Making your own guitar speaker cabinets can save you money, and can allow you to customise exactly the speaker cabinet and, therefore, guitar sound you want to have. The cabinet you build will house the speakers which you can buy from any number retailers. Building a speaker cabinet generally consists of building the speaker board for inside the cabinet enclosure, building the enclosure, assembling these two parts together and putting on the final stylistic and cosmetic touches.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1-inch thick rectangular board of wood
- Wood planks
- Measuring tape
- Wood saw
- Wood glue
- 1/4-inch input jack
- Speaker cloth
- 4 casters
- 8 corner brackets
- 2 handles
Measure the diameter of the rim or lip of your speakers using a tape measure. You will use the diameter for the holes in the speaker board which houses the speaker up to its lip.
Trace a circle with your measured diameter on the 1-inch thick board of rectangular wood using the compass. Birch plywood is a common choice for its sturdy and lightweight qualities, but other types of wood will also work.
Saw the traced circles out of the wood using the jigsaw. Make sure the speakers fit through these holes while not falling through them.
Mount the speakers into the wood using the screwdriver and four screws per speaker, or however many screw holes the speaker comes with.
Measure the planks of wood to form a square around the speaker board. Because the wood planks will house the speakers, they must be deeper than the speakers themselves. Use the perimeter of the speaker board as your guide for these four wooden sides. You will mount the speaker board within the square-shaped enclosure, so the enclosure's wood must surround and perfectly fit the speaker board.
Cut the wood planks to their proper lengths using the wood saw. These four sides will form the box enclosure.
Arrange two wood sides into a right angle and use the wood glue to hold the planks. Arrange the remaining two sides this way, so you have glued two right angles. Screw these pieces together to fasten them more permanently.
Arrange the two right angles together to form a square. Glue these two pieces together to hold them, then screw them together to permanently fasten them.
Screw the corner brackets onto all eight corners of the square enclosure.
Measure the height and the width of the speaker board. Use these specifications to measure the lengths of 1-inch deep strips of wood.
Cut two strips of wood the length of the height of the speaker board, and cut two strips of wood the length of the width of the speaker board. These strips will serve as railings to abut the speaker board to the enclosure.
Arrange these rails along the sides of the square enclosure so that the speaker board can rest on them while fitting within the square enclosure. These rails will lie along the inside of the square enclosure.
Glue the rails to the inside of the enclosure, then screw them to the enclosure with the screws going from the inside of the rails into the inside of the wood of the enclosure. The reason for this is cosmetic: the screws will not be visible from the outside.
Lay the enclosure on the ground so that the square is facing upward. Set the speaker board inside the enclosure onto the rails.
Screw the speaker board into the rails.
Wire the speakers to the 1/4-inch input jack and screw the jack to the underside of the top of the enclosure.
Cover the wooden enclosure in leather or paint or some material to cover and protect the wood. If you use a fabric, you can staple the fabric to the wood to fasten it. If you wish to emphasise the wood itself, finish the cabinet with at least two layers of varnish.
Stretch the speaker cloth across the front of the cabinet to protect the speakers. If you want, you may instead buy and use a speaker grille or metal grate.
Screw a handle to the top of the cabinet, and one on the side.
Screw the four casters to the bottom of the cabinet. Rolling casters will make the cabinet easy to transport.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure all your screws are tight because loud sound will make them rattle otherwise.
- Be careful when dealing with electronics and make sure there are no stray power sources or currents which could electrocute you.
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