DIY Monorocket-style case build

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Kingnimrod
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DIY Monorocket-style case build

Post by Kingnimrod »

I am starting this thread to document my build and "think out loud" as I gather materials and work through the process.

Possessing a woodshop and being too impatient to wait months for a Monorocket case, I decided that I will build my own, after being inspired by the nice case shown off in viewtopic.php?t=76937.

I'm going to list materials and suppliers and update as anything changes.

The plan right now is to make a fairly thin, double-sided case that can handle 2 rows (6u) of Euro on each side.

MATERIALS LIST:

Wood - 1/2" plywood

Rack rails - Vector T-struts - TS209 - 104 HP

Vector 4-40 sliding nuts from Digikey

2 1/8" x 1" x 36" pieces of aluminum for mounting rails to inside of case. (will cut down)

Tolex - Measurement TBD. I am using silver tolex purchased from Mojotone

Adhesive - Weldwood non-flammable contact cement

1 Handle - http://www.reliablehardware.com/briefca ... ecial.aspx

2 twist latches - http://www.reliablehardware.com/mediumt ... rcoat.aspx

2 keepers - https://www.reliablehardware.com/medium ... rcoat.aspx

8 edge clamps - http://www.reliablehardware.com/2-holec ... oxide.aspx

8 corners - http://www.reliablehardware.com/3-legca ... rcoat.aspx

16 feet (enough for bottoms and both lids in case I decide to do a deep case)
http://www.reliablehardware.com/rubberfoot.aspx

2 lift-away hinges
http://www.reliablehardware.com/take-ap ... oxide.aspx

jack plates for power, power switch - probably a recessed/flush door pull in black or silver.

screws and black washers

power - 2 x MakeNoise power bus kits

SPST push-button switch


TOOLS:
RULER/MEASURING TAPE (!!!!!!)
square
pencil/pen
Table saw
Router / router table
1/2" roundover router bit
Power drill / drill press
Unibit
Drill bits
Countersink bit
hack saw for cutting aluminum brackets.
Metal files
Sandpaper
Adhesive remover
several large clamps - at least 8
wood glue
clean work surface
Glue brushes
Clean rags
Bond-o
wood filler
putty knife
Small palm "mouse" sander
heat gun
Last edited by Kingnimrod on Fri May 24, 2013 3:53 pm, edited 16 times in total.
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visible cow
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Post by visible cow »

Interested in your progress. By the way, your "twist latch" link is wrong.
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Kingnimrod
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Post by Kingnimrod »

link fixed.

BTW, have confirmed that the hardware is identical to the Monorocket hardware.

Athens, GA, huh? I went to school there, and live down the road in Atlanta.
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visible cow
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Post by visible cow »

Yeah, it has taken me a couple years to get used to Athens. I moved here from Oakland when my bandmate's wife got a job teaching at UGa.....

We just played the Drunken Unicorn on Friday....I need to get over to Atlanta more often.
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amalthea
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Post by amalthea »

This is great! Looking forward to following your build. I've been thinking of doing something like this myself one day. I have plenty of the impatience, but alas no woodshop.
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Post by chaotician »

any news on this? I'm curious to see how you are getting on..
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Kingnimrod
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Post by Kingnimrod »

I am going to try to buy the wood today. So far I have the tolex and case hardware.

Hard to get things done these days with crazy amounts of work and a baby to look after.
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Post by chaotician »

Wow, sounds hectic.

Good luck with getting your wood (heh wood..)

Would you be so kind as to share your cutting list. I'm considering putting up a Github page for a set op open source case plans when I put mine together.

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Kingnimrod
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Post by Kingnimrod »

Bought the wood yesterday.

Instead of using poplar sides I'm going to just use plywood for the whole thing, same as monorocket.

I haven't totally figured out my measurements just yet, so I bought 2 2x4 sheets of the plywood just to make sure I have enough. Right now I am debating 6u x 2 sides vs 1 side of 9u.

I also realized that since I am rounding over all of the edges, I can't use a brad nailer, so I removed that from the tools list.

Also, I am going to fight against my urge to start cutting until I get all of the pieces. It's easier to cut wood than aluminum. I plan on ordering rails this week, as well as aluminum brackets to hold them to the inside of the case.
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Post by Sebastian Cain »

I'm following this with great interest as well.

