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Steve's TINY RADIAL project! (Read 150915 times)
Lon
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #600 - 04/14/21 at 15:36:29
 
Not my idea of perfection in a tortilla!

My favorite breakfast is not available here, one of the things I missed most about my final years in Austin was walking five minutes to this store and buying a few of these amazing breakfast tacos and grabbing a few containers of their dona sauce!

https://www.tacodeli.com/menu/

The Otto, the Jess Special and the Vaquero are just fabulous treats for the senses.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #601 - 04/25/21 at 03:25:53
 



https://decware.wistia.com/medias/s14ys754ls

A quick sound demo of the new super thick Tiny Radials.

Steve
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Reply #602 - 04/26/21 at 15:32:47
 
They sound great!
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Reply #603 - 04/29/21 at 03:30:45
 
I’m interested in purchasing the Tiny Radials. Decades ago I heard a pair of Ohm Walsh and couldn’t believe the soundstage. The TR seem to have that same potential. I currently use a pair of NHT C1 on my desk, paired with an Earthquake FF6.5 subwoofer, and an SMSL AD18 class-D dac/amp with subwoofer out. I would like to hear opinions of the TRs as a replacement for the NHTs, but paired with the same amp and sub. If the TRs have a similar magical soundstage like the Walsh’s, then I think I’m sold. Thank you.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #604 - 04/30/21 at 03:34:09
 
Chris B, no don’t waste your time.i happen to have the SMSL18 powering my kitchen set-up so just out of curiosity (and Since you asked)  i tried it w/ the TR’s and nope...You are not going to get the magic that they are capable of. My own preference for the TR’s and yes my musical genre choices make a difference, is tube amplifiers.

In particular the midrange lost it’s voicing immediately  w/ The SMSL, did not like it one bit. The sound was off, and i am sure it had to to with the DAC and the class D operation of that particular amp. It’s perfect for my TV powering a pair of JBL B15 closed backs and throwing sound into a noisy kitchen, The clean set-up of my desk With the TR’s was NOT pleasing.

Don’t fret though, the TR’s are so difficult to actually stumble across, you have many months to save for a nice tube amp and maybe an R2R dac to mate them with..Happy listening...
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #605 - 05/01/21 at 02:10:02
 
Thank you, Nick, for testing this configuration. If the TRs become available again in maple, I’ll have to give them a shot. Perhaps also with a Decware tube amp. I’ve been pretty happy with the class-D dac/amp and the NHTs, but am still encouraged to try the TR if they’ll sound better. I definitely loved the holographic sound of the Ohm Walsh (from 20 years ago), and will get the tube amp if that will create a similar experience with the TRs.

I would prefer maple to match my desk.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #606 - 05/17/21 at 02:47:25
 
TINY RADIAL UPDATE:  



Now that I have the machined steel plinths in stock,  Tiny Radials continue to get better.



It's a clean look compared to before, and no more worries about the plinths falling off.  The mass is so high on the plinth that even in shipping they would try to unglue themselves.  Now they are screwed on.



So far 25 pairs of High Performance Resin models have shipped.  I have 3 more pair on the site for sale as of tonight including the pair shown above.

Steve  



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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #607 - 05/17/21 at 03:09:47
 

Another shot of the new plinth installed on one of the High Performance resin models.



Steve

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Reply #608 - 05/18/21 at 12:43:42
 
My current setup.  Thoroughly enjoying my tiny radials while working from home.  I believe they rival my Heresy IIIs.  

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Reply #609 - 05/21/21 at 03:03:23
 
Dammit, who the hell is buying up all these tiny radials? Come on people back-off shoo, i need a HEAVY TR, the weight was my idea i should at least be able to own a pair... Smiley
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #610 - 05/21/21 at 04:45:49
 

Keep an eye on the page this weekend...
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Reply #611 - 05/21/21 at 21:29:40
 
Steve,

In an earlier post regarding the speaker cable you used for the TR's in your videos, you commented that "You can find this type of cable on eBay, search under Silver-plated 8ag speaker wire and I'm sure you can find many variations of it."

From the picture you posted, is this the cable\buyer you are referring to, https://tinyurl.com/ff3mrpvr
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Reply #612 - 05/22/21 at 16:52:53
 
Yes, that is the wire I used, but keep in mind that because it is a brighter sounding wire, a sub should be used.

