Building a cabinet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Ishmael8765678, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Ishmael8765678

    Ishmael8765678 Member

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    i'm going to build a cab to go along with the amp head I just got...anyone know what dimensions you would need? also, speaker and wood suggestions would be nice...btw...im running a b-52 lg-100a through it so keep that in mind for speakers. Also, if anyone knows any sites where I can get the materials like the handles and stuff please post
     
  2. gooma

    gooma Member

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    You can source most everything you need at www.mojotone.com

    Also if building a cab decide what will work best for yourself given the tools you have on hand to do the job.

    Some nice 3/4 birch ply would work and if you dont have the tools for dovetailing or fingerjointing then use box joints with some inner cleats for added strength.
    If it`s a sealed cab then i usually recomend going with a cab depth of 13-14" the deeper the better IMO.

    If your not so sure on the tolex work then use some corners for your first build and that`ll cover up the corners and any little mistakes easily.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
     
  3. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    Just buy a cab. It will come out much better, and after you source all the materials, you will end up spending about the same.

    Look for a used cab, and you may even save some money...

    Lopo line sells cabs that you need to assemble yourself. Perhaps this is a good option for you?

    dk
     
  4. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    Holy crap thats awesome! I just may order 2 of the knockdown kits.
     
  5. Ishmael8765678

    Ishmael8765678 Member

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    i know but it would be fun building and i don't think they sell 3x12 cabs which is what im gonna make
     
  6. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    a 3x12"? Why?

    The dimensions will depend on the width of your head. I would make the cab that wide, then as tall as it needs to be to fit all the speakers on the baffle. Make it as deep as your favorite sounding cab.

    Mojo sells hardware, or you could always just use stuff from the hardware store.

    dk
     
  7. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    Making cabs has a lot of variables you'll need to weigh. Pine is the typical vintage American amp tone. Birch ply is great for higher gain and Marshall tones. Mixing the woods can have variable success. Dimensions have a lot of effect on tone as do build techniques. Tolex takes a little getting used to. If you have some facility with tools none of it is very difficult, but it does take some time.

    What can be tricky is getting good solid joinery. Butt joints and cleats can work fine (a LOT of vintage amps were put together with butt joints) and with current glues you don't have to depend on things like dovetail joints s heavily. But you do need some serious clamping pressure and clamps get pricey pretty quick. If you have them around for other jobs, no big deal, but if you're buying clamps just for one cab your cost effectiveness just went out the window.

    I built the cab in these pics out of light/straight/dry #2 pine (hard to find, NOT the wet crap at the big box stores) and baltic birch ply baffle and back. I used a German joinery system I have around for house cabinets I'm building. You can see how many clamps I used for a 1x12. I borrowed dimensions from proven cabs, winged the port size and got lucky. I've done a lot of tolex work over the years and used contact cement (second only to hide glue for my money). It sounds great and I saved some coin, BUT I have all of the tools I need and wasn't really experimenting at all. For me it's very cost effective.

    The suggestion to buy a used cab is a good one, but if you want to make one yourself (which can be fun), try to find cabs you like and mimic their build techniques. Their have been a few 3x12 cabs out over the years. Buzz Feiten I believe used to make one, Fender did a few and I think Sunn did one a long time ago. I would look at the Feiten design for inspiration if you haven't already.

    Good luck with the experiment.

    [​IMG]
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  8. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist

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    I bought an empty Crate cab at the local music store. It is built from plywood, came with removable casters and very solid handles (Marshall handles should be this nice)


    $50 unloaded.


    Tolex, grill cloth, handles, feet or casters...it adds up fast

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  9. Dale

    Dale Member

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    I have had some luck with it when I needed some things custom. If you have time.


    [​IMG]

    The white blonde cab here is another. I used 1/2 pine with lock miter joints for the cab itself.

    http://drpietrzak.com//music/nsouth.JPG
     
  10. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    I've built several cabs, this head cab is the latest:

    [​IMG]

    It's a lot of work and by the time you source all of the parts and pay the shipping charges (shipping & handling is so expensive these days!) there is not a lot of savings to be had. On the other hand, it can be fun and if it turns out nice you have a sense of accomplishment.

    A 3x12 definitely sounds like a custom job. I would build it to the dimensions of a 4x12 and only make 3 cut-outs. You could also make the normal 4 cutouts and test the tone with an empty hole; detuned mode. If that doesn't sound good simply screw a cover over the cut-out from the inside.

    Running 3 speakers means getting creative with the wiring to come up with a 4, 8, or 16 ohm load. You may have to wire 2 speakers in parallel, then that set in parallel or serial with the 1 remaining speaker. It's not going to be as straight-forward as a normal 2x12 or 4x12 wiring scheme.
     
  11. Wallace

    Wallace Supporting Member

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  12. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    I agree with the others about the cost of building your own. I've built some of mine and there was no savings in it. However, if it's a custom design, size, shape or material, then IF you have the skills and the proper tools, building one yourself can be rewarding. Applying tolex/levant is harder than it appears, especially those outside corners. Various methods available for joinery. Dovetail and finger joints are the best and the hardest to do. Only custom cabs come with those anymore. Lap joints and butt joints are not nearly as strong but can be made stronger with either screws or using bisciuts, or biscuit joinery. I employed that on my last cab and the biscuit joints are very strong. Here's one I built awhile back:

    [​IMG]
     

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