New guitar stuff –> DIY 2×12 cabinet

I was in a band in high school. Sort of. We played a set at prom… or was it homecoming? In any case, I was able to fake rhythm guitar by leveraging my violin skills. And I had this killer fluorescent yellow guitar. Looked exactly like this:


It was pretty bad actually. Didn’t hold tune well, had some buzzing, and the action was way too high. But there was no internet back then and I didn’t know what I was missing. Fast forward more years than I would care to admit and the guitar and my Peavey amp were just collecting dust so they were sold.

Fast forward to a month ago and I picked up this Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro guitar on CL along with a Mustang I practice amp:


Been learning a ton on the interwebs although I have a looong way to go.

Fast forward a few weeks (last fast forward, I promise) and as I’m often inclined to do, I found a way to turn another hobby into a DIY endeavor. So I built my own amp cabinet.

Step 1 – Decide what the guts were going to be:

Got these 12″ drivers from parts-express on factory buyout for cheap:

Step 2 – Decide on cabinet design:
Got some solid red oak and red oak plywood from Home Depot:
2x12 guitar cabinet

Decided to try dovetail joints for the first time:

And grooves for the front and rear panels hidden by the dovetail fingers:
photo 1.JPG

Step 3: Assembly
The joints were super tight so glue up went well for this first one:
photo 1.JPG

The subsequent simultaneous glue up with the front/rear/top was not so easy. Tight joints are great, but so many pieces going together all at once made things a bit difficult. Success nevertheless:
photo 2.JPG

Here’s the front with the drivers installed:

And the rear with just the first driver installed:

And the whole shebang finished with some hand rubbed polyurethane with the new Mustang V v.2 amp to drive it:

Sounds great! It has so much volume potential. I’ll have to improve my skills so I can get a gig just to have an excuse to bring the rig with me to really test it’s potential. In the meantime, the amp does a nice job of getting the sound I want even at modest volumes.

Last thing to do is to install the grill cloth frame.

EDIT: 5/14/13
Grill cloth done:
photo 1.JPG
photo 2.JPG

Very happy with it. I ended up double layering and just gluing the cloth to inside edges of a wooden 1/2″x1″ frame. I used a line of binder clips to hold it in place while it dried (one side at a time). Worked brilliantly despite putting quite a bit of tension on the grill cloth. And I was able to size everything correctly to simply press fit into the cabinet frame. This may be the first time where measure twice cut once actually worked for me! There is some give in the cloth that gave me a little wiggle room though so that helped.

I’m still on the lookout for a logo of some kind. I may buy one of those woodburning brands to generically label all my projects since they tend to all have wood in them somewhere. But a chrome logo of some sort on the grill cloth seems to be a good fit for a project like this. Ebay has some letters that I sort of like but some don’t have the (+) sign for 1+2. And I don’t think I want oneplustwo since most of the letters are about an inch tall and wide. A bit overwhelming for the simplicity of the overall project. I’ll keep looking though.

EDIT: 6/3/13
I had a logo 3D printed using my user name from some of the forums I frequent. I just used Word to generate the text, took a screen shot, and had make a 3D model of it and print it. Was a reasonable $14 or so including shipping. It’s subtle and adds a bit of cred I think. In retrospect, I would have had it made a little thinner as it protrudes a bit. But it’s not bad.


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