June 17, 2009


Buchla 100 cabinets have wood strips that the modules screw into. It's a functional system, except that wood is not grounded or protective from RF interference. Early 200 cabinets had each module in it's own chassis box, then these boxes were held down from the front with metal strips between the rows. The strips cover the module name and the bottom credits, probably why modules form that era don't even have "Buchla & Associates" or "CBS Musical Instruments" even "San Francisco Tape Music Center Incorporated" at the bottom. ;)

The later 200 series cabinets, the model 203 series, use the "boat" system, that is still in use by B&A today. The cabinets fold in half, and the boats are relatively shallow, not wasting huge amounts of space like a Moog type cabinet. Sometimes this shallowness bites you in the ass, (like when trying to mount a 208 module in your cabinet for instance) but usually it is great. The only time I lose my temper is when I get "Tinnermanned."

The Tinnerman nut is named after noted mechanical engineer.... I don't know who Tinnerman was, but I bet Carroll Smith's Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners, and Plumbing Handbook has that information in it. Tinnerman Nuts, or Speed Nuts, are used instead of threading the rear piece, when attaching a piece of sheet metal to another. The Buchla 200 and 300 series boats have larger holes milled into them and then a Tinnerman nut that the panel screw threads into. To be "Tinnermanned" (a term Reed Hays and I coined after being victimized by it repeatedly) is to start threading in the screw and realize that the threads on the back half of the Tinnerman Nut have not grabbed on the screw and you are in fact screwed and have to take the panel off again and reposition it.

New 200e cabinets have threads built into the boats' rails. Although this means that some of the modules I have built have mounting holes that are slightly out of allignment with these boats, users of these cabinets will never be Tinnermanned. All that said, I have been asked where to get some Tinnerman Nuts.

I've gotten them from here


They look slightly different than the ones that came on Buchla cabinets, but they work the same. In fact, they are a little tighter fitting, so I have had better luck with these than vintage ones.

Happy screwing!