DIY Audio Projects Forum

Specialized Amp Building Tools
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Author:  Suncalc [ 12 Oct 2013, 16:03 ]
Post subject:  Specialized Amp Building Tools

So I have been using my bandsaw to cut the pieces of aluminum that I use for my amp projects. The problem with doing this was that every time I wanted to use it, I had to fight with the motor mount and pulleys to change the saw speed, mount a different blade, then tune the saw for that blade. Overall it was a major PITA and because of this, I was sometimes reluctant to work on a project. So I stumbled on what I think was a relatively low cost solution.

I began looking around at various resale and reuse places that specialize in reselling salvage items. They typically handle lots of architectural items, like windows and cabinets, but also tend to collect all manner of old interesting stuff. So I found this old table saw that was actually produced in 1937.
Saw as Purchased.jpg
It cost me a whopping $35 USD (Original cost in 1937 was $33.50 USD so I guess you could say it held it's value well :D ). And yes it actually ran when I got it. I know that it looks a little rough but these old saws are mostly cast iron that stands up relatively well to time.

So I took it back to my shop, tore it down, removed the rust, cleaned up and painted the parts, repacked the bearings, and put it back together with a non-ferrous metal cutting blade. Then I put together a little rolling table for it from materials I already had around the shop and mounted it on top. This is the result.
It turned out rather well and now I have a dedicated saw for cutting metal whenever I want to use it. I think the entire project cost me less than $100 USD all told. And this saw will probably serve me for as long as I live and probably for my children as well.

So I'm wondering, what have other people on the forum done for their own tooling and amp production. I'd like to see what other people have done to solve problems or just make their hobby more productive and/or enjoyable. Anything goes big or small. These are potential tips and trick that can help us all.

Author:  gofar99 [ 12 Oct 2013, 16:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

That's really cool. I know what you mean about being reluctant to do some project because you need to to get the tools set up for it. A small tool I really like is a Dremel tool using a diamond cut off wheel. The set of cut off wheels is not cheap compared to the standard ones but still under $40. They last forever and really do a job on metal and plastics.

Good listening

Author:  lexx21 [ 17 Feb 2014, 01:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

I recently found a great replacement drill press for the one that I had previously. It's a Craftsman model 150, and I honestly think that the model number relates to how much it weighs. This is the "table top" model, and has an 8" depth from chuck to support post. Works like a champ, solid cast iron casing, and weighs a TON. I wanted to cry like a little girl after hauling that thing in my

It definitely makes drilling just about anything much easier.

Author:  Suncalc [ 28 Dec 2014, 19:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

It's been a while since I start this thread and I realized that I never updated my saw project. The saw, as seen in the first post, is a great tool for cutting metal with a miter gauge or against a fixed fence, but there is also another option.

Below is a picture of a sled that I put together to run on top of the saw. It has cross stops that are perpendicular to the blade as well as "t-tracks" for various hold downs to keep things in place while cutting (especially small pieces). There is a guide on the bottom that runs in one of the saw's miter gauge slots.
Cuttoff Sled.jpg

This really makes it easy to cut all manner of nonferrous metal be it sheet stock, angle, channel, or bar stock. Since I completed this, it now takes less time to cut the metal parts than it does to do all the measuring and marking.

Does anyone else have any new tools or tricks to share?

Author:  Geek [ 29 Dec 2014, 02:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

I grabbed a Ryobi bandsaw for $149 at Home Depot that does quite well on aluminum.

I used to cut on a table saw until a kickback neary took my life! :o

Author:  Suncalc [ 29 Dec 2014, 11:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

Geek wrote:
I used to cut on a table saw until a kickback neary took my life! :eek:
Hence the reason for the sliding sled with hold-downs.

I whole heartedly agree, sheet metal and table saw fences are a dangerous combination. But the use of the sled, coupled with appropriate hold downs, renders the chance of kickback essentially eliminated.

Safety needs to always come first. This is the same reason that I strongly encourage people to find a drill press for drilling metal instead of a hand drill. Sometimes building the chassis is more dangerous than the high voltage circuits contained within.

Author:  Suncalc [ 11 Dec 2016, 20:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

OK, not really a specialized tool, but one that is occasionally very useful.

I've been rewiring the Lacewood amp and it has required some minor disassembly. One of the problems when working on an existing amp is that, originally things went together in a particular order so tool access was not an issue, but when fixing or rebuilding it's not always easy to get tools into the chassis to remove screws, etc. That's where this little tool comes in handy.

This is just a little ratcheting handle that takes a single driver bit. When trying to loosen or tighten screws that are at a right angle to the access, this little handle is extremely handy.

Author:  Geek [ 11 Dec 2016, 21:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

THOSE are handy :D

I picked up a cheap knockoff at Princess Auto last year for $5. It looks like a Snap-On (but isn't) and has been amazing on some of these Sansui amps.

Just need a 1/4 hex U-joint to go with it.


Author:  laurie54 [ 12 Dec 2016, 01:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

My father bought me this 25 years ago and i find it one of the most useful tools i own. It's chuck goes to zero so i can drill pcb holes, and 3/8" drill into aluminum no prob. The shape of it allows me to hold with one hand and drill a hole using two fingers on the same hand by doing a 180 Deg turn then back and do again. I seen one in blue about 12 years ago but didn't buy it. Dam dam dam.

Author:  Steph [ 23 Apr 2017, 17:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Specialized Amp Building Tools

That table saw is a fantastic find.

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