1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Making an cab grill.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PollyBass, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Ok, so they don't make grills for this baby anymore, and I was wondering if any of you guys have any ideas whatsoever on making a metal grill for this thing, the old cloth one busted right to heck, and it now has a replacment basket in it. But do they sell grill like that?I was thinking of a cheapo idea: Chain link fence,,,, probably rattle like heck though. Any ideas guys? Here is a picture. I'm desprate. Doesn't have to be anything you have done before, just ideas. (Warning, VERY OLD BLACK WIDOW CAB, VERY UGLY AND DIRTY. STILL SMELLS LIKE BAR ROOM SMOKE) Thanks in advance.

  2. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've got an old Fender cab in storage somewhere that has a grill like the one you describe. It's bacically just a flimsy timber frame with a fabric/mesh stapled to it. Should be easy to make.


    Go to a scrap metal yard with measurements in hand and ask for "expanded metal" grill. That's what most of today's cabs have - much tougher. Most places will even bend the edges for you to give you that distance between the grille and the driver.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Several options are available at www.partsexpress.com which are all pretty cheap. One is to get some grill mesh, then stretch it and staple it over a small frame of wood, then velcro it to the cab. Another option is a round metal grill (available at that site) which will cover only the speaker. I don't know if they offer flat grill metal, but if they do you can cut it to fit your cab, mounting it with a screw near each of the four corners. If you get a rattle, screw in a few rubber grommets to put a little tension on the metal grill.

    Best of luck.
  4. thumbtrap


    Jun 26, 2003
    I've done a couple guitar amps, and a couple speaker cabinets. Getting the grille fabric stretched tight enough to look professional is tough, and to do so, you'll need a cross brace in the grille frame or it will sag and loosen in a few days.

    If you just want functional (because that thing will never be pretty)I'd consider putting a round metal grille on it with screw clamps. AFAIK the vintage Peavey snobbery has not yet begun, and bets are still being placed on whether or not it will ever happen. (You placed your bet when you bought the thing)
  5. If you are just looking to protect the speaker, go to any place that sells car audio or installs car stereos, they will have a grill cover that will fit around the speaker.
  6. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    If you want something heavy duty, get out the yellow pages and look up "metal supplies", "metal fabrication", or "steel". The stuff you want is call "expanded metal". It's what Avatar uses. Home Depot and Lowes also sell this stuff, although they may not have it in pieces as large as you need. I think the biggest they have is 24" x 24", and they charge about $20 for it. You should be able to find a metal supply or fabricator that will sell you a bigger piece, probably a lot cheaper than that too.

    I'm pretty sure SWR and Eden both sell replacement grilles for their stuff. Probably a bit more expensive, but a bit prettier, too.
  7. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas

    So you have contacted Peavey directly? I have two of those cabs at the store, they sound pretty good. I've often thought of taking them home to try out togother...
  8. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    You have cabs this old in your store?
    Well, it's not vintage snobbery, it's "Old Peavey Black Widow cab sound awesome for rock" snobbery.

    I use it for midrange. Someone said something about a wood frame and velcro, which was used before on the older cover. I thought about the speaker covers, sorta like they use in car audio. That would probably work. I sure would like a metal cover though.... thanks for the advice guys.

    Anymore ideas? I'll probably go the speaker cover way...

    EDIT: But jeez,,, that thing is dang UGLY. I liek the way it sounds,,, but... UGLY.
  9. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Yup. Part of my rental department. Had a customer trade 'em for a newer pair of BW's (and cash of course).

    What, you expected me to rent new stuff to be subjected to bars and beer? ;)

    EDIT: after receiving them, I replaced the baskets. One was fried, the other just sucked. Both play fine and sound great now. Excellent PA subs, BTW.
  10. Good stuff!!! I had an old Peavey cab that I loved and could not find a grill for. I decided to make one. I went to Home Depot and bought a long (straight) pine 1''x2'', some single screw 90 degree brackets (one screw hole on each side, w/screws), and a can of black spray paint.

