where do you buy your copper plates?

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Jean
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where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby Jean » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:59 am

Where can I buy the copper square or round plates and what gauge or thickness is best for mounting with screws on a wooden box?

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JosephMax
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Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby JosephMax » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:30 am

I get mine at the local Ace Hardware store. It comes in various small sheets that you can cut to your desired size, get at least the .025 thickness. That's thin enough to cut easily but thick enough you can use a router bit or dremel and countersink the holes a bit so a bell screw will sit flush.

I tend to use brass, since it's nicely conductive, a bit more resistant to corrosion than copper and available in more thicknesses.
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Jean
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Location: California

Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby Jean » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:25 am

I went to Ace and bought the brass sheet. They didn't have .025 gauge only .015 so I guess I won't be able to countersink the screws. The next size up was way too thick. I'm going to put SBB coils under both plates and secure them with electrical tape like you do. Then get some gasket kind of material to raise the plates 1/16" for the coils. I have coils that I could use but they are uninsulated, does it matter for the plates like it does the crystals? Also I'm assuming the coil for the witness plate will go CC to draw the energy down to the circuitry and go clockwise under the witness plate to direct the energy up to your fingers and out. Am I correct? Thanks

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JosephMax
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Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby JosephMax » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:31 pm

Jean wrote:I went to Ace and bought the brass sheet. They didn't have .025 gauge only .015 so I guess I won't be able to countersink the screws. The next size up was way too thick. I'm going to put SBB coils under both plates and secure them with electrical tape like you do. Then get some gasket kind of material to raise the plates 1/16" for the coils. I have coils that I could use but they are uninsulated, does it matter for the plates like it does the crystals? Also I'm assuming the coil for the witness plate will go CC to draw the energy down to the circuitry and go clockwise under the witness plate to direct the energy up to your fingers and out. Am I correct? Thanks


Always use insulated wire!

Most hardware stores have a selection of small rubber gaskets and o-rings generally used in plumbing. I use those as spacers for the plates. Just pick something that looks like the right size. The hardware store is your friend! You'll find yourself "re-purposing" parts a lot to make what you need.

You are correct in your directions for the plates.
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Jean
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Location: California

Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby Jean » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:06 am

I finally got all the parts and am going to make a similar device to your 3 dial device. I was all ready to go when I saw in your photo of your finished machine that you have two jacks per side, black and red! I hope you had future ideas for those extra jacks and that I didn't miss something Here is my drawing of what I plan to do using Adams schematic. I think it is correct. I read where you put the coil sandwiched between a layer of vinyl and bakelite. Is the electrical tape the vinyl? And you also sandwiched bakelite between brass plates for the witness. Did you find that helpful? Thanks Joseph, you are patient with me.
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JosephMax
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Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby JosephMax » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:33 pm

The plugs you see are banana jacks in a pair, which are only one lead apiece, one positive and one negative, like a speaker connection to a stereo amp. A phone jack has both positive and negative in one plug. (tip and sleeve) I use banana plugs a lot because in the first device I built, the Steampunk Hieronymus Machine, I used pairs of antique brass binding posts instead of plugs, and I wanted all my gear to be interfacable. So all of my connections are made with separate positive and negative connections. But if you're using phone plugs and jacks, you only need one for in and one for out.

(My box also has a grounding post, connected to the negative sides of the input and output.)
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JosephMax
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Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby JosephMax » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:54 pm

Oh, yes, the vinyl layer is electrical tape. Pure polyvinyl chloride. Very convenient that it comes in rolls with adhesive.

I can't believe this myself, but the write-up on my blog might not be entirely accurate. I remade the witness plate using a layer of mica crystal, I distinctly remember this. And the device is currently on loan to a partner, so I can't even go look! I'll see it on Tuesday, but if I recall now, it's bakelite —> vinyl —> thin brass plate w/wires —> mica —> top brass plate —> clear PVC film. I will confirm this on Tuesday. But you can just put a coil under the brass plate and it should work fine.
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Jean
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Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby Jean » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:48 pm

I saw the grounding post in your box but read from Adams posts that if it's a passive circuit there is no need for grounding. I just received the 1/8" thick by 12" square piece of bakelite for the stickplate from our McMaster Carr link and then realized you use it to make boxes. Should I have ordered the 1/16th for the stickplate? I can use this piece for something else (I plan to make a really tiny box too) if I need to order the 1/16". Just want to be sure I'm ordering the right kind as It doesn't seem smooth enough to me for a stickplate, I thought it would be smooth like shiny plastic or glass.

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JosephMax
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Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby JosephMax » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:43 pm

I only make control panels with the Garolite, my 3-Dial box is made of bakelite but I ordered the box ready-made.

I like the matte finish of the XX Garolite, it works better for me as a stick plate material. Glossy plastic is TOO "sticky" for me, though lots of people do use it. But I had trouble getting consistent stick reactions until I tried it with the Garolite. The matte finish lets my fingers gently glide on the surface until the reaction happens, then they "grab", like rubbing a balloon.

Remember, the earliest stick plates (like on the Drown devices) were made of hardwood with a smooth matte finish. That's what inspired me to try the Garolite, which I had originally gotten to make control panels with. (In fact, the other common early stick pad material was hard rubber, which the Delawarr devices used.)

But remember, that's just me! If shiny plastic works for you, use it!

The nice thing about using the 1/8" thickness is that you can countersink the mounting screws. Get a countersink router bit for your hand drill and you can make the mounting screws nice and flush.
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JosephMax
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Re: where do you buy your copper plates?

Postby JosephMax » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:44 pm

Oh, I put the grounding post in there in case I wanted to add active electronics in the future.
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