5E3 Deluxe Build - A Couple Cabinet Questions

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by Pick_n_Strum, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Pick_n_Strum

    Pick_n_Strum TDPRI Member

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    I've been a member for a while but this is my first post. This seems to be the place to go for kit builds.

    So I'm building my first amp - it's going to be a bit of a Frankenstein. Cabinet is going to be homemade, chassis is from Weber, parts kit and turret board will be from mojotone, and I'll be using Classic Tone transformers.


    My first questions relate to the cabinet itself - for those of you with experience building cabs. I grabbed some plans off of TDPRI:

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/5e3-cabinet-build-square-or-angled-front.468297/


    1) The cabinet is going to be classic box / non-slanted. So for depth, I was going to go with 9.5" based on the deeper panel shown in the plans above. Accidentally bought 9.25" width wood. Obviously a 1/4" difference isn't huge - I'm planning on making the speaker baffle last so that I can for sure fit the speaker in the cabinet with the loaded chassis - anything I'm not thinking about here? Will the 9.25" work?

    2) Going with finger-jointed pine. Got my finger / box jig all set - that was a learning process in itself. I'm not going to tweed the cab - I really like the look of amber shellac on pine. With that said, after gluing the cab together, I'm going to round-over the finger joints with the router to add to the aesthetics (so it's not just a square box). With finger joints, would you first sand the edges of the box joints flat and then put them through the roundover bit? Or would you use something like a flush trim bit to get the edges even and then put the cab through the roundover bit? I want to minimize chipping and issues with the roundover - I'm confident to do it on the edges with a single board - it's just the jointed areas that I'm concerened with.

    Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Welcome. I have no experience with the question of the rounding. However, I do have an observation. Fender cabs have that slight slant for a reason as it yields a speaker orientation that is slightly at an upward angle. In certain amps like square box Gibson’s and the Martin/DeArmond combos, the baffle-board is set at an angle within that square box in order to attain the speaker angle.
     
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  3. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've been using 1"x12" and makin' my cabinets nice and deep.

    It totally sucks to get done with a cabinet only to find the chassis, tubes or transformers don't clear the speaker. If you use an alnico with a bell cover you might get into problems.
     
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  4. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Holic

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    Ditto
     
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  5. Pick_n_Strum

    Pick_n_Strum TDPRI Member

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    Glad there is a consensus on this. I'll make the cab with a 1"x12" and keep it deep. I'll just plan on my current box being a dry-run.

    Any thoughts on rounding over the box / finger joint?
     
  6. BigDaddy23

    BigDaddy23 Tele-Meister

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    Just sand them flat with a random orbital sander or the like then use your round over bit. One thing to watch is that the bearing doesn’t dent the pine.....don’t push too hard into the job.
     
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  7. Pick_n_Strum

    Pick_n_Strum TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the help!

    Would you guys keep the 1x12 the full 11.25" deep for a 5E3?
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Too deep a cab and it will be woofy and hifi. I never go over 11", and like 10-11" although I have tried deep. Of course it's all about all the components, maybe a real bright speaker will be fine with a deep cab.
    There's a reason Bass cabs are deep. It super enhances the low end.
    BTW, baffle thickness matters also. On a 5E3 I wouldn't go over 5/8" and would likely use 1/2".
    I'm mostly a BF guy though. A 5E3 is not known for big low end, so maybe a little deeper would be good? I'd say try that 11.25.
     
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  9. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    10 1/2" deep looks about right. I build a couple specialty cabinets where I use the full 11 1/4". There is a tiny bit of alchemy at work. I can get 11 3/8" out of a 11 1/4" board.


    The slant front isn't that difficult to do. I make sure the back of the cabinet is 100% square using the infeed table of my planer as a surface plate. Any large machine table will do. If you don't have cast iron machines with milled tables get a scrap of polished granite at your local stone countertop shop. That's accurate enough to use as a Poor Man's Surface Plate.

    Scribe a line from your starting depth, say 9 1/2" on top to your finishing depth, say 10 1/2" on the bottom. I usually set the angle by eye on my table saw. It's about four degrees. Rip the top and then the bottom.

    I connect the cuts with my ancient Porter Cable 152 jig saw, the same saw that has cut more (speaker baffle) holes than Blackburn, Lanscashire.



    Clean it up with a low angle plane and we're good to go!
     
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  10. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    The standard depth of the original Tweed Deluxe was 9.5" at the bottom of the amp. It tapers down to 8.5" at the top.

    So here would be my idea.

    Since you already have the 9.25" material do what Leo did. You need a little bit wider panel front for the face frame so you can screw the baffle to it. So cut some 1.25" x 3/8" slats and frame out the front of the cabinet. That will allow you to taper the front of the cabinet for the angle needed and still use the material you have. You could also do that face frame out of a different type of wood and give yourself a little different look since you are not covering the cabinet.

    As far as the finger joints, I usually let my ends be a little long, then I fill any gaps with wood putty. After that putty dries I sand the sides down flat. I do my round over after the side are nice and flat.

    I did a right up on the full amp here.

