Dumble-style suede amp - anyone done it?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by jsnwhite619, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    A local guy contacted me after he ended up with a Dumble clone head that has the suede on it. He asked if I could build a matching extension cabinet for it - I have never worked with leather for anything before.
    Has anyone here ever done it on an amp cabinet?

    Or anyone who has/does work with leather. Is bleed through a concern? Is suede ruined if it gets wet? I can hold my own with tweed & tolex, but I'm completely ignorant about leather. Any help or advice is appreciated.

    Here is the desired end goal. Trying to decide if the stress and time will possibly be worth it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd be more worried having a pet that thinks it's a chew ....
     
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  3. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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  4. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have. It's easier than Tolex because it's sort of stretchy. But don't pull it too much because it can creep back under tension over time.

    Do not use contact cement that you paint on with a brush or roller, because it will soak through the suede and cause visible stains on the facing side. Instead, use 3M aerosol adhesive on the suede and cabinet.

    I did not overlap my seams; I carefully cut and applied the suede so the edges butted cleanly to each other.
     
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  5. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I did this one 4 years ago after seeing an original Dumble. I used 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive. No bleed though, and it still looks good, no edges peeling back. I did use staples where they could not be seen, but that was just precautionary. Suede is 3 pieces, one large that wraps around the top and sides, and one on the bottom. There are 2 seams on the bottom that are reinforced by the rubber feet.

    IMG_4942.jpeg
     
  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    No, but it can stain. You can Scotchgard it (or use other stuff like Wilson's suede protector), but that changes the look and feel of it.

    I've seen a few Dumbles with suede covering and they do look a bit ratty over the years because you can't just wipe off beer and BBQ sauce like you can with Tolex.
     
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  7. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I bet it wouldn’t stretch as well, but for durability I wonder if anybody has used nubuck, the suede-like sanded *outer* leather layer (v. inner for suede)…
     
  8. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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  9. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    I knew I would get some insight around here!

    Do you remember approx. how much the whole project cost in the end? And your source for the suede? I did some initial searching and I'm pretty sure at this point that he's going to get sticker shock and change his mind. The materials cost alone is looking like it's going to be HIGH!
     
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  10. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Actually, the cost overall wasn't all that bad, and I built a pretty big cab. 23X23X19 if I recall correctly. I think my total cost was about 165 bucks, most of that being the cost of the suede. BUT... for me at least, I'd never done anything like it before so it was a daunting task and a LOT of work. I think it was harder to build in some aspects than building a Tele! LOL!!! My source for the leather was my local Tandy Leather shop.

    I would not recommend buying anything online. You really have to see, touch, feel with your own hands in order to ensure you're getting the quality you need. Also, suede is a natural substance so no 2 panels will be the same. You will have slight differences in color/texture and there's no way to see that via a computer screen. You really have to choose these hides in person, compare them, and choose the best ones for your project. I happened to luck out in this regard. 2mm thickness is all you need. Anything more than that and you run the risk of it not bending and shaping the way you want. You also need to be 100% certain of your measurements or you won't have enough. When I was done, I literally had only slivers of scraps i.e. depending on the size of your project, every single square inch will count in terms of material, and you have to plan each and every cut in advance cause once it's cut, it's done. No room for error here.

    Also, when everything is done, scotch guard it to minimize the risks of staining. It's suede so... it's very susseptable to this. On this note, you have to make SURE that your work area is clean, tidy, so you don't run the risk of staining it as you're working... including your hands! Use rubber gloves and change them regularly, and be mindful of glue on your fingers etc. cause once you touch it and get a stain on it, you're pretty much going to have that stain forever.
     
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  11. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  12. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Oh... and another thing - Make sure you plan for the thickness of the suede in your build. You must account for this or otherwise your corners and back will not fit properly, or at all ;) FWIW and good luck!!!
     
  13. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    If I had to build the cab I built for myself for someone else, what they are charging for the cab + 200 for the suede would be the bare minimums of what I would charge someone else LOL!!! It's a LOT of work... fraut with peril. I'd rather build a Tele than to ever build a D style cab again... but... then again I'm a glutten for punishment so therefore I'll say "never say never" ;)
     
  14. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    That's the brand amp head he got! Yeah, I may just send him the link. I've done a couple of maple cabinets that were pretty nerve wracking due to the cost of materials and no room for error. Especially for something like dirty hands - or often a drop or two of blood when my knuckles start cracking in the fall & winter - ruining the whole thing and it being MY fault.

    Thanks for all the quick info - I'll post back if anything comes of it.
     
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  15. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Yeah man.... as I said in my original thread on my build, if I had to do it all over again I'd probably have just bought from a boutique and called it good. However, I wouldn't have learned anything either and for me that was 1/2 the point of going down that road to begin with. I was in for the challenge etc. So... unless you want to do it "just because", I'd recommend he buy from boutique i.e. those who do it all the time and gots the expertise to make it happen flawlessly :cool:
     
  16. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I will say this - I absolutely LOVE my cab! I did not build it to gig with but rather to noodle and experiment with sound, and perhaps the occasional trip to the studio etc. so I was able to get away with vintage looking, cotton, grill cloth vs. a more durable grill cloth like what's normally used. Nonetheless, the tones I get out of that Celestion Gold alnico through that cab is nothing short of pure awesomeness!!! I haven't tried any of my other speakers in it yet, but wow... there certainly is something about a D style cab IMO, in terms of tone. I think your customer will be very pleased with it, if it's done properly, and they'll be glad they spent the $$$ on it. FWIW ;)
     
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