My DIY Bass Amp/Cab Stand – version 2

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BartmanPDX, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. A few years ago, I made a small (12” high) stand/pedestal for my bass cabinet – documented it in this thread. At the time, I wasn’t gigging, so I made it ultra solid, without the slightest concern for weight. Later I joined a bar cover band that works most weekends and found the stand to be heavy, and not as tall as I would like. Eventually I moved to using a Quik-Lok WS-540 stand, which was taller (24”), but often seems almost too tall. Also, as an adjustable stand, it has a tendency to feel rickety.

    I do like to use a cabinet stand. I mainly play in small bars on tiny stages and am frequently forced to stand literally right in front of my amp. Being somewhat tall (6’3”), this positions the cab drivers to face the back of my knees. Since my bass is not run through the PA (small club), I have a tendency to turn the bass up when I can’t hear it as well as I’d like, and it thus gets to be too loud in the mix. I like a lot of bass in my mix. So a cabinet stand gets the cab up closer to my ears and helps me hear the bass better. While I lose a tiny bit of deep bass from moving it away from the floor, I can easily compensate for that with my EQ.

    I’m not what you would call an “experienced woodworker,” but I do have a drill press, table saw, router, etc. and know how to use them, and I’ve built some things before, so I decided last week to have a go at making a better cabinet stand. I found a whole bunch of select solid poplar 1”x2” and some poplar 2”x2” pieces left over from another project, as well as some scraps of ½” thick plywood in good shape, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of money either.

    I spent a while thinking about what I wanted in a stand, and decided that I’d like it to be taller (18” or so), lighter weight, but still just as sturdy as the first one, and that I would like it to have a power supply on the back. I don’t carry a power conditioner in my rack, and I thought it would be nice to mount a Furman power block on the back for all my gear to plug into. I also wanted to leave the front open so I could use the area under my cab for storage (space on those tiny stages is at a premium!). I’ve asked the drummer (graphic artist) to make a tapestry or something with one of the band logos to hang over the opening, and that will cover the front of the unit.

    I began by cutting out a piece of plywood to match the footprint of my largest cab – which turned out to be 23” wide by 16” deep. Then using #10 screws, I attached a rim of 1”x2” poplar, arranged vertically, around the edge of the top plywood piece. Once the top was done, I cut out the “legs” of the stand from 2”x2” poplar, making them 18” long, which gave me a total height of just under 19” for the stand. With a Auralex Gramma Pad (fits perfectly on top), it can be 21” tall.

    Once the legs were done I ran another rim of 1”x2” poplar (again arranged vertically) around the base of the legs to secure them. I rounded the edges of these poplar pieces over with a router so they could serve as “handles” when the stand is upside down (i.e. in transport). Then I screwed in another piece of 1”x2” poplar across the back to give me a place to mount the Furman. Using some scraps, I built up some pieces so that I could recess the Furman into the back somewhat (so it didn’t stick out much), and I used a brass corner brace (which swivels on a screw) to secure the Furman onto the screw mounts I made.

    Lastly, I attached some plywood pieces (rounded over with the router) to make the back and sides. Here are some pics from after I’d finished the basic assembly, but before I’d filled in the countersunk screw holes and cracks and started sanding, showing the robust construction using screws:

    Looking at the front:

    Looking at the back:

    Then I filled in the screw holes and cracks with wood putty, sanded it down, and attached some rubber feet to the top and bottom.

    Here’s how it looks now:

    From the front:

    Showing the mount for the Furman on the back:

    With the Furman installed:

    Showing the Furman recessed:

    Showing the top, looking at the back:

    Upside down, ready for transport:

    With a cab on top, and the old stand next to it:

    I have some Duratex paint that I want to use to cover the stand with, but it says not to apply it when the humidity is over 70%. I live in Portland, and it seems like it’s been raining almost continuously for the past six months. :rolleyes: It’s 65% right now and the forecast calls for rain all week, so it may be a little while before I can get it finished in the Duratex. I’d briefly considered staining it or covering it with graffiti or stickers or some other finish, but I think basic black Duratex paint will match the cabs better and will hold up better after some road wear. I’ll probably go with it bare for Friday’s gig and see what the band says, then I’ll likely paint it with the Duratex on Saturday, which should give it plenty of time to dry before the next weekend. I’m hoping that the high humidity doesn’t mess up the texturing too much.
    David A. Davis and Das Jugghead like this.
  2. tocs100

    tocs100 Utah Bass of Doom, Metal DJ @

    Sep 16, 2007
    Ogden, UT
    I like it. But looking at your 8-space rack in the back, why not just use that as your stand? I was looking at those rubber ampwedge things, but your pic now has me considering a lightwight 8-spacer....
  3. The six space rack in the back is a shock mount version and is unbelievably heavy. They used 1/2" plywood on the thing and it weighs about 50 lbs. empty with the covers on. :eek: My new stand weighs about 17 with the Furman on it, and is a few inches taller. The one in the back is also a shallow rack, and thus not really deep enough to use as a stand anyway without the covers on.

