Custom Mixer Frame, Wood or Metal?

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Barrylime

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Sep 27, 2020
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Hi guys,

This is my first post, I hope this is the right place for it, otherwise please move it to the right thread!

Basically, I recently got a D&R Orion mixing console, but really, it's made from two smaller Orions which were joined together at some point in time. This means I have quite a lot of spare parts and channels, as I'm using some of the space in the frame for other things (Daw controller, screen, 500 series racks, etc.).
Although some things are missing, I basically have 'complete sets' for multiple channels (meaning the channel strip, the led bar, the backplate with connectors, etc). It's an all modular format, so it's a matter of plugging in the channels to a ribbon cable and connecting them to the master section, and it's ready to go..

I was very fortunate to find an Orion PSU second hand for a steal (I mean what are the chances of finding the exact PSU separately for an out-of-production console). However, I have no frame, and no legs...

Normally, I'm abroad (at the moment studying) and over there I have a smaller mobile setup in the garage of the house I rent. Before I used a Mackie 1640i, but it recently broke down, and 4 channels are not working. Next to this, the built in interface/conversion which works over firewire is giving me issues, as it's very old and not supported...Instead of getting something newer to replace it, I figured it would be a cool project to create a 'tiny 16CH Orion' using the spare parts I have. Not only would this be fun, and cheaper (well maybe not cheap, but definitely cheaper than buying a new mixer), and generally a big upgrade from the Mackie quality and sound wise... as I have already discovered from using the bigger Orion.

My question is, are there any disadvantages to using wood for a DIY frame? I would use metal for everything, but given the cost and difficulties of working with metal with limited tools and time, this is not really an option. I could however line the wooden frame with aluminium foil, or even a thin plate in the bottom/any surface which I can screw into the wood?

I'm just curious if anyone has any suggestions regarding this, or anything else to keep in mind? I know it's normally important to shield equipment to prevent noise etc.

Because I have an existing frame/console, and the parts, I know/can measure all of the dimensions, so it should be pretty straightforward. I want to make it look cool, but it doesn't have to win the beauty prize, as long as it works well...

Also, it might be worth mentioning that this smaller one won't be used for summing/mixing, only to serve as mobile tracking rig, in case that changes anything...

Excuse me if any of my assumptions/statements are stupid, I realise I have a lot to learn. Currently I'm building some of my first kits, but am not very experienced and knowledgable. As I mentioned though, this project wont' involve anything but creating a frame for the modules, no designing circuitry, or anything like that (although I'll recapp the channels, but that is no problem. I realise building an actual console from scratch is a job for an expert, and takes years, if not decades of experience, and also years to design and build, but this is simply a frame haha...

I really appreciate you reading this, and welcome suggestions!


Thanks,

BL  8)

 

abbey road d enfer

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Nothing wrong with wood frames. My first two mixers had woodframes, because it had been commissioned by the Water and Forest Authority. Alu foil is good for shielding as long as you make sure there is electrical continuity between all foils. You may also want to use conductive paint for unreachable places.
 

boji

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anything else to keep in mind?

I'd be intrested to know if wood's insulative properties are affected by humidity. Suppose if it is sealed or painted it shouldn't change much.
 

abbey road d enfer

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boji said:
I'd be intrested to know if wood's insulative properties are affected by humidity. Suppose if it is sealed or painted it shouldn't change much.
I wouldn't rely on wood for insulation when safety or high-Z is involved.
Wood is a generic term for materials with widely different properties. Woods that are naturally sealed, such as ebony, macassar or woodbox are not much sensitive to humidity, contrary to birch or pine.
 

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