How to Build Your Own Guitar Amplifier Cabinet

Written by wade shaddy
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How to Build Your Own Guitar Amplifier Cabinet
Guitar speakers need solid cabinets. (speaker box close up image by rvvelde from

Guitar amps use separate cabinets to control versatility by mixing and matching speaker cabinets with separate power control heads. Most amplifiers big or small have hookup options for adding speakers. Different combinations of speaker size and quantity are formulated to get different results. Speaker components can be bought separately at a fraction of the cost of the pre-assembled amplifier cabinet. It makes good sense to buy the components and build the cabinet around them out of inexpensive plywood. Start by building a cabinet for a 12-inch speaker.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 2 pieces plywood 12 x 24 x 3/4 inches--frame
  • 2 pieces plywood 12 x 20 x 3/4 inches--frame
  • 1 piece plywood 24 x 20 x 3/4 inches--front
  • 1 piece plywood 24 x 20 x 3/4 inches--back
  • Table saw
  • Wood glue
  • 2 nylon strap clamps
  • Compass
  • Hammer
  • 16 finish nails
  • Jigsaw
  • 1 piece screen 14 x 14 inches
  • 16 brad nails 5/8 inches
  • Cordless drill
  • 1 drill bit 1/8 inch
  • 1 drill bit 1/4 inch
  • 30 wood screws 1 1/4 inch
  • Black spray paint 369gr can

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  1. 1

    Mitre all four ends of the frame pieces at 45 degrees. Lay them on their edge on a flat surface. Glue the mitred edges and slide together. Wrap the strap clamp around the box frame and tighten. Hammer four finish nails into each mitred edge between the strap clamps. Let dry one hour.

  2. 2

    Find the centre on the front piece of plywood. Using the compass, draw an 11-inch diameter circle. Cut out the circle with the jigsaw. Center the screen over the hole, stretch and pin down using the brads.

  3. 3

    Run a bead of glue along the edge of the frame, lay on the front, and nail it on.

  4. 4

    Drill 3 holes with the 1/8-inch bit evenly spaced along each side of the back 3/8 inch from the edge. These are the pilot holes to screw on the back after the speaker has been installed from the inside. Drill one 1/4-inch hole for the speaker wire in the back 2 inches up from the bottom. Spray everything black.

  5. 5

    After the speaker is installed, and the wire threaded through the 1/4 inch hole, screw the back of the cabinet on using 1-1/4-inch wood screws.

Tips and warnings

  • For a nice retro tour band look, stencil your band's name on the cabinet in white, or the words "This end up" or "Handle with care."

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