0.063” is perfect for the task. I've seen recommendations for thicker, but can't imagine any advantage. BTW, I also found a neat trick for attaching the PCB to the panel. Got it from hex inverter on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ugh8sbHw4

Still haven't been able to reliably etch the front panel... but I've done three now and the process seems to be getting a little smoother/cleaner.
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stringsthings



Joined: Feb 07, 2015
Posts: 11
Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

How's the build going? I was surfing the net a while back and also found the same metal store. Can't beat the price for some blank panels. I also plan on getting some cut blanks (10/12 hp) to house some DIY modules. Right now, I'm focusing on some MFOS stuff. For labeling, I think I might sand the blanks down and use some clear laser decals.
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