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Ampeg Cab Re-Finish

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by backin82, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Any tips on refurbishing an awesome-sounding but beat up Ampeg 810 cab? I picked one up super cheap on CL and finally got a chance to sit down and go over it.

    I played it before the purchase, and the thing sounds amazing. That said, it needs a lot of TLC. It has no Tolex and the bottom area where the casters are is completely busted up. The hardware is pretty worn out, too, with the exception of the top handle.


    So...a few questions:

    1. Is this a doable project, or am I in for a really tough chore?
    2. How do I go about determining the age and model? The jack plate on the back seems to have been replaced at some point, but I'm not sure if that's the case of not. I'm not super familiar with Ampeg cabs.
    3. What are the recessed seat things on the top surface called and where can I get replacements?
    4. Is it possible or advised to put a "Deep D" handle on the sides? It seems like those would be really helpful if installing them isn't too much of a pain (not sure if any braces run through those spots.

    Here's a photo of one of the speakers. Can anyone help identify this cab?



    Let the fun begin!
  2. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    1. Depends. Do you want to do tolex? That spray on bedliner stuff seems to be a common replacement and should be much easier.

    2. Yeah either looks replaced or just had the stickers removed. The speakers date to 2001 if I'm reading it right (67-0125 is eminence, 25th week of 2001).

    3. Foot cups. Fliptops has them.

    4. Might interfere with the baffles/bracing, measure and see what you're working with for room I suppose. I find the 8x10 a little tall for side handles, but I'm sure a taller person might not have that trouble.
  3. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I'm planning to roll it with Duratex, so the finish isn't my main problem at this point.

    The first thing I'd like to tackle will be the bottom area where the casters attach. That whole area was broke off at some point and they installed a piece of regular 1/2" lumber and then used some kind of glue or sealer to seal up the edges. I'd like to cut that whole thing out and install something more sound.

    2001 would probably be correct based on what the guy told me. In the end, this thing will be a somewhat Frankensteined cab, but someone's going to get a heck of a deal on it when I'm done.

    Thanks for the link, by the way!
  4. Mainahman


    Jan 5, 2014
    Really looking forward to see how this all goes. I've always wanted me one of those cabs!
  5. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Ditto. There's a guy near me that's been trying to sell an empty 90s 8x10 on CL for a while and I've been tempted. It's already been duratexed but is missing the hardware (corners, feet, bar, wheels, grill). I have the speakers already so the costs wouldn't be too much, but anything would be too much given that I already have an 8x10.
  6. Mainahman


    Jan 5, 2014
    I missed one that just needed new Tolex and a couple bracing pieces fixed for 100 bucks on Craigslist last month... I've been jonsing for one of those cabs for awhile.
  7. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    About 10 years ago, I refinished some GK cabs with Duplicolor roll on truck bed liner. They came out great.
  8. yeah like Kmonk said the truck liner stuff works nice. A local guy here used it on his 810 looked great.
  9. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    The thing is, I just built a fEARful 15/6, and I need to use the leftover Duratex. I'll buy another pint of it, and that should be enough once I combine them.

    This cab just needs Duratex, new bottom board to mount casters on, the little cups on top, and the grill needs to be cleaned up a bit. I've never done this before, but I couldn't pass it up for the price.
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Good idea to mix the two containers of Duratex before starting. If you can, I would use plywood for the bottom board. The chip board has a tendency to fracture and crumble if it is dropped, especially pressure points like where the casters are mounted.

    The cups aren't really necessary unless you want them for looks. I've refer seen a heavy amp rattle off the top of an 810 cab.
    SirMjac28 and okcrum like this.
  11. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I plan to use either plywood or some other 1/2" scrap I have lying around my shop. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to connect it together with the particle board, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. It'll likely involve some kind of backup brace (if there's not one already there).

    Those little cups at the top are going to be about half the overall cost of the re-finish, so I'm heavily leaning toward not buying them. $4 a pop times 8 cups. I think I'd rather spend that money on new casters, corners, feet, and logo.
  12. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Maybe even ¾" ply for extra strength although ½" would do the job. Braces along the edges with screws is a good idea and PL Premium to glue it together.
  13. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I think the best thing would be to use PL and a pin nailer to get some sturdy braces around the edges, recessed enough that a 1/2" or 3/4" piece of wood fits flush with the outside face. That piece could then be glued and nailed to the braces and existing side and back panels. In my mind, this is a fairly sturdy connection.

