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Old February 2nd, 2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build
Re:: From Scratch   

Hey guys! I hope everyone's builds are going well.

Just poppin' in to update everyone. While I'm taking me a breather from the project I've started an O/T project. The only reason this is able to happen is because I'm selling my current gigging amp to fund the project.

I'm build a 50's era Fender Tweed Deluxe guitar tube amplifier from scratch. This is my first amp build and I'm doing it from scratch. I will be hand building my own cabinet and hand selecting each part that goes into this build. This amp will become my primary gigging amp. I play 2-3 a times month in a cover band and I feel this amp will fit the bill.

My tools and budget is fairly limited so I'll be building the cabinet with hand tools and will be borrowing a couple tools here and there from buddies / work to complete this project.

Here is the start of the cabinet. I'm using solid pine for the cab and birch ply for the baffle boards.







Here's how the finished product will look.






I drafted out all the cuts onto the wood and then cut the pieces on the table saw here at work. I'm currently working on hand cutting the dovetail joints. It's going okay. The joints fit together tightly and make a strong joint, but it's not as pretty as dovetail joints done by someone more experienced or by machine tools. That's okay though. It'll be my creation and I'm enjoying the build so far. I've built a few car sub cabs before and I was always best at covering the cab with carpet. So the end results should come out looking nice. I'll definitely be taking my time with this one.

I'm still mauling over certain mods for the layout of the circuitry and getting advice from more experience people. Whatever route I choose to go, it should be a pretty versatile amp for my needs.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

The guitarist in my band would absolutely love this. He's a bit more of a VOX fan, but he is planning on building his own head and what not using his VOX and Marshall that he has now.

That looks AMAZING
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

Coolio! I'd love to build a repop of my Univox amp... Interesting that it also has a Jensen speaker.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 02:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

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Originally Posted by MrChainsaw View Post
The guitarist in my band would absolutely love this. He's a bit more of a VOX fan, but he is planning on building his own head and what not using his VOX and Marshall that he has now.

That looks AMAZING
I'm sure if you look for VOX plans you can easily find them. This is my first build, so I'm keeping it fairly simple. Gotta love the simplicity of the old school amps. Great tone and reliable too!
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 02:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

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Coolio! I'd love to build a repop of my Univox amp... Interesting that it also has a Jensen speaker.
I'm sure it would probably be just as easy as the amp I'm building. Here's the layout. Not much to it.
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File Type: jpg 5E3DeluxeLayout40-18021120V.jpg (112.0 KB, 17 views)
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 03:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

Hmmm, you might have to build two. It will be much easier for me to perform tests on a second one so you will still have something use :) Of course I would not charge anything for my time or labor to test it for you........
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

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I'm sure if you look for VOX plans you can easily find them. This is my first build, so I'm keeping it fairly simple. Gotta love the simplicity of the old school amps. Great tone and reliable too!
He was going to do that, but for a Hi-Watt. He ended up getting the VOX head for a steal so he is going to make a custom head that will house both the Marshall tube amp he has and the VOX head, and then make a custom cab, half of which will run off each amp, and use a switch pedal to shift from one amp to the other.

I'm not really sure why he feels the need to do all of that, but whatever, I'm just a drummer, we're usually pretty simple minded people, haha
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

Cant wait to follow this! I have been looking at finding a tweed Harvard amp like Steve Cropper used, might have to build one. I also want to make a copy of the old plexi era Marshall 4x15 cabs. Right now we are using Sunn o))), Traynor, Sound City and Sovtek amps and cabs....
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

I too would love to see how this goes. I have day dreamed abought building a high power bass head full of glass.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

I love the look and sound from these. Looking forward to the end result of the project.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 06:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

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Originally Posted by PJLOval View Post
Hmmm, you might have to build two. It will be much easier for me to perform tests on a second one so you will still have something use :) Of course I would not charge anything for my time or labor to test it for you........
If only money were no object. One of these days when we find time to finally meet, we'll have to keep that on the list of things to do. Jam on the Tweed Deluxe.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 06:42 AM   #12
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

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Originally Posted by MrChainsaw View Post
He was going to do that, but for a Hi-Watt. He ended up getting the VOX head for a steal so he is going to make a custom head that will house both the Marshall tube amp he has and the VOX head, and then make a custom cab, half of which will run off each amp, and use a switch pedal to shift from one amp to the other.

I'm not really sure why he feels the need to do all of that, but whatever, I'm just a drummer, we're usually pretty simple minded people, haha
Sounds cool. Some guitar players prefer a certain clean and distortion sound you can only get from certain amps. Marshalls are known for their grit sound. Not so much for their cleans. Vox and Fender are legendary for their cleans. So he basically gets the best of both worlds at the expense of a having to have more equipment and a more complex setup. I agree, I prefer a simple setup. The more experienced I become, probably the more mature too, the more I like a simple setup. One of the reasons I'm building this amp to replace my current rig. It almost doesn't get any simpler than a volume knob and a tone knob. The Fender champ is the simplest. It just has a volume knob but great tone.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 06:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

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Originally Posted by ratlook63 View Post
Cant wait to follow this! I have been looking at finding a tweed Harvard amp like Steve Cropper used, might have to build one. I also want to make a copy of the old plexi era Marshall 4x15 cabs. Right now we are using Sunn o))), Traynor, Sound City and Sovtek amps and cabs....
Sounds cool! I'm sure there's probably a kit out there to build a tweed Harvard. If not, it probably wouldn't take too much research to figure out what you need to make it happen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Fox View Post
I too would love to see how this goes. I have day dreamed abought building a high power bass head full of glass.

