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carpeting a DIY cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by patrickj, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Ellicott City, MD
    Endorsing: Spector Bass Guitars
    How do you guys carpet your cabs so you avoid messy seams? Do you precut each panel's carpet and glue it into place? Or do you wrap the whole thing (providing wide enough carpet) and have detachable tops/bottoms (which you can then hide the seams inside the body at the expense of a non-sealed design)? I haven't figure out a consistent way to carpet cleanly. As long as the front/top/sides are clear, I'm happy, but ultimately I'd like to figure out a better way to do this.

    Has anyone tried that spray-on stuff like you have in a truck bed? Costs? Safe?
  2. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I carpeted a small 1x12 cab a few months back. It turned out great. Its really pretty easy. My only suggestion is to use the cabinet carpet available at places like partsexpress.com. Cut each piece just slightly short (like 1/8th") and stretch the carpet into place. This will lead to cleaner seams. The spray glue works great just don't use it in your living room as the overspray tends to float around a bit and sticky things up.
  3. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Two things will enhance your success...

    1. Paint a carpet colored strip under each seam. Any gaps will be darn near invisible.

    2. Use a very sharp knife to make the cuts. I've found that a No.1 xacto knife is perfect. Change blades frequently so that the knife slices through the carpet like a butter knife through warm butter.

    I use spray adhesive for carpet too. The regular strength stuff (Super 77 I believe) works better than the high-strength stuff, IMO. Overspray is a problem and I've gone so far as to wrap the covered box in newspaper when gluing the front and back edges so that I don't get overspray on the box. I haven't found a way to clean overspray off and it looks terrible.

    When doing the main box seam, I use masking tape on the already glued carpet to fend off overspray on the bottom too.

    Here are a couple of pictures...one before, one after.

    Have fun!!!!
  4. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I guess I didn't really answer all of your questions.

    My method of covering a box involves three pieces of carpet. One for the box proper, one for the back and one for the baffle.

    I start/finish the box's covering either in the middle of the bottom, if it will always sit in one orientation or near a corner if it could be used in two.

    The carpet for the box, also covers the front and back edges. On the front, it wraps around up to the baffle. On the back (assuming that the back is permanently installed) it overlaps the back panel an inch and a half or two. The back piece is sized to fit in the space left over. The piece for the baffle is glued in as a full sheet. After the glue dries, I use a fresh Xacto blade to cut the carpet away from the openings for woofer, tweeter and port. I'll stuff a piece of paper towel in the port (who's interior is painted flat black) to prevent glue overspray in the port, which is ugly and attracts dirt. Once the excess carpet is removed from the baffle, the paper towel is removed. Carpet on the baffle gives a nice finished look and acts as a gasket for the woofer and tweeter. I then use expanded metal for a grille (like older SWR cabinets). If I'm going for the Ampeg look, I only paint the baffle flat black, then build a wooden grille frame (either out of 1x2 pine or a piece of plywood), which gets painted flat black and then covered with vinyl grille cloth. Bright white "welt cord" from an auto trim shop serves as (and matches identically) the white piping that Ampeg uses and costs a fraction of what "piping" goes for from a dealer that sells tolex (like $0.25 per foot vs. $2.00 per foot).

    I've also covered bass cabinets in tolex (the vinyl stuff like a guitar amp). The process is the same but I find that the particular vinyl that I'm using won't stick for long with spray adhesive, so I have to go old-school and brush on contact cement.

    I've never tried the truck bed liner stuff.

    I hope that this helps!

    Again have fun!!! and use a well ventilated area when applying adhesive.
  5. bassplayer347

    bassplayer347 Guest

    Dec 24, 2003
    We use the truck bed liner stuff at work for a non-slip surface on flat metal, but we roll it on for a rough finish. I think it would make a great speaker finish if you could find a way to give it a smoother finish...( tough as hell, and water proof too, or beer proof, for the bar bands)
    Carvin is using it for their new speaker cabinets.

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