Thursday, 13 August 2015

Guitar Amplifier

Prop makers have to be knowledgeable in many areas, I chose this project as I felt that I needed to improve my carpentry skills.
I'd heard that dove tails were quite challenging (especially to woodworking newbies) so I decided to jump in at the deep end and use dove tails to attach the box together. Different types of wood change the tone of sound coming from the amp, If you don't want the material to effect the sound, choose MDF as it is tonally dead. This would have been my choice, but I needed to carve out dovetails, so MDF was definitely not an option. I decided to use plywood as this behaves more like real wood, it's also very cheap and looks whole lot nicer than MDF!

I found lots of resources that helped me figure out how I was going to cut the dovetails, I found this tutorial very useful:

Now for some pictures!

I started out by making 1:1 scale pictures of the amp in Photoshop. I printed out the plans on A3 paper.

I made a 25° marking and cutting gauge to ensure that all angles would be the same. 

After all angles were cut I used a coping saw to cut out most of the unwanted material. I then used a chisel to take away the material closer to the line.

Ta-da! Here are the pins:

Here are the tails:

After the dovetails were cut I glued all the pieces together. The next step was the front panel, I needed to cut a hole for the speaker to go through, I also wanted it inset so the rim of the speaker would sit flush with the wood. I made a jig for my router so it could cut perfect circles (The jig was less than kosher so I'll save you the picture)

I cut the hole in the back panel with my jig saw. I bought some batons and glued them to the inside of the amp, I then glued the front panel to the batons. The back cover couldn't be stuck down permanently so I used two corner brackets and screwed one side into the baton and the other into the back panel. When the back cover needs to come off, you can just unscrew the screw from the baton. 

The Finished Amp!