When I decided to build a batch of five O2 amps with my friends a while back I, like many others, went to JDSLabs to order their aluminum front panels. When I got them, however, I was honestly rather disappointed - it looked all shiny and nice in the pictures on their website but the actual parts I received weren't all that great to me. I also wasn't a big fan of their company logo taking up so much space on the front panel of my DIY amp. I decided look into getting some nice stainless steel panels machined for me...
The panels will be made of 12ga 304 stainless steel with a #4 (brushed) finish on the front. The lettering and symbols will be approximately 0.006" deep and filled in with black paint. I have some prototypes on the way from a machinist I've worked with in the past and will post up a video and pictures once they arrive. (I have some pictures of earlier prototypes on my blog but the newest ones should look a bit better)
The panel is designed to fit the "stock" B2-080 enclosure from Box Enclosures. It has a rectangular profile rather than being rounded like most other O2 front panels on the market. Personally I think it looks better that way.
The exact fabrication process will be based on the chosen supplier's capabilities and is not finalized yet. The reference process flow I am providing to suppliers is as follows:
Reference Process Flow:
1. Start with a large #4 pre-finished 12GA 304 SS sheet
2. CNC waterjet cut 4.313" x 1.188" panel and 11 holes /w provided CAD files
3. Chemical etch lettering and symbols to nominal depth of 0.006"
4. Polish sides and back of panel /w 180-240 grit sandpaper
5. Fill lettering and symbols /w black oil-enamel paint
Your funding will help pay for the initial setup and tooling needed to produce a batch of 100 or more of these parts. Naturally, you will get one of these parts as thanks for your support.
I am fairly certain that I can deliver by the end of the year if funding is successful. I have already gathered preliminary quotes from about 10 different suppliers and this is what I used to determine reward prices.
Once the funding period ends I will submit formal RFQs for the quantity needed to a few chosen suppliers and make a decision based on supplier reputation and price per part. I will try to have this part made within the USA if practical, and I have identified at least two companies that I think can handle the job.
If project funding is not successful but I still raise a decent amount of funding, I'll probably pay for the rest of the tooling costs out of my own pocket and make a batch of 100. If I find there is just absolutely no interest in this part at all then I'll probably give up the project altogether and refund any supporters.
Feel free to make suggestions for potential suppliers or even tweaks to the design! Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated!