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Tolexing a Port Hole???

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by theDogger218, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. theDogger218

    theDogger218 TDPRI Member

    33
    Oct 2, 2017
    USA
    Ok so I am working on a project and having trouble tolexing port holes. I have mocked up a test piece and am scratching my head....normally you would cut out the radius out from a central point cutting small triangles.

    Problem that I am having is that even heating the tolex it keeps ripping no matter how many relief cuts or how I try to tease it it rips in the middle...

    Here is an example of the ports

    [​IMG]

    I have been looking for some tutorial but have come up unsuccessful except on on UT with a guy cutting purple tolex on speak hole. No sound or information

    Any help would great

    -B
     

  2. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Meister

    340
    Feb 9, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    Hmmm, your description of how you did it is exactly how it was done on a custom-built cabinet I have. Looks fine from the outside, look at the inside and you have a bunch of long, narrow pie wedges with the points pointing away from the radiused cutout.

    Not much help, except to say that it sounds like you’re doing it right. Maybe pulling it tighter than absolutely necessary?
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  3. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Oct 31, 2010
    North Bay, Ca
    Sometimes a hair dryer will help depending on the elasticity of the tolex. use a light touch.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017

  4. theDogger218

    theDogger218 TDPRI Member

    33
    Oct 2, 2017
    USA
    OK so here are some pics on a test piece that I am practicing on. So my steps are the following

    1- Cut down the center
    2- T out at the edges of the radius
    3- start to cut reliefs out from the center point
    4- apply heat while trying to conform the tolex to the radius
    5- no matter how careful there is always way to much tension at the center of the radius and it tears.

    any thoughts, tip or link to tutorials that may have something that I am missing?

    I am kinda stuck at this point as I have the cab covered and basically finished. The port holes are still covered and really nervous about screwing it up.

    This is my cut pattern...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017

  5. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Have you watched the Uncle Doug videos where he Tolexes an amp cab?



    Not as tight a circular area but at around 11:00 he shows how he does inside curves. Looks like he cuts bigger triangles, for what that may be worth.
     

  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Radius the hole inward from the outside in so you are not trying to cover a square cut hole.

    [​IMG]
     

  7. theDogger218

    theDogger218 TDPRI Member

    33
    Oct 2, 2017
    USA
    Thanks for the info but I have found that with this more cuts I make the less stress there is on the cuts....larger triangle rip quickly between 11 - 1 o'clock:mad:.

    Mike what do you mean by "Radius the hole inward from the outside in so you are not trying to cover a square cut hole."???? PICS????

    thanks
    -B
     

  8. theDogger218

    theDogger218 TDPRI Member

    33
    Oct 2, 2017
    USA
    I know that this can be done this is the exact cab that I am building

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Ill post more pics I am pretty much done just have to cut the ports out and I am nervous...I screw up and I am recovering it.

    -B
     
    Deneb and nojazzhere like this.

  9. zipseattle

    zipseattle TDPRI Member

    91
    May 23, 2013
    Washington state
    "Mike what do you mean by "Radius the hole inward from the outside in so you are not trying to cover a square cut hole."

    Use a roundover router bit on the ports - looks like a 1/2" radius or so round over bit was used in the photo in post #6, before the tolex was applied.
     
    R. Stratenstein and nojazzhere like this.

  10. theDogger218

    theDogger218 TDPRI Member

    33
    Oct 2, 2017
    USA
    I am beyond that...The cab is almost finished as you can see in post #8. 3/4" wood and 1/2" round over. I gotta figure out how to make this work or I am going to have to recover it if I screw it up!
     

  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Nice Work!....are the "cut-outs" for weight relief or acoustic reasons?
     

  12. theDogger218

    theDogger218 TDPRI Member

    33
    Oct 2, 2017
    USA
    Cut outs are for weight relief....
     
    jvin248 likes this.

  13. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 27, 2015
    Da' Magic Mittin'
    What about putting a round-over on the inside edges of the holes? This way, you're not wrapping around sharp angles? It should cause less stress.
     
    R. Stratenstein likes this.

  14. theDogger218

    theDogger218 TDPRI Member

    33
    Oct 2, 2017
    USA
    In theory sound like an answer but at this point its glued, tolexed with ports waiting to be cut out....would be pretty difficult to do at this point. I think that I will have to bite the bullet and lay a small strip of tolex where the the tear normally will happen and cut that relief a little long so it does not tear and let the under tolex hide it.
     

  15. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Is that real Tolex you're using? It looks thinner and less substantial than the stuff on my amps.

    I think you might need to admit you got ahead of yourself and go back and radius and smooth the port openings on your project, then re-cover. It's too nice a piece of Woodworking to take shortcuts on the covering.
     
    moosie likes this.

  16. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    69
    Dec 31, 2009
    Queensland Australia
    I think what Mike was saying is to round over the outside edge of the cut out to relieve the pressure on the material stretching around an edge with a 90 degree square edge. Probably a good idea also for the inside edges as well.
    I once built a massage table and the oval cut for the "face space" was rounded over both sides and was able to wrap over quite easily, but I was using vinyl, don't know if that's different to Tolex or not. ????

    DC
     

  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    Attach the tolex to the test board and put it in an oven set as low as it goes (probably "180F") with the door open to the usual 1/3 open stop and tolex up so it doesn't touch hot racks. top rack or bottom rack may work better.

    Warm board and warm tolex should help it stretch and conform better. Can you carefully push the tolex into the hole to get it started before cutting? That will allow some of the straight section to stretch too and contribute material to the ends. Then do your cuts and wrap. You'll need to do less pulling and more pushing like a squeegee because it could be quite soft (not melting or blistering or try a lower heat). The heat in the board will help you work it.

    If your real panel cannot be removed from the case you could rig up a cardboard box with towels/blanket around it and blow hot air inside until the temperature feels about the same as the oven test piece.

    .
     

  18. theDogger218

    theDogger218 TDPRI Member

    33
    Oct 2, 2017
    USA
    Yes its Marshall Tolex from CE distribution its thicker than it looks. The original Forte cab that I am cloning only has a 1/2" round over also and the back edge is still square. Normally I would use a ovolo router bit that gives a flatter round over.

    This is a pic of a test piece that I made to practice and I have tried several types of Tolex, Mesa Targus, Marshall Jungle Bark and Fender Blond. All of them have the same issue at the 11-1 oclock area. There is so much tension there.

    Ill take a pic of the original Forte and post its to show that this was done with only a 1/2" round over , no chamfering of the inside edge....its crazy!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  19. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    That is extremely puzzling.
     

  20. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.

    A massage table, eh, Dave? Is your retirement "hobby-business" heading up a string of Love-You-Long-Time ladies ? :eek::lol::lol:

    Anyway, yes Tolex is a vinyl "fabric"--thus sayeth Wikipedia:

    Tolex is a trade name for a flexible, water-proof, vinyl material used as a cover material for books, upholstery, guitar amplifiers, cases, and other products. It has been used in Henney-Packard hearses and ambulances of the 50's and Fender amplifiers, and guitar cases from various manufacturers.


    Tolex was filed as a trademark on August 30, 1945 by the General Tire, and is currently registered as "a plastic sheet and film material for book binding and case covering for speakers and amplifiers." Tolex was also used in Packard automobiles, hearses, and ambulances—and in marine applications, such as Chris-Craft boats and other watercraft.

    Musicians sometimes use "Tolex" as a generic description for any vinyl type covering on an amplifier or guitar case—but most are not actually Tolex brand, except for Fender and Rickenbacker related products
     

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