    I then took a trip to the fabric store. Somebody had suggested going with a Lycra material (aka; Spandex). I found a peice of fabric in the Lycra section I liked and bought a few yards. It was a bit fuzzy (kinda like velure), very shiney, and totally electric blue! It looked like something a truck-stop hooker's pants would be made out of, and I LOVED IT!!! I also picked up some heavy duty strips of Velcro while I was there (to cut into squares for the corners).

    The design of the frame was simple (rectangle w/two braces) and held together with the metal brackets (on the inside corners). I then stretched the fabulous fabric over it, stapled it in place (didn't require much tension as it's a "stretchy" material). Tacked Velcro in the corners, and voila! I had to install new blocks on the cab to make the frame sit where I wanted it to but it really wasn't hard at all.

    What I wound up with was a cab that I totally loved the sound of that looked TOTALLY outrageous! People comented on it from looks alone many times. I was very happy with it. Turned out to be a selling point as well when I got rid of it. You just don't see too may cabinets covered in truck-stop hooker pants!
  11. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Indeed you don't! As tacky and cheesy as this sounds, this idea is awesome! Would sound be able to flow thru the "spandex" as easy as a metal grill??? In any case, I have tons of ideas to run with thanks to you guys.
  12. The Lycra material is very porous and stretchy (hence the recomendation). Sound had absolutely no problem passing right through it. I never even saw it move. It's a bit spendy compared to other fabrics though. I think I spent around $11 a yard and got two (in case I f'ed up). Let us know what you come up with!


  13. MauriLii


    Jan 19, 2003
    Kent, England
    Hey Polly, I fail to see why truck stop hooker pants are tacky or cheesy. Why, I'm sure that many long standing relationships have been started merely on the merits of said pants. Or not...

    Anyway, I second (or third, or something) the expanded metal route. I am just finishing a new cab and that's what I used. The stuff's cheap and strong. The only pain in the butt is cutting it to size. I wound up using a dremel with a cut-off blade and then used a small grinding wheel to dull the sharp edges. Bend the edges to an appropriate distance from the speaker using a hammer and a pair or pliers. Slap on some primer and some black paint and there you have a great looking grille. And hey, if you put some funky spandex over and you can get some sort of weird hooker with fishnets and spandex look for your cabinets. (I'm not sure why, but I find that notion strangely appealing. Maybe I just need therapy....)

    On a serious note, spandex is not nearly as porous (and as result, sonically transparent) as proper grille cloth. It won't effect the bottom end in either case, but the spandex would probably muffle the highs slightly more than a true grille cloth. In a pinch you can probably get some from Radio Shack if you want to go that route.
  14. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Ellicott City, MD
    Endorsing: Spector Bass Guitars
    I 2nd this. Home Depot has what you're looking for. They usuall have 24x24", and 24x36" (at least in mine). It's located usually in the back of the store in the lumber/moulding/plexiglass section.
  15. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I've used regular vinyl grille cloth that you stretch over a painted wood frame. I've also used hardware cloth (the wire mesh stuff that you can buy at any hardware store) stapled over a painted wooden frame. Most recently I've made SWR like grilles out of 1/2 in. expanded metal that I bought at The Home Depot.

    Fortunately, I have access to a sheet metal brake in one our labs at work so I can form it properly. I do cut it to size at home with a sabre saw (jig saw) with a metal cutting blade and file the sharp edges smooth.


    Once the grille is formed, I degrease it with PrepSol or whatever the auto paint store sells for prepping cars to be repainted, put two good coats of primer, then paint two good coats of a semi-gloss black Krylon spray paint.

    I secure them to the cabinet with 2 in. drywall screws and finishing washers that I've painted to match the grille.

    I think that they look pretty good...
  16. vanselus

    vanselus Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Eye protection sure, but we're bassists - PROTECT THOSE HANDS TOO!!
  17. I went the expanded metal route on my DIY cab. I got it at Home Depot. Size might be an issue with your cab though. My local pro audio repair place has all the parts for building cabs. I got stack-lock corners and a nice pro handle there. A place like that should have the round metal grills that are made to custom fit a variety of woofer sizes. Radio Shack has them too, but they might be plastic.

    BTW, my cab is here towards the bottom of the page.
  18. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Expanded metal is the way.
    Unexpensive, sturdy, not too heavy, pretty easy to adapt to the cab.

Share This Page