I'll keep everyone posted.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 06:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

Quick update. I finished cutting all of the dovetail joints by hand and have the box glue and clamped. I'm going to let it dry for 24 hours and then I'll hit it with the belt sander at work to square and level the edges.

I don't have large clamps and don't have the money to splurge on clamps right now, so I had to improv a little. She's nice and level and should have plenty of clamping force, I would think. If this doesn't kill the box, it'll hold up for many years to come.

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Old February 3rd, 2011, 07:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

Not one on knowing much about amps at all, so more of a question then anything else. Would changing the baffel wood from Birch to Fine spruce have much of an impact on the sound. Just wondering since piano sound boards are made from sitka spruce and hollow body guitars the same; would this help or hinder the sound of the amp? just thought I ask for future knowledge. Can wait to see your results
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

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Not one on knowing much about amps at all, so more of a question then anything else. Would changing the baffel wood from Birch to Fine spruce have much of an impact on the sound. Just wondering since piano sound boards are made from sitka spruce and hollow body guitars the same; would this help or hinder the sound of the amp? just thought I ask for future knowledge. Can wait to see your results
I'm not sure what the answer to the question is. However, the original Tweed amps were built using pine and birch ply for the baffle boards so that's what most people use in an attempt to recreate the original.

I did see a comparison as to why birch ply was used over std. ply. Birch ply has more and denser layers of wood vs. the std. ply. That and birch is void free whereas std. isn't.

I suppose you could use sitka spruce. It also has something to do with keeping it from rattling. When std ply is used for the baffle boards it'll rattle.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 01:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

I don't know if I mentioned this, but I've been tossing around the idea of covering my cab with twill 2x2 carbon fiber and painting the chassis flat black. Well, I decided it would be cool to make the chassis too so I'm going to go ahead with the carbon fiber theme. May powder coat the chassis flat black if it's not too expensive. Otherwise I have some high temp flat black rattle can engine paint laying around I could use.

So I started building my chassis, from scratch. I used some plans to make a full size template so it'll be a piece of cake to cut out and to get the holes drilled in the right places.

Here's a print out of the template.




Here's a piece of sheet metal the engineers here at work had in their scrap pile. It's 18 gauge. Should be plenty strong enough. They cut it down to size for me. Here in a moment I'm going to borrow their sand blaster to clean it up. Then I'll start cutting it out and drilling holes.




More soon...
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 03:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

And here's the steel sandblasted. Ready for cutting and drilling. I also made a quick video. :)




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82arMcUzvgk
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Old February 5th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #19
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

Very cool builds, really brings back some memories of past days. One of my first amps was a Fender Tweed, it had some great tone. I think I bought it used around 64 or so. I do miss that amp, just don't miss the weight.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 08:00 AM   #20
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

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Very cool builds, really brings back some memories of past days. One of my first amps was a Fender Tweed, it had some great tone. I think I bought it used around 64 or so. I do miss that amp, just don't miss the weight.
Very cool. This will be an improvement for me cause I'm going from a half stack to this combo amp. I can't wait to here the tone of this amp. From the clips on youtube, they sound great.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 08:02 AM   #21
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

I got some more work done on the amp this weekend. I glued the face boards onto the cabinet as well as the cleats. I had to fix a couple chips in the wood I made when I was hand making the dovetail joints, which were done by hand using a standard hard back saw. I used some wood glue and saw dust to fix it.




I then took it to work and used the belt and disc sander to level the joints.




It didn't come out too shabby for a first time making dovetail joints.






I then glued the 1/4" strips to the baffle board and painted it black. Next, I borrowed my buddies router to round the edges of the cabinet. Now it's starting to look like a finished guitar cabinet. I'm sure most guys don't do this, but I figured it was a good idea, so I used a little seam sealer as well on the inside of the cab to make it a little more air tight.






Last but not least, I worked on the chassis some more. I lightly spray mounted the template onto the steel, which will easily come off with some Bestine. I drilled all the holes except the tube holes cause I didn't have the correct size. Hopefully they have one here at work. Today, I'm going to the chassis on the sheet metal bender, which they'll have to show me how to use.




More soon...
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Old February 7th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #22
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

I managed to finish the chassis here at work on their sheet metal break. Here are few pictures.





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Old February 7th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #23
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

This is rad! The construction looks clean and precise. It'll be nice to see the finished product.

I had just bought me a Fender Bassman TV 15" bass amp couple weeks ago. The yellow tweed looks so bad ass.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 12:42 PM   #24
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

Thanks! Although, I'm deviating from the original a little. :)

Just a small update. My parts should be in sometime today, so it should start coming together quickly this weekend.

Instead of chroming the chassis, like I can afford it anyway, I painted the chassis with a hammered black paint. The pictures don't do it justice. It looks really good in person, IMO. I wouldn't necessarily call it a hammered look. More like a pitted look. Nonetheless, still looks pretty cool.




I'm covering the cabinet with carbon fiber twill 2x2 cloth. So, I put down a light coat of black paint on the outside. I did this to prevent the wood from showing through the carbon fiber twill cloth. I plan to sand the inside overspray off so the interior will be the natural wood color.



The finished amp will look something like this, but with the traditional silver Fender grill cloth.




Like this, but with real carbon fiber, chicken head knobs and simplified chassis labeling like above.

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Old February 10th, 2011, 12:43 PM   #25
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Default Re: O/T My 50's Era Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 Build

I was also possible think about a getting a pin stripe work done on the chassis. I'm not sure how that would look with a textured paint...?
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