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AX84 Cab and Tweed 5E3 Build - Blogs - Guitar Discussion Forum - The Fret
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Commodore 64

AX84 Cab and Tweed 5E3 Build

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Around Christmas, 2011 I decided that I wanted to build an amp. Originally I planned to heavily mod a Valve Jr that I traded a couple of pedals for...After doing a lot of reading, I decided to go with a PCB from ppwatt.com. I'll build a head, and I need a speaker cabinet too. So I ordered up a Jensen Jet Falcon, 12-inch and a bunch of T-Nuts (part# S-HTN1032) from Antique Electric Supply (AES).

I decided to use the cabinet plans from http://www.ax84.com/corecabinets.html Got some cabinet grade birch 3/4-inch plywood. Couldn't find any Baltic Birch, the void free kind, locally. The cabinet grade stuff at my local lumber yard is made in China, with lots of voids. Oh well, this is my first try so it won't likely be my last. I cut enough parts to make 2 cabinets, knowing that I'm a crap woodworker. Joined the first cab with biscuits. And it wasn't square. Not salvageable. My second attempt, I used my Krek pocket hole jig and pocket holes. This worked much better. I had camera issues, so apologies for the lack of progress pics.

I used hardwood baffle supports (oak). Hard as Hell (more on that later). I fought with several types of glue for covering the cab. I bought brown tolex from AES (part number S-G308-A), $13 a yard. High VOC contact cement almost killed me in my basement. It's 20 degrees outside so I couldn't really do it in the garage. So then I ordered some granular hide glue. The kind you gotta melt and bake for a couple hours before you use it (apparently Fender used hide glue back the day for affixing tolex). Well, that was really hard to work with, because it would cool while I was painting it on the sides of the cab, and then had no tack. It has a small window with which to work. And it smells bad. You can see the cab up in the corner.

So...2 sides of the cab I used Contact cement, 2 sides I used Hide Glue, and the back panels I used 3M Spray 77. None of them are ideal. I will buy the "tolex Glue" from AES (part #S-F316G) when i build my head cab. I painted the front speaker panel black. Here's a pic of the panel and the partially finished cab. I got some burlap/wicker type grill fabric, but it was woven pretty loosely. So I went to www.partsexpress.com and ordered a yard of cheap black generic grill cloth. You can see that I put the T-Nuts on all of the holes in the baffle supports...

Got the speaker mounted. The T-Nuts are the kind with sharp points that are supposed to dig into the wood. But the oak baffle supports were so freakin' hard, that the sharp points flattened. And the T-nuts kept popping out when I tried to put the 10-32 screws in.Maddening. Also, next time I will wait to drill the holes in the baffle supports and panels. I will drill them at the same time. It was a true mother F'r to get the holes to line up.

I half assed the front. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with the grill gloth, so I just mounted the Tnuts right through. I'll build another cab in the spring when I can work in my garage. I ordered Ernie Ball cabinet corners, but they didn't fit. It said they would fit 3/4 stock. Luckily I had also ordered some from AES (part# P-H1084N ) that worked. You do have to bang on them with a hammer to get them to conform to the corner shape. I also used a generic handle from AES (part #P-H261 ), $4. Here it is, in all it's glory with my Pro Jr... If you guys are really nice, I'll record some clips (soon).

Now I can FINALLY move on to the amp building part!
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  1. Commodore 64's Avatar
    I ordered some Hurricane T-Nuts from partsexpress. Next time I will use these instead, because I will continue to use hardwood baffle supports.