Custom Spalted Hard Maple amp cabinet for a Fishman Loudbox Mini

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Project by John Wainwright posted 04-16-2017 10:12 PM 10636 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This latest guitar amplifier project started off as a limited edition (cream w/black face) Fishman Loudbox Mini Pro – which I got a killer deal on because part of what made it a limited edition – the cream tolex, was completely trashed.

So I whipped out this amazing piece of spalted hard maple I’ve been holding on to for months for just the right project.

Usually, you’re lucky to get a good bit of one type of figure in a piece of hard maple – but now I remember why I was saving this piece.

It’s got very well defined black line spalt, it’s got some flame, it’s got some waterfall – it’s got a bit of everything. I almost want to keep it for myself.

I think it turned out pretty well. It’s going to make someone a really kick-ass acoustic coffee-shop gig amp.

-- What wood John do?

7 comments so far

View TheWoodYogi's profile


273 posts in 2897 days

#1 posted 04-16-2017 10:35 PM

Beautiful work. I love the look of this :)

-- Wood Yogi - Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. - Swami Sivananda

View Texcaster's profile


1293 posts in 3134 days

#2 posted 04-17-2017 12:20 AM

Top Job! I see you do a bit of this kind of work. I’m thinking of a small kit valve amp. Any kits you like?

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View John Wainwright's profile

John Wainwright

24 posts in 2243 days

#3 posted 04-17-2017 12:38 AM

There are tons of places out there that sell kits, and quite a few cheapish ones from eBay. As for personal recommendations, I’ve purchased kits from both of these places and they’re both wonderful.

Top Job! I see you do a bit of this kind of work. I’m thinking of a small kit valve amp. Any kits you like?

- Texcaster

-- What wood John do?

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4891 days

#4 posted 04-22-2017 12:22 AM

That is purty for sure. Love the wood much more than the original.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View turtlebones's profile


2 posts in 1814 days

#5 posted 06-07-2017 04:35 AM

That looks great. I am undertaking this same project for a friend’s birthday surprise. Are there any tricks to taking it apart? I have already cut the wood pieces, but I’ll only have the amp for about 2 days to get the wood panels installed.

I was able to inspect the amp to take measurements, but it seemed pretty complicated to open it up.

Thanks for any advice!

View John Wainwright's profile

John Wainwright

24 posts in 2243 days

#6 posted 06-08-2017 05:05 AM

The three bolts on the sides at the top release the head. It’ll probably need to slide up and forward to come out. Once you have the head lifted up, remove the three plastic plugs and the ground wire.

The wires go through the top panel through oval holes with rubber grommets, but are covered in glue. You’ll just have to chip that out with a razor knife. If you’re careful, you can reuse the grommets. (Re-spooge with hot glue in new cabinet when reassembling.)

The transformer is behind the woofer inside the cab, bolted through the bottom panel.

The grille is held on with three screws from the inside (accessible once you remove the head). It’s got a little metal tab at the bottom, so you’ll need a slot in the new cab to lock it in. I epoxied magnets in mine to hold the grille on. It was a super duper pain in the ass to get the lined up and adjusted though – so you might want to just go back with original.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the OE cab is just 1/2” MDF. My lumber was 15/16” Maple – so you need to build your cab kinda around the head and grille dimensions, understanding that the outside dimensions will end up being larger – unless you’re using 1/2” lumber. As they don’t show, I used 1/2” MDF for the inside top panel and speaker panel – with Maple panels everywhere that shows.

I found it easiest to assemble the bottom and back panel, then put the sides on, then the internal top panel and speaker panel. The biggest pain was all of the slight angles, as pretty much nothing is 90 degrees. Were I to do another one where I only had 2 days with the amp at the end, I’d cut everything and wait until I had it in hand to assemble and glue – just in case something needs a trim.

Hope that helps.

-- What wood John do?

View turtlebones's profile


2 posts in 1814 days

#7 posted 06-08-2017 07:09 PM

Wow, thanks John! I pretty much finished the project last night. I was able to re-use the baffle and hidden top plate, but I had to destroy the rest of the box to get them apart. I used 5/8” cherry for the box, with pocket hole screws on the inside to hold it together. The angles were certainly tricky to work with, and now, the baffle is not parallel with the front edges of the box, but it still looks great.

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