Cherry headshell for a Satellite Barracuda

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Geeze, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    I suffer from a low grade variant of OCD - SKOCD Sorta Kinda Obsessive, you know... I like matching cabs and now that the cherry walnut 1x12 is finished -

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    I need to have a matching head that is 20" wide. I had a single ended amp that I built a cherry shell for but it's only 12" wide and nothing I own or am willing to own fits in it. The Barracuda chassis is 18.375" wide and it really likes EVM12Ls so I'll pull it from the African mahogany & zebra wood cab it's in for this build -

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    So measuring about in the shop tonight I came up with a plan. Here's the wood for the project -

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    I'll decide which of the walnut bits will be used for the trim.

    Cutting has commenced, three cherry and eight walnut trim pieces and pine for the bottom.

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    This cherry is 'happy' namely it doesn't have any warp / cupping that makes finger joints 'unhappy'. I've done some nutty things with finger joints including plans to build a drum cylinder with my drummer son but boobs became more interesting than drums and that project died a flaccid death.

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    The trim is cut.

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    On to the finger joints on the cherry.

    Russ
     
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  2. Al Rose

    Al Rose Gold Supporting Member

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    You are a glutton for punishment, you know that, right? ;)

    As always, will look awesome when you're done....

    Al
     
  3. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Sweet!! Love me some Satellite Amps!! I’m actually wearing one of my Satellite t-shirts today!
     
  4. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep, it was either this or chase women. After my divorce ten years ago my dad told me my picker was broke - he's right.

    You and me both! Walter Becker's estate is auctioning off his gear to include 8 or more Satellite amps :( some of them custom built for him.

    Finger joints being cut

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    A new bit of equipment, a phenolic insert [I've had it for 3 years] I finally installed for use. It certainly keeps the saw dust down.

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    Glue up commences. I've said it a million times - if you know a wood worker buy them CLAMPS! These planks are only 5.75" wide but I've managed to stuff a bunch of clamps on it.

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    Coffee time.

    Russ
     
  5. Deus56

    Deus56 Member

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    Russ, "a job well begun is half done" that wood you chose, even in its raw state looks killer.
    What a quality starting point.
     
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  6. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Thank you! I'm stealing that quote BTW. I'm a sucker for pretty wood and after I moved to TN and found Jeffries in S Knoxville - a true wood whore store - I drive a couple of hours every other month and gaze in rapture at their selection - and put a large dent in my finances. I bought this cherry [as I buy most wood] with no project in mind - I hadn't seen any with this figure in six years and I just had to have it. After I refinished the speaker cab the project lamp was lit.

    One of the joys of wood working vs. metal is if you screw the pooch on measuring and thus cutting you can glue in more wood. I cut the bottom bit of pine a 1/16" too narrow. Luckily I had a bunch of 1/8" walnut strips I used for piping on a 1959 head shell and now a FUBAR is an artful accent.

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    The other challenge of the day is the top cherry piece that laid so nice and flat for the finger jointing decided it needed to stress relieve with a bit of a twist. :facepalm: So I clamped it flat to the fab table and glued in the pine bottom hoping that the additional bit will straighten or at least minimize the twist.

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    Meanwhile as I impatiently wait for a reasonable hour to commence cutting on the face plate and more contemplation of my mad scheme to rout in the beautiful flowing script of the Satellite logo...

    Russ
     
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  7. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Face plate time.

    Cutout corner locations

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    Drill it!

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    Cut to it.

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    Then the cut that makes me [and my fingers] nervous.

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    The angle that starts the round over.

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    The moment when you know your box is square...

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    Gluing of the walnut trim pieces has started - no pics as of yet and now to draw the Satellite logo and begin carving it in.

    Russ
     
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  8. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    The trim and the fake fingers are glued in - sanding time tomorrow night!

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    Then in the great 'Let's push this to the hairy edge of insanity' mode I decided to carve the Satellite logo into the face plate. I didn't like the metal logo plate covering up the wood. I also enlarged it 2X.

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    Two + hours of carving with a mini plunge router and a 1/32" router bit.

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    I had to finally walk away as I was tired and starting to fix the cuts I didn't like. Yep, done for the night.

    Russ
     
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  9. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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  10. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Thank you! Still digging the amp!

    Question - are the power tube chassis locations the same on the twin power tube models? I if sell the old head shell - I vented above KT66s I'm curious as to how many models will line up with those vents.

    Russ
     
  11. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    Cuda, Helion, Atom (might be a bit tight, but should be fine), Neutron, all version of the Omega will with that venting. We have people looking for fancy wood head boxes occasionally. Should be an easy sell.
     
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  12. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Took a break yesterday and now back at it in the two hour window I give myself for shop noise after work.

    Sanded the 'proud' trim bits and fingers flat with 60 grit then smooth sanded with 80 grit.

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    Trim and finger details

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    Now on to the face plate. I fixed a few of the letters since the last pic as the proportions weren't quite correct for SKO standards. I consulted with my color expert with some test dyes and RIT cherry was the winner.

    Painted in and the over laps sanded off

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    Filled with epoxy

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    Tomorrow evening will commence the corner round overs. After that the entire cab will get sanded out to 220, tea washed, 0000 steelwooled then hit with clear.

    Russ
     
  13. Deus56

    Deus56 Member

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    "Tea washed" does that refer to a particular staining process? Involving tea we typically drink.
    Also, does this chassis require you to add a shielding plate inside the head shell, like you see in old Marshall amps?
    Looking SWEET
    Thanks
     
  14. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Your work is beautiful! I barely have the skill to tie my shoe laces, let alone built beautiful cabs or wire up amps.
     
  15. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Thank you. Tea wash is good old black tea brewed toxically strong - 10 bags in a cup then three or more applications to the bare wood. It tends to highlight the softer growth parts of the wood. I use 3M adhesive aluminum to shield the floor of the head shell.

    Thank you. To me creative woodworking is like punk rock - a certain disregard for rules and enough passion to plow on to find self gratification. The beauty of wood is if you do screw up you can glue more on [and call the FUBAR art] and it still looks good. Or in the words of my woodworking buddy - It's wood, you can always burn it and deny it ever existed.

    Russ
     
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  16. Kilaen

    Kilaen Member

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    Looking great, as always!
     
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  17. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Round over time. I draw 3/8" & 3/4" witness lines to cut the 45° first bevel to the 3/8" lines. I used 60 grit disks on the end grain and my favorite #3 high angle hand plane to cut the walnut on the front of the cab.

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    I finish out the the plane cut with 80 grit and then sand a series of flats to the opposite side. Then I take the orbital sander and literally round the flats from one of the sides to the other.

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    Then a quick lick of 150 grit on the rounds then it's super glue and accelerant time to fit the small gaps on some of the fingers and where the trim joins. I also filled the pin holes in the logo.

    Tomorrow night finish sand and tea wash.

    Russ
     
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  18. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    An appropriate song to listen to for this shell being built!

     
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  19. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Sad thing is Adam at Satellite renamed the Barracuda to the 'Cuda - name confusion with other product I think.

    Final sand of the CA and then 120, 150 & 220 grit.

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    Then it's tea wash time - 3X.

    Before wash

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    After - still wet

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    Tomorrow night three coats of clear - then wait 72 !!@*#!!! hours to final sand then more clear then more waiting...

    Russ
     
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  20. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    First coat of clear, I'll stuff another couple in the next 1.5 hours.

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    While the cherry is better looking on the speaker cab the walnut is nice on the head.

    Russ
     
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