Finished wood or Tolex?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by RatBug, Aug 28, 2019.

Finished wood cabinet or Tolex Covered?

  1. Finished Wood

    15 vote(s)
    37.5%
  2. Tolex

    17 vote(s)
    42.5%
  3. I like turtles.

    8 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. RatBug

    RatBug Tele-Meister

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    Thank you all for your opinions and info, with your help I have been able to narrow it down to either finished wood or a tolex covered cabinet. (Yes, that is supposed to be a joke).
     
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  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    One more opinion. When I built my little kit amp it was intended to stay in my music room so I made a nice oak cabinet for it.

    IMG_3017.JPG IMG_3033.JPG
     
  3. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    I was in the moving business for thirty years. Moving a wood cab Princeton with no damage is no big deal. Wrap it in a furniture pad, secure it with a big rubber band, and you have a package you can just pick up and carry. or get a padded cover (Tuki?), same deal but easier to live with-carry it by the handle.
     
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  4. RatBug

    RatBug Tele-Meister

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    Oh my, you just gave me an idea.

    I met an older guy (90+) that is selling off all his wood stock because he hurt his back and has decided it's time. :(

    I believe he has a bunch of quarter sawn white oak that would look awesome and take a beating.
     
  5. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    I'll have to make a note of it. Bad timing on this thread -- I just put the Tweed on a Blues Jr cab since Wednesday!

    One thing I've found that makes a big difference in the "airy" top end and real, breathe-on-the-strings sensitivity is the baffle & cleat design. I know everyone talks about the difference in "floating baffles" of tweeds vs later fixed baffle designs. It is usually accompanied by describing the "attached at 4 corners" vs glued in designs. While that is an obvious difference, I think a bigger part of the equation is the fact that there is grill cloth on the front of the grill and tweed wrapped inside the cleat that is dampening the vibrations from the baffle. Compare that to a Brownface & onward design where wood screws from behind pull the bare wood baffle into direct contact with bare wood cleat. No dampening material in between. You wouldn't build an acoustic guitar with a strip of grill cloth under the bridge, would you?

    The poplar cabinet above is the second Pro Jr cab I've done with that rear baffle cleat style, the other was heart pine. Both turned out to be extremely touch sensitive and loud for their size. I think that the reason the bare wood cabs that still have the tweed look turn out brighter and louder is the same reason -- even though there is grill (100% fairly hard, synthetic material), there isn't nearly 1/16th of an inch of cloth between the baffle and the cabinet wood.

    As far as glued-in fixed designs, I am sure at this point that it was much easier & faster from a manufacturing standpoint. Having built and restored a couple Blackface cabs by now, drilling pilot holes in the cleats, mark & drill pilot holes in the baffle, and then running wood screws in with 9" of extension on a drill is NOT fun or quick. I hate it. A line of glue on the edges and shooting a few brads to hold it in place, then stick a velcro grill frame over that would be a more streamlined process, probably with less damaged cleats and baffles getting repaired in the process.
     
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  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    A couple more pictures. I had never done box joints (I do lots of dovetails on my guitars but that is a whole different matter) so I whipped up a little jig for my router table

    IMG_2986.JPG IMG_2987.JPG IMG_2990.JPG

    Acceptable for a beginner. A few coats of tung oil (which I would use on furniture but never on a guitar)

    IMG_3010.JPG

    Some grill cloth and hung the little amp inside

    IMG_3015.JPG

    and bingo
     
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  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I prefer the look of a nice wood finish.

    Build a road case to protect it.
     
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  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    In 1969 or 70 I built the solid walnut loudspeaker enclosures that I still use today. They are both furniture and functional, heavy as hell and sound great.
     
  9. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sometimes you just can't use Tolex DSCN0920.JPG
     
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  10. Lavochkin

    Lavochkin TDPRI Member

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  11. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    Well, I think that both can give good aesthetical results... ;)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    I personnally choose Tolex because it's much more easy for me to achieve than a premium woodwork, for which I'm not tooled for building nor finishing... :oops:

    That's why I cast the Tolex vote... But it's me, OK ? :D

    That said, as a proof that both options can give you premium results : a few posts above, there's remarkable members woodwork and natural cab finish releases shown !

    -tbln
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  12. RatBug

    RatBug Tele-Meister

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    If those are your cabinets then you should know that it's those pictures that made me start rethinking my choice for finished wood.
     
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  13. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    Yes, they are ;)... But sorry for the embarrassment I gave to you... :oops::oops::oops:

    As I wrote it : both natural and Tolexed can give you good results... This one is a simple and very neat sample :

    I also ventured in Pinewood finishes a long time ago (1993). Well, OK... Not so bad, but... o_O :

    [​IMG]

    I finally re-Tolexed the cab some years ago (it's the same amp) - much better to my taste :cool: :

    [​IMG]

    And I also find it easier to do... But it's me, OK ? :D

    -tbln
     
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  14. BobSmith

    BobSmith Tele-Meister

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    If IKEA made head cabs, this is what I’d imagine they’d look like.
     
  15. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, I was going for more of a Herman Miller meets Trainwreck aesthetic but sure. In this instance hardware, maple veneer and glue supplied by Lowe’s. Plywood by Rona but the amplifier is point to point hand wired by me. I haven’t used my other amps since I built it two years ago.
     
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