After a short session of soldering I decided to tackle some of the mangled sheet metal on the Otari 8 track.
I still haven't conjured up a sequence of events that explains this condition while supporting the integrity of the surrounding machinery. Must've been a one in a million shot.
Here's another angle on the vent cover distortion, after extraction for hammering. Naturally, most of the hammering occurred while the sheet metal was not installed.
I popped the meter bridge face off to facilitate removal of the vent metal, only to discover that it too had taken on some stress.
Since a wood floor isn't a precision surface, here's a shot with the piece reversed proving the bend is in the metal. The repair for this was gently bending it back over my knee. Very little force was required.
Installation was not as easy as place & bolt, there was a mild interference fit at the butt joint between the vent shape and the transport shell. I'm not overly concerned about the skin of the machine though, so it was hammered into place.
While not minty fresh, this is a vast improvement over the former condition. Surface distortion, while very apparent to the touch, does not jump out and grab me by the eyes. However, while everything was disassembled a knob for input level struck out on the path of freedom, and remains at large. While I'm certainly not going to overlook a possible bout of personal absent mindedness in this, I'm hinging my investigations around my helper monkey who may have swiped it as a trophy.