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'[EE] Looking for potentiometers for thick panels'
2012\10\23@172453 by Neil

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Hi all,

Can anyone recommend a panel-mount potentiometer that I can use on 1/4" thick wood?  Most of the ones I'm finding seem to have 5mm - 6.5mm threaded sections, and factoring in the thickness of the nut and washer, that leaves a max panel thickness of only ~0.080". Ideal would be to avoid countersinking, but if I need to it's fine. It's just that 0.080" is really think for MDF.  Anywhere from 5k to 50k is fine, linear taper.  I need ~30 of these, so lower cost preferred.

Cheers,
-Neil.

2012\10\23@173519 by William Bross

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Neil,

Instead of special pots, do you have enough room behind the panel for an aluminum U bracket to mount the pots and shaft extensions on the pots?  That got me out of a bind on some custom stuff rather inexpensively in the past.

Bill

Neil wrote:

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>

2012\10\23@180520 by Dave

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That is usually handled using a sub panel and projecting the shafts thru the front panel.

Neil <spam_OUTpicdude3TakeThisOuTspamnarwani.org> wrote:

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>

2012\10\23@180829 by Neil

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Exactly what we were thinking, but I'm trying to avoid the fabrication if I can.  This is part of a display, and there's too much else to do currently.  A simple barrel nut would work well to pick up the thickness difference, but these pots seem to use non-standard M8 x 0.75 threads. :(


On 10/23/2012 5:35 PM, William Bross wrote:
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>>

2012\10\23@181603 by IVP

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> Ideal would be to avoid countersinking

Can you route the back ? It's what I do with 9 and 12mm MDF.
A trench with rounded corners looks OK on the front too, becomes
part of the design and highlights the pots. Failing that, drill holes for
the shafts and mount the pots on metal sheet screwed to the wood

Jo

2012\10\23@181620 by Neil

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You mean a thin layer of some other sheeting?  Avoiding that too.  Epoxy is looking so tempting right now.


On 10/23/2012 6:05 PM, Dave wrote:
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>> --

2012\10\23@182940 by Neil

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Originally, we had intended to countersink the back using a square-end milling cutter.  The nuts/washers on the front would be on the actual front face. However, the 0.080" remaining thickness worries me.  It's for a trade-show display and needs to be strong.  We'll be laying adhesive vinyl over the top, so any brackets etc need to be hidden under the knob, else the height differences would be visible under the vinyl.  And we want to use small-diameter knobs.

I like the idea of sheet metal, but on the *back* of the wood, assuming I can find pots with longer shafts.  If that's what you meant, then thank you.  If not, then thank me :)

Cheers,
-Neil.


On 10/23/2012 6:15 PM, IVP wrote:
>> Ideal would be to avoid countersinking
> Can you route the back ? It's what I do with 9 and 12mm MDF.
> A trench with rounded corners looks OK on the front too, becomes
> part of the design and highlights the pots. Failing that, drill holes for
> the shafts and mount the pots on metal sheet screwed to the wood
>
> Joe

2012\10\23@184045 by IVP

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> Epoxy is looking so tempting right now

Don't know if I'd trust epoxy on its own with a moving part, ie
there will be some stress when the pot is turned and stops at the
extremes. MDF isn't very strong mechanically, it would be the
weakest link in this mounting, and it's easy to pull off the top layer.
Using the pot case tab will help

I might try a slightly under-size hole and either tap it or thread it
with the pot

Jo

2012\10\23@184939 by IVP

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> I like the idea of sheet metal, but on the *back* of the wood,
> assuming I can find pots with longer shafts.  If that's what you
> meant, then thank you.  If not, then thank me :)

Hey, thanks all round, they're free right ? Everybody, dig in

Yes, I did mean a metal plate on the inside of the case (for
appearances' sake as much as anything), and assumed you
had pots with longish shafts, at least 20mm anyway

My local retail store has a surprisingly good variety of 9, 16
and 24mm for PCB and panel mount, all with long shafts
(although the 9mm are more common with short fluted shafts),
so it shouldn't be too hard to find what you want

Jo

2012\10\23@201837 by Perry Curling-Hope

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If minimum fabrication time / effort is the primary objective, you may like
to substitute thin ABS plastic sheet for sheetmetal,
Such is easily and quickly worked with rudimentary tools, i,e, a box cutter
and steel rule and a cordless drill.

The backplates can be scored and snapped apart from the stock sheet in
seconds, and cun be held in position on the back of the wood and the whole
thing drilled one time  while in place ensuring perfect alignment for small
woodscrews and plastic spacers (which obviates the need to counterbore the
woodl) to fasten the panel

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:49 AM, IVP <joecolquittspamKILLspamclear.net.nz> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2012\10\23@215147 by Dave Tweed

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Neil wrote:
> Originally, we had intended to countersink the back using a square-end
> milling cutter.  The nuts/washers on the front would be on the actual
> front face. However, the 0.080" remaining thickness worries me.  It's
> for a trade-show display and needs to be strong.  We'll be laying
> adhesive vinyl over the top, so any brackets etc need to be hidden under
> the knob, else the height differences would be visible under the vinyl.  
> And we want to use small-diameter knobs.
>
> I like the idea of sheet metal, but on the *back* of the wood, assuming
> I can find pots with longer shafts.  If that's what you meant, then
> thank you.  If not, then thank me :)

Go with that ... with or without routing from the back to reduce the overall
thickness, and with or without drilling the holes in the wood oversize to
accomodate the nuts (and a nutdriver).

