Covering a Guitar Speaker Cabinet With TOLEX

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Journeyman electrician, Musician, woodworker, and Inventor.

How to measure, cut, and cover a guitar speaker cabinet with TOLEX

Step 1: Measure and Cut a Strip of TOLEX

First Measure and cut a strip of Tolex
The amplifier cabinet is 9.5" at the Bottom and 8.75" at the Top
you will have to wrap the tolex around the cabinet,
so ADD 3/4" for the thickness of the wood and 1" to each side to wrap around
3/4" + 3/4" + 2" = 3.5" + 9.5 = 13" total for the width of the strip to be cut.
I use a dry wall strait edge for clean cuts,
*PLEASE use Caution when cutting Tolex with a razor blade*

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting the Sections

After cutting a strip of Tolex 13" wide
you will need to cut the sections for the sides of the cabinet.
The cabinet is 14.5" in height

Step 3: Cutting the Sections for the Sides of the Cabinet

You will need and extra 1.5" to wrap at the Top and the Bottom of the cabinet
14.5" + 3" = 17.5" total length for each side

Step 4: Cutting the Other Side Section

You will need to of these sections cut.
*always use caution when cutting tolex with a razor blade*
If possible were gloves!

Step 5: Measuring for the Angle Cut of the Cabinet

After the sections are cut for the sides of the cabinet,
place the cab on its side parallel with one edge 1.5" in
mark the angle side 1.5" out at the Top and Bottom

Step 6: Setting Up for the Angle Cut

After marking the first side section of the cabinet
place a straight edge at both Top and Bottom marks

Step 7: Cutting the Angle

Carefully cut the angle with a razor blade,
be sure to apply heavy pressure on the straight edge
so that it does NOT move while you are cutting the angle

*ALWAYS use caution when cutting with a razor blade!*

Step 8: Checking the Angle Cut Section

After cutting the section I place the cabinet on it side to check for fit,
and mark the relief cuts where the Tolex will wrap around the cabinet

Step 9: Measure for the Top and Bottom Sections of the Cabinet

Next you will need to measure the sections for the Top and Bottom of the cabinet
First cut a strip of Tolex 14" wide
The cabinet is 15.25" wide
subtract the 3/4" thickness of both sides
15.25 - .75 - .75 = 14.25" in Length

Step 10: Cutting the Top and Bottom Sections of the Cabinet

After Measuring Carefully cut TWO sections of Tolex

*PLEASE be very careful when using a razor blade for cutting Tolex*

Step 11: Apply the Sections to the Cabinet

After all the sections are cut and dry fit
it is time to apply the sections to the cabinet
First spray a light coat of 3M 77 to the back of the Tolex
and the side of the cabinet.

*It is very important to read the Warnings on the 3M 77 spray can*
Extremely Flammable! Use only in a well ventilated area or out side
if possible! and ALWAYS were a Mask designed for Toxic fumes
DO NOT were a Dust mask this will only make things worse for you!
If you DONT have a mask Do NOT use this product!
Try a water base type of glue!

Step 12: Appling the Section to the Cabinet

After carefully gluing the section and cabinet
with a light coat of spray (tack coat)
apply another heavy, even coat on both the Tolex
and the side of the cabinet.
allow to set for a few moments,
then carefully place the section of Tolex to the side of the cabinet.

*PLEASE were a Mask Designed for Toxic fumes when spraying 3M 77*
*ONLY spray in a very well ventilated area!!!*

Step 13: Wraping the Section of Tolex Around the Cabinet

Carefully wrap the section of Tolex around the side of the cabinet
press lightly out any and all air pockets evenly,
I like to use a roller when applying Tolex.
Then Carefully make all the relief cuts and tuck the Tolex in and around the cabinet
*Be very careful while cutting the relief cuts in the Tolex*

Step 14: Wrapping the Other Side

Carefully flip the cabinet over and Repeat 11-13
for the other side of the amplifier cabinet.

Step 15: Appling the Top and Bottom Sections

After completing both sides of the cabinet
tape of the edges of the cabinet parallel with the edge
so that when you spray you will NOT get any on the sides of the Tolex
Apply a light tack coat of 3M77 to both the Top of the cabinet
and the back side of the Top section of tolex

*Wear Proper mask and have Proper ventilation!!!*

Step 16: Appling the Top and Bottom Section of Tolex

After a light tack coat
apply a heavy, even coat to both the Tolex and the cabinet,
allow to set up a few moments then carefully place the Tolex
onto the cabinet.

*Wear Proper Mask, Use Proper Ventilation!!!!!*

Step 17: Wrapping the Tolex

Carefully wrap the Tolex around the inside of the cabinet
and press out any and all air pockets

Step 18: Final Touches

After the cabinet is completly wrapped and covered
make all relief cuts and tuck Tolex into the cabinet
I DID NOT have the pics of the cuts for the amplifier chassis
so you will have to improvise...

basically make to small relief cut at each corner in an angel and
tuck the Tolex under

To help hold the Tolex in place use a staple gun
and staple the inside edges of Tolex to the inside of the cabinet

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    11 Discussions

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    j-plan

    8 years ago on Step 18

    totally agree with j69, sorry but this isnt an instructable. and weather j69 has done a better instructalbe or not, his point still remains - you haven't explained the bits that needed explaining. sorry again.

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    AyJay570

    8 years ago on Step 11

    Wow @ampRiser, he is just advising on certain ideas to make your instructable better. I was wondering the same thing myself. Such as where exactly to place the cut Tolex and where to place the relief cuts. No need to be so harsh man.

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    j69

    9 years ago on Step 18

    dissapointed you haven't explained moulding around the cutout corners and pictures of cutting angles to fit the tolex neatly into the corners, you,ve only really described the no brainer side of covering the box and brushed over the important bits.

    1 reply
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    the_falling_frog

    9 years ago on Step 11

    I wish this instructable spent less time on cutting the tolex, which I thoroughly understand, and more time on how to spray glue without it dripping, what "relief cuts" are, how to hold the tolex when you apply it so it doesn't wrinkle, other such practical details.  For the clueless such as myself  :)

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    Re-design

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great article and nice box too. I'm gonna try this one of these days.

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    iamtoatsiamtoats

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I found that picture on google to fill in for a while until i can get a picture of the one i'm currently building... (Different sizing idea...) I switched the picture to one of mine... I wish mine came out that nicely...

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    gmoon

    9 years ago on Introduction

    This a great "step by step" tutorial ! You really "covered" it in depth...