What I did in the shutdown: a budget 5E3 in the garden

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Paul-T, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Meister

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    How is everyone? I hope you and your loved ones are all ok.

    Things are as weird in London as they are everywhere. I’ve started a new job as a teacher, so I know it’s weird for the kids. Weird for me, too, as my parents are elderly and vulnerable, and I can’t go see them.

    So amid all the weirdness and sorting stuff out, I thought I’d also use this enforced layoff. Sent an order to Tube-town for final 5E3 bit, just before the shut-down was announced (I knew the schools had to close a couple of days in advance). It was a bit of a hurry... we'll find what I've forgotten later I guess.

    My first build was a Boothill 5f2a, documented elsehwere. THis is my first non-kit.. I decided to build a 5E3 for a friend’s daughter which should be in time for her 19th birthday in the fall. She’s in a good indie band, I’ve already sourced her a MiJ Jazzmaster, which I’ve fitted with SD and Fender reissue pickups, I’m hoping the 5E3 will get a clear but fat sound. I’m optimistic as my 5F2a sounds stonking with my JM.

    All resistors and most caps were sourced for pennies from a weird wireless shop in Lincoln, as were the preamp valves. Power caps, board, tweed and transformers came from tube-town, who gave excellent service as usual. Not sure what Ill do wiht cable as yet, I have an assortment.Aim for this was to complete for around £300. Looking good so far with a s/h Jensen for £20, plus a chassis sourced from ampmart for $25 and pickup up in Hong Kong.

    This has been a big step-up for me in terms of building the cabinet. I have no garage, no table saw, just a garden, a black and decker workmate, circular saw and a good Makita router. So for me, the main issues are getting square joints, which I’m nearly competent at, and things like fitting the cleats. And waiting for sunny weather. I've made lots of mistakes but have more or less worked out how to use a Router properly.

    I’ve read all the build threads here including @dunehunter and @moosie 's really detailed thread. Thanks guys. No surprise to say I'm following @robrob 's guides for earthing etc, I;m still considering whether to add the 90% power option.

    They were really handy as they helped me think in detail about fitting the front cleats. I did so using my Leigh router bit with the Leigh boss, that allows for adjustable depth. I simply used a straight edge as a template, pinned to the amp to get the angles right, the aspect i was most worried about.

    I went with all Hammond transformers 290CAX PT and 760E - they were cheaper and I figured stuff from the US, as on my 5F2a, was likely to get stuck in customs.

    I had considered a Proluxe version, but in the end reckoned if she’s playing bigger venues, having an extension speaker, via a proper 4 ohm tap on the transformer, would give a bit more oomph, wihtout the main amp being too heavy to carry around. The cabinet will have a 10 inch Jensen alnico reissue, again so it’s not too heavy to carry.I'll keep an eye open for a cheap, efficient 12 inch speaker.

    Anways.. I assembled the cab over the Christmas holidays, and with a couple of afternoons i’ve sneaked during the shutdown, I’ve fnished the cab, bar the back panels.



    5e3 1.jpg 5e3 2.jpg 5e3 back.jpg 5e3 detail.jpg 5e3 front.jpg
     

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  2. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I admire anyone who can build a cabinet at all, and even more so
    a nice one like that. Stay calm and keep all your fingers!
     
  3. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Very nice looking cabinet.
     
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  4. GuitarGeorge

    GuitarGeorge Tele-Meister

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    Nice work!
     
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  5. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Tele-Holic

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    Nice work with the router mate. Your friends daughter is a very lucky girl.

    (Not sure the tweed covering fits with the style. Around here a lot of the Indie bands seem to go for a statement. Lime green or something furry. Last band I saw had a two tone red combo with spotted grill cloth. Eclectic stuff.):cool:
     
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  6. Dannebrog53

    Dannebrog53 TDPRI Member

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    The joints on your cabinet are fantastic not to take anything away from the rest of it, beautifully done! Can't wait to see it when you're finished. As for making a statement the Tweed will look great and she can always change the color of the knobs.
     
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  7. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Meister

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    Beautiful work - looking forward to seeing the finish amp.

    Quick question from someone with limited woodworking skills - how did you get the cab corners and sides rounded?
     
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  8. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Wow is that ever nice!
     
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  9. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    What the hell is this cheery light source that you're using?

    I haven't seen anything like that in at least 17 months.
     
