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Tweed Cabinet Build for Me Now

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Axis29, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    I did a good two coats of clear shellac after the stain. i wanted a slight sheen, but also wanted to make sure I would have no issues with glue soaking in, or rejection due to the oily stain.

    Yeah, gonna make the bottom one this weekend as well as glue up the top one.

    I calls 'em like I sees 'em!

    Thanks, very kind of you to say so!
     

  2. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Ax, this has been one of the most enjoyable, educational, entertaining threads I’ve seen in years. The cab looks awesome. I especially like your research into how the original was built and finished, and your attention to detail but willingness to improvise and experiment.

    Oh, but dang, you work so fast and yet so well. Even more discouraging, you also seem to write fast and well.

    Thanks, great job!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  3. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    LOL, thanks...

    It truly is OCD, I obsess and compulse! I get fixated and when there aren't any hindrances (like a wife to reign me in, you know, back towards sanity) I get locked in. It's actually probably not healthy! LOL

    I do love doing stuff like this... Although, I don't know if I could do it day in and day out, assembly line kinda stuff. I like being able to jump around and find new challenges all the time. Writing about it keeps me from spending 24 hour s a day in the workshop! LOL
     
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  4. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Sheesh, if my wife doesn't come home form visiting the grandkids, I may rebuild every piece of musical equipment I own! LOL

    Seriously, got home from work, cleaned up and headed out to dinner on the bike. When I got home, I drifted towards the workshop with a cigar in hand and began looking at all the solvents I had to see if anything would strip the glue from the tolex job in the late 60's or early 70's. Turns out Goof Off was the trick. Softened it right up. I forgot to document that mess with pics...

    But, I glued and clamped it up with some cauls.

    [​IMG]

    My son came up with a brilliant idea yesterday when we were discussing gluing up the back panel... Use screws in the screw holes to hold one piece flat and in place to make it easier to clamp up. Duh! So, I grabbed a piece of scrap plywood close to the right size. Laid down some heavy plastic to keep the glue from sticking to the plywood. Ran screws in the bigger top piece. Plopped some of my favorite Tightbond III on the bottom piece, laid down some foil tape, a piece of scrap cherry (it's nice and stiff and was the right size) and slowly tightened the clamps partway down, then squeezed the two pieces together with three squeeze clamps. Then tightened the clamps on the caul a little more, then ran screws down into the bottom piece to keep everything flat (it was slowly starting to bow up).

    Tomorrow morning, I'll pull the clamps, fill and sand as necessary and cut out my bottom back panel. I am trying to figure out what to use to stiffen the break, without adding too much depth and that won't interfere with the chassis itself. Although, honestly, with six screws in the top back panel, And as infrequently as I hope to pull the back panel, I may not really need anything.

    Should have all my tweed installed by tomorrow evening.

    The funny thing is, that as I pulled off the tolex, there is a shadow of the dark stripes of the original tweed left on the wood. Kinda cool. I will easily see which way the tolex needs to go! LOL. Hope I have enough left over going the correct direction!
     
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  5. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Age:
    34
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    It's addictive as hell, but it won't be long til every piece of gear you own will be in top shape and working order for pennies on the dollar of what you would pay someone else. Welcome to the club!

    I fixed some loose bracing in my acoustic guitar one might in a similar situation. Heard a rattle, found the spot, grabbed my Titebond hide glue and had it sorted out in 45 minutes. It's a great feeling to be self sufficient!
     
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  6. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Looks great !
    My finger joints don't come out that clean, so filler is needed. First build I went to Ace and got a tub of some premixed crap, 24 hours later it plugged sandpaper like old chewing gum. Two things in life I really hate, stuff that takes 24 hours to "dry" and stuff that plugs sandpaper.
    Having some auto body experience I then went to the parts store for some lightweight auto body filler aka Bondo. Mix in the hardener, spread it on and sand in about 20 minutes, it sands easy too. Of course it's a pinkish color, only works for covered cabs, or painted ones.
    Anyway very nice work !
     
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  7. stratman54

    stratman54 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    179
    Aug 30, 2016
    US
    I like it. I have never done tolex. I like the looks of the wood. Try a locking miters bit. I have found it to hold up really well. I've stood on my amp cabs and the never moved. Made these with sapele.

