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Stainless Steel for a Chasis

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  • Stainless Steel for a Chasis

    I have complete access to a comercial fabrication shop and an endless supply of scrap pieces of stainless steel, sufficient in size to build a chasis for let say, a deluxe, or perhaps a twin. Does stainless provide the same amount of shielding qualities as the steel normally used in amp chasis? I know grounding to it could prove tedious depending on how I do that. Would there be any electrolosis issues between the stainless and other metal components, I.E. pots etc.?

    Thanks

    ENB

  • #2
    I assume you're talking about your typical 300 series austenitic stainless. If not then the game change a bit. Austenitic stainless is not ferromagnetic, so you'll lose any magnetic shielding because of that (I'm sure I'm buggering the description of the type of shielding ferrite provides). For all intents and purposes, it'll be like an aluminum chassis in this regard.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about galvanic corrosion (I'm assuming that's what you mean by electrolosis). It really depends on the materials involved. If you isolate your pots, jacks and trannys from the chassis, it won't be an issue. I'm also pretty sure galvanic corrisoin needs an electrolyte to work, I'd have to ask some people at work about it though.
    -Mike

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    • #3
      Mike, thanks for the reply. The steel most available for me is what my buddy calls "Low Carbon". It is "Non Magnetic". I have seen "high carbon steel" which had some magnetic quality.

      The stuff he uses is typically like you would see in a commercial kitchen or food prep situation, when formed in to a chasis, it would be more a little more rigid than chasis I have seen. I am trying to avoid having any electroplating done, if I can. Is that concern misguided?

      I sure dont want to have an amp that is subject to a lot of rf get into the preamp area.

      ENB, AKA Wayne

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      • #4
        Other options

        This Stainless is that typically used in Food Prep fabrication.

        If cost was not an obstical, would sheet brass have the desired properties for an amp chasis, I think I could always spray on a sealer on the polished exterior of brass for astetics?

        I know there is an earlier thread on this subject but I did not but I did not find a total answer there.

        Thanks for the input

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        • #5
          I don't see any problem with using stainless. Trace Elliot made the Quadra Valve and Hexa Valve series out of it.

          It looks great polished, and I guess the only reason it's not used more by hobbyists is that it's hard stuff, really tough to work with home workshop tools. It just eats drill bits, saber saw blades and the like. I make all my amp chassis out of alumin(i)um for that reason.

          Oh, and it won't take solder, but neither does aluminum, and I never want to solder things to the chassis anyway. I always connect the green wire with a bolt and a ring terminal.
          "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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          • #6
            The stuff used for food prep like sinks and tables is typically 304. Knives and utensils are made from slightly different stainlesses.

            If you want it all, and the kitchen sink (sorry I couldn't resist), check out a duplex stainless like 2205. It'll cost you, but you'll be able to get rigidity, ferromagnetic shielding, corrosion resistance and finish.

            It's not so much that 304 is hard, it's that it work hardens. The more you bend or try to drill the stuff, the more dislocations you move through the grain structure, the harder it gets.
            Last edited by defaced; 12-04-2008, 01:03 PM.
            -Mike

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ENB View Post
              I have complete access to a comercial fabrication shop and an endless supply of scrap pieces of stainless steel, sufficient in size to build a chasis for let say, a deluxe, or perhaps a twin. Does stainless provide the same amount of shielding qualities as the steel normally used in amp chasis? I know grounding to it could prove tedious depending on how I do that. Would there be any electrolosis issues between the stainless and other metal components, I.E. pots etc.?

              Thanks

              ENB
              In order to save some production costs.... I ran about 200 of my old 5E3 tweed Deluxe chassis' in "mirror polished" stainless steel instead of chrome plated mild steel... they worked great and I had no issues with shielding or grounds... BUT, I found that the stainless steel would scratch and get friction rub marks so much easier then the chrome plated steel that I simply had to stop using/selling them.
              I had to have all the the ink removed from the last 40 or 50 and have them chrome plated and reinked.
              Those SS chrome plated chassis' looked incredible!!
              The best chrome chassis I've ever seen to date but it ended up costing me much more $$ in the long run.
              Bruce

              Mission Amps
              Denver, CO. 80022
              www.missionamps.com
              303-955-2412

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