Steve
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Reply #613 - 05/23/21 at 12:19:11
 
Thanks, and thank you for making a note about the sub when combined with the silver-coated copper cable.  I'm breaking in TR's as we chat and briefly connected my Rel T-Zero, which pairs very well.  You're spot on, the sub does take these to the next level, widens and deepens the sound stage.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #614 - 06/07/21 at 04:43:33
 

UPDATE JUNE 6 2021

Today I had a blissful day off where I got to spend a whole day in the wood shop with the doors open listening to my grand children playing on the swings I made ; ).  I haven't got to have what I call a Tiny Radial day out in the wood shop all to myself like this in such a long time due to the overwhelming amplifier orders... so the mood was ripe and some amazing things have happened!

I have reached my modified goal of making a Tiny Radial from a solid block of hardwood. This was my original vision with these until I actually tried it.  We all adapt our projects to the tools and skills we have, so my solution was to use four mitered panels and so on, is well documented.

And over the past year I've gotten making those down to a science. But it is still nonetheless a tremendous amount of work. The original Tiny Radial enclosure design was made up from 4 panels and 4 cleats totaling 8 pieces of wood.  Watch the construction videos and you can see the multitude of steps to making a pair. Each panel had to be cut to shape, the edged had to be mitered, the inside top of each panel had to be milled to a radius, cleats had to be installed, all 8 pieces had to be taped and glued together and then clamped in custom made jigs to keep it square while it cured. Then the sanding, and finishing.  

Never completely happy with the enormous amount of work and the thinner panels I have tried to machine or drill a 2-5/8 hole on a lite-duty drill press into a solid block of hardwood (end grain) and failed for a multitude of reasons until -get this- I saw someone else do it. This is always the case... mental blocks you create for yourself as part of the process that stop you dead in your tracks. Then you see someone else do it, and suddenly you know it actually IS possible. Then even without the same advantages, you still do it.

As a back story to this, one of the recurring reasons I failed so many times is because the nut on my drill press that was holding the drive pulley on the spindle wouldn't stay tight and the the large bit just made the spindle spin inside the pulley. Again, after finding out it was possible, and disturbingly done on the exact same drill press I owned, I had to of course try some more. Same shit, but this time after some cast iron profanity (a handy tool for any mechanic) I decided to remove the pulley and see what was really going on. That's when I learned it was a jamb nut with a reverse thread. So after completing the prototype shown here my instincts were right, a better drill press would be desirable so I celebrated by ordering a new drill press with real bearings and a few other perks that will be able to precision drill the hole.

Anyway, after seeing the Tiny Radials that my local German woodworker came up using 3/4 panels that I showed you earlier, I realized they are almost the same amount work as before because you have four precision shaped panels that have to be glued and clamped together...

Back to my opening statement "modified goal?" It finally was revealed to me... apparently I could no longer amuse the Audio Gods with my dedicated ignorance so they gave me a vision. And I have to say this one is killer. Instead of a solid block, it's two pieces of wood. Ying and Yang. There are no miters and the corners are solid. The square chimney is rotated 45 degrees.  And this one is actually heavier than the standard resin models by a good margin as you will sense from the pictures.

What drew me to this project in the first place was the love of holding a solid block of oiled hardwood in my hand and knowing it was going to be a trick sounding little speaker.  

So it has finally happened.  I am so pleased with the simplified process that there will never be another Tiny Radial made in my shop with 4 panels of any thickness.  Kind of sad considering I have three routers dedicated to making the panels that I will no longer be needed...  It's just so exciting to eliminate the routers, which was an intensive part of the previous design. It also makes me really happy that I made such a wise choice in mitre saws for the shop as that is actually going be the key to making these little bad boys.  Anything less would have let me down.

Very happy, as my wood shop slowly turns into a Keebler Elf kinda thing for Tiny Radials. I might even rename this model the Zen Tiny Radial since it only has two pieces of wood.




The fact that there are no miters is taking it to another level.

Steve




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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #615 - 06/07/21 at 05:09:31
 



This kind of simplicity comes from the Audio Gods, not me... which should be fairly obvious if you have been following this thread since the beginning.

BTW, that beautiful chamfer was done by hand in poor lighting. I didn't even look at it until this picture...  It's that perfect because the energy was that dominate when I made it... if you get my drift.  Stepping outside yourself is the only way to achieve such things.

Steve


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Reply #616 - 06/07/21 at 05:11:51
 



Yup.



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Reply #617 - 06/07/21 at 05:34:41
 

I've been stalled out on binding posts for over a month, and Parts Express is the only place with this particular brushed post that we like.  Once they come in I post of a pic of the completed model.

Meanwhile I will be adding  a few more pair of Tiny Radials on the page.  Some wood, some resin, some hydro-dipped.

So keep an eye out in the coming week or two for those.  Tonight's post is a preview into the future of solid hardwood Tiny Radials.  