    1530371441507.jpg 1530371457632.jpg 1530371468436.jpg 1530371483382.jpg 1530371489177.jpg
     
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  8. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Thanks Bobby! I am with you 100%. I hate crap that takes forever to dry and clogs sandpaper... Man, I avoid products like that like the plague! Sadly, I've run across many of them over the last 35 years!

    I've used Bondo for wood repair a go-zillion times as well. It does work excellently! The Timbermate filler I used (and @dunehunter tried) is a really nice product that is ready for sanding pretty quickly. It's harder to fill big gouges. But, works for the little tear out I had. It's a little more expensive, but I really like the water cleanup aspect!


    Those cabs are really beautiful @stratman54!

    I have and have used a lock miter bit a few times building smaller boxes. It is a fantastic piece that does work really well.

    But, going with the whole 'vintage somewhat accurate' thing required finger joints and tweed. :twisted:
     
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  9. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    :lolol: I’m stealing “vintage somewhat accurate” to sum up my whole approach to this stuff....
     
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  10. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    I am kinda proud of that line too... But, it sums it up.

    I don't have a hide glue machine, or even a pot to heat up hide glue, so the tweed was gonna be rather difficult. So, I used 3M spray adhesive. I also used Tightbond glue... and modern spray paint. But, I tried to stick with funny things like the fact that the dowels weren't the same distance from the chassis cut out and there's that funny round over on the fascia boards that nobody else seems to do. But, even when i restored the circuit last year... I followed the schematic, but used modern Mallory caps. I can't afford vintage Astrons, let alone I couldn't imagine spending years trying to amass the proper values in caps that actually worked! LOL
     
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  11. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Aaaaaand, (today?) yesterday's update - Back panels and a lack of tweed.

    Here's what the stripped upper panel looks like:

    [​IMG]

    Cool how there's darks stripes form the old tweed, huh? The white is actually Timbermate wood putty left in the tolex marks from the old adhesive. I tried to smooth the whole thing out a little.

    I used a few online pics to determine the size of the lower panel. I couldn't find any simple design drawings. The cleanest image was form MojoTone, it looked about accurate. So, I printed off the picture and did some loose measuring. I discovered the image was about 5.5:1 in scale by comparing their top panel with mine. My top panel was 7 3/8" tall. So, then I measured the printout and it was 1" tall... Easy math, 5 1/2" tall.

    Then, to determine the cutouts I eyed the drawing and was comparing back and forth between the two panels and the drawing and made a mark, then did the math. I was within 1/8". Not bad. To do the curves, I eyed it again. Sketched it out, and made an MDF template of one side. I cut the template out carefully with a jig saw, then off to the ROSS to smooth it out nicely. I laid it on the panel, traced it out, flipped it over and then I stared at it for a while. Eventually I decided I liked it and did the same jig saw, ROSS treatment.

    [​IMG]

    Then, as I feared... None of my tweed leftovers are wide enough to do the stripes going the correct way. So much for ordering extra being enough! LOL

    Looks like everyone I know is getting tweed items for Christmas this year!

    I did put a coat of stain on the bottom panel last night and gonna hit it with shellac today. And, gonna order some more tweed.
     
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  12. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Heh, a slogan back at ya: “Too much is never enough.”

    Adapted from Mark Twain: “Too much whiskey is just enough.”
     

  13. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    We ARE talking volume, right?
     

  14. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Oh, forgot something earlier... When I first got this amp, one of the first things I did was spray the asbestos insulation with shellac to encapsulate it. When I got the tolex off and had it glued up, I decided shellac wasn't enough. So, I used some of my Minwax Wood Hardener on it. I poured it on gently and used a cheap chip brush to spread it nicely. Now, it is permanently encapsulated and I feel much better about the nasty stuff.

    I saw the asbestos thing mentioned in a thread earlier today and it reminded me that I had not documented that step... and important one for safety.

    Anyway, happy Sunday everyone!
     

  15. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    This has been a fantastic thread @Axis29 . It will be the blueprint for many aspiring cab builders forever. Thanks so much for the documentation and after thoughts. Priceless.
     
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  16. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Thanks @Obsessed, I have to thank @dunehunter for pushing me over the edge... I had bought the wood for the cabinet and had it aging in the shop when he started his build thread. His pushing forward, pushed me forward. He did a few things early on that I learned from as well.


