One of my favorite project to date. I have always wanted to rebuild a guitar amp. All the amp boxes I’ve seen in the past always had this black rugged look to it. I understand why, it had to be rugged. The box was going to be tosses around in cars; traveled with. I get it, but why cant it look good as well. That’s what i’m doing here. I take an older Peavey Guitar amp Max126 and turn it into a good looking Karaoke Machine, Bass Guitar amp and/or PA System. Check it out!!
Step 1: Lets Get Sterted
Where’s what I used:
Peavey bass amp Max126 – Pawn Shop $30.00
Radio Shack Microphone 1/4 input – Free given to me
Hickory Wood – Free from a pallet
Padauk Wood 1×6 – $30.00 Hardwood Supplier
iPad Mini – Free-ish I already had it
Misc Hardware – $15.00
Started by tearing the old parts out of the Peavey Amp. I used the logo plate, speaker, and the amp.
Step 2: Face Plate Glue Up
I used Hickory wood for the face panel and iPad holder. This wood came from a pallet. Don’t have measurement because its going to depend on what amp you use. I cut four pieces a little over sized so I can glue up two panels. I place two part against each other and joined the edges with a wood plane. Then glued the panels up. I made two panels just encase I messed one up.
Step 3: Main Box
I used the Padauk to make the over all box. This again is going to be sized to the amp you use. In my case the box need to be square. I needed four pieces the same size with 45 degree miters on both ends. This sound easy, but if your me it can be tricky. I set up a stop block on the far left side of the blade dialed in one side. Once that was setup I ran the other three parts and glued it up. Make sure this step is perfectly square. It matter later in the project
Step 4: Face Plate or Speaker Plate
A lot of things going on with the face plate. First had to make it fit the box with the amp in place. I snuck up to a good fit. Test fit, cut 1/16″ off two sides, test fit and repeat. Once that fit good. I took that piece to the CNC and cut a circle for the speaker. I only cut half way down. I used the scroll saw to finish the cut. Then used the Spindle sander to finish it up. Next I use a 3/4″ bit to make two air movement holes for the sound. At the end I caped these off with grommets.
Step 5: Mounting Jig
A scrap piece of 1/4″ MDF used to make a mounting hole template. I placed this on top of the amp and marked out for the holes. Drill a 1/8″ hole in the four corners and made sure they lined up with the amp. Then placed this on top of the amp boxed, centered it and clamped it. Then I drill those hole out. Later in the project; I used this same template to mark and drill holes on the left and right side for decorative plugs. They serve no purpose other then to break up some of the red in the project.
Step 6: Little Wiring
Before I can mount the amp for good. I decided that I want a way to power the iPad. I used an old extension cord. Cut off the female end. I cut it long just case. I soldered the end right inline with the power cord for the amp. Caped them of with two layers of heat shrink. Tucked the wires into the amp and hot glued into place. Plugged in the USB charger and the iPad cord. I ran the cord out the same hole the speaker wire came out of.
Step 7: Backing Plate
The back of the amp. I had to add scrap pieces of wood to mount the backing plate. Then used the feet from the old amp and the same drill template the put on the feet. Then mounted the amp. I went a head and put the backing on to help with dust. This was the same backing plate from the old amp, just repainted. Here you can see the iPad cord coming out the back.
Step 8: Top of the Box
The holes on top from mounting the amp. I may need to access some day. I counter sunk with 3/8″ forstner bit. The iPad base plate receives the plugs, now if I have to get to the amp I can remove the iPad assembly and take out the screws for the amp.
Step 9: IPad Assembly
iPad assembly: Starts with a base sized for my iPad. I designed and cut the adjustment mounts on the CNC while building the iPad holder. The holder is a backing plate with stick of wood that surround the iPad, leaving room for the charger and headphone jacks. The sticks was just a bit taller then the iPad. Then I trimmed the top with mitered trim pieces. PRE DRILL the adjustment mounts, I broke one and had to recut it. Mount one on each side making sure the are parallel to each other. Place the iPad hold between the mounts and pre-drill for 1/4″ hanger bolts. In one side of the holder screw in the hanger bolt. Then insert the holder into place. Next line up the pre drilled hole in the holder with the mount slot. Insert the other hanger bolt. Lastly screw on the locking knobs. The base plate is where I mounted the Peavey logo plate. In the center and to the front.
Step 10: Knobs
While the iPad holder glue was drying I turn four new knobs for the amp.
Step 11: Final Assembly
Final assembly. iPad into the holder, iPad charger plugged into the iPad, headphone cord hooked up, microphone hooked up.