Friday, November 4, 2011

Building Your Own Sound

I have had these pictures around since Thanksgiving of last year and was just prodded into sharing them.  This blog seems to change primary subject matter enough that a brief interlude chronicling a guitar speaker cabinet build might not be too out of place.

My dad is about 65 and after years and years of ties, fishing lures, sweaters, and coffee mugs adorned with "World's  Greatest Dad" I was set to buy him something that he might really love.   He had recently retired to a far North woods cabin with my Mom and moved all of his wood shop equipment up there.   He has, throughout his entire life, built things out of wood.   Nothing that would wind up in an Ethan Allen gallery, but good working furniture.   I have been married for 18 year and I can count on 3 fingers the pieces of furniture I have ever purchased.   Desk?  We'll build it.  Floating bed frames?   Sure.  File cabinet?  No problem.  18 foot book case with sliding library ladder?  Let me call you back... OK, got it.   Every table in my home he built.   I have helped enough along the way to know the tools he does and does not have and he pretty much has them all.   But new tool was the direction my head was going.

If you know me at all, you know that my head rarely if ever goes in one direction.   I am planning my next fishing trip while I am packing for the current fishing trip.   I am weighing options for fixing a roof leak while changing a headlight.   So it makes perfect sense that while out shopping for tools I might stop at a music store to shop for a  cab to drive with the old Fender Bassman amp project I have at home.

While browsing around a local music store I tripped across an old Mesa Boogie amp that either had had it's covering taken off or was originally shipped with a wood grain finish.   It was sweet.   The wood looked great and you could see the box joints at the corners.   I snapped a pic of it and emailed it to my Dad with the message "Up for a Thanksgiving project?"   His reply was quick:  "Can't do box or dovetail joints."

Two shopping problems suddenly turned into one great Thanksgiving weekend project.   I bought him a Porter-Cable 4212 Dovetail Jig that we used to cut all the box joints for the cab.

I got the idea to document the build a little late, but still got some nice pics.   Basically it is all pine, 11" x 31" x 16", a 3/4" plywood soundboard, with two Weber Chicago 12" speakers mounted and wired for 8ohms.

The basic box cut made using the new jig.

Affixing the mounting rails for the speakerboard
Clamping and gluing

Full rails on three sides of the box

Joints during sanding process
Soundboard painted flat black

Speaker mound hole recessed in front
Screw recessed flat
Recessed in back so nut was tight into hole 
Soundboard finished
Before last coat of urethane

Speakers mounted and wired
Showing jack mount plate

This combo is responsible for blowing some fine glassware off my kitchen shelves and most of the lead guitar work on my band's 2011 album, Leash on Life.

I thought I had a pic of my dad and I playing through it together, but I could not find one, so here we are kicking it 1970's style, when we both had a lot more hair...  and style.

Thanks Dad!


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