Steve

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Reply #618 - 06/07/21 at 05:48:44
 




I hope this blew your mind as bad as it has mine!  I am embarrassed to not have just figured out a way to make this happen per my original vision from the onset...  But something good has come from it because of the D.I.Y.plans. Lots of people have built the original Tiny Radials from those plans without having to buy special tools and they sound killer.

Happy Listening!

Steve


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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #619 - 06/07/21 at 16:19:28
 
Steve, I must have missed it. So tell me, what is that wood that you are showing in the photos? It looks so familiar. Depending on the wood used, the project can become more or less difficult. I once remember saying that purple heart worked more like brass than wood. heh heh
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Reply #620 - 06/08/21 at 03:27:22
 

That is African Padauk.  It's one of my favorites both to look at and to work with.

Steve

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Reply #621 - 06/08/21 at 18:12:16
 
That's a pretty piece. Will you leave the “chimney” square?
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Reply #622 - 06/09/21 at 01:40:45
 

Yes, the chimney size and shape has already been tested.  It will stay as shown.

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Reply #623 - 06/09/21 at 04:40:04
 
Steve,

It had been so many years since I have worked with it that I started to forget some of the good memories. The smell is like vanilla to me. The wood is orange until a few day of sunlight or more. It is easy to work, and the grain one of my favorites.
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Reply #624 - 06/09/21 at 16:03:38
 
<<  the chimney size and shape has already been tested.  It will stay as shown.>>
At the risk of being a pest, did you find that the lesser cubic area (and what I think might be a higher air impedance) loaded the passive radiator better? I bought the TR plans for a future diy but I’d surely try to incorporate this into that build.
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Reply #625 - 06/14/21 at 03:41:48
 

Honestly it's hard to tell.  When things are this small, the changes are small as well.  I will measure them at some point to see if the differences are even measurable.  To my ears they are the best enclosure to date.  Tested with the human voice, there is zero drone, and just a rich warm tone.  Makes the voice sound better than the voice actually sounds.

Steve


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Reply #626 - 06/14/21 at 03:53:28
 

Here is a couple pics of the latest hydro-dipped pair to sell. They are a work in progress, all with defects in the clear coat, but still very cool.





Eventually when I find a hydro dipper who actually wants to work, and has skills, these will be a common thing.  Right now they're super rare.

Steve






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Reply #627 - 06/14/21 at 04:07:50
 




Here are another pair of Padauk Tiny Radials I made using the new two piece method. It's such a thrill to have no miters on the corners -- just solid wood. In the past I have made several with some extra effort and luck that gave that illusion... but now it's not an illusion and it just looks great!

Steve

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Reply #628 - 06/14/21 at 13:08:05
 
Very nice, that’s a great look and some really nice wood. I'll bet they’re a pleasure to touch and hold with that extra mass.
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Reply #629 - 06/14/21 at 19:58:45
 
Steve, is there any difference in sound with the thicker wood and steel bases. The only issues I have had with my original pair #004 have been some resonance because the cabinets were at the time still not thick enough, despite my own being thicker than anything else you had at the time and the walking because they were too lite. Does the thicker 2 piece design still resonate? I also assume the steel base has added some needed density and stopped the issue of walking.
VR,
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Reply #630 - 06/15/21 at 18:42:35
 

Hi Nick,

Now that there is real mass, I hear no resonance and the speakers don't walk around.  The steel plinth makes very little difference on the two piece design and is no longer required to keep them from walking...

Steve
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Reply #631 - 06/18/21 at 18:06:05
 
12 Midnight,time for my tiny radials,so I grab my stands,set these up 6 feet on each side of my head,think headphones without the headband,I’m in a stereophonic picture perfect bliss,I hear clicking again,so I move my streamer farther away,still clicking,after nspecting I notice the red positive  wire touching the base,so I unbannana the left speaker and figure a butter knife from my extensive tool box will work,I start poking the wire,the base falls off,hmmm perfect,now I can tighten up the left negative jack,a touch of glue and back to listening..next  is opening up my omegas and finding out where they hid the tweeters.

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Reply #632 - 06/19/21 at 03:44:59
 


Some of the woods, and we have gone through a wide variety so far, have shrunk after being made. I got a pair back in the Bocote that had shrunk over 1/8 inch which did four things... A) it reduced the distance between the screws holding the driver in, causing the driver flange to bow.  B) The bowed driver flange popped the lens off. C) since the thickness of the panels shrank the binding posts loosened. D) Since the enclosure shrunk but the plinth did not, the plinth also popped off.

