DIY amp cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dksouthpaw, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. dksouthpaw

    dksouthpaw Member

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    So i've seen more and more posts where people have made their own cabs or new amp enclosures etc etc. But is there any actual book or website that gives you a step by step? I mean i know i can just go at it and follow a few simple rules of thumb. but i'm one of those people who read heavily and then do. and i can't find enough to read about it.

    So yeah any books or websites that or specific step by step for this?
     
  2. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Kevin O'Connor has a book on the subject, though I've not read it and can't recommend it per se.

    http://elderly.com/books/items/451-6.htm

    I've learned the little I know by looking at the construction of other cabinets that I thought sounded good and from working with a few people who knew more than me. There are lots of websites with info too, but I've found that most of them are written by amateurs like me.

    The one thing I'll say I've learned is that having the "right tools" is a huge plus. At a minimum, IMO, you need a table saw, a router with the proper bits, a jig or template/guide for making the speaker holes in the baffle, a good metal straight edge and ruler, a powerful drill, a orbital sander and good set of clamps and corner supports for keeping things square. You also need a ventilated work area, gloves, goggles and a mask. There are other materials you'll need too - strong wood glue, plastic wood or bondo, plenty of sandpaper.

    The other recommendation that I'd make is design everything at a very detailed level and don't start until the design is done. Think about things very carefully in terms of how everything is going to fit together. Pay particular attention to how the speakers and/or chassis are going to be mounted, insuring that there is clearance for everything, including bracing.

    Like anything else, it also takes a good deal of practice to get good (not that I'm there yet, but I'm workin at it). It can be very rewarding, but it's a LOT of work.
     
  3. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    O'Connor's book is very informative about general speaker and cabinet information and building techniques but as far as building a cab, it shows plans for many "detuned" cab configurations but none for other types.
     
  4. dksouthpaw

    dksouthpaw Member

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    yeah i've got all of the tools and my father's quite the woodworker. just no real knowledge base on the subject
     
  5. GBStratman

    GBStratman Member

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    There is lots of useful information here:

    www.music-electronics-forum.com

    but as far as woodworking skills, I would suggest picking up a good book on woodworking, specifically a book about consructing boxes and carcases. Fine Woodworking has an excellent series. An amp cab is identical in construction to a drawer (without a bottom and standing it on end). The usual best-practice is dovetail joints, or if you don't have access to a dovetail jig, then finger-joints (ala Leo Fender).
     
  6. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    I've built a few based on dimensions of production cabs. It's not that difficult really, unless you go for a very artistic natural finish as seen in the "show your natural cabs" thread in this forum. The Port City cabs have special baffles inside, but most cabs (IMO) are just a wood box. The last few I have built were covered in Tolex and used conventional cab hardware. Here is my last project, a 1x10 combo:
    [​IMG]
    I will add here that by the time you factor in all of the materials and hardware, along with your hours, there is little or no savings over the cost of a cab from Lopoline or Avatar. If you have a dado blade stack, I have found rabbit or finger joints to be plenty strong, and much easier to do that a dovetail (especially in plywood). If you are going for the satisfaction of having built something yourself or want an unusual design, then by all means go for it.
     
  7. mrface2112

    mrface2112 Member

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    i finished my first cabinet build over the weekend (1x12). if you have basic woodworking tools (table saw, router, jigsaw, drills, steel ruler, etc), you can do it. it's not hard.

    i originally set out to do a fingerjointed cabinet, but bailed on the idea b/c i didn't want to build (or buy) a finger joint jig for one cabinet. i went with box joints in the corners instead and it came out great.

    the cost and time factor is definitely something to consider. i could've easily bought an avatar cabinet for the $$ that went into the wood, tolex, grille cloth and various parts. but i wouldn't have the satisfaction of "i made that". that, and avatar uses plywood. mine's made of solid pine (birch ply baffle) and it resonates something fierce.

    of course, now i've got the bug. next up is a cabinet to hold a 1x10 and 1x12 on the same baffle, old bandmaster style..........and after that, a head cabinet for my Vibro Champ and maybe a matching 2x8 cabinet.

    looks like i'll be buying that dovetail jig after all. :roll

    the WORST part of it was the tolex. i didn't like doing that at all.


    cheers,
    wade
     
  8. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    That Dap Contact Cement is really something, isn't it :D I applied it in the garage with both doors wide open and a fan going, it is still overpowering. Unfortunately the weather to do the job outside wasn't good enough when I wanted to cover. Man-o-man ... those fumes are powerful!
     
  9. mrface2112

    mrface2112 Member

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    actually, since i had some 3M Super 77 spray adhesive on hand, i used that. i will NEVER use that crap for tolex ever again! i did it late at night, indoors, and it had me more than a little......:crazyguy:roll:crazyguy after all was said and done.

    but it was more the fact that i didn't buy a long enough sheet to wrap the cab up like a christmas present, and i had to do it in sections. it looks good.....but it was more of a pain than it should've been (or would've been had i gone the "present" route). and thanks to doing it in sections, my hands were more sticky than the wood and tolex. not fun.

    oh well, lessson learned. just one of a few lessons learned for that matter.


    cheers,
    wade
     
  10. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    There are some water based glues that are a lot safer to work with (and much less messy, and most important less stinky) than the DAP, or the 3M. Even the no name brand stuff from Antique Electronic Supply is pretty good.
     
  11. DaveK

    DaveK Member

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    This DAP water based contact cement is very similar to the stuff from Mojo and Antique Electronic Supply. It does have a slight odor still, but nothing as bad as the stuff that will knock you out.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. dksouthpaw

    dksouthpaw Member

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    yeah i think i've got it pretty easy. I have at least a 1000 lbs of pine board in my garage that i can use :) my stepdad is a football coach and they were recently redoing the gym bleachers, some guy was gonna have to haul it way far away so we took it off his hands.

    I was more worried there's some detail to the box that i was gonna miss. but i've got all the tools, all the nice wood, and i'll probably just pull the speaker and baffle out of the BJ and stick it right in the new one so no worries there either.


    but the woodworking book is a good idea
     
  13. mrface2112

    mrface2112 Member

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    measure the BJr's baffle with a good steel rule and design the cab around the baffle. that makes it a whole lot easier.

    really, it's not rocket science. it just takes a little anal retentiveness to do it right (and to do it well). just be careful around the saws. losing fingers is counterproductive to rocking out. :JAM

    thanks DaveK for the tip about the waterbased DAP stuff. i'll give that a go next time. sure can't be worse than the 3M spray! :drink


    cheers,
    wade
     
  14. dksouthpaw

    dksouthpaw Member

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    i'm debating just keeping the baffle and grill cloth from my original one. I've got the NOS tweed version so it'll still look good with the natural wood. So yeah i was planning to make it around that- glad to know my thought process was semi correct heh
     

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