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How hard is it to build a head cab?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by naveed211, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    And I mean like at the most rudimentary level.

    I’m a total newb and not handy at all. No woodworking experience since 8th grade shop class.

    But basically, I have an amp where I like the sound, and I want to convert it into a head to use with a separate 1x12 cab (in combo version it’s heavy as hell).

    It’s a Marshall AVT150. Id just buy a head, but the only ones I’m seeing online are $450, and that’s outrageous.

    The chassis measures 22 inches wide, 8 deep, and 4 high. There’d need to be a little more clearance because the transformer hangs down a bit. It bolts from the top so I’d have to drill some holes.

    Im talking like 4 boards nailed (or glued?) together, not trying to spend a lot or win any amp design competitions here. Anything I need to consider?

    Here’s what I’m working with.
    8A7580E0-A723-4B99-9BFF-01C583A32E78.jpeg
     
  2. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    If you have tools, it's easy. Without the tools, it's near impossible.

    NecessaryTools: ruler or tape measure, pencil, saw, hammer, nails, sandpaper

    Useful Tools: circular saw or table saw, square, sander, drill, screwdriver, screws

    As long as you don't cut off any body parts or saw through the kitchen table, about the worst thing you can do in a project like this is wreck a few dollars' worth of wood. In that case, you learn from the mistake and try again.
     
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  3. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    I'm thinking about a similar project for a Blackstar. If you have the old cabinet, I don't know why you couldn't just cut it down to the correct height and cut a board (or use the old base of the cabinet) for the bottom...that is what I am mulling over.

    Not having the old cabinet, I'd build a wood "box" for it to set in...with the head bolted/screwed to the top as you indicated. I'd use screws to fasten the new box together vice nails or glue...so a few more starter holes would need to be drilled.

    The experts will be along shortly with a better plan;).
     
  4. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    Pretty simple project. Glued and screwed butt joints, maybe round the corners and finish with truck bed liner. You can buy it in rattle cans. Might want to consider ventilation. If you can’t do it yourself have a handy friend do it for a fair price.
     
  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Truck bed liner spray (I use Rustoleum) looks like seamless Tolex if you sand & prime the wood first. Prep is everything.

    Here it is on a homebrew mini Leslie cab:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you have a pal with some tools and experience, buy a 6' length of 1x10, offer to buy a pizza and beer (save the beer for when the tools are put away) and spend an hour or two working with them and learning the process.

    Here's the basic idea. A head cab is a simple wooden box.



    To make things easier, look around online and you can find pre-cut kits that contain the wooden parts. You glue/nail/screw everything together and provide the covering material, hardware, etc. Measure your amp's chassis to make sure the kit you get will fit what you have.
     
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  7. doghouseman

    doghouseman Tele-Holic

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    in your head man....
    It is easier to buy one.

    I think the best design is a dove tail, which can be tricky for a newbe.
     
  8. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    I am really good at buying stuff!
     
  9. doghouseman

    doghouseman Tele-Holic

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    in your head man....
  10. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    I found myself with a couple of pieces of rack gear for a second bass rig, and no case deep enough to house the power amp, so I decided to try building my own. I used some scrap 1/2” plywood and some lengths of 1” x 2” for reinforcing cleats in the corners. I used wood glue and screws on the corners.

    I had a couple pieces of rack rail I cut down to fit, and drilled through the sides and bolted it in.

    I borrowed a radius bit and tried out the cordless router that came with my multi-pack of tools (Christmas gift).

    I re-used some old Peavey PA cab feet and some Acoustic Control combo amp corners and an old Dean Markley handle, all from my junk box.