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  10. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Meister

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    Following the guidance of others here, I used a Router with a roundover bit. The biggest choice/purchase in doing this was a good Router, because I used it for the Box Joints with a Leigh Box joint jig, which only has adapters for some Routers. The Leigh jig seems to be the main one that doesn't need a router table or table saw. My router is a very old Makita 3600, built like a tank. It's quite easy to use but you need practice. I've messed up a MDF jig and a back panel by not having the height locked in properly.

    Then for the main roundover, I used a 12.7 mm or 1/2 roundover bit. This is what others have used here. I bought a slightly better named brand one, Trend, we'll see how long it lasts. This is my third cabinet so far


    I know! Weird huh?
    The pics don't quite show the echium, a large spikey plant in the left hand corner of my garden, I've grown them before but this one is 50% larger... they're supposed to be used in sub-tropical climates but this one is happy as larry. It's going to be huge.And yes, it's nice to be working in sunny (cold) weather. Sorry you're not getting it in the land of käse und bier? Wo ist es?

    Update, Sunday: it's 6 degrees with super-strong wind so I will have to wrap up warm.

    Haha that's possible, but she's a big Television fan, they used Fenders and Richard Lloyd used a Tweed so I think we'll get away with it. I checked with her dad, whose records she borrows, and he specified tweed, even for an extra £20 or so, so I'm just following the client...
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
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  11. tubegeek

    tubegeek Tele-Afflicted

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    After final testing be sure to sign your name on a piece of masking tape and stick it inside the chassis!
     
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  12. Teleblaster196

    Teleblaster196 TDPRI Member

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    A nice bit of woodwork there. Take your time assembling the electronics, checking as you go and you shouldn't go far wrong!
     
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  13. BigDaddy23

    BigDaddy23 Tele-Holic

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    Great job mate! Can't go wrong with those Leigh jigs.
     
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  14. dunehunter

    dunehunter Tele-Holic Double Platinum Supporter

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    Love the B&D workmate. Had one once that finally gave up the ghost but I've often thought about getting another. Like having a second pair of hands.

    Nice looking cab. Well done!
     
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  15. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    Great job!!! Looks like it should! Wonderful. Almost a shame to cover up those nice joins...
     
  16. FelixV

    FelixV TDPRI Member

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    nice! very cool, i'm excited to see this project come to fruition.
     
  17. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Meister

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    argh, three steps forward, two back.

    IMG_1849.JPG

    Back panaels done, after I junked two of them and two templates.
    IMG_1848.JPG

    Can't work out exactly what's happening. Still, I'm done, at some point I have to make a new vent template but I can't face that for now. Annoyed I can't work out the source of errors although one factor is probably that the template cutters are getting blunt. One of them, a Silverline, is junk .

    IMG_1850.JPG
    THis is the only obvious flaw, but the roundover is straight, and I'll be able to fill in the missing chunk with plastic wood.


    Now I've given up on cutting a new template until later (it makes sense to copy one from what I have before I cover) I'm sorting through resistors instead, seem to have more or less everything, so looking good. Over the weekend I'll practise tolexing on my Surfy reverb unit.
    I love the smell of glue in the morning.
     
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  18. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Meister

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    turretthingy.jpg board.jpg echium.jpg I have done a small amount of real work in the interim but also managed to sneak the time for work on the 5E3.

    Much of it was working out how to use a cheap new drill press. I want to learn how to lay out and make boards. So I started by making the swaging tool, which I'll use along with the hole punch.

    I practised by adding a couple of turrets to the 5E3 board. They are now fixed nicely in place. Once I get the amp working, I try Rob RObinette's separate lead Eq mod, with the plexi-style eq on the lead channel.

    this board I've soldered completely different to my first build. When I studied electronics at uni we were always told to tin each component, then simply join together and heat. THis time I've locked everything in place, then soldered from the edge as suggested in, eg, boothill's video. Don't know if it's better - but it's a damn sight quicker.

    Finally a quick boast about london weather. It's around 20 celsius today. The triffid-like plant is an echium, they've grown from 13 feet up to 14 feet in the last 10 days. Most of the time I've been working, we have two robins bobbing around in the garden. they're very social but mostly disappear when I point my phone at them.
     
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  19. D'tar

    D'tar Friend of Leo's

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    Nice photos Paul-T!
     
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  20. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Meister

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    thanks @D'tar , I've been checking out your 5E3 in detail and just repositioned the cathode resistor more like yours!

    Update: 290CAX doesn't fit. Shouldv'e looked in more detai. Shame as I wanted to experiment with a couple of voltages like @jsnwhite619 who I remembered using it, maybe on a Harvard . Shame as the 290BX is an extra €30. Them's the breaks.
     
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