We have always glued on both the lens and the plinth so that it would be easy to remove either one by prying/popping it off so it's an easy enough fix to glue back together. We recommend poly-acrylic adhesive such as "WeldBond" found in your local hardware store.

I've had my share of nightmares with the panel design on certain woods warping or wanting to move or twist slightly after assembly... which is partly what makes this new design so appealing. It has no panels. It has no miters. It's basically two solid blocks of wood with complimentary grain glued together into a single solid block of wood.

After drilling the prototype holes in the new design on my petite floor standing drill press, I knew that wasn't going to fly because it should be a lot easier and take a lot less time. The drill press wasn't meaty enough, being a bottom of the line light duty Shopfox. It has too much run-out for my taste even with wood when using a 2-9/16" bit. Underpowered, bearing slop, flex, - kind of amazing I got it to drill the few holes I did.

The first replacement drill press I found that got me excited would have been overkill as it turns out the thing weighed in at 780lbs. Then the Audio Gods (pleased that I didn't do anything that stupid) tripped me during my search and I landed face first looking at the most bizarre drill press I'd ever seen...  480VDC variable speed direct drive motor, no belts, no transmission, no sound...  and really big balls. This one only weighs slightly over 300 lbs so it was manageable dragging it through the yard on a two-wheeler to the shop.

So problem solved.





The drill press makes the bit look small. The bit diameter is 2-9/16"... ! It's cuts like butter now... and I have to say what a thrill it has been to experience another real tool! This is a bad ass machine. The fact that it is silent and you can just turn a knob to go from 50 rpm to 5600 rpm on the fly is mind blowing and that the torque never changes, or the speed when you're drilling... it's just too much!







And these were done before I found the right drill bit shown in the picture of the drill press... and even then it went very well. You can see the mitre saw in the background that makes tapering the sides possible and easy. So far I have been able to do all the tapering by hand on that saw with no clamps or jigs and without issues.  

So as you can see I am committed to making Tiny Radials a serious and permanent thing and having way too much fun doing it. Tonight I gave my 3 year old grand daughter a nice sanded block of wood from tiny radial stock - something you could never get away with when they're older - and she just glowed with excitement! One of her toys just fits in the hole and she couldn't be happier.

-Steve


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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #633 - 06/19/21 at 05:02:10
 
Is the spindle of the drill press Just a Jacob's taper or a Morse taper?

A Jacobs taper only fits drill chucks, a Morse fits more varied tooling.

A R8 taper is the best, but it doesn't look like that at all.

This is the kinda crap I know. They pay me to know it.
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Reply #634 - 06/19/21 at 07:13:12
 
I remember asking if Steve considered boring through a solid block of wood to make these.  So, I'm gonna take credit for this.   Wink

I take it you drill part way thorough and then add an extension and drill the rest of the way?  I love your table vise.  That really must make it easy.  Me?  I'd hold it with my hand until the bit bound and the piece spun out of control.     Grin
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #635 - 06/19/21 at 11:19:48
 
I am not sure what will draw my attention more this October's DecFest the listening room or wood shop!

Nice drill press Steve. I like that it uses a pot to control speed and not solely digital. It also has some very usable features that makes drilling/tapping efficient and precise.

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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #636 - 06/19/21 at 11:34:07
 
Steve,

You might want to ax the vice and make a jig that mounts to the drill press table with a square peg the size of the v formed mortise with outside perimeter guide clamp for consistency and speed. All in time...geez Roll Eyes

John
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #637 - 06/19/21 at 17:02:52
 
Awesome!  Steve, I’ve been waiting for you to perfect your method on these. Looks like it may be time to order a pair Cool

Nice work!!!
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #638 - 07/03/21 at 23:30:04
 
Hello Nick324, I acted on some of your advice. While waiting for availability of the TRs, I bought a Denafrips Ares II R2R DAC and SMSL DA-9 class-D amp. The improvement in sound quality over the SMSL AD-18 to hard to describe, so I'll just say I'm thrilled. I'm looking forward to trying this setup with the TRs -- if they are ever available Smiley (and maybe also swap the DA-9 for the Zen).
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #639 - 07/04/21 at 03:54:37
 
Chris B The NHT you have are no slouches by any means. Like I said, I like my AD18 and it has its place but also limitations. Congratulations on the new kit, patience is rewarded hopefully soon enough you can finish your updated set-up. Happy Listening always.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #640 - 07/12/21 at 02:02:28
 


UPDATE: JULY 2021

I have created a new web site for Tiny Radials.  www.decwaretinyradials.com

If it doesn't work right, let me know. It's my first hi-tech site that I've actually completed -- one that should scale itself for virtually any viewport on any device.  (yea... right)  But I have made it from scratch, there was no template - those always start out so good and turn into problems as soon as you try to make 'non-recommended' changes ; ). You know me, if it's non-recommended it's because I've already done it.



