Last fall I had the great fortune of acquiring a used Valve Junior combo which the previous owner had modded (mainly to address noise issues). I fell in love with the amp and as a result became hooked on modding. During the Christmas holidays I built a solid oak 1x12 cab (Weber Signature 12 speaker) to use with my VJ (sounds much better than the stock speaker). I really like the styling of the stock enclosure, but since I always plug into my 1x12 cab, I figured it'd be cool to build a head enclosure to match the cab. I'm a big fan of the natural beauty of wood grain and since I'm using solid oak, I won't be covering it with tolex. I may refinish the cab and stain both walnut or a similar medium brown. Hopefully you'll enjoy getting a look at the process. On to the pics!

The combo on top of the cab I built. (pardon my messy room!)

Rough mock-up of the enclosure. Nothing is attached yet, Just wanted to check how it fits together. I need to change a few things. The front panel has holes to allow some air in, but this will be covered with the same grillcloth as the cab. Obviously, edges will be rounded as well.
The wood is all scraps from a furniture factory where I work so it is free. The grillcloth is scrap left from my cab build. The handle will be $12, 8 metal corners for $1 each, I'm not sure how much I'll have to pay for rubber feet, and some stain probably brings it to about $25.
Quote by LP Addict
good stuff, but the cab would have souunded alot better if it were made out of pine due to its naturally acoustic qualities.

I agree, I think pine makes the best sounding cabs. I have plenty of pine and did consider using it. But I knew I wasn't going to cover the cab and I prefer the look of oak. Anyway oak has much better acoustic qualities than particle board! If I refinish the cab, I am going to look at ways to remove some bracing. I made it far more sturdy than necessary at the expense of resonance.

I had a busy day so not much was accomplished today. I've decided to scrap the original .75" front and rear panels in favor of .5" panels which I cut and bored yesterday. I did this because the control panel was recessed too far. This also reduced the depth of the enclosure by .5" so today I trimmed down the rest of my boards. I also stained some scrap woodto see what finish I prefer. Here's a pic:

Last edited by cedricsmods at Jul 11, 2008,
sounds good man, you should hook me up with some plans, i need to build a 1x12 cab out of some cutoff pine from home depot i got for 22 cents, im not the best at building it, i just know the general idea.
I'm a big fan of the VJ myself, so I really want to see how this turns out. cedricsmods, do you have any tips on installing the grill cloth? I've got a custom cloth project in the works myself.

You look after yourself in that factory too, guitarists need all their fingers and their hearing, and don't be breathing in that dust either.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads

Just move it around the fretboard
Well, I didn't get too much done today either. Certainly nothing picture-worthy. I cut down my interior supports to fit (hard to explain), then realized that I had cut the wrong side, putting the toe-screw slots I'd cut (to attach the grille) where I can't reach them.
So I decided to just go to the hardware store and get L-brackets to attach the grille. All of my pieces are ready to glue and assemble, but I was also out of glue so I had to go get that as well. I then used all my "guitar project time" helping my sister replace broken tuners on her acoustic. Tomorrow I plan to glue the enclosure up and clamp it.

LP Addict - I'll be happy to help you out with your cab build. I'm pretty sure a cab will be no sweat after seeing your guitar builds! I don't think I actually have plans for my cab. I know I sketched something out but I think I lost it. I do plan to refinish it, so when I do that I'll get you some accurate measurements. How thick is your pine? I think 3/4" works well.

Cosimo - The hard part with grillecloth is that you have to stretch it tight enough that it is smooth, but not so tight that the grid of the weave is distorted. I put mine over a black baffle (as dark as it is, you can see through it). I lined it up straight with the wood, stapled one side, stretched across and did the other side, then when the other direction and did the remaining two side. I also wanted a way to keep the cut edges from unraveling. Prior to installing, I put wax paper on both sides of the edge and pressed it with a medium heat iron for about 7 seconds. This was enough heat to just barely melt the vinyl-ish grille to itself (only the very edge of course!) But yours may differ depending on what it's made off.
I used pine and its awesome.

Oak should sound pretty sweet, being really hard, but its fecking hard to work if its well seasoned.
Today I began actual construction of the enclosure. So far it is all Titebond, no screws because I'm going for a clean exterior and I wanted to keep it compact so no cleats either. Given long enough to set, this should be more than adequately strong for a head. The addition of metal corners later will also strengthen it.

Step one, glue the supports to the sides and clamp. This is what the chassis rests on until bolted to the top. I let it dry for 1.5-2 hours.

Step two, glue the sides to the top and bottom and clamp. I will leave it clamped overnight.

I used a file to slightly round the edges of the front to make it easier to wrap the grillecloth around it. It was then spray painted black. I could have taped one side so that only the wood would be visible from inside the unit, but I choose to paint both sides black. This is mostly because it ensures the inside of the holes get coated well. Tomorrow I plan to wrap the grille.
I'd have done dowels myself (they look awesome anyway and it's not too late to put them in ), and not use round metal edges. Flat glued joints like that aren't very strong.

