Tube Amp Chassis Stands/Cradles

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by bparnell57, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, I've been acquiring parts for two builds, a 5E3 and a 18/36 watt TMB. This was prompted by the fact that I found the chassis for both, some other parts, and a loaded board for the 18/36 watt, for severely discounted prices.

    These will be my first two builds from the ground up. I've done PA conversions and mods and repairs, but never full builds.

    I'll be outsourcing cabinets since I live in an apartment. This is the main expense.

    Anyways, I'll be working on a metal topped 22x38 adjustable tilt drafting table that I have in my living room. Because of the somewhat cramped work surface, I thought that perhaps I should invest in a chassis stand/cradle to hold the amp chassis while I assemble it.

    I was disappointed by the mojotone and Weber offerings, which are both adjustable about 60 degrees, and do not secure the chassis in any other way than having it rest on two arms. They are also 150 and 120 dollars respectively.

    This prompted me to look for alternatives. I considered building a stand, but I don't have the time and/or resources right now to do so, and would rather look into a pre-made product.

    Ebay sellers offer stands similar to weber's for about $80. I still wanted to look for a better alternative.

    Rotisserie style stands appeared to be ideal, since they allow the chassis to be firmly secured and rotated 360 degrees.

    This led me to look into radio chassis stands.

    Happens to be that Steve Strong Radio Stands are quite popular in the ham and antique radio community.

    These are the dimensions of the two sizes of stands he builds.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looks like the large stand would be perfect for everything up to the width of a twin reverb chassis.

    I was also happy to see that these stands showed a high level of quality and attention to detail.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This led me to contact Steve and sheepishly explain my situation and that I would be using his stands for just guitar amp chassis and an occasional radio.

    He said that he wasn't sure if his amp stand could handle a 75+ pound chassis such as you may find in a 135 watt ultralinear tube amp such as a late model twin, but I was convinced by images of boat anchor style ham radios affixed on his stands on various forums.

    He replied with a quote for the stand plus shipping to the commercial address of the shop that I work at.

    Turns out its going to be under $100, with over $30 of that going to shipping. Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

    Anybody have any unique homebrew solutions for a chassis stand, or any experience with mojotone or Weber ones?
     
  2. Robster

    Robster Tele-Afflicted

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    Mine are not as elegant as those, but cost $0 and took no time to make. They will hold anything and if I have to work on two amps at a time, I can build another set in a few minutes. I screw the chassis down so it will not move and there is room underneath for the tubes to go in when testing. They fold up for smaller storage too. 002.JPG 001.JPG
     
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  3. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I knocked mine together in 5 minutes. One end moves freely, so I can work on any size chassis. It doesn't tilt or rotate, but I've never seen the need for it, I can flip the chassis upside down if I need to. It basically cost nothing, but it might cost 10 bucks if you don't have any 2x4 scraps lying around. So far I've built 5 amps and done cap jobs and trouble shooting on several others. I can't see needing anything fancier, or more costly.



    65384_506509649361635_1863452414_n.jpg 246460_506509632694970_1638542945_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  4. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very nice Diy options guys. Keep the replies coming!
     
  5. mherrcat

    mherrcat Tele-Holic

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    I built something similar to telex76. And many years ago I built basically the same kind of jig so I could work on the undercarriage of my pedal steel guitars. Simple and cheap is best for me...
     
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  6. Sandhill69

    Sandhill69 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    A bit more time and effort than the 2x4 examples above, which look perfectly usable, this cost me $10 at Home Depot to get what I needed and an hour to put it together

    http://sluckeyamps.com/cradle/cradle.htm
     
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  7. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I like the Weber myself - bolting a chassis down just isn't practical for me as I usually have several restorations or service jobs going at any one time, so setting an amp on an adjustable stand is far better than bolting one down.

    And I simply used their design as a template and built something sort of close...
     
  8. coldengray

    coldengray Tele-Meister

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    I got the Mojotone chassis cradle for free (gift card from my folks) and it works well. I did have to dremel the channels so that it would work smoothly. There is a custom amp stand company that makes an amazing one but it's about $500. I have the old Modulus cradle plans if anyone's wants them. Just shoot me a PM.
     
  9. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've been just stacking scrap wood blocks, and have just been looking at the same fancy options as you @bparnell57, and I too decided that it might be nice to have the 360 model. But that was one time, when I was testing voltages on the chassis, and in the doghouse, in one session. I got through it, carefully, and aside from doing that again, I really don't need anything so involved and pricey.

    I plan on building something simple out of scrap next week. I'll formalize the wood block idea a bit, by screwing them to a base of 3/8" plywood, just cheap stuff, not birch like these guys seem to be using. Same crap I built my pedalboards out of. The base will keep the blocks from shifting. I haven't decided on a width adjustment yet, but I suspect it'll be removing the two screws holding one block down, and screwing them in at a different location. Simple.
     
  10. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah. I saw those custom Atlas stands. Truly a luxury item, but hey, if you're a real big-business boutique amp builder and want one, go for it.

    I was strongly leading towards just using blocks, but since I'll be assembling some tweed combo style upright chassis amps, it would be slightly hard to secure those to blocks except for clamps or screwing the blocks to the chassis mounts and making a frame.

    Finding this beautiful stand capable of holding a 20x25 inch chassis and rotating it 360 degrees, for only $55 plus shipping made me pull the trigger.

    For building smaller amps and pedals and of course, working on small radios, as intended, he also makes small stands for $37 or something like that.

    I anticipate that I may need to reinforce it in order to support certain amps I work on, such as the Sound City L200 Plus that a new friend of mine is having me recap and install a 3 prong cord on.
     
  11. coldengray

    coldengray Tele-Meister

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    Yes, that's the one - Atlas. One day I will get one. Until then the Mojotone gets the job done.
     
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  12. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]

    This was given to me by a friend when I started out. He found the plans online and built it from Baltic birch plywood in his shop - one for himself, one for me.
     
  13. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I built one like clintj pictured above, problem is the plans were in metric, (which means nothing to me). After building it, I found it is barely large enough to handle a DR chassis. If building another, I would make it long enough to fit a Twin chassis!
    (Also don't paint it like I did, it gets stuck!)
     
  14. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    I ended up drilling a second hole for the width locking screw so I can extend the width further. I had the same problem with the big SR and JTM45 chassis.
     
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  15. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. I was amazed when I finally realized the width of chassis it must be able to accommodate. From a 5F1 chassis all the way up to a 24 inch wide twin chassis.
     
  16. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've always used 2X4s or 2X6. A stand would be nice.
     
  17. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I am showing my hillbilly roots, but a couple of ammo cans work great!
    Twin2.jpg
     
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  18. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I finally built one! Just slapped this together this evening, from scrap in the garage. It's two 2x8 risers, and a 1/4" plywood base, screwed together from underneath. It's 10" deep (front to back), mostly because that was the width of the plywood, but it also means I can tilt the chassis up on it's back edge without it falling off the stand.

    I marked lines, and predrilled holes, for 22.5, 23.5, and 24.5" chassis (Deluxe, Super, Twin). That's my '77 DR on the bench now. If I want to work on the Twin, for instance, I just remove the screws, slide it over to the outer set of holes, and screw back down.


    I'm surprised how solid it is. Like a rock. I should have done this a long time ago.



    IMG_3678.JPG IMG_3679.JPG
     
  19. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Looks functional! Now drill extra holes in the base, and it will also be adjustable!
     
  20. cboutilier

    cboutilier Tele-Afflicted

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    Another hillbilly here. Ive been using tobacco tubs
     
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