    E8D20683-9BEA-476F-BAC2-4F0EBF8C0FD5.jpeg 712A2A92-C820-4E67-9599-E3CE39768427.jpeg 19BF8211-9AD2-4768-A580-583FE9C99CAD.jpeg 9E7C7ABD-4056-4892-AB46-4EF9FBAC3DA0.jpeg 3479F22D-6593-448F-8EDA-90FF3CF62CFB.jpeg 67C20E1F-C4A4-417F-88DC-2F1D5FC5D765.jpeg 19A4FCAE-47FA-4BAC-AB7D-09C6A73B4312.jpeg 02181524-8F9E-4ABD-B136-B9469DB04180.jpeg 8085D07C-1D06-4578-9D7F-054FC6C7791C.jpeg
     
  11. SRBMusic

    SRBMusic TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    TRM is very good if you want to go the buy route. He will also custom make to order. I own three speaker cabs. Very happy with them.
    http://www.trmguitarcabs.com/
     
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  12. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Hmm, those look nice and relatively reasonably priced. Maybe I’ll drop him a line.
     
  13. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Like several have said, building a wooden box is pretty easy (if you have some basic tools). I like dovetail joints myself because I have the tools, but for a head cabinet some butt joints glued up with a couple of screws would work just as well. Cabs are cheap as heck to build if you have the tools (both of the ones below cost less than $30 for the wood for the head AND the speaker cab), so I'm biased against ever paying for a wooden box.

    dovetail 3.jpg

    dovetail 4.jpg
     
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  14. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    It's not very hard. And if you want it to look "finished" you can get any color Tolex you like from Mojotone. I am NOT handy but I build pedal boards and other things for myself and a few others. Believe me when I say this, if I can use a saw and keep my hands you can do it. But don't nail. If you are doing basic, beginner stuff like simple joints screw and glue.
     
  15. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    A box can take more work than you think for sure. By the time you get it right, get cleats in there for a front baffle and rear maybe. Round the edges, tolex etc. Whew... it's surprising. It can be very cheap though.
    You dont need fancy joints for a head cab.

    If you are not a woodworker and dont have the tools, buy one on Ebay or something like that.
    SO... 22" wide... trying to think what may fit.....

    A Deluxe Reverb head cab would be about 22.5" inside. Here's one for $150 + freight. But you'd still have to cover it.
    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=303593744550
     
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  16. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I bought an inexpensive combo amp, which sounded stellar through an external cab, but flatter than a witches funbag through its own cabinet.
    Hand tools, finger jointed, shabby chic.

    ewave.JPG
     
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  17. standup

    standup TDPRI Member

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    I bought a Chinese KLD amp, clone of a Marshall 18 watt. It was cheap, maybe $239, and it’s a bare chassis with no cover on the bottom.

    so I made a cabinet for it out of scrap 1/4” plywood and a couple of 1x4’s, glued and screwed together.

    Finished with spray paint and a retro leather handle.
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Plus there is a major cool factor in building your own custom cab designed just the way you want it.
     
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  19. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You could build a pine box with a router and a couple straight bits. If you wanted some joinery besides butt joints, you could get a rabbeting bit. The issue would be getting comfortable using a router. A handsaw /miterbox and square can get you in the ball park too.

    Box construction is like the next level up of woodworking after cutting board making.


    I made a box to hold my slot cars in 7th grade. The instructors cut the joints on a saw. I got to put them together, sand, and finish it.


    The key thing is to cut the ends at 90 degree angles and have opposite parts the same identical length. Using less dense woods would be easier to do this task.


    You could even cut outside the line and sand or plane up to a square line.

    A handheld jigsaw could do this pretty well too.



    Rabbet Router Bit with 6 Bearings Set - 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1-1/8" Interchangeable Bearings: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

    How To Make A Wooden Box ( The Simple Way ) - YouTube
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  20. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Aside from what is reasonably easy physical construction, just be sure that the size/design provides appropriate ventilation for the electronics you are installing in it. And if it will be traveling, you have to consider that in the build, too.

    You might consider emulating the dimensions and shapes of the amp you are removing the electronics from as a guide...as that will take care of all of those things in what will merely be a "shorter" height cabinet for the amplification.
     
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