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Question on woods to use for headshells

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  • Question on woods to use for headshells


    Ive been starting to build a few clones and sell them. I work from a spare room in my house. I don't have a garage or garden
    so cutting wood is out the question.

    I have a couple of guys i can use to make custom made headshell's for the present
    In the end i want to get the wood cut at a wood yard and delivered and i can assemble

    I would prefer to go the route of a wood headshell and stain or wax/oil. Ive never done vinyl covering in my life
    and i'm sure i wouldnt do a great job. But i want it to look different

    If i use some good ply wood with nice grain... Maybe Birch .... Am i going to get issues with the edges looking crappy or not taking much abuse before it gets crappy looking

    Carpentry is not my thing.. Have never in my life made a cab. always brought ready made ones
    I know i can buy headshell's ready made, but i'm trying to keep the cost down.

    Anybody used ply before for a headshell without covering it


  • #2
    Plywood edges, to me, always look cheesy.

    A few options are hardwood or veneer edging.

    Veneer edging is the easiest: Edgebanding Guide - A Simple Method Yields Superb Results


    • #3
      Yeah this is what one of my cabinet makers says. Might look at the Veneer edging.
      Maybe i will try a torex,, but never done it before. as we say here in the UK.. Might look like a Dog's dinner afterwards.
      But it may not who knows


      • #4
        Is there anything in your life you ever did that you cannot say there was a point before which you hadn't done it? There is a first time for everything. First solder joint, first tube circuit you drew, first time you picked up a guitar. Until you did it, you had never built a clone amp. One will never learn to cover a box in tolex if one never tries to. How about hanging grille cloth? Hint: there are similarities to mounting tolex.
        Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.


        • #5
          I am thinking of going down the vinyl covering route. But the whole idea was to not cover and have barewood grains with wax's something different
          On the next cabinet build i will ask one to make from hard woods
          ive got 2 cabinets being made from two different people both in ply and im going to see how they look.Will post a picture up when its ready
          Never even hung grille cloth enzo



          • #6
            Wax is OK until the cabinet gets warm, then it goes glossy. I've used Danish oil on natural wood cabinets with no problems. Ply is OK if it's the correct grade - lots of dense, thin laminations, birch is fine. The cheap stuff with the thick spongy centre and a few thick laminations is very poor. You can get high quality furniture grade with a knot-free face - sometimes beech.

            My very first Tolex job was perfect - as good as anything out there - though I was quite apprehensive to begin with. I made up a corner section in MDF and practiced the cuts/folds first with some offcuts, just to get the feel and accuracy required. The main problem I found was the heady fumes off the Evostik Time-Bond I used.


            • #7
              I guess the cabinet will get warm. Lol I will try Danish oil and see that's what one of the cabinet makers said.. interested to see how they cone out. Would do them myself but I don't have the conditions to cut wood. Bbb


              • #8
                well the cabinet was made i think he done a good job

                3 x coats of Danish oil and a rub down with 0000 wire wool then a lemon oil im pleased
                Click image for larger version

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                • #9
                  I'll be honest. I don't like it. It looks like a compromise when compared to available options. And that may be what it is, but you never want it to look like that way. I use cabinet ply for front and rear baffles on wood finish cabs. I decided I could tolerate the ply edges being visible on the rear baffles, but I use solid wood for the box and front panels. Further, I really think amp cabs should have the cursory 1/2" routed corners on all sides to help prevent damage and 1/2" routed corners on plywood invariably look like crap. I don't know what you pay to have the boxes made, but the cost of materials vs. the labor makes plywood a poor choice for compromise IMHO. Hardwood COULD be considered for maybe $20 more per unit. And unless you're getting these made for basically free I think you could even look into some of the ready made options. You can buy a Tolex Marshall head cab without the logo for about $200. Probably about $120 more than the cab you're offering (did I get close?). But it's the difference between a professional looking product and one that looks like "the amp this guy made for me at home".

                  I'm honestly sorry if this is too harsh. I'm just trying to keep it real as a solid to a fellow member.
                  "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                  "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                  "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A


                  • #10
                    Well im on the hunt for some straight corners . ive seen some. just need to get them ordered. Have had a lot of Feedback on how it looks
                    all have said it looks good and they like it. I think with corners it will look better
                    i can get a marshall clone shell with all hardware $260 this shell cost $60
                    I am a local repairer working from a home from a spare bedroom. a local guy who brought a Superlead 100 clone from me which was covered. he's a furniture maker and he offered to make me one and i know that the grain of the ply would be showing.
                    Handmade amp in the uk range $1500+ for a 50-100w head this amp is very keen priced at $700.


                    • #11
                      What's up here?
                      Are you using two MEF user names? Blindboybenton AND Bassman1965?


                      • #12
                        it was about 2 yrs ago i lost my log in details on my laptop and i set up a new login , the my pc is in the workshop with automatic log in to Blindboybenton all depends on the pc i use. never got round to changing it. been meaning too i knew one day i would muck it up

                        Im going to delete bassman off the laptop and go for the forgotten password thing


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blindboybenton View Post
                          it was about 2 yrs ago i lost my log in details on my laptop and i set up a new login , the my pc is in the workshop with automatic log in to Blindboybenton all depends on the pc i use. never got round to changing it. been meaning too i knew one day i would muck it up. Im going to delete bassman off the laptop and go for the forgotten password thing
                          Maybe a moderator can fix things for you. Maybe combine your history into one account. Worth asking.


                          • #14
                            Tolexing really is not that hard. I put off doing it for a long time myself because I was so apprehensive about messing up. But really, my first serious tolex job, while sure it could have been better, looked pretty darn good. If you mess up a corner then put nickle corner protectors on it.

                            There are some really good tutorials online, especially the YouTube series done by Uncle Doug. I followed his tutorials and it went really really well. Turned out way better than any natural wood finish I tried before (or since) and took less time and effort.

                            So you really should give it a go.
                            Visit my blog showing some of the amp and other electronics projects I've done...



                            • #15
                              I like the natural wood finish. The amp is sold. Customers have showed a lot of interest in it. Going to make next one in solid wood.. as I can't make the cabinets here . By the time I order the torex and hardware. It about the same price to get a readymade shell.