Valuable Tips from a Reader Building the Line Input Selector
Figure 1. Amazing accuracy of the handheld hole punch.
Figure 2. Re-punched rings, slugs and front connectors.
Figure 4. Faceplate with glue applied just before applying the graphic sheet.
Figure 5. Felt record cleaning pad I used to smooth out and apply pressure to help graphics adhere to the covers. I bought the felt, LP-record-cleaning tool and replacement felt pads from Mobile Fidelity(MOFI).
Figure 6. Once I confirmed good adhesion of the graphic sheet to the front cover, I bent back each of the edges, applied glue, and rolled from the front edge to the side. Then I pressed down and slid using my thumbs. I applied the glue to the metal for the “SIDE” edges, and applied the glue to the paper for the “TOP & BOTTOM” edges, insuring full coverage of glue on the edge and no excess to clean from the metal afterwards.
Figure 7. Voilà—Right after gluing the edges—using NO tape!! This stuff sticks really well!
Figure 8. Both covers completed! A major triumph I must say!!
Figure 9. Finished front panel barely shows lifting at edges.
Figure 10. Finished rear panel barely shows lifting at edges. [Note that the nylon washer under the lower Line Out connector is for aesthetic balance. The rear nut is in contact with the case to provide the chassis ground connection—ed.]
Figure 11. Wiring the front panel.
Figure 12. Wiring the rear panel.
Reader John Gadeikis did a fine job building this project and was kind enough to share photos and text about his experiences, including some effective solutions which will be helpful to other builders. These were sent in a series of messages during the effort and we’ll let those tell the story in John’s own words (edited slightly for publication).
Punching the Holes
My name is John, and I’ve visited your web site often. I know of Dave Gillespie as well from AudioKarma, and have followed many of his audio projects and improvements —particularly of Fisher FM receivers. I’m beginning to become overrun with Fisher receivers, turntables, and tube amps and was pulling my hair out trying to figure out a way to connect everything to one switching box, so I looked for someone who may have already designed one so I wouldn’t have to do it (lazy, I am).
Well, I found you quite by accident while reading one of Dave’s articles on Tronola. So I’ve gathered together everything needed to fabricate the switching box. I’ve been following your instructions to the letter, and so far it’s going GREAT!! I’m AMAZED at how accurately the hole puncher works! (Fig.1) I just have to show you what happened to me.
When I ordered the punch kit from “Slugbus” on eBay, I received the kit with all punches in 32nds, which I didn’t even notice at first. So I figured what the hell, I’ll use a 9/32” punch for the audio connectors and a 13/32” punch for the switch hole (which works by the way; the hole is just a bit oversized. Well, after punching out two holes with the 9/32” punch for the front faceplate I realized that the nylon shoulder washer wouldn’t fit into the hole.
The hole was too small so I ordered a 5/16” punch and die assembly and got it this morning. I tapped the slugs back into the punched out holes to line up the “tip” on the punch, and I re-punched the two 9/32” holes out to 5/16”. The tiny rings that were punched out were PERFECTLY EVEN all the way around!! (Was shaking my head in utter amazement.) I snapped photos of the slugs and the paper punch pieces to confirm the statement about the accuracy of this tool! (Fig.2) (Thank God for the pointed “tip” on the end of each punch.)
Before I punched out the holes, I used one of those “spring loaded” center punches to mark each spot. The force of the spring loaded punch put a nice little dent in the metal to make it that much easier to find it when lining up the tip of the hole puncher.
I know now after working on this project that you’ve dedicated much of your time documenting, as well as getting the proper sized shoulder and flat washers, knob, etc. I want to say THANK YOU for making this a very satisfying project for me up to this point. So far I’m very happy to follow your instructions without any doubt that it will turn out perfectly.
I downloaded a trial—well, rental copy of CorelDraw for the templates (front and rear). [Currently, CorelDraw rents for $25/mo. from Corel—ed.] I have an HP ENVY 7640 printer and got the best paper I could find — Hammermill Color Copy Digital (100-brightness) That paper is the cat’s ass!!
The “PYM II” [Preserve Your Memories II] spray will be perfect for this application!! I ordered that as well, and already had the 3M Super 77 from my R/C plane building days for affixing balsa sheeting to curved Styrofoam. That’s some really good adhesive—gets tacky pretty quickly.
