Modular cabinets

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rarecomponent
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Modular cabinets

Post by rarecomponent » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:44 am

Ive seen many close up photos of Modular cabinets but theres not much info on construction details.
They must be Walnut veneer but whats the core material ? Chipboard ..ply?
How did the Moog company get these made?

Also, were the modules simply screwed into the woodwork with pan head screws or was there some sort of metal fastening system using pan head bolts?

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MC
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by MC » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:48 am

This one appears to be hardwood with no veneer. Likely they contracted a local company to build the cabinets.

http://modularsynthesis.com/moog/Moog%2 ... 20rear.jpg

The modules were secured to a metal L bracket with pre-tapped holes.
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EMwhite
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by EMwhite » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:55 pm

I'm probably not telling you something you don't already know but if you look at the various archive sites, you'll see pics of the bottom CP format row being on hinges where the panel tilts forward from the top with the threaded screws that MC mentioned fastening the top of each module.

On the portable cabinets, there was somewhat uneven spacing of the mounting holes to accommodate doors and all sorts of other details; all of which are fascinating.

Of course, the somewhat common 'standard' here in the States is dot com's started with their own throw-back design of walnut slanted and flat faced 22 space wide cabinets with wood screws and so the home brew community of DIY cabinets have yielded (as you probably know) everything from stainless steel mounting rails (NLA) which is similar to what Moog used: http://web.archive.org/web/201205240607 ... ils_mu.htm to drop in 19" rack inserts: http://www.synthesizers.com/cabinets.html#qcr8 MOTM format has a similar system of rails either in a 19" suitable kit or as 6 module lengths for adaptable 'screw to wood' format. You can get these here: http://www.bridechamber.com/Cab_Mounting.html

FWIW synthesizers.com now sells the "box" series of mounting hardware which uses black machine screws and are very nicely constructed.
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GregAE
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by GregAE » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:30 am

EMwhite wrote: FWIW synthesizers.com now sells the "box" series of mounting hardware which uses black machine screws and are very nicely constructed.
The basic component is called "Box 11", and here's what it looks like populated with a 960 sequencer and related sequencer modules (hardwood end cheeks are also available to add the Moog modular vibe):

Image

rarecomponent
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by rarecomponent » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:57 pm

Thanks for replies.

I'm surprised the cabinets may be solid hardwood ..considering warpage and cost etc

Ive noticed on some systems there are considerable gaps between modules where fitting does not quite match up but expected from none production line techniques ....all adds to the vintage.

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CZ Rider
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by CZ Rider » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:50 pm

Have some photos of the module mounting system R.A.Moog used. Those stainless ones from the STG site look the closest to what Moog was using. The only difference would be the countersunk mounting screws. The R.A.Moog rails had a countersunk mount every 2U of space starting in from the ends. So in a portable 8U wide cabinet there would be five screws mounting the rails.
Here is a portable cabinet:
Image

The rails are made of .125" thick steel bar. The middle double wide rails are about .625" high, and the narrow top rail is aprox .385" high. The larger walnut cabinets used the same type 6-32 tapped metal bar.
Close up of center large mounting bar.
Image

The top of the portables is mounted like the wodden cabinets and flat aginst the wood, with little divots behind where the 6-32 screws go for clearance. The middle rows of the portables have a large metal plate with bent ends front and back for strength, and bent sides for mounting to the cabinet sides. The large flat bar is mounted via a machine screw with an aluminum standoff, to give the needed clearance for the 6-32 module mounting screws.
Photo showing the standoffs for the mounting rail to metal pan.
Image

The wood cabinets look to use the same method as on the top of the portable.
Looks to be directly fastened to a wood/plywood strip using wood screws in the countersunk mounts.
Image

