Hardwood Cabinet Details
Notes and photos from Mitch about how he builds the amps.

There's a wide variety of hardwoods that can be used for cabinets. Maple, walnut, cherry and oak are common ones. More exotic ones like teak, zebrano, bubinga, purpleheart and cocobolo can also be used, and so can many more.

The cabinet for the Aberdeen amp is made from Indian rosewood at the customer's request. I built it as a head with a matching speaker cabinet.

Like all hardwood, the rosewood came rough sawn from the supplier. I started by planing it to 3/4" thickness and cut the various pieces to size. The cabinet pieces were assembled with dovetail joints. I cut those with a router and a dovetail jig.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

After assembly, the edges were rounded over by router and everything was given a good sanding. First with a random orbit sander using 100 grit and 150 grit discs. Then by hand with 220 grit paper.

Aberdeen

Maple cleats were machined and installed to hold the front and back panels.

Aberdeen

The wood was finished using only clear lacquer (five coats). The speaker panel and the back panels were sprayed with three coats of black textured lacquer.

Aberdeen

Feet and handles were installed. The speaker panel was screwed on and the speaker was mounted.

Aberdeen

I made a frame and covered it with black "Mesa Cane" grill cloth. I attached that to the front of the speaker cabinet and screwed on its back panel.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

I used a hardwood from Africa called padauk for the TC-15 cabinet. It's orange when freshly cut or sanded and it turns redder with age and a finish.

In the next photos, I've already planed the rough padauk to final thickness, cut the pieces to size and routed dovetails on the joints. Now it was time to glue the cabinet together.

TC-15

TC-15

Rounding all the edges with a router and the various stages of sanding came next. It's pretty hard to build an amp or speaker cabinet without a router. I have several!

TC-15

TC-15

I finished the cabinet by spraying on five coats of clear lacquer.

TC-15

TC-15

I finished the front and back panels by spraying on three coats of hammertone paint. The vent grills are just perforated steel. The front grill was spray painted black, the back one was left natural. The teak front panel finished with clear lacquer in the photo is for another project.

TC-15

Here's the finished amplifier.

TC-15

TC-15

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