Glad I found this thread since I am planning on building my own monorocket style case (complete with integrated power and busboards - I hate wall warts and power bricks :evil: ).

Any construction tips/tricks (do's/dont's) are much appreciated.
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Post by Kingnimrod »

I keep trying to get back to this project but am totally slammed with working through the weekends lately.

I am still debating whether to do a two-sided 6u case or just a one-sided 9u.

I've yet to order the rails - probably will this week.
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Post by RotomotioN »

Whatever you decide the measurements will be, allways make the box as a whole, and than saw away the lid. It's the only way to make a tightly closing case.
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Kingnimrod
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Post by Kingnimrod »

Interesting point. I have been considering this, so I think I will take that advice.
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Post by algo »

Great idea. I'm going to look into this as well.
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Post by sempervirent »

I just had two Monorocket-style cases made for 5U and 4U systems. The OP is right, the hardware is an exact match. With that hardware, Mojotone tolex, and some 1/2" plywood you're set. My cases aren't powered up yet though, I'm still waiting on some metal parts for the power plates and rails. Here are some photos. In the first two, the Monorocket M9C is in front, the 4U case is in the middle, the 5U case is in the back (strap handle not installed yet). These can be closed patched, even the 5U case, you only need to add about 3" of depth for the lids.

Image

Image

Image
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Samuron
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Post by Samuron »

^^^^^^^^

Gorgeous; I don't even need a case and now I want to build one.
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Post by Dmmavar »

Love the DIY case idea! Thanx for the hardware links!
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Kingnimrod
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Post by Kingnimrod »

I finally ordered rails and hope to start the build soon.

The new cases by Enclave have made me think about some things so I will be possibly deviating from the Monorocket example a bit.
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limpmeat
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Post by limpmeat »

Does anyone know of stores in Aus that sell this stuff? reliable hardware want my kidney for shipping. (my kidneys are worth about $60 each, FYI)

I've tried Pro Audio Stash, no luck.
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Post by windspirit »

how much tolex did you buy?

edit: thinking about making one of the smaller cases, not the long one.
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Post by Kingnimrod »

I bought tolex remnants from Mojotone via ebay - don't remember how much exactly. Hopefully will be enough.

I am trying to also figure out how to make it where I can have the lid rigid/upright when opened but also removable - some sort of "best of both worlds" solution...
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Post by joshuagoran »

I wonder if there's such a thing as a catch like what is common on pickup tailgates...a cable or rigid holder with a spring to hold on to a retaining pin of sorts? A cable might not be ideal but maybe there's some sort of hinge retainer that could be installed with a hand removable fastener or spring loaded something instead of a standard rivet.

I'm also looking forward to seeing this come together :)
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Post by Smugrik »

This looks awesome, I have just started to build myself a similar 6U travel case and wondered which parts to use for latches and handle.

Great find!
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Post by Kingnimrod »

Image

I built the box yesterday/today. Configuration is similar to the Monorocket MX104. 4 rows total of 104hp. The shallow end is about 3.25" deep. Total height right now is 9" but I may cut the deeper side down a bit - not sure yet.


Some notes:

All of my joints are glued rabbet joints. I didn't want to bother with dovetails or biscuits. I may decide to reinforce in some way.

In any case, you will want several large clamps. No other way to do it.

I built it as a single large closed cube, then ran it across the table saw to separate it into two pieces. This will ensure that they fit correctly to each other.

The router tore out a few bits of the grain of the plywood - will have to fix with wood putty or bond, and going to fill in all small gaps anywhere with the same.

A palm sander is necessary for cleanup and rounding off the corners once the roundover routing is done.

my measurements:

Image

there should be two "lid panels" and the height of the side panels should be to your preferred specs. Mine was 9.125" tall, so the table saw cut to separate the halves makes it 9". As I said, I may cut it down more, but the point is to have the lower half as a skiff-depth table-resting unit, and the deeper half to stand upright.

Next step is cutting the side pieces that the rails are mounted on. Also have to order sliding nuts, mounting screws, and power supplies.

This is definitely not a cheap or easy project, especially when you factor in rails and power supplies, but costs considerably less than $1000 for the Monorocket-built case.
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Post by Kingnimrod »

I decided to buy a drill press with a laser sight today for drilling out holes in the aluminum side brackets.

Don't try to do this project without proper tools. I couldn't have done it without a table saw and router, and the drill press should cut down a lot of time.
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