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building a super-light cab: what wood?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jupiter, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, I’ve built a couple of guitar bodies out of it. Smells great too! Just a little surprisingly heavy when I hefted some boards last week...
     
  2. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks ! Yes, I make this in my cave, with a less-than-rudimentary tooling... :oops:;)

    -tbln
     
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  3. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    totally nice - I like the old Gibson amps vibe
     
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  4. VerySlowHand

    VerySlowHand Tele-Holic

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    Basswood. I paddle an open (aka Canadian) canoe and that's the lightest material that paddle makers use.
     
  5. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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  6. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    I built a super light cab from 1/4" baltic birch. Even box jointed it. All edges are doubled.it was a bit of work but its very light. IMG_20200225_055655169.jpg
     
  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Basswood has the same density of Spruce (both vary) have a canoe maker somewhat nearby.

    http://www.redrivercanoe.ca/

    That is an interesting method. It has me thinking now. I have some 1/8" ply. If I could pick up 1/2" foam, skin it on both sides with the ply... ...great, another project.
     
  8. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I had a 2 x 10 made. The guy used #2 pine. Plywood baffles open back. It weighs like nothing. Very easy to handle and I really like 10s.
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    See my earlier post #28 showing a 4 x 10 I made with it. Feather light!
     
  10. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry I missed that. I didn’t read past marine ply.

    Baltek originated it but now there’s similar products. Anyone wanting to go superlight with extreme strength and dimensional stability should take a look.

    And @printer2 , 1/8” would be overkill on a sandwich. What the Baltek has that a foam sandwich doesn’t is that end-grain aspect. Incredible compression strength in the core. For a ready-to-use material, it’s the shiz. I was in the composites business, built a zillion sandwiches.
     
  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, I got 5 sheets of this at a marine auction I went to, yard going out of business about 15 years ago. That stuff is rigid as heck, doesnt bend like plywood does. I should finish this cab some time, but I have two other big cabs... I guess it's $150-200 a sheet now...
     
  12. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know the 1/8" is heavier than I need but I have it. I used to work for a company that aside from other things made composite parts for aircraft. I was in the test lab and part of the time breaking things. Other than impact resistance a thin skin is the way to go. Even then, what is a little dent between friends?
     
  13. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    All this canoe talk has me thinking cedar, that's what mine is made put of and it's very light. Plus it's keep moths out of the amp.

    Wooden canoe tip.
    Don't put you canoe next to a building with a steel roof for the winter.
     
  14. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    So for ver. 1.0 of this cab, I chose paulownia. Half the price of the pine or cypress gluelam.

    Inside dimensions are 45cm wide, 40cm tall, 30cm deep
    E85FF79C-6C22-44CE-BA3E-2F2140AA1D4E.jpeg

    It has little runners or battens or whatchamacallits in the corners, which not only strengthen the joints but also helped me build it more or less square.
    BFD51826-AAF1-42AE-9717-A7981F2FE940.jpeg

    At this point, those little sticks are only glued to the sides, until I get the front baffle cut and get the mounting runners glued in for that. The box is pretty square, but not absolutely perfectly so, and I’ll use the front baffle to enforce 90° angles on the corners when I do the final gluing.
    8B6754E9-C84D-43FF-B33A-65E2C4B1164B.jpeg

    Man, this stuff is like styrofoam for dents though...
    5ECDCC26-9D6E-4D93-A0C3-F49F4B0B079C.jpeg

    I crunched the corner of one board just putting it in the shopping cart, and I don’t even know how or when I did these dents. I countersunk the screw holes a little bit, and almost put the screws clean through when I screwed em in with my rechargeable drill, even though I had it set on the second-to-lowest anti-strip setting. They are in there DEEP! :lol: Luckily it’s really the glue doing the work.

    I bought this Peavey speaker grill. Turns out it’s exactly the same one I bought for my first DIY cab back when I joined TDPRI. Still comes with the same nonsense mounting brackets, too.
    C548E8C6-3560-449D-8260-E9BA7C99A796.jpeg
    One of my first ever posts in the forum was a query about how the heck you’re supposed to use these things. Even after I found out the intended method, I just thought it was so ugly and graceless that I threw em in my junk drawer and just screwed the grill directly to the baffle. Which I reckon I’ll do again! :D

    So far, this thing is LIGHT! Which was exactly the reaction I want to have whenever I pick it up. But it’s definitely not going to be strong enough to stand on, unlike my first cab...

    ah, which reminds me: I’ve never messed with running more than one speaker/cab at a time before, but my Quilter amp can easily accommodate two speakers, even with different impedences, AND my ZOOM mfx has stereo outputs, so I’m thinking about playing around with connecting both cabs and/or running one of the outputs from the fx pedal to another combo amp I have. So I’m wondering what’s a simple wiring solution for flipping the phase status of the cab without physically disconnecting leads from the speaker contacts? Two jacks in back maybe? I think I have a biggish toggle switch somewhere too; that could be pretty simple...
     
  15. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    One way to make a very light cab is to rout a series of stopped/blind dadoes in line with the grain. Use standard 3/4" wood (called "one by") for the panels, and rout 1/2" wide dadoes 1/2" deep, 1/2" apart on all panels except for the center of the top portion where the handle mounts. The routed side of each panel faces inward, obviously. This removes a substantial amount of wood from the panel without sacrificing strength.

    Adding glue and Tolex adds weight. Instead, shoot a thin layer of rubberized pickup truck bed liner spray (Rustoleum, etc.). It looks like black Tolex from a foot away and it is seamless. It's beerproof. It's also dead simple to repair (fill the ding, re-spray the area).

    Here's a small 4x speaker cab with bed liner applied to bare wood:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Thanks, that’s just what I was looking for! Not sure I can find it here (pickups are pretty rare), but now I know to search the auto parts stores. Does this stuff come in rattle cans?
     
  17. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, it's available on aerosol spray cans.
     
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  18. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Yikes, looks like one can of this stuff could cost me 70 bucks...
    71AFCFFE-4565-4423-BE07-30F0C8E8C5EB.jpeg
     
  19. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    A real "lumber yard" is like a white whale these days, so I usually get my amp and speaker cabinet wood from the local big box.

    I got in the habit of checking the 1"x10" and 1"x12" pine racks whenever I go there, not just when I have a cabinet project in the works.

    I always manage to find mostly clear, light-weight pine boards that I use for my dove-tailed cabinets - maybe not on this trip to the store, or even the next, but they always eventually show up :).

    Snap them up as soon as you see them, they won't be there next time you look ;).

    Regular old pine, not yellow pine, not "SPF" like the pile of ratty-ass construction grade 2"x4"s.

    Pine - easy to work, light-weight, and plenty strong.

    Maybe, in your neck of the woods, radiatta pine may be another option?
     
  20. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    baltic birch plywood.
     
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