The wood construction of those walnut cabinets seem to vary depending on the year made. All the wood cabinetry here from summer 1969 looks like solid walnut, but is well constructed furniture grade plywood with thick vernier applied. (The 951 and 956 in walnut). Have seen photos of Norlin era 55's and 35's that look like they switched to solid wood. Tough to tell without looking very close.
Here is a close up of a 1967 cabinet that at first looks solid, but you can see the 1/4" or so thick vernier applied to the front top rail.
Image

Another look at the inside constrution and mounting in an old circa '67 cabinet.
Can see the piano hinge type mount for the lower Control Panels and mounted double wide rail.
Image

Safe to say they used what they had at the time, and it did vary. But most of those early 22U/24U wide cabinets used a form of plywood to reduce warping. Both tops on my 951's are still straight. Photos posted on this forum of that Dolenz system show what the wood looked like before they put a finish or any vernier. Gives a good idea of what material they had on hand.

Any gap differences seem more related to the width of the bends on the front panels. My one 904A filter is just slightly wider than any other 2U panel. Have to really squeeze in any module that mounts on either side of it. Those rails seem pretty precise though.
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EricK
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by EricK » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:13 pm

CZ,
Your silence on the Emerson Modular System is deafening.
Support the Bob Moog Foundation:
https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=4043

I think I hear the mothership coming.

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CZ Rider
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by CZ Rider » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:33 pm

Guessing they used the same .125" steel bars to mount all those modules?
Nice project though, still gathering info as it slowly comes out.
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rarecomponent
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by rarecomponent » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:38 pm

Oh yea..! Thanks CZ....an absorbing reply. There must be more info here regarding cabinet hardware than anywhere else.
Well done with the photos, rare stuff. I only wish I had taken more at the now defunked UK Synth museum but it was pre digital and I had run out of film ( imagine that?)

But I'm considering building a 15P cab for extra modules so the photos are going to be a big help .

I built my cabs from ply with sap walnut veneer.....not easy by any means and quite time consuming.

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BrianK
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by BrianK » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:18 pm

Indeed, virtually ALL the Moog systems I've ever seen (confirmed by former employees) is that you're seeing plywood with a thick walnut veneer. A few have solid wood here and there, but very few. Cheaper, stronger, prevents warping... However, I've notice many do not really look like the famous black walnut. I'm no expert in wood, but compare closely real black walnut with the grain on many Moog systems - not a match.

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BrianK
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by BrianK » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:20 pm

Black Walnut images:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=black ... 66&bih=638

Mahogany? This looks closer in almost all cases...

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=mahog ... 66&bih=638

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MC
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by MC » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:46 pm

The one I posted is definitely walnut and I know how to identify hardwoods like walnut, mahogany, rosewood, oak, and other common hardwoods. Have a couple of woodworking books that are encyclopedias on hardwoods.

My RAM Minimoog looks just like that modular cabinet. And I have a bedroom dresser set also made of walnut.
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CZ Rider
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Re: Modular cabinets

Post by CZ Rider » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:49 am

Looked again at the old circa 1967 R.A.Moog 950 keyboard controller. The large ends are solid wood, but all the other pieces are vernier covered plywood. The top is really deep and would probably warp if it was not wood plys glued together.
Side of solid walnut?
Image
Top is vernier glued together.
Image

rarecomponent wrote:But I'm considering building a 15P cab for extra modules so the photos are going to be a big help .
Keep us posted!
Always fun making these. A little bit of woodwork, a little metalwork and some electronics.
Last cabinet I made I used black walnut. Doesn't look like much before all the assembly and finishing.
Image

After finishing with a bit of metal work for mounting modules, it turned out pretty good? I'm getting better at the woodwork every new project.
Image

Did one mahogany Moog years back. Was a custom 1150 ribbon controller. What was I thinking?
Image
Mahogany always looks iridescent to me?
Image

Two of my favorites though, walnut and mahogany.
Have to get busy on the electronics part. Finishing up my Moog clone 982 two channel mixer. Have to wire up the front panel tonight. Almost finished!
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