Re-Covering Bass Guitar Speaker Cabinets

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Introduction: Re-Covering Bass Guitar Speaker Cabinets

These bass guitar speaker cabinets have seen nearly a dozen years of use. Through all the gigs and moving from one place to another they picked up a scratch here, a rip there, a shredded section, and even some holes. The carpet on the cabinets had definitely seen better days.

But they still sound great and since completing a full recovering is a huge job they ended up with patches. Somewhere along the way those battle-worn scars went from "adding character" to just plain shabby. The ongoing repair over all these years needed to stop in favor of a full facelift.

That's when I stumbled upon this contest. It seemed like a neat challenge. Finish something that has been dragging on for years. I dreaded the idea. It's a dirty job through and through. But in the spirit of "just get it done already" I bit the bullet and spent my Saturday getting it done.

Supplies

New Carpet
Spray Adhesive
Razor Blades
Time, patience and persistance

Step 1: Remove All the Hardware

Remove all hardware, speakers, handles, caster. Essentially anything that will hold the carpet in place. This is pretty easy just a lot of screws. I recommend a cordless drill or something like it. Trying to remove all this with a screwdriver would have taken all day.

Step 2: Start Removing the Carpet From the Box

If your lucky the carpet will come off really easily and not leave anything behind. I just started with a corner and used a pair of pliers to begin pulling. That's if your lucky.

Step 3: Removing Stubborn Carpet

I however was NOT lucky. The first side came off pretty easy but the rest of the box was not ready to give it up without a fight. It seemed like I left as much on the box as I pulled off. I tried a few methods: a heat gun, acetone and even a hammer and chisel. In the end it really just took persistence and patience. Did I mention patience?

Step 4: Remove the Glue and Leftover Carpet

Now it's time to work on getting the residue and bits of carpet that didn't come off with the initial effort. I used heat, acetone and elbow grease but the best method ended up being a wire wheel on a die grinder to get the stuff off. I finished it off with a belt sander. My garage looked like an animal exploded by the time I was done but I got the stuff off.

It is important to note that you do not need to get all the glue off. You just need smooth sides since everything is getting recarpeted anyway.

Step 5: Prepare the New Carpet

I bought the new carpet in a 6-foot wide roll. That is way to much to be able to manage so the first thing I did was cut a strip of carpet long enough to wrap around all sides of the box and just a little bit wider than the depth of the box.

I made sure to use the factory cut side on the front since that would be the straightest edge. I also made sure that I knew exactly how much extra I needed to be able to wrap around the front edge. In my case that was just under 2 inches.

Step 6: Glue the New Carpet Down Around the Sides

Making sure I kept the same measurement of extra carpet in the front I used extra strength spray adhesive and then wrapped the carpet all the way around the box. I started with a staple to anchor the strip and then when I got back to the same spot I removed the staple and did an overlay cut to get a clean edge.

Overlay cut - Run the top layer of carpet over the bottom layer of carpet and then cut BOTH layers at the same time. This gives you a perfectly matched edge on both sides. (I illustrate this method in the next step for corners)

Step 7: Fit the Carpet and Corners

There are a lot of ways to do this next part and let me just say that I am not a pro by any means. I have seen it done on some videos and TV shows so this is how I do it. I am calling it the overlay method (no idea if it has an actual name).

First I glued the sides. Then I cut the corners so I was left with four flaps essentially. Now just like wrapping a present, I folded the flaps down. Here comes the technique part. I folded the flaps on top of each other and then cut through both layers. I then peeled up the top flap and removed the bottom layer cut piece. Now again I am left with a perfect seam on both sides. I then merged them together.

Step 8: Fit the Back Panel

Now I am left with an empty square on the back. I just cut a piece bigger than the square and glued the center of it down. I then used a straight edge to make clean cuts (again through both layers) and removed the extra pieces.

I used tape to cover up the carpet while I sprayed more adhesive and then removed the tape. The last step is to fit all the seams together.

Step 9: Now Fit the Front

Let me start by saying that I left the original front panels in place because they were still in good shape. A little cleaning and they were almost like new.

I used a similar method to the back panel to cut the corners, lay tape down, spray the adhesive and fold the flaps in place. I then trimmed the corners using the same overlay method and pushed the grill in place to let the glue dry.

Step 10: Replace the Hardware and Speakers

Now for the fun part. Reassembly! I cut holes in the new carpet and added all the handles, ports and casters back to the box. Then placed the speaker back in the hole and fit the grill. Now we are getting somewhere.

Step 11: Finish It Up. Finally!!!!

I am so happy with the way it turned out. I almost don't remember being covered in glue and carpet fur (almost). I did the same with to the top box and then got this stack back in action. Now it sounds AND looks great!

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Finish It Already Speed Challenge

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    15 Comments

    0
    justcheckinm8.
    justcheckinm8.

    1 year ago

    Next we’ll tell you how to clean an iPad after reading this part:
    ”My garage looked like an animal exploded by the time I was done..” and drinking a coffee at the same time. Hilarious! Great job with the speaker re-covery/recovery. Cheers

    0
    studleylee
    studleylee

    1 year ago

    Looks Great!!!

    0
    Jimbull
    Jimbull

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you!

    0
    Jimbull
    Jimbull

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you!

    0
    contmec
    contmec

    1 year ago

    Hi there. Nice job on the bass amp. I have a couple that could use that kind of TLC.
    Just a note: "Recovering" means your amp was sick and got better. "Re-covering" means you put a new cover on it.

    0
    Jimbull
    Jimbull

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you! Good call ... I will change the name ... although in many ways you could say this set up was "sick" and needed a cure!

    0
    Jimbull
    Jimbull

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you!

    0
    ccotton1
    ccotton1

    1 year ago

    Very Sharp! Looks Great!

    0
    Jimbull
    Jimbull

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you!

    0
    Art247
    Art247

    Question 1 year ago on Step 5

    I want to redo a speaker I have, but I want to replace the carpet with a vinyl fabric. I think it would be easier to clean. Do you know if that would mess with the speakers acoustics?

    0
    Jimbull
    Jimbull

    Answer 1 year ago

    I have seen others use all kinds of different coverings. I don't think they should have any effect on the acoustics. I considered doing something unique but went with the tried and true. I liked that carpet was thick and would lay down flat.

    0
    ShannonW49
    ShannonW49

    Answer 1 year ago

    The outside covering shouldn't affect the acoustics of the cabinet to a degree that you would notice. I've seen cabs recovered in roll-on truck bed liner, which actually turned out quite well. I would go for it.

    0
    nearly_trainable
    nearly_trainable

    Tip 1 year ago

    Once you've done your best to rip the old layer off, a cabinet scraper is a great low tech tool to get rid of the remaining fuzzies.

    0
    Jimbull
    Jimbull

    Reply 1 year ago

    That would have been a good tool to have :) Next time.