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Steam Bent Retro Guitar Amp

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Project by John Wainwright posted 04-06-2016 02:00 AM 2285 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

167 posts in 2969 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

12285 posts in 2865 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

3242 posts in 1986 days


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

Very nice

View CampD's profile

CampD

1667 posts in 3484 days


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

Pretty cool, nice job!

-- Doug...

View Notw's profile

Notw

642 posts in 1751 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 789 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

796 posts in 4060 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

393 posts in 1939 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.

-- Ride the bevel!

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

31071 posts in 2864 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

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

View JimboBaggins's profile

JimboBaggins

4 posts in 880 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

3188 posts in 1975 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 that says "I meant to do that".

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5949 posts in 3351 days


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

Very classy design! Looks great!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Josh's profile

Josh

1226 posts in 2567 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

20 posts in 781 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

437 posts in 1055 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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