Affixing the Panel Art
Well, you were correct when you said that it would be difficult attaching the graphic sheet to the front and rear face of the box. I first attempted lining the holes using a back light, practiced it a couple of times with the graphics attached by only one piece of masking tape. I warmed up the Super 77 glue by holding the can under hot water and mixing until the contents were slightly warm inside. I hoped that by warming it it would spread out smoother and maybe slow the drying a bit. Didn’t happen! The moment the graphic sheet made contact with the metal cover it was already adhering too much to try to align the sheet further. I tried pulling back on the sheet, effectively wrinkling it beyond further use. It was difficult even ripping the graphic sheet off from the cover!
Using 91% isopropyl alcohol, I soaked the cover, removed the graphics, then proceeded to rub the remaining glue off, which took quite a few soak downs and rubbing sessions (using my trusty old dry split thumbs as glue removal tools). While I was rubbing and swearing, I was thinking of what else I could possibly use to attach the graphics successfully AND have a bit of time to shift and align the graphic sheet if needed. I deduced that any kind of liquid glue would not work because of the wrinkling problem that you had mentioned in your assembly article. Then I got an idea—A GLUE STICK! I’ve used glue sticks before to mount paper items to cardboard for picture framing.
It was already about 11:00PM last night when I made a glue stick run to Walgreens (haha). So I got home and tried a sample with two different types of glue stick—one made by 3M which was clear and very sticky to the touch. The other brand was Elmer’s (Fig.3), which was white and went on smoother than the 3M brand did. NICE. (I had to make a new print and spray it with the “PYM II” protective spray, then let it dry.)
So I applied the glue stick to the panel (Fig.4), aligned the new graphic sheet and taped one side after lining up the holes. Then I very carefully started from the taped end pressing evenly from the taped end to the other end to prevent any creases or bubbles. Once I was satisfied, I used my felt record cleaning pad to press down to get a good adhesion. (Fig.5) The Elmer’s glue stick worked very well, I must say! After I was satisfied that the graphics wouldn’t lift or wrinkle, I then rubbed the glue stick on each of the four edge sections, and rolled them into place. (Fig.6) I didn’t need ANY tape to hold the edges in place! I just rubbed the edges over and over several times to assure good adhesion. (Fig.7) That’s that!
One other thing that I want to mention is about the type of paper used for the graphics. I don’t know if this even matters, but I think that the better the paper, the better the results with the glue step. The paper I used was digital copy and it had 100 brightness. It’s NOT porous at all—very smooth and thick feeling! Also, maybe a coating of the protective “PYM II” spray on the BACKSIDE of the graphic sheet would prevent the glue from absorbing into the paper, thusly preventing absorption of the glue into the paper that could cause wrinkling. Maybe a very light film of regular Elmer’s glue could be used then. That’s just purely conjecture on my part—AND wishful thinking after failing with that first graphic sheet. You know what’s involved to get the graphic sheet to the point of attaching it—time consuming to say the least if you want to do it right—and I DO want to do it right!
So there you have it—my foray into this new venture of applying graphics (haha) I LIKE IT!!! Looks GREAT!! (Fig.8) And Steve, this is a GREAT project!! Got my blood flowing last night for sure!!! I was driving like a raving maniac to Walgreen’s last night for those glue sticks!! I’ve attached photos for your viewing pleasure. Note the changes I made to the input names using CorelDraw.
Issue with Adhesion at the Edges
Well, there are a couple of very small areas of the graphics that lifted on the edges, but hardly noticeable unless you hold it against the light a certain way. (Figs. 9, 10) Probably just needed a bit more glue than what I had applied. I didn’t use a thick layer of glue—so I know better for next time. I’ve made some progress today, as you’ll see from the attached pics. (Figs. 11, 12) By the way, the screw and split washer thing worked GREAT! (Fig.13)
I want to say again that your instructions are very thorough and ACCURATE! I’ve followed your instructions pretty much to the letter and everything is going just SUPER! I know the proud feeling now about how perfect the hole alignment turned out. I’m smiling!
The Taste of Success...
Well, finally finished testing my new Line Input Selector. I’m really pleased with the outcome. (photos below) Just want to say thanks again for your kind words of encouragement as well as providing the excellent plans to build it :)