1. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey guys,

    It's pretty well known that Fender tweed cabs are dovtail jointed at the corners of the shell.

    I'm tooling up my garage wood shop for cabinet building and am considering which tools are essential to start and which can wait given that table saw and router with table/fence,etc are in place already, plus other things like jigsaw, sanders, and circular saw.

    There are a number of different ways to make joints. Would you consider a dovetail Jig to be essential, or would some other form of joint that could be done with a table saw and router be adequate for now.

    Note, I'll be making these for other people too (not just my personal stash), so I guess that's a consideration too.

    Thanks in advance.

    Paul
     
  2. PRNDL

    PRNDL Member

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    1/4" finger joints.

    A jig is required, along with a dado blade.

    A simple jig is made from a board with a notch and guide pin. These work great, but must be aligned each time. Small errors propagate with each cut.

    I just finished making Lynn Sabin's jig, which uses a threaded bar to hold and move the wood an exact amount each time, which eliminates those small errors.

    If you're making a lot of cabinets, a table saw with a sled on wheels or bearings is great since it can easily move back and forth. I'd like to make one for my new jig, but haven't been able to find suitable parts.

    Plans for both can be found on the internet.
     
  3. phsyconoodler

    phsyconoodler Member

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    agreed.The Fender Tweed cabinets are not dovetailed,but use 1/4" finger joints.A table saw and Dado blade are necessary or you can use a router and a very easy jig made by a company called Oak Park Tools.
    It is so simple it's embarassing.They even have a video demo on their site.I have that jig but don't use it because I don't have an extra router to mount to my router table right now.
    I use Half-blind Dove Tails because I have a Porter Cable dovetail jig.It is relatively cheap and does nice dovetails.
    Whatever you ened up using,a solid joint is need for strength.
     
  4. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I'm planning on making a sled for my saw.

    As for jig, I'm looking at either Porter Cable, the Leigh Super 12, or Rockler's own model.

    BUT, are dovetails NECESSARY?

    BTW, what's the dado blade for? You talking about cutting with the dado instead of a router?

    I'd think the dado blade would be an option instead of DT jig + router, but then, I could route dados as well.
     
  5. donnievaz

    donnievaz Member

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    I have the Porter Cable 4212 and it's great but I just took a look at that Leigh Super 12 and that looks like a great deal. Definitely more versatile for not that much more money.

    Absolutley not. If all you'll ever build are covered cabinets then finger joints are more than adequate. In fact, the 1/4" finger joints Fender used are unnecessary. They had a machine to do them. You can use 1/2" or even 3/4" and save a lot of time. They'll still be plenty strong as long as they're done well.

    This will explain it.
    http://www.cabinetmaking.com/pages/fingerjig.htm


    In my experience, box/finger joints are faster and easier on the tablesaw with a jig like the one in the previous link.
     
  6. turbolx5oh

    turbolx5oh Member

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    I've made a few head box cabinets with dovetail joints and I use a Keller 1500 Dovetail jig. It is simple to use and makes great joints. I also have a porter cable router as well as a Sears table saw. Straight cuts on the ends and sides are pretty essential to get a good tight joint. I make the boxes out of pine which is fairly soft and easy to route, cut and sand.
     
  7. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey, that's excellent! Thanks for the link. I guess I'll still need to use the router for the roundover though.
     
  8. Tele71

    Tele71 Gold Supporting Member

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    No shop is complete with out a joiner either 6 or 8 inch. Saves time and effort getting the saw marks out of your projects and insuring boards are strait. A band saw is nice but I don't have one in my shop yet. I do have a 15" planer that is nice for milling back panals and odd thickness boards. Enjoy. O and by the way I just use dados for my joints and I haven't lost a cab yet....
    P
     
  9. donnievaz

    donnievaz Member

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    Jointers are great if you have a good one. My jointer is a POS.

    You can get by with a couple of handplanes and and a thickness planer if need be though. That's what I use most of the time. I'll just handplane enough of a flat on one side to keep it stable going through the thickness planer and do the rest on it.

    For edge jointing here's a great cheap set of jointer clamps to use with the tablesaw.

    http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/10889
     
  10. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    These look interesting, but I see the work piece floats extending off the rabbet ledge. How wide a board can this work with before the clamps can't secure the overhang?
     
  11. donnievaz

    donnievaz Member

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    They don't have to. You can just let the overhanging edge rest on the table. The cut won't be perpendicular to the face but it'll be straight. Then you take it out of the clamps, flip it around and use the straight edge you just cut against the fence and cut the other side straight. That cut will be perpendicular. Then you can flip it back again one more time and cut the original edge perpendicular to the table. I hope that makes sense :)
     
  12. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    Duh! Yep, makes sense. I think it's gonna be a trip to Rockler to pick up my $15 jointer :)

    Thanks!

    Paul
     
  13. donnievaz

    donnievaz Member

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    I wish we had a Rockler around here. There's a Woodcraft about 45 minutes away but that's it.
     
  14. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I went to Rockler store (vs website) for the first time last weekend. I've found something that's possibly even more dangerous than a music shop! :)
     
  15. rooster

    rooster Member

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    FWIW, I think your joints depend on whether you're using solid wood or plywood. If you go the plywood route, think of what the notches are doing to the plywood; you're effectively losing 1/2 your strength by notching the wood, since the grain switches 90 degress with every ply. A rabbit joint on plywood works VERY well, as long as you run a support along the joint (I do this and run a 45 degree dowel all the way through both panels and the 3/4"x3/4" brace. Extremely strong this way).

    I'd think the finger joints would be stronger on solid wood, as you'd keep the grain all the way through the length of the "finger", but with the plywood, you'd be cutting your grain in half with every notch.

    rooster.
     
  16. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd wondered if one should finger joint plywood. That's great info.
     
  17. cram

    cram Member

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    in order of my pref -
    dovetail - most cabs will be too wide for a normal sized jig to help you, so there's a bit of learning curve or some expensive jig purchase in your future.
    finger joints - you can make these incredibly easily. Draw them out carefully though with a fine pencil. You don't even need a dado blade if you don't mind going back and forth with your table saw. Building a jig for this will help out tremendously.
    Lap joints, rabbet joints and butt joints fall just behind of these.

    You could do a butt joint and use a biscut joiner or a spline joint as well.

    In any event, there are a Lot of speaker cab construction examples in this site. good luck man. post beautiful pictures of every stage.
     
  18. phsyconoodler

    phsyconoodler Member

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    I guess you'd have to look at Marshall's cabinets and see finger jointed baltic birch.They have been doing that since day one and I haven't seen any head boxes fall apart.Finger joints are strong even on playwood.Many joining systems work just fine.Choose one and do it well,that's the answer.
     

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