    Sadly, though, I am not finished yet... Still waiting on that other tweed to arrive and, at some point, I will need to pull it all apart again to cover it in lacquer and smooth it over a little. I have a feeling that might be a little while, though. My wife comes back into town on Wednesday and I'll have to reign in some of my obsessive behavior! LOL
     
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  17. dunehunter

    dunehunter Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    286
    Jul 14, 2011
    Larkspur, CO
    While the cat's away, the mice ... head to the workshop! :D
     
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  18. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Yes, today was kinda the last hurrah... Tomorrow I gotta vacuum and do a little tidying up. But, without more tweed, or enough cloth covered wire or any 8-450 caps to finish re-wiring my Bassman, I built a plexiglass shield to use at the gig tonight with the Twin. (I had a little complaint about beaminess last week). I may do a quick build thread on that after tonight's results? Gave it a quick test in the Living Room here and it seems to cut a good bit of the highs down.
     
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  19. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Good morning gang! Got out and cut some tweed... Thanks Angela Instruments for your quick shipping!

    Anyway, first thing I did was make sure I had the fabric orientation correct! LOL . Next, i cut out my two pieces. I used a razor knife and my framing square. Each piece was 2", or the fat end of my framing square larger than my panels.
    [​IMG]

    I put lines on the backside so I could line up my panels and tweed and not have to fuss with it too much. Not sure how this occurred to me, but it worked beautifully!

    Next came the sticky stuff... Using 3M spray adhesive again, this time M77 for a quick grip. I utilized a very high tech masking material and tried to minimize overspray
    [​IMG]

    Since I had my layout lines, I wasn't worried about working time. So, I sprayed the M77, let it tack up a minute or two and then slapped them joints together (to utilize some of that hip new lingo the youngin's on the jobsite use).

    I started with the bottom panel because the curves looked easier to deal with. I did make one mistake. I made my cuts a little too close to the curve, so it doesn't look perfect. But, to utilize another jobsite phrase, 'looks good from my house!"

    [​IMG]

    I looked at a few pics online of vintage back panels. And the way they did the corners. interestingly, they did them differently top and bottom... Anyway, bottom was a somewhat simple overlay. I used 1" as my overlap on the back. To get it nice and even, I would glue the edge, than I would use my flat metal ruler and razor knife to trim it back off neatly.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I cut a little angle on each piece (same as I had seen in the pics I found).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All done with the bottom panel, I was ready to attack the top. (the picture of cutting above, should actually go here... Had I properly documented... LOL). Most of the process was the same... The corners were different, though. On the top panel corners were set at 45 degree cuts. So... I trimmed the tweed to the correct size.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    But, I didn't trim the overlap yet.

    [​IMG]

    I'd mash the fabric up to find the exact corner, lay my ruler form the corner to the place where the fabric pieces met, and trim through both layers of fabric with my razor knife.

    [​IMG]

    Then, I peeled up both pieces and pulled out the corner that had been cut loose... Folding the proper piece back in place.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I flipped the piece up on end and pressed it down onto the table to trim off the big ole hanging chad...

    [​IMG]

    Next post... those dreaded vent holes! Duh, duh, duuuuuuuuhhhh....
     
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  20. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    So, vent holes... I was really dreading doing these. I also learned a little something about what I SHOULD have done with the bottom panel*

    Anyway, first step was to make the cuts. I set the panel, face down and made a slit from just into one curve, through the center to just into the other curve. I had to make a pencil mark so I could see this 'center'.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I cut from about a 1/4" in from each curve to that center mark. I made two cuts at each end, making wedge shaped pieces splitting the curves into almost equal thirds. The center piece is a little wider.

    Sorry I didn't grab enough pics of this part. But, the next pic should kinda give you an idea of how the cuts are made.

    I read somewhere someone describing pushing the fabric in from the front around the curve... I tried that on the first curve and wasn't 100% happy with the results. Having worked around an upholstery shop for the last year, I have picked up a few tips and tricks and I felt more comfortable grabbing the tips of the small wedges and pulling them through from behind. But, for the long sides, pushing in from the front worked really well and cleanly. As much as I feared this part, it really wasn't hard at all.

    [​IMG]

    You can see the original asbestos panel is still attached. Again, I treated it with Minwax Wood Hardener to encapsulate this panel and keep any fibers from escaping into the air around me or anyone else in the future.

    [​IMG]

    I am letting the adhesive dry and gas off a bit. Then, this afternoon, I'll be giving it a good shellacking!
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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