Very clean looking though, and very pretty wood.

Where are you sourcing your grill cloth? The first cabinet you made looks amazing with it, and the silver tubing.
Last edited by earthwormjim at Jul 12, 2008,
^ earthwormjim - I ordered the cloth from an eBay seller called lopoline who also sells cabs and I think tolex. It was a scrap remnant, but it was large enough to cover my 1x12. I think I paid about $7 plus shipping. The tubing is bias tape from a fabric store that I folded around a piece of thick string and sewed together. I have considered either dowels or recessed screws covered by plugs, and I still may, but I just don't think it will be necessary. I'm set on putting metal corners on it and it appears to be very sturdy now that it has had time to set. If I have any misgivings while routing it tomorrow, I'll at least put some small pin nails in there and putty over them. Ideally I would have done dovetails, but my jig only works well for up to 1/2" thick boards. I also considered a dato joint, but didn't want it to interfere with my ability to rout.

Sadly, I didn't accomplish much today. I was unable to wrap the cloth around the grille panel because I cannot find my staple gun. I'll have to buy one tomorrow. I also ran into a problem with the enclosure itself. I've tried to make everything as precise a fit as possible because I don't want a lot of airspace showing around the edges of the chassis. But unfortunately the sides a just a hair too close together. I could probably force the chassis in, but I don't want to damage anything. So I've been sanding the inside to make a little space. I have to do it all by hand because I can't fit a power sander in there. Tomorrow I plan to rout and sand the entire thing. Then I need to make a decision on whether to stain or finish it natural.
Well, it's been a very busy last few days at work and I just haven't had time to do much. But as I've been thinking things over, I've realized that I have a problem. I should have drilled out a holes for the handle prior to assembling it. I should have countersunk the inside of the case so that the bolts from my handle could fit in the recessed area. It may be possible for me to countersink holes into it from the inside using an angle drill. But I think that I'll need to go with a simple rubber handle, rather than the sweet leather one that could match my cab. Oh well. If I can't get it to match, I'll just sell this one and make another this weekend. It wil go much faster now that I know what I'm doing!
Any suggestions on my handle situation will be appreciated.

Earthwormjim, as per your suggestion, I've decided to forgo corners, it just looks so good without them. I will still put rubber feet on it though.
A little bit of progress. Everything is routed and sanded now, and I wrapped the grille. next step is the finish, then I just have to wait on a handle. I think I've solved my problems, I'll order one tomorrow and install it whenever it gets here.
I really want to see this finished now.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads

Just move it around the fretboard
^ You and me both! I've had an extremely busy last few days at work though, and I'm still waiting on a handle. It will be soon. I'm glad to see some folks are interested!
Well, I actually decided try a little different approach and made a second enclosure. This one is a little wider because I didn't worry myself with trying to make it completely snug. It has recessed bolt holes to secure the chassis just like the original combo enclosure. Along the glue joints I drilled 1/4 inch holes then set brad nails into them to increase strength. The holes were then plugged. This has the same effect as earthwormjim's dowel idea.

Anyone have suggestions of where I can get .75 inch to 1 inch tall rubber feet? All the places that I've seen feet that talle only have huge ones that are about 1.5 inches wide and would be comically large on a small head. I need at least .75 inches clearance because it will sit above the identical handle on my cab.

Now I just have to oil it then mount the handle and front and back panels.

that looks amazing!
Just call me Bobby
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by mikeyElite
you build guitars worthy of sexual favors

Quote by Invader Jim
if this party gets any livelier a funeral is gonna break out.
Damn, that is nice. Are you going to stain the timber or leave it natural?
Quote by The devil at the crossroads

Just move it around the fretboard
It has taken me longer than I expected to get to this point, but I am nearly finished. The only thing that remains is to install rubber feet. I have had a surprisingly difficult time locating any that are the size I want (similar to the ones on the VJ combo). I may just give up and use the feet from my VJ combo. Until I have proper feet, please excuse the wood scraps serving as substitutes.

wow that looks awesome. i really like it. i also like how the switch says "Boost!" haha
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.

τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
Awesome grill-cloth!
- Bugera 333
- VJ & VJ cab
- Jackson JS30
- TS9

Bugera Users Militia. We are horrible people. With a sprinkler fetish.
~ BUM: For all things extinguishing

Rackmount Tube Amp Project <<< Updates!
that is the Dogs Boll*cks! Awesome...
Quote by Kensai

Awesome guy right here

You should put side handles on the cab and remove the top handle... then just put the rubber feet on the head.

Very nice work.

The fit of the grill cloth on the head could be a little tighter, but the woodwork looks great!
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music