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/after-much-trepidation-5e3.775379/
     
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  11. Pick_n_Strum

    Pick_n_Strum TDPRI Member

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    I was just excited I got the finger joints figured out, haha - I may build a straight cab for now and then practice building a slanted one down the road.

    I'm assuming the slant is mainly for vintage and sonic aesthetics...
     
  12. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, you'll need to sand those finger joints flat in order to give the router something even to ride on. Good luck!
     
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  13. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Properly built slant front = cue chorus of angels.

    I built one using 200 year old pine. It weighs about two pounds without its baffle and back panels.

    Ha!
    "Woofy and hifi"​
    or​
    "Balls like a billy goat"​
    ???​
     
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  14. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Holic

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    A long time ago, when I didn't have much experience, and when Ted Weber, senior, was trying to get his fledgling company off the ground, he offered 5E3 cabinets made from solid pine. I bought three of them. After finagling with his chassis, I had three 5E3s ready to go. The only problem was the Weber chassis didn't fit into Weber cabinets. The exterior dimensions were fine. The interior dimensions we're not fine. The back panels we're made from 3/4 inch pine! The baffle was made from 3/4 in ply. Literally, the power transformer hit the baffle...
    Ted and I went round and round and round.....
    I ended up having to make all new back panels, and cut new baffles, plug and re-drill mounting holes for the chassis, all sorts of work.

    So regarding my comment of agreement that it sucks when things don't fit.... I can say from experience that it certainly does.

    And with a better note I will say that I have no idea what Weber
    is offering these days, but it certainly can't be any worse than what they had before! And yes this was must be 24-25 years ago at least.
     
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  15. Pick_n_Strum

    Pick_n_Strum TDPRI Member

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    You might be convincing me - I don't want to overreach but I guess I can always buy more boards if I screw up.

    If I'm reading you correctly, this would be my order of operations for slanted front:

    1. Crosscut all boards to proper length
    2. Rip top and bottom boards to 9.5" and 10.5," respectively
    3. Make sure the corners of the boards that will make up the back of the cab are perfectly square
    4. Scribe line from 10.5 to 9.5 on both side boards
    5. Rip side boards along that line (in my head I would clamp another board down as an angled fence to push along the scribed line approximately 4 degrees)
    6. Router finger joints
    7. Clean up corners where finger joints don't meet perfectly with jig saw

    Proceed with roundover as others have advised in this thread. I did make a square champ cab so I'm fairly confident in the steps that come after - it's just this my first properly finger jointed box.

    Again, I appreciate the help and patience!
     
  16. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I build the box first then cut the slant.
     
  17. Pick_n_Strum

    Pick_n_Strum TDPRI Member

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    Got it - looking at your post (#9) - do you already have the boards for the top and bottom of the cab cut to 9.5 and 10.5? or do you make the entire cab the same depth and then rip all four sides (obviously a straight cut on top/bottom and slants on the sides).

    I'm just having a hard time picturing it - sorry, don't mean to be annoying...
     
  18. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I do not know exactly how @muchxs cuts his full box. But you would need about a 4 degree angle on the top and bottom boards to match the slanted front. You could set up a fence like you are saying with an angled fence and cut the sides. Then set up you saw with a 4 degree angle and cut the top and bottom boards finishing with the side cuts. A belt sander would make fast work of any deviations.

    You could use a router as well, set up a fence and allow the router to follow the fence on the side of the panel. Then make an angled plate so you can run the router across the top and bottom to get the angle on those pieces.

    There are a lot of ways to skin that cat.
     
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  19. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I use that 9 1/4" pine only for the top panel and only to save a few coins on wood.

    Trust me, it works for a tweed Fender style cabinet.

    I drill a couple two inch holes from what will become the inside of the top panel. Those are the rads for your control panel cutout.

    If the Forstner bit tears out it will tear out material that will be cleaned up with the roundover.

    I used to use a "sled" type jig to trim the slant on our big Jet table saw. The big Jet gave way to a smaller and less precise Bosch portable. Big changes comin' at Woodworker's Hell.

    I stopped using the sled. The fewer processes I do with a whole lot of circular saw bladed exposed, the better my chances of bein able to count to ten on my fingers at the end of the day.


    Best way to do it is whatever works for you. There are at least three different ways to do every step of the process.

    Yup.

    I'll say this... cut to a scribe line and fudge your angle to meet the line. Don't think your tooling is so precise you can use a particular setup and hit your marks every time. My machines are set up pretty tight but they're not that tight.

    I don't measure anything anymore. I have a pile of story sticks and patterns. Set my stop to the story stick, make a cut. Rough everything out and clean it up to my patterns.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  20. Pick_n_Strum

    Pick_n_Strum TDPRI Member

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    Thanks again for your help - Thought I'd put a couple pics up of what I ended up with. Couple quick points, I did end up going slanted in the front which was easier than I thought; although after cutting out a few errors that I wouldn't have been able to sand easily, my top ended up being 9 3/8 and my bottom 10 3/8. Also, wish I had double-checked the jig because my finger joints didn't come out as tight as I would've liked. I'm going to fix the jig for future builds.

    Good news is it's square and sturdy! Next up will be sanding, filling, then roundover routing. Then it's off to build the actual kit.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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