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Steam Bent Retro Guitar Amp

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Project by John Wainwright posted 04-06-2016 02:00 AM 1181 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 2365 days


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

Diggin the curves as well as the proportions…nice!

G Vavra

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

8389 posts in 2261 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

1760 posts in 1382 days


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

Very nice

View CampD's profile

CampD

1456 posts in 2880 days


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

Pretty cool, nice job!

-- Doug...

View Notw's profile

Notw

415 posts in 1147 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 185 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

718 posts in 3456 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

272 posts in 1335 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

22553 posts in 2260 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

3 posts in 276 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

1254 posts in 1371 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)

3931 posts in 2747 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 1963 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 177 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

161 posts in 451 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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