Howdy. The dock of death is back in gear and shaping up sweetly. I love these kinds of projects because no matter how much detail you put into them, they can always do with so much more. Did I say "love"? Read all about it...
Last time we ended on the leather being glued to the chassis. After I glued it up I was able to see what this might actually look like in the end. A little inspiration never hurts when trying to finish something reasonably complicated.
So first on the agenda is getting the aluminum backplate painted so I can attach the amp to it. This part is a simple matter of your spouse, significant other, or consenting animal companion being out of town. The oven is a great place to bake on paint but it is not advisable if you are planning on baking food as well.
You can see the tape I put over the area where the amp chip will affix to the backplate. I did this to protect it from getting paint on it, even though I was only painting on the other side. I want the chip to get the most direct connection to the aluminum as possible.
Next, I sanded a bit of the surface with 220 grit and then cleaned it off with rubbin' alcohol. Then I took the whole thing outside, along with something to prevent overspray from getting on the sidewalk (Actually, I put the plate on a platter and hold it up in the air so it is impossible to get any on the ground.). After painting I went back inside and stuck it in the oven on low for five to ten minutes.
I then went back out and sprayed my black wrinkle finish on very thickly so that it had a lot of mass to wrinkle up. After putting it back in the oven I left for lunch at the most expensive restaurant in Los Angeles (I made noodles at home). It can take a long time for it to dry, but you should see the skin start to wrinkle after just a few minutes with all that heat.
I then turned my attention back to the body. I added a few pieces of wood to flush up the back panel area so that the speaker enclosures would be sealed when the panel is screwed in. Actually, there will be some ports going into the panel, but the rest needs to be sealed.
A couple years ago I went to a laser cutting shop to prototype some products I was working on and they had a bunch of silicone sheet in the trash. I thought I might eventually use it. Well, after about 5 years, I finally am doing just that... I am still questioning the value of keeping this kind of stuff around and these vindications are not helping to settle my mind AT ALL!
I will use it as a gasket to seal the front wood panel to the chassis. This is so I can disassemble the whole box in case I want to change out the drivers or add a tweeter later. The sheet is blue but it will not show when the leather is wrapped over it so the color doesn't matter. I essentially cut out the shape of the chassis where it will make contact with the front panel.
The next thing I dun did is cut out the leather around the rim of the back opening like I said I would last time. I used a standard Xacto blade and just took my time to get it all nice- see pristine pic above. I might do something with the leftovers, we'll see.
I am going to need to come up with some feet for the bottom of the dock so that it sits on the table evenly and so the suede doesn't slowly burnish over a period of a thousand years.
Next time, I will do that! Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment!