Being an Engineer I always start every project by determining the exact
requirements. Even when it's a one off custom it's still very well planned and
documented. I use a variety of tools including Cad for schematics,
mechanical and even for tubes. I'm an old school kind of guy so I actually
get curves and draw loadlines, etc. So I know within 90% where I am when I
start to test. After I have established exactly where I'm going to punch
holes it's time to break out the tools.
I use a variety of methods to punch including step drills, chassis punches, twist drills and
occasionally professional machining.
The next step is fabing a PCB. After I've drawn a schematic. I'll arrange placement and fab a PTP
board. I typically use CAD software to establish exactly where everything will go. I'll print a 1:1
drawing. Cut a piece of FR-4 to the exact dimensions. Drill the holes and then use an arbor press
to install the eyelets.
Now it's time to install he parts. I use nylock nuts, teflon wire and loctite on everything. I also use
Silicone RTV on the preamp sockets which drastically reduces microphonics. I don't want stuff
rattling loose up the road.
Now the Box.... I normally use plywood on boxes but I have used #2 pine and a variety of
hardwoods dependent on the end users request. Check out the Cocobolo grill.
Here's a couple of pointers for covering amps:
Measure accurately and precut before you start to cover. Get one of those special mats and
"Pizza Cutters" from Wally World. The cutter makes a nice smooth cut and the mat is measured
off in inches so it makes it a breeze. I usually allow about 2" extra from the actual measurement.
Last, use Super 90 from 3M, it holds really well and it only takes a few minutes to setup. Other
glues like Hide glue work really well too, but without a special applicator you'll never get even
coverage. Regular contact cement works pretty well with some stuff but it takes a lot longer to
set up and it will stink up the whole place. It also might make vinyl covering a little soft because
of the nasty solvents.