As of this second, no one knows about this new site and I have added 6 new pair of Tiny Radials waiting to be purchased. This is one of them.

Have fun with that : )

Steve

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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #641 - 07/12/21 at 16:17:58
 
WOW!

Those Tiny Radials fly off the shelf fast!
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #642 - 07/13/21 at 02:49:38
 

We will have more in the works.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #643 - 07/19/21 at 20:29:57
 
I get to listen to my TRs 6-7 hours during each work day( yep, I'm lucky). They are paired up with a Taboo MK4 and a CSP3 both with 25th mods. They are clear and image great and sound wonderful at my workstation. I got to wondering if there are full size speakers that are this easy to place and own that scale the sound for a whole room?
Malcolm
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #644 - 07/19/21 at 23:20:13
 
The full-size speaker is the HR-1.
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #645 - 07/24/21 at 06:33:11
 

Another 10 pair of Tiny Radials assembled tonight...  just sayin... the majority are the no-plinth design which just floats above the table or desk. These are super thick, super dense high performance solid hardwood models made from oak, maple, and some other woods...

You will see them added to the site as time allows.  Remember Tiny Radials have their own web site now...

https://www.decwaretinyradials.com







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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #646 - 07/26/21 at 04:08:25
 

UPDATE July 25 / 2021

As I mentioned earlier my hydro dipper guy didn't work out, and I couldn't get anyone else interested in jumping right on it, so I got a hydro-dipping tank to do it myself.

The reason I wanted to hydro dip Tiny Radials is because A) it would look cool and B) casting resin with perfect wood grain is a lot harder than it should be. Only got one in 7 molds perfect enough to make the grain look completely real and I have worn that mold out already. But, it's only a few minutes to sand them smooth at which point they are the perfect thing to hydro dip since resin is water proof. And I've collected a large number of flawed castings that can be smoothed out and dipped.

So I have been teaching myself to hydro dip for the past month. Failed at it 8 times in a row, and then started to realize all films are different and the activators are also all different and spraying on the activator has to be done with such precision that they actually make robots to do it for you. But, they still sell the spray cans for idiots like myself who buy a tank but are too cheap to buy a spray gun for the activator...

So since getting the activator mist perfect is not an option, I had to buy a good HVLP paint gun and learn how to use it which only took about an hour. Amazing how this single thing -- changed everything. I have had 3 perfect dips in a row now.

Well hell, now that I like using a real spray gun and went to the trouble to put an 1200 CFM exhaust booth in the shop just to use it without suffocating I may as well get another gun for the clear coat and learn how paint right?

Right.

I was delighted to discover that all the things that can go wrong - dirt, orange peel, nips were easily removed with 3000 disk and water with my sander. And from there just a good compound with the buffer and I'm having my first holy shit moments with a paint job! Something I have always wanted to do since being a teenager and when it's not the size of a car, it's a lot less intimidating.

Plus there is nothing like a real catalyzed clear coat that cures into something as hard as rock!

My plan here has been to learn to dip and paint on simple flat plates first before attempting a 4 sided Tiny Radial which is an almost impossible item to dip in a single dip. See I just so happen to have a stash of flat plates painted white from back when our amps were that color... so I have been practicing on those.  

Fast forward to now... I am no longer practicing, as I have figured out the base coat colors, film, activator, gun settings, water temperature to do the plates perfect and having quite a bit of fun because the results are so over the top.

I had the idea to do custom paint jobs on these old chassis years ago, but never dreamed it would be me doing it.

I posted these images with 'UPLOAD IMAGES HERE' link at the bottom of the forum so that if you click on them you can see the full size images.





I will build these up into completed units and auction them off with full warranty this winter.  

Now to figure out how to dip the tiny radials, something with 4 sides and 12/16 corners to sand through and nearly impossible to do in a single dip... probably won't hear from me on this one for quite awhile... I want it to look like the flat plates I did so I hope that wasn't setting to bar too high

-Steve








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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #647 - 07/26/21 at 04:48:30
 




I have to admit, the idea of photographing one of these things finished with the glowing tubes up under the lights on black glass is giving me wood...

Can't wait to see some tiny radials finally look like this.  Hope it happens.

Steve



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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #648 - 07/26/21 at 06:48:09
 
You and Donnie!  lol
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Re: Steve's TINY RADIAL project!
Reply #649 - 07/26/21 at 10:42:40
 
I wish my stuff looked that good!
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