Pallet Table Guitar Amplifier

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Introduction: Pallet Table Guitar Amplifier

About: I'm based in London - in my day job I make digital things and at night I tinker with art, maps and electronics.

This project started with a pallet coffee table I made a few years ago. Since then I've added speakers to it to play a laptop through, and now this time I wanted to add a guitar amplifier to it.

I should explain that the reason for doing all this is that I live in a small flat and don't really have room for a guitar amplifier. So I thought if I could hide one away in the coffee table that would be a good compromise.

Supplies

  • Coffee table made from wooden pallets that I made previously
  • Mini guitar amplifier - Blackstar FLY 3
  • Aluminium plate ordered to size from eBay, drilled and engraved
  • Knobs from Tonetech
  • Switches I had already
  • Bulkhead audio sockets

Step 1: Disassembling the Amp

The amp I chose for this project was a cool little guitar amplifier from Blackstar Amps- the FLY 3.

For its size it has a great sound and also has some echo and delay effects built in, which was what I was after.

It's made up of a single speaker and a control panel inside a black plastic enclosure. As it turned out I left the speaker inside the enclosure and kept the whole thing as just a speaker box. Then I made a new control panel that I fitted into the top of my table.

Step 2: Measuring and Planning the Layout

The layout of the controls on the amp didn't quite work as they were because they were all in a line and I wanted to have a squarer layout than that.

I knew moving them would be a pain though so I tried to keep as much of the original layout as possible.

In the end I offset just two of the control knobs to get the layout I wanted. That meant removing the pots from the board and adding some flying leads to get them to a new position. At this point I also added flying leads to connect the control plate with the speaker. I crimped some in-line plugs and sockets on the wires to make it easier to assemble.

With the final configuration sorted, I drew up plans for my mounting plate.

Step 3: Test Fitting the Layout

I ordered a piece of 3 mm aluminium sheet cut to size from eBay, but before drilling mounting holes in it I made a cardboard mock-up to make sure everything fitted.

Step 4: ​Drilling the Plate and Getting It Engraved

Once I was sure everything would fit, I drilled holes in the metal plate and checked the fit again of all the components.

Although I used all the original pots from the amp, I replaced the knobs on them. I also replaced the switches with some metal toggle ones I had, and added new bulkhead audio sockets.

The last thing to do with the control panel was to get labels engraved on it. For this I drew up the design and took it down to my local key cutting/engraving shop.

Step 5: Final Assembly and Testing

To fit everything into the table I removed two panels from the top and then glued them together to make a removable lid. The control panel was then recessed below that so the lid could fit on top of the switches and knobs.

As well as the controls, all inputs and outputs go in from the top into the same panel - power, guitar-in and headphones-out.

You can't see the speaker in the pictures, but it's inside the table facing out towards the front. In fact, I mostly use the amp with headphones for the sake of the neighbours!

I obviously have work to do on the guitar playing, but I'm really happy with the amp. I don't use it all that often, so it's great that it doesn't take up any space in between times.

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