I’ve been waiting to make this post until I delivered the amp to my brother. Last weekend I made the drive across the border and down to Ohio to visit family and attend the wedding of my niece. I was able to meet up with my brother, deliver and try out the amp for a bit.
When I last posted, I had completed all the electronics. What remained was putting the amp into a cabinet. My original plan was to create a cabinet made of ash. I like working with ash for a couple reasons. It’s easy to work with, its hard, it looks good and it’s a disappearing species. However, my friend Greg offered up a cabinet he had made for a future amp that he decided not to make. It came loaded with a 10′ Alnico speaker, the Weber Silver 10.
The Silver 10 is a British voiced speaker that sounds great with humbucker pickups. Since Ed was getting a humbucker equipped guitar made for him, I thought it a good choice. The cabinet was made of solid dovetailed pine. The issue I was going to have was instead of wood finish, I would have to cover the pine with material.A trip to Fabricland in Owen Sound yielded some good options. I decided on a blonde coloured marine vinyl fabric that looked like tan amplifier tolex. After much consideration, I decided to cover the cabinet with four pieces, much the same way a tweed cabinet is covered.
Fender Tweed Amplifier
After measuring and cutting the fabric, I applied contact cement to the cabinet one side at a time and to the back of the matching piece of fabric. Taking my time and using a stiff brush was crucial to this tedious task. After applying the cement, I waited about 15 minutes to allow the cement to get tacky. This is also important as it makes the job much neater and easier to work. I wish I had taken pictures during this process, but it’s difficult with all the glue. I ran into a challenge with corners and bends in the cabinet. I finally figured out how to mitre cuts and how to cut small patch triangles to cover gaps where the wood bends. It’s not perfect, but I think the corners and bends turned out pretty well. Once I got the hang of it, It moved along nicely. It took maybe four hours total to cover the amp. One small issue I needed to deal with was how to attach the top panel in back. The cabinet was too narrow to add the standard cleats to attach the panel with wood screws. I ended up drilling the chassis and adding two 3″ machine screws. I could then attach the panel with wingnuts. I’ve never seen this done but it works great and allows the panel to be removed easily if future repairs ever need done.
The leather handle and oxblood grill cloth really give this amp a classic vibe. And the finishing touch was the cover my wife sewed for it. Ed was delighted with his amplifier. Another amp finished.