Ingraham

December  2nd, 2008

 

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The Ingraham is my tribute to the Ingraham Cabinet Co. who designed and built many of my favorite wooden radio cabinets in the 30's and 40's. Ingraham didn't build radios, they were a clock company, but many famous radio manufacturers contracted with them to furnish wooden enclosures.

 

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The Ingraham's design is based on the 1946 Stromberg Carlson model 1110H. The art deco era was transitioning into the streamlined era as straight lines gave way to gentle curves.

 

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The Ingraham has an American black walnut shell clad to the aluminum body of a Silverstone LC06 mini-ITX case. The back panel is a piece of burl from the same stock.

 

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Size comparison photo. It is relatively large for a mini-ITX case but still very small.

 

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The mini-ITX board is a VIA VB8001 mainboard featuring the VIA Nano processor at 1.6GHz. The board features a 16x PCI-e slot and a mini-PCI slot.

 

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The board sports 4GB of Crucial DDR2 memory. There is a 64GB Crucial solid state drive (SSD) mounted directly underneath the board that serves as the system hard drive. The 42 CFM system blower is supported for shipping by a red-painted wooden block designed for the purpose.

 

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The donor case is the Silverstone LC06 LaScala aluminum case with an included 60W power supply. The LC06 is unique in that it supports a full-size optical drive, a 3.5" disk drive and two PCI expansion slots in a mini-ITX case design.

 

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The original Stromberg Carlson radio with Ingraham cabinet.

 

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I began the transformation by giving the case a frontal lobotomy using a Dremel tool with cut-off wheel.

  

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Plywood side panels were bolted to the case body to allow for expansion.

 

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Cutouts were made to support the front grill and a basswood front panel was machined for controls and attached with bolts.

 

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Rafters were hand milled from basswood and set into place. Glue down blocks were set on the edges and used as rafter spacers.

 

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The grill was made from 37 pieces of basswood and formed two 3" round ventilation ports.

 

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The roof is 1/32" aircraft-grade 3-ply birch plywood attached using contact cement. Veneering is shown being started on the back panel.

 

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Completed veneering job. The veneer came in 3" wide strips so there was considerable effort expended to properly match wood grains.

 

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A coat of lacquer sanding sealer on the walnut and test fitting the grill. The center circle was made by inserting small pieces of milled wood between the existing fins to fill in the shape.

 

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The center strap was cut from walnut veneer and test fit. The upper arch completing the center circle was also hand milled and test fit.

 

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The first couple of brush-on lacquer coats were applied and the grill was sprayed with industrial aluminum paint. The aluminum paint has actual aluminum paste in it. A hole is bored to attach the centerpiece with a 4" bolt.

 

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The footer was formed from 18 pieces of wood and sprayed gloss black.

 

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A gloss black highlight disk was threaded through the bolt and attached behind the centerpiece. The centerpiece is a chrome -plated, billet aluminum, knurled-edge, baby moon-style gas cap for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It was made by Arlen Ness and as you can see has great reflective properties. Image in reflection is 'The Thinker' by Rodin. Ten coats of satin finish brush-on lacquer was buffed with #0000 steel wool and Johnson's Paste Wax.

I want to thank my good friends at VIA, Crucial and Silverstone.

Thanks for looking!