    Be wary of certain plastic Gator racks, some of which are slippery as heck.
  4. Many thanks to greenboy, who provided me with some interesting (and most unexpected) info about a front panel serving as part of the speaker baffle.

    I had been considering making a detachable or hinged wooden front for the stand to cover up the storage space under the cab, but his input has really got me thinking that's the way to go.

    A hinged front with the band logo, maybe with a magnetic catch for keeping it closed . . . :cool:
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Here's an amp stand I like to use.

  6. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Very nice. I know what you mean about the Quik Lok stand - I own myself. At it's lowest setting ( 24" ), it's just a little too tall for, say, a 15/6/1 cab. I thought about cutting 6" off the legs, and then reinserting the movable extension legs for stability. Never got around to it as I started using a tall 212 cab.
  7. Funny!

    But I'm not trusting $2k worth of gear to whatever seating a bar may happen to have. One of the places we play has those 5-swivel-wheeled secretary chairs as the only seating. (WTH?) I'm not putting my 410 on one of them. :p
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    While I applaud your efforts to meet your needs, I'm merely suggesting that you could probably find a chair you like and carry that with you. As it is, you've got a stand that's roughly the size of another cabinet, that weighs more than a chair.

    I'll never suggest anyone not go all out, but sometimes we over engineer in the heat of our excitement. Its like when people thought they needed special restraints for their micro amps on their fEARfuls...and people designed all sorts of fancy interfaces and restraining devices...when a simple velcro strap to the back of the cab would do the trick.

    And if you found a nice chair, you could use it at home too. ;) Multi use tools are always the best.

  9. True.

    But a chair would also take up more room both in my car and house, would be less sturdy, and ultimately less well suited to the task.

    The stand also doubles as a means of carrying smaller gear (led lights and such) during transport and load in/outs.
  10. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I like both the stand and the chair idea, but when you are trying to cram everything into the back of a ScionXb, collapsible is a must. I used the Quik Lok for awhile because it folds down to about the size of my bass stand.
  11. I hear that but have room. I also can store a lot of stuff (my gear bag fits in there, along with a bag with lights) inside the stand during transport:


    I am lucky to drive to gigs in an outback wagon that can hold a lot fo gear. :D

    Fwiw, without the Furman it weighs about the same as my cheap wood average looking dining room chair.
    Das Jugghead likes this.
  12. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    What do you think of my idea of cutting down the Quik Lok stand to 18" ? I'm more tempted to do it now as I'm getting a 15/6/1 cab soon, and may just want to elevate it some.
  13. I thought long and hard about doing that myself. You would just want to make sure you had some way of leveling the legs reliably, I would think.

    Preferably something that could be adjusted after you cut the legs, so you could level it in any situation (uneven stage). I usually carry some thick washers in case I'm on a really poorly built stage in any event.
  14. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I'll have to check to see if the extension legs actually come all the way out on it. Then I would cut the main four legs down to 18" and then reinsert the extensions, so you could still adjust the height.
  15. If you do that, post something. I'd be really interested to see how it works. There might be some gigs I wouldn't want the stand for.

    Always nice to have options.
  16. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    That'll work fine, they come tight out. I've been threatening to try it on one of mine for a while now. But I've also thought about using some bracing mounted through the extra holes near the top of the legs.

    Nice work Bart.
  17. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    From the OP's other thread:

    "I guess I've finally finished meddling with my rig. I'm pretty happy with it right now."

    I think many of us are the same way. I don't know how many times I've completed my rig!


  18. tocs100

    tocs100 Utah Bass of Doom, Metal DJ @

    Sep 16, 2007
    Ogden, UT
    This is likely as good of a place to ask as any: what's the official policy on installing casters on a fEARful 15/6? Approved or shun-worthy?
  19. LOL. A lot has changed in four years!

    For one thing, I herniated a disk in my back just a few months after I posted that thread. Once I started gigging regularly, the IP and stand started seeming a lot heavier, and I got the AE410 to make load ins/outs easier.

    Tocs100 - this might not be the best thread to ask your question -- you'll get more responses in the 15/6/1 club or fearful threads. I think Ernie Ball makes some removable casters that would probably fit nicely on your cab without involving too much modification - just some light drilling. I nearly put some on my AE410 once.
  20. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Yeah, that minimum 24" is just a bit too high, especially if using a 30" tall cab. It is a very convenient stand to schlepp, though.

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