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Steam Bent Retro Guitar Amp

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Project by John Wainwright posted 04-06-2016 02:00 AM 1335 views 4 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first foray into steam bending wood – so of course the first thing I had to build was a steam box, and then a make-shift bending rig. Once I had the top and bottom formed, the rest went together fairly easily.

The amp is made from 1/2” red oak, with 1/4” oak-veneer ply for the front and back panels with the control labels printed directly onto the wood. It’s finished off with a 3/8” red oak trim ring over a brushed aluminum and black cloth grill cover, and wood knobs. The stubby little mid-modern legs also lend to the retro feel.

The guts are a basic solid-state 10-watt practice amp, with controls for volume, gain, high and low tone, inputs for both a guitar and an auxiliary input, and a headphone jack.

I entered this in a Ryobi Nation contest and actually won, and was awarded $500 in free Ryobi tools.

https://www.ryobitools.com/nation/projects/1938

-- What wood John do?





15 comments so far

View kimosawboy's profile

kimosawboy

164 posts in 2480 days


#1 posted 04-06-2016 02:35 AM

Diggin the curves as well as the proportions…nice!

G Vavra

View majuvla's profile (online now)

majuvla

9450 posts in 2377 days


#2 posted 04-06-2016 06:41 AM

I like that connection of modern electronic and woodworking design.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2083 posts in 1498 days


#3 posted 04-06-2016 10:50 AM

Very nice

View CampD's profile

CampD

1490 posts in 2995 days


#4 posted 04-06-2016 12:49 PM

Pretty cool, nice job!

-- Doug...

View Notw's profile

Notw

479 posts in 1262 days


#5 posted 04-06-2016 01:07 PM

You have a Steam master 9000 and a Bend-O-Matic….so lucky :-) very nice project

View Moondog1's profile

Moondog1

3 posts in 301 days


#6 posted 04-06-2016 01:21 PM

Wow! I’d love to have this for my electronic drums (Yamaha DD65) really cool.

-- Moondog1, Afton NY

View drbyte's profile

drbyte

732 posts in 3571 days


#7 posted 04-06-2016 02:36 PM

Very nice work and great design! Love that Bend-O-Matic! What kind of amp did you use for the guts?

-- Dennis, WV

View RichCMD's profile

RichCMD

295 posts in 1450 days


#8 posted 04-06-2016 02:52 PM

I really like this. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it before. The steam bending just adds to the enjoyment.

-- Men admire the man who can organize their wishes and thoughts in stone and wood and steel and brass. Ralph Waldo Emerson

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23698 posts in 2376 days


#9 posted 04-06-2016 06:44 PM

You’ve done a really nice job on this project. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View JimboBaggins's profile

JimboBaggins

4 posts in 392 days


#10 posted 04-06-2016 09:08 PM

Cool looking rig. Are the guts from a kit or did you breakdown an existing amplifier?

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

1379 posts in 1486 days


#11 posted 04-06-2016 11:49 PM

Nice work, nice design. You did an awesome job!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

View  woodshaver (Tony)  's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

4200 posts in 2862 days


#12 posted 04-07-2016 01:43 PM

Very classy design! Looks great!

-- Tony C UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Josh's profile

Josh

1201 posts in 2078 days


#13 posted 04-07-2016 02:02 PM

Sweet little project and I love the pics.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View John Wainwright's profile

John Wainwright

15 posts in 292 days


#14 posted 04-08-2016 01:28 AM

To those who asked about the guts – this one was a basic 10w solid state practice amp, and I honestly don’t even remember the brand. It was a “Behringer-type” economy one I had lying around. It was less about the amp and more about the cabinet, just to see if I could do it.

If I can manage to get the Bend-O-Matic to bend some 3/4 walnut, I’m going to do one about triple the size using a tube amp with a 10” or 12” speaker.

-- What wood John do?

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

183 posts in 566 days


#15 posted 04-08-2016 01:46 PM

What a great way to recycle some old equipment! I have a little Fender practice amp that is showing some age and might be ripe for a refacing job! Thanks for sharing John!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

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