-- Dave Twee

2012\10\24@044826 by alan.b.pearce

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> The backplates can be scored and snapped apart from the stock sheet in seconds, and
> cun be held in position on the back of the wood and the whole thing drilled one time
> while in place ensuring perfect alignment for small woodscrews and plastic spacers
> (which obviates the need to counterbore the
> woodl) to fasten the panel

I suspect he may want to counter bore the back of the wood to take the threaded boss and nut, so there is only a small hole in the front of the wood, clearance size for the shaft (plus a small positioning tolerance). Otherwise he needs a boss sized hole right through the wood with a shallow countersink to take the nut, or the metal panel is spaced back from the wood by the thickness of the nut.


-- Scanned by iCritical.

2012\10\24@111248 by John Ferrell

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Think about mounting with a T-Nut and improvise a shaft extension...

On 10/24/2012 4:46 AM, .....alan.b.pearceKILLspamspam.....stfc.ac.uk wrote:
>> The backplates can be scored and snapped apart from the stock sheet in seconds, and
>> cun be held in position on the back of the wood and the whole thing drilled one time
>> while in place ensuring perfect alignment for small woodscrews and plastic spacers
>> (which obviates the need to counterbore the
>> woodl) to fasten the panel
> I suspect he may want to counter bore the back of the wood to take the threaded boss and nut, so there is only a small hole in the front of the wood, clearance size for the shaft (plus a small positioning tolerance). Otherwise he needs a boss sized hole right through the wood with a shallow countersink to take the nut, or the metal panel is spaced back from the wood by the thickness of the nut.
>
>

-- John Ferrell W8CCW
“During times of universal deceit,
  Telling the TRUTH becomes a revolutionary act”
     George Orwell

2012\10\24@113635 by Neil

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part 1 1168 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset="Windows-1252" (decoded quoted-printable)

Could not find t-nuts to match the pot threads, so this is what we ended up with... (attached).  This is pretty simple.



On 10/24/2012 11:12 AM, John Ferrell wrote:
{Quote hidden}


part 2 15786 bytes content-type:image/jpeg; name="Pot-mounting-01.jpg" (decode)


part 3 181 bytes content-type:text/plain; name="ATT00001.txt"
(decoded base64)

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2012\10\24@114323 by alan.b.pearce

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> Think about mounting with a T-Nut and improvise a shaft extension...

He said earlier that they have 'non-standard 8 x 0.75 threads' and I don't know if they make T-nuts with M8x0.75 threads. The chart I looked at lists that as a fine thread, and I suspect the normal one is M8x1, although that is also listed as fine, and M8x1.25 is listed as coarse!

I suspect looking at the T-Nuts I have that such things are normally made with the coarse thread for the thread size.

-- Scanned by iCritical.

2012\10\24@131140 by Eoin Ross

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Would drilling and tapping an M6 one be feasible?

On 10/24/2012 11:42 AM, alan.b.pearcespamspam_OUTstfc.ac.uk wrote:
>> Think about mounting with a T-Nut and improvise a shaft extension...
> He said earlier that they have 'non-standard 8 x 0.75 threads' and I don't know if they make T-nuts with M8x0.75 threads. The chart I looked at lists that as a fine thread, and I suspect the normal one is M8x1, although that is also listed as fine, and M8x1.25 is listed as coarse!
>
> I suspect looking at the T-Nuts I have that such things are normally made with the coarse thread for the thread size.
>

2012\10\24@134054 by John Ferrell

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Mechanical issues can sure be a challenge sometimes.
I would think if you just had loose fit on the threads a few chips of hot melt glue and heat with a soldering tool would make reasonably sturdy mount. The problem with using really tough adhesives like JB Weld is that it is impossible to take apart without damages.
I would not hesitate to cross thread a component into a t-nut if it would do the job!

On 10/24/2012 11:42 AM, @spam@alan.b.pearceKILLspamspamstfc.ac.uk wrote:
>> Think about mounting with a T-Nut and improvise a shaft extension...
> He said earlier that they have 'non-standard 8 x 0.75 threads' and I don't know if they make T-nuts with M8x0.75 threads. The chart I looked at lists that as a fine thread, and I suspect the normal one is M8x1, although that is also listed as fine, and M8x1.25 is listed as coarse!
>
> I suspect looking at the T-Nuts I have that such things are normally made with the coarse thread for the thread size.
>

-- John Ferrell W8CCW
“During times of universal deceit,
  Telling the TRUTH becomes a revolutionary act”
     George Orwell

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