    Another option would be to build a brace shaped like an H that would span between the two side panels at the angle of the bottom plate, then recessed inside so the board can mount flush to the outside. The pieces that span longways could be turned so their strong axis is being bent when the casters are loaded. That would provide more stiffness to resists the loads on the casters.

    Think on this, I will.
  14. PersonalTraynor


    Jan 14, 2011
    Lady parts, Canada
    peaveyTraynor freakazoid...
    Is that thing chip board on the back?:eyebrow:
    murphy likes this.
  15. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    The whole thing is chip board except for the baffle for the speaker mounts. Another poster said the serial numbers on the speaker indicates 2001 cab. This is what's under the tolex.
  16. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    It pays to take the time to think things through. I was recently repairing a cabinet that was made of particle board. It was originally assembled with long staples that have the glue on them. The joint had failed. I reglued it with Gorilla glue applying glue on the staple wires and joint. It didn't work well. I wound up using particle board screws and proper glue and it worked well. I understand though that the pin nails and clamps are there to hold the pieces in place while the glue dries.

    The reason why I mentioned ¾" ply is that is what they use in the 810 cabs today. The only cabs that I've seen the casters punch through are the chip board ones. I don't think that it would be an issue with ply. Figuring out how to best mount the patch with a brace is the harder part. Some people also reinforce the bottom where the tilt casters are mounted with a thin steel kick plate on the outside of the cab. Some 810's come with the plate.
  17. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Thanks for the heads up!!! That's why I love message boards - we can share experiences and help others along the way.

    I've drawn up a "H" shaped backup brace that will span between the side panels. Basically, I'd like to use regular 2x4 boards screwed and glued together then placed at the proper angle and recess within the cab (assuming there's room in that area of the cab). I'll know a lot more when I remove the current scabbed on pieces. If 2x4's don't fit, I'll cut it out of something smaller and/or use a jigsaw to cut it to fit.

    I think the H brace would be a great element, especially once it is glued and pinned to the side panels. The actual bottom panel could be 3/4" ply, but I really don't think it would be necessary with the brace behind it.

    I'm kinda wondering how this thing would look with Duratex rolled directly on to the particle wood. Would it look dumb like that? My guess is YES. What I'll probably do is sand a small portion along the bottom and see how the particle wood sands down and looks after Duratex, then paint an un-sanded part and compare them. Chances are, the Duratex will fill the spaces and I won't have to sand the whole thing. We'll see.

    As with any project like this, its really the culmination of many well-executed details and finishes that determine the final product. I want this thing to look top notch. It already sounds great.
  18. shaginwagin


    Apr 2, 2012
    Can't wait to see how your handy work turns out. I love threads like this...
  19. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    So I finally got to do a little work on the Ampeg tonight. Basically, I just started tearing it apart until I got to the bottom of all the previous owner's retrofits.

    Here's my progress.

    Starting point.

    I took off a few random brackets, nails, screws, and pulled out some of the silicone sealer around the edges. As you can see, the caster mounts must have busted through at some point, so they scabbed on some plywood pieces. One side was actually in there REALLY tight. It was tough to get out, but needed to be done.

    I had to take one of the bottom speakers out to reach the bracket they put in under the middle (original) segment.

    And....everything taken off.


    Now....its movie time with the wife. I'll post more progress photos as I start building the support frame.

    By the way, does anyone know if a few 2x4's near the bottom of the low 2x10 chamber will negatively impact the sound? I know it will change the chamber volume somewhat, but will it change it enough to hurt? Just curious...
  20. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    I don't think the duratex will do the amount of gap filling you think it will. I'd imagine it would look just like if you had painted particle board. If you really do want it to be a nice-looking finish, you're going to need to at least skim it with wood filler or bondo (don't use spackle, no matter what the acrytech literature says). When I do my cabs, i goop them up so thick you can't really even see the wood until I've sanded it down. This basically guarantees an even surface, and an awesome duratex job. Giving the cab a coat or two of cheap (like $0.99/can) flat black spray paint before the duratex can help with stretching a limited supply. You won't need as many coats. And in case you didn't figure this out during your fearful build, the rollers that are suggested really do the best job (IME). Also, doing very light coats, rolling only one direction, is going to give you a great end result.
    AS ALWAYS: IME, IMO,YMMV, my $0.02, etc...
    stpvoodoo1 likes this.