18W Lite Marshall

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Rock_Glenn, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Rock_Glenn

    Rock_Glenn TDPRI Member

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    I have a couple of transformers kicking around for an 18W Marshall style amp I'd like to build. I'm eyeballing an 18W Lite, because the simpler the circuit, the less that can go wrong now or in the future.

    I'd prefer to source my own parts for a variety of reasons, and I was wondering how many of you go about sizing, buying and punching the chassis. I have greenlee punch sets around for round holes, but the power transformer hole would need a pretty particular shape. It seems like the people who have 18W Lite chassis w/ plates require I buy a whole kit, or I simply don't trust them.

    Should I be sourcing a pre-punched chassis, a blank chassis with advice on punching, or should I just break down and buy a kit for this one? The other option is to build a regular 18W marshall with both channels.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated. And thank you in advance.
     
  2. marshman

    marshman Friend of Leo's

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    I have a homebrew 18watt lite IIb, and aside from some hum (which I attribute to poor lead dress, aka, weak workmanship) I love the tone. If you like the whole "control-your-drive/tone/distortion-from-the-guitar-thing", it is a stellar base.

    I knew bupkus about punches and such back then...I drilled the socket holes with a large, metal holesaw in a press, then did the square hole for the PT with the same bit to hit the corners and then connected them with a good jigsaw. I then ground the edges smooth with my dremel. No one will mistake it for a professional job, but no one sees the chassis. Generally, the OT lines go through chassis in a 1/2-inch-ish hole with a rubber grommet to prevent rubbing. If you own the punches, I'd guess you've got the chops to fabricate your own chassis.

    Here's a thread with pics of mine, post #3...not very creative, but there it is.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. Jeru

    Jeru Tele-Holic

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    Yep -- Marsh has it right. I don't even know how punches work, but I just finished a chassis build as described above and it didn't turn out too shabby.
     
  4. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    Buy it now for $48 on eBay.
    This seems like a huge win
     

    Attached Files:

  5. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    On smaller holes like the IEC power plug I mark out the hole to be made, go around the inside with a drill and swiss cheese the thing. Then I touch up with a file. Larger holes like a transformer I would use a jig saw and then do the file thing also. If you use aluminum it takes no time to do.
     
  6. Rock_Glenn

    Rock_Glenn TDPRI Member

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    It seems like there is an abundance of professionally made chassis on the internet, though only for certain styles of amps or with kits. I figured there was something I was missing, like a specialized tool for cutting these out.

    But I think I will try using a combination of punches/drill bits/jig saws and make my own. I'm guessing that's what most people are doing anyways. I'll feel way more accomplished, even if it looks like crap.

    The other thing then, is coming up with face plates. Is there a secret to making your own? Can they be custom made by someone? Should I just buy some and use that as a template for drilling?

    And Andy - I saw that on ebay, and seriously considered buying it. I might still go that route, but I've been burned on similar purchases.
     
  7. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Endless amounts of info at: http://18watt.com templates, pre built chassis etc.

    My next project is likely going to be an 18 watt lite but most likely from a lot of kit parts from www.ampmaker.com in the UK
     
  8. mishagolin

    mishagolin Tele-Meister

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    I'm still working on my 18 watt Lite II. I bent up a chassis on a break and drilled it out using indexed bits. I didn't need to cut a hole for my trannys just drill for wires.

    For a faceplate I'm going to paint up some plexiglass. You can see the clear plexi here. The extra hole was going to be a standby switch but with the 5v4 rectifier I've found it's going to take some time to warm up anyway. I will probably use the hole for a parallel/cascade mod.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Wild Turkey

    Wild Turkey Tele-Meister

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  10. mishagolin

    mishagolin Tele-Meister

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    i'm absolutely loving my lite ii. i also have a VJr combo and was originally going to build a baby will. i decided to do a scratch build instead and built a head cab for the 18watt. now i need to build a speaker cab. building is just too much fun. its not the prettiest piece but i bent and drilled the chassis myself. makes me feel like i did something important.
     
  11. boniholmes

    boniholmes Tele-Meister

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    I am about to start my new project, which is a 18 watt Lite IIb combo. I have already bought an empty box of a Fender combo. My choice of chassis is determined by the size of the box: custom made by another (much experienced) builder from the Hungarian Empire. If you do not mind, I would include the new thread here.
     
  12. boniholmes

    boniholmes Tele-Meister

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    My first build ever

    BTW, my first build ever was a 18 watt Lite IIb head. I used a blank chassis, step drills, holes touched up with file.
    [​IMG]
    Yes, it is not nice, but at least it is ugly.
    [​IMG]
    The final product:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. boniholmes

    boniholmes Tele-Meister

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  14. Rock_Glenn

    Rock_Glenn TDPRI Member

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    I got the chassis all punched/drilled/filed and it came out nice. I spray painted it gold to make it look a little nicer.

    Next question I have is regarding the heaters on the rectifier tube. The classic tone 40-18035 shows 0V on the yellow, 5V on the yellow/white, and 6.3V on the white.

    I'm assuming I'm going to connect the yellow and the yellow/white to the rectifier tube, as that would give me 5V across the tube heaters; And that I would then simply cap off the white. Can anyone confirm this?

    My assumption is that I don't need to connect any of these to ground, but I'd hate to screw it up.

    Thanks again,

    --Pete
     
  15. Amazed

    Amazed Tele-Meister

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    Cutting out squares for iec sockets, trannies and such. I discovered you can make a tidy slot in each side with a dremel and a cutting wheel then stick a jigsaw in that slot. You can cut four sides pretty neatly like that. I didn't need any filing at all afterward.
     
  16. Amazed

    Amazed Tele-Meister

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    That's correct. I did one exactly like that yesterday.
     
  17. dankilling

    dankilling Tele-Afflicted

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    It's making the chassis that keeps me from a project like this, but you guys are inspiring me!
     
  18. Rock_Glenn

    Rock_Glenn TDPRI Member

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    Perfect. Thank you very much.
     
  19. Rock_Glenn

    Rock_Glenn TDPRI Member

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    The chassis drilling was by far the most difficult part... Filing it down was a pain to make the square knockouts. I accidentally drilled for the cap can on the wrong side (where a 12ax7 would go) and I also drilled for larger 8-pin sockets where the EL84's are going to go.

    It's a learning experience, a few sets of reducing washers got the right sized sockets mounted in there. It's not real pretty but it will work. Because it's going to be a head I'm not too worried about vibrations causing the sockets to rattle, so hopefully that doesn't happen.
     
  20. Amazed

    Amazed Tele-Meister

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    I spent a few hours learning Inkscape. Did all my chassis layouts in that software. Everything from labels to screw holes. Front top and back. Printed out the layouts and stuck em to the chassis.

    Played around, a few iterations mocking up till I was happy then stuck the layouts directly on the chassis with clear packing tape and drilled and cut right through em.

    When I was done drilling and cutting, my Inkscape designs doubled as my faceplate layouts too. I printed directly onto clear waterslide decals and stuck them onto my chassis oversprayed with clear acrylic.
     
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