Mesa Boogie Guitar amp head enclosure

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Project by Douglas posted 01-16-2014 10:53 PM 6671 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was inspired to fancy up my old guitar head by this nice slab of 8/4 walnut…

a little resawing later…

followed by some joining, and hardware finding and fitting, I had this head. I just mimicked the existing plywood head for size & shape, and an old image of a “custom” build option from a Mesa Boogie catalog for the styling inspiration (mainly, the cane grille).

The finish is sanded to 220, a coat of natural Danish oil, followed by 5-6 coats of brushed blonde shellac, sanded between coats, and topped with some dark paste wax applied with 0000 steel wool.

As this came out well, I’ll be making the matching speaker cabinet in a few months.

For more build pics and info, I blogged about it here…


-- Douglas in Chicago -

13 comments so far

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1362 posts in 2796 days

#1 posted 01-16-2014 11:25 PM

Super classy amp. Great idear! Love the finish and the handle..

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Brit's profile


8323 posts in 3925 days

#2 posted 01-17-2014 12:31 AM

That is a seriously nice amp in an equally stunning custom enclosure Douglas. I agree that once you’ve made a matching cab, you’ll have all the guitar heads at your gig clammering for a closer look and wanting to place their orders.

I read your blog (always a pleasure) and you used a word that I haven’t come across before which was “excoriation”. When I googled it, I got two definitions:

1) To damage or remove part of the surface of (the skin)
2) To criticize (someone) severely

When referring to the leather corners you said “These are for both protection and excoriation…” and neither of the above definitions seem to apply. Did you mean to say decoration? If not, can you expand on what you meant? I’m always looking to extend my vocabulary. :o)

Once again, congratulations on a superb project. I love it.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3643 days

#3 posted 01-17-2014 12:37 AM

Hey Brit, I did mean “decoration”. I think that was the modern devil “autocorrect” screwing up my post. But I’ll correct it right now. At least it didn’t change it to something vile. Thanks for the kind words!

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View DouginVa's profile


503 posts in 3356 days

#4 posted 01-17-2014 01:03 AM

Just sold my Mesa Mark III…...kinda makes me wish I didn’t now. Nice idea.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View SisQMark's profile


384 posts in 3683 days

#5 posted 01-17-2014 01:06 AM

Very nice job Douglas. I used to assemble these amps for a living in the 80’s. Great place to work, I went to a lot of concerts of bands that used Boogie amps. Good times! Question, are there any initials inside of the amp? We used to do that to identify who put it together. Just curious, it might have been ME. Thanks for the flash back memories.

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3643 days

#6 posted 01-17-2014 02:09 AM

Doug in VA – Sorry to make you miss yours, but yeah, you shouldn’t have sold it!

Mark – wow, you used to work for Mesa, that’s great! I’ve always been a fan of their Mark series, and have played this Mark IV, and my older Mark III combo for long time. I just checked, and I can’t see any initials on the Mark IV head (any idea where I should look?), but on my older “green stripe” Mark III, I saw this on the back…

Is that you?

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View SisQMark's profile


384 posts in 3683 days

#7 posted 01-17-2014 03:25 AM

Douglas, this is not my mark. It would be inside next to the power supply/transformer or other components. Every work station would initial their work. My job was to start the whole process, internal components, face plate potentiometers, knobs, tube plugs, heat sink, cord, etc.. My mark would be inside the head itself, on the metal frame. I also assembled the foot switches. Kind of neat to know these have survived so long. Excellent choice of amp in my opinion. 100 watt I presume. Randall Smith was a great guy to work for.

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View JCMeyersIV's profile


75 posts in 3149 days

#8 posted 01-17-2014 06:22 AM

Love this! I made a cabinet for my Mesa Road King, but nothing like this. I’d love to have a green stripe Vintage Mark IV. Totally jealous.

-- John, NNY,

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 2921 days

#9 posted 01-17-2014 03:44 PM

Holy cow that’s a gorgeous build for an equally incredible head. The Mark IV is one of the greatest of all time IMO.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4668 days

#10 posted 01-17-2014 10:04 PM

yes I have to say it is and looks superb,well done.I had to give up photography and playing the guitar when I was diagnosed with ,my parkinsons disease problem over twenty years ago. Now I just mess up wood.I have to take my hat off to the great workmanship I see here, constantly it keeps me going I have the woodshop and an engineering shop where I love to work but my great passion is mostly for wood.Keep the great work going I am proud of all of you. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View deltawing's profile


71 posts in 3113 days

#11 posted 01-25-2014 05:47 AM

Douglas > nice job on the Boogie – do you play much? sometimes it’s hard to get people together to make music consistently. bet that amp sounds great

-- > It takes a long time to become a child - Picasso <

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3643 days

#12 posted 01-25-2014 03:34 PM

Deltawing – thanks, I do play pretty frequently. I get in one or two band practices a week, and gigs come and go. One of my bands is a two piece with my wife, who’s drummer. I’d love to play more, hopefully I can do some more shows in the spring and summer. By then, I hope I’ll have that matching cabinet. I’m also looking into doing a stave drum shell build, and making a snare shell for my wife.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View deltawing's profile


71 posts in 3113 days

#13 posted 01-27-2014 01:57 AM

Good for you Douglas > having a wife that drums ! not bad. I’d like to see the Stave drum build as well. I’ve built a few Strat copies and they turned out nice – they are all I play electric wise. I’ll “buddy” you so I can follow your posts
cheers, deltawing

-- > It takes a long time to become a child - Picasso <

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