[sdiy] Metal enclosures - DIY'ing ?

Dave Magnuson abide at dmdrafting.com
Wed Jun 13 21:31:37 CEST 2018

I used to work at a sheet metal shop.   Those cheap brakes won’t work well on aluminum.   Probably ok for thin sheet steel or thin aluminum, but not so great for thicker stuff.


That being said:   Find a local shop that does steel / copper roofing, or ductwork.    They will likely bend it for free for a one-off.   A 6-pack is the recommended tip for the brake operator 😉


Dave Magnuson


From: Synth-diy <synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org> On Behalf Of sleepy_dog at gmx.de
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:03 PM
To: synth-diy at synth-diy.org
Subject: Re: [sdiy] Metal enclosures - DIY'ing ?


Thanks guys for the replies so far, despite my somewhat unfocused message ;-)

I don' want to bend 4 sides no, 2 is fine.
Ah yes, bend the long sides for the front panel for stability - good hint!

As for brittle 6061 aluminum - i remember having read something about some types which don't bend well at room temperature could be put into an oven, IIRC they axplicitly said baking oven, so no insanely high temperatures (although probably still a challenge to handle for bending).
I guess I need to research that more.
Don't know if such cheap bending device would allow it, but I wouldn't necessarily mind a not so tight radius, look at the MiniMoog Model D case, it has a huge radius, IIRC.
Will have to research about 5052 - I read softer aluminum is "gummier" and loads the tool more, my feeble router may not be made for that.

> Don't get me wrong im not trying to put you off though...... Quite the opposite it's great to see someone willing to put the energy in to even thinking of the options :)
> Seems diy these days for many means paint by numbers kits that include a panel already punched and screened for them. 

D-I-Y or die!

(ok, maybe not ;) But doesn't it have a ring to it)

- Steve

Am 13.06.2018 um 03:11 schrieb John Marshall:

6061-T6 is the most common aluminum alloy. However it is brittle and my crack if bent too sharply. T6 is the temper rating. 5052 is more easily bent in a tight radius.


John L Marshall
wa7bsr at gmail.com <mailto:wa7bsr at gmail.com> 
www.sound-photo.com <http://www.sound-photo.com> 


From: Quincas Moreira <mailto:quincas at gmail.com> 
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:49 PM
To: luther.rochester at gmail.com <mailto:luther.rochester at gmail.com> 
Cc: synth-diy mailing list <mailto:synth-diy at synth-diy.org> 
Subject: Re: [sdiy] Metal enclosures - DIY'ing ?


The way I do it is 2mm Aluminum, bent only on top and bottom, then I make wood sides. Much easier than trying to bend all 4 sides, and looks good too!  That's for the Chassis, then goes the panel, bolted to the wood sides and to L brackets attached to the aluminum chassis.


On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 6:50 PM luther rochester <luther.rochester at gmail.com <mailto:luther.rochester at gmail.com> > wrote:

1.5mm aluminum should be fine for most panels, provided you have bends 
in the long side (which provides a lot of extra strength).

Like you mentioned, you might not get good clean bends with those cheap 
brakes (benders) though; I haven't used one, but a good one is 200+ KG.

As you If you want to be able to bend all 4 sides you need a box/pan 
brake, which is much more expensive.

Also, depending on the brake you might be limited to how shallow you can 
make the box (the side shown by '?' here):

|                                | <----?
+-o-                          -o-+

For example my, brake can only do about 40mm or larger for this side, 
provided you want two bends.

If you're just doing one or two projects it might be worth finding a 
fabrication shop that will make it for you. It would probably end up 
being the same price or cheaper, and you might get better results.


On 6/9/18 5:25 AM, sleepy_dog at gmx.de <mailto:sleepy_dog at gmx.de>  wrote:
> Hey list.
> I just looked at some pictures of Moog synths like Model D, and even 
> more so, Voyager, again, and I must say I'm quite a fan of that kind of 
> case design and the fact you can tilt the upper part up to your liking, 
> and back in for less cumbersome transportation.
> Ok, apart from that, more generally: The upper part - metal case for 
> audio electronics, with front panel.
> Is that steel, or aluminum, or more importantly, whatever it is - 
> *could* you make that out of aluminum and it's be stable enough?
> Probably only depends on the thickness. But I have no experience with 
> such things.
> So, is 1.5mm, or even 1.2mm, thickness of aluminum something that could 
> work decently for a case roughly Moog Voyager case sized? (I would be 
> willing "cheat" with some reinforcement bars here and there if that's 
> what it takes ;))
> Why 1.5mm (1.2) alu? Because that's the max thickness (for alu) handled 
> by the strongest of those manually operated sheet metal bending machines 
> that are fixed with a sturdy vice or such, for longer lengths it's only 
> 1,2mm. You turn a lever, presumably while making bear-like noises... 
> Well, those are floatnig around on ebay (here anyway) for 100...200 EUR, 
> depending on the max material length and thickness.
> There you read my assumption - that one could bend parts of such a case 
> yourself. Perhaps not exactly like the Voyager - it looks like the upper 
> "5/6th of a box" are one part, or at least bent around two axes - they 
> would be in each others way if I tried that with such a contraption I 
> guess. And then just a plate at the bottom.
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku0BdjNasko <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku0BdjNasko&t=2m32s> &t=2m32s
> But maybe one could bend two halves, one "grabs around" in vertical, the 
> other in horizontal direction? Not only bending sides/front/back, but 
> another slimmer rim, another 90 degrees, to drill holes into and fix the 
> other part onto.
> (if it's not displayed with monospace font at your end, too bad ;))
> +--------------------------------+
> |                                |
> +-o-                          -o-+
> Anyway, if it turns out that 1.5mm aluminum* is far too thin for this, 
> at least for that size, I may forget about DIYing here (for things of 
> that size anyway), as I don't think I'd buy something much more 
> expensive than said contraptions for this purpose.
> * no harder than, I think it was called "6061". Because that's something 
> I can actually route openings out of, with my weak China CNC router.
> - Steve
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Quincas Moreira
Test Pilot at VBrazil Modular


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