How To Create DIY Guitar Cabinet: A Beginners Guide

By Monica | Gear

Apr 25
diy guitar canibet

Guitar speakers vary in type and sizes. That's the basic fact. Therefore, it would be difficult to find a compatible cabinet that could house a particular speaker. If you couldn't find the right speaker housing in the market, then why not you create a DIY guitar cabinet?

Fortunately, you don't have to pay attention to the acoustic design of the box. After all, a guitar speaker doesn't rely too much on the cabinet for the acoustics, compared to PA and hi-fi systems. However, it doesn't mean that your construction will be flimsy.

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How to Construct a DIY Guitar Cabinet

diy guitar canibet

Things to Remember

One of the biggest things that you should prioritize is the sturdiness of the cabinet. You have to make sure that your box is rigid enough to prevent any unwanted buzzes or vibrations. Of course, the harder the cabinet, the more it can withstand abuse and constant usage. You should already know by now that speakers are quite heavy. Moreover, the amplifiers that are sitting on top of them also put additional weight.

Meanwhile, you have to remember that guitar cabinets do not offer any bass extensions like a PA cabinet can do. However, it can somehow enhance the acoustics of your speakers. If you use a driver on a speaker that has no housing, the sound from the rear of the latter will negate the sound released from its front. As a result, you won't hear too much bass at all.

Putting your guitar speakers inside a cabinet would prevent such effect from happening. In fact, high-quality cabinets can produce "true bass." In short, its bass has no trace of flavoring or attenuation.

Two Types of Guitar Cabinet

There are two types of guitar cabinets that you can find on the market today. Specifically, they are sealed and vented guitar cabinets. There are a lot of differences between these two. But perhaps their biggest distinction is their sound distribution mechanism.

Open cabinets produce sound from their back. Meanwhile, closed cabinets are using specific directions for the sound emission. Moreover, the latter also emphasizes the low and mid frequencies. There are a lot of resources on the internet that would specify the characteristics of these guitar cabinets.

Do you want to buy a guitar cabinet? Then you should check out this video for a complete buying guide!

In this article, we will create show you how to do an open back guitar cabinet. Specifically, we want a large cabinet enclosure so that we can cater most of the standard-sized guitar speakers nowaday.

Things You Need

  • 15 mm Birch plywood (highly robust and inflexible)
  • MDF (alternative to Birch plywood)
  • ​Specialized woodworking glue
  • ​Clamps
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Screws

Steps

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1. Measuring the Panels


The first thing that you have to do is to measure the desired dimensions of your cabinet. You can opt for unique sizes as well. But the best thing you can do is to measure your speaker. In this way, you will just add extra allowances on your box.

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2. Numbering the Sections


After you cut all the sections of the plywood, you have to number them accordingly. Through this, you will be able to arrange them in order.

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3. Dry-Fitting


Next, you have to dry fit all the sections so that you can have a better perspective of how the cabinet will look.

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4. Joining the Panels


Use a router and finger joint jig to make finger joint cuts. The first and third panel should be cut at the jig's open finger. Meanwhile, the second and fourth panel will be on the jig's finger. The cut that you have to do is around 3/4 inch.

  • Tip: Finger-jointing a cabinet is a difficult and complicated task. It will require you to use some special tools to complete this process. Moreover, you will need serious woodworking skills for this. If you are just an amateur, then you could just skip this process.

Instead, you can join the panels by the use of butt joints. They just require you some gluing and screwing. You could also reinforce them with the use of battens. At the end of the day, you just need your guitar cabinet to be secured and airtight.

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5. Dry-Fitting and Cut Assessment


When you completed the joints, you might want to dry fit them once again. Specifically, you have to look for spots that have awkward or insufficient cuts. If you see one, then you have to do the joining again. As we mentioned, your cabinet has to be sturdy and reinforced as possible.

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6. Gluing


Once everything is fine, you can attach the panels or sections together. Ideally, you have to put glue on the bottom part of the two sides. Of course, you have to apply glue as well on the sides of the bottom panel.

Next, apply the glue on the top portion of the side panels and the bottom of the top panel. Let the glue sit for several minutes before you start clamping them

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7. Clamping


After the assembly process, you need to clamp the entire box. For better results, clamp the cabinet in every angle possible. In clamping, you have to start with minimal pressure. You can gradually increase the pressure so that the glue would hold the panels tightly.

The clamping process usually lasts for a day. You need the glue to set in properly so that your panels won't be flimsy. After 24 hours, you can take out the clamp and start sanding the box.

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8. Creating the Platform for the Speaker Baffle


After sanding, you need to cut two pieces of wood. The preferable dimensions are around 1-inch (width) x 120-3/4 inch (length) x 3/8 inch (height).

The sections should also have three degrees of bevel cuts on their sides. After this, glue and clamp these panels on the inside portion of the front of your cabinet. The latter will cater the speaker baffle.

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9. Creating the Amplifier Chassis


Next, creating a marking on the top panel for the chassis of your amplifier. After you got the right measurements, you can start cutting the section with the use of a scroll saw.

Use a router table to create rounded edges on the section. For beginners, you have to 3/4 inch round-over-bit.

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10. Final Touches


Finally, you can round your cabinet for additional furnishing. Moreover, you should apply some final sanding as well.

Conclusion

Learning to create a DIY guitar cabinet will bring you a lot of benefits. First, it lets you customize a box that would house your speakers safely and comfortably. Second, it saves you a lot of money. And lastly, it improves your creativity and skills as a weekend warrior.

Do not be afraid if you commit any mistakes on your first try. After all, it needs serious practice before you can perfect the process of creating a guitar speaker cabinet. Who knows, you might be able to make a living out of it!

Did you learn from this article? Tell us all of your thoughts in the comment section below!


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About the Author

Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don't want to drop my zeal--especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!