New Cab day that I want to recover.

Discussion in 'Cabinets & Speakers' started by SlickTide1, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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    Scored a JCM900 1960A cab yesterday. Tolex is bad and grill cloth has a hole in it. But the back has never been off and is in great structural shape. I’ve been wanting to refinish a cab and I’m in this one so cheap. Just starting to investigate what’s involved. Watched a few YouTube videos. Confused on several things.

    Marshall tolex Levant or Elephant skin?
    Best glue?
    Rivot removal and replacement.
    Best place to purchase tolex and grill cloth?
    Any tips or video links would be appreciated.
     
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  2. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Never done a re-Tolex myself, but original Marshall Tolex on my equipment is Elephant Skin.
    But you have an opportunity to customise here!
    Rivets generally have to be drilled or chiseled/pried out! They do not go all the way through, so you cannot work them out from the inside. This will probably wreck the corner pieces too! Replace with gold screws for future ease.
    Here is a Seymour Duncan thread on the subject: https://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?292702-How-to-remove-Marshall-rivets
    Where are you based for purchasing materials. I am UK and my recommendations may be useless.
     
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  3. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Been there, done that vey recently.

    There are many sources of the tolex. First, find the pattern you want by visiting kaylineprocessing.com and seeing the available selection.

    You can't buy direct from Kayline unless you want to buy 100 yard rolls.

    But you can find the pattern you want. Mojotone, Amplified Parts, and my favorite, speakerbuildersupply.com carry many of the available types.

    If you want a type that they don't carry, send Kayline an email and ask them for the name of a distributor that carries the type you want.

    As for adhesive, I use regular industrial grade contact cement, SPRAYED ON with a spray rig. I have one spray gun that is dedicated only to use
    with contact cement. Cleaning contact cement out of a spray gun well enough that you can trust it to use again on paint afterwards is a very detailed task,
    so it's best to get a cheap spray gun and it shall forever be your contact cement gun.

    Do not use contact cement that comes in a spray can. It is truly the most garbagey of garbage products. Utter waste of time, effort, and money. In fact, it's even worse than that! Just NO. Hell no. It really is that bad. I get my contact cement from the local shop that sells raw woods and cabinetry supplies to the local cabinetry/installer crews. I get it by the gallon and it just flat out never fails when applied right.

    How to apply it right: Spray a coat on the back side of the tolex. Wait five minutes. Spray a second, slightly heavier coat on the tolex. Spray the cabinet pane. Wait five minutes. Carefully attach tolex to cabinet. Use a hand roller (I use a 4" Speedball ink roller) to roll it flat and roll the bubbles out.

    MEK is the solvent for contact cement, even very old, very hard contact cement.

    Stripping the old contact cement off the cabinet, though, is best done with an electric sander. I use a random orbital sander with velcro backed sanding discs, about 100 grit. You'll use up about one disc per side.

    There are videos on youtube about how to cover with tolex. Including videos on how to get the corners right. I suggest you watch those videos very carefully and use some small pieces of tolex to practice your corners before jumping into the big job.

    As for those Marshall rivets, I use a pair of diagonal cutters to get in underneath them and lever them out. Squeezing the legs of the rivet together can help with their removal.

    Have some wood filler ready because inevitably the rivets will cause some tear-out damage to the wood on one or more corners. I recommend and use Durham's rock hard water putty, available in most any hardware store.

    Once you have the back out and the baffle board out, test the cabinet to see if the joints are solid. Push on it in every direction. If the cabinet is at all wobbly from side to side, the glue in the joints has failed. There's really no alternative at this point but to take the cabinet completely apart (no worries, it's easy since the glue joints have failed) and then brush out all the old glue residue (it'll be white and crusty, almost like sand) with a good stiff brush, before preparing to reassemble. Be sure you have good glue and plenty of clamps that are big enough. You need eight three or four foot pipe or bar clamps at the minimum, to properly reglue and reassemble a 4x12 cabinet. For glue, I use Titebond. Titebond III would be the ultimate glue for this, but you'll never be able to disassemble that glue joint!

    The new hardware and corners you order up should come with their own rivets. Put them in with a brass or nylon faced hammer and hold them with a pair of needle nose pliers as you get them started. I do not recommend putting the corners in with screws. That's not authentic, that's not correct, and it is the cheap and easy way out.

    Get a box of 100 razor blades. You'll go through a lot of them as you do the job. Toss them as soon as they don't cut clean and easy.

    Here's the last recover job I completed a couple weeks ago.

    DSC_6227_sm.jpg
     
  4. BygoneTones

    BygoneTones Well-Known Member

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    If you live in UK, get your parts direct from Marshall.

    The glue I normally use is the 'wayside adhesives' on UK ebay. It brushes on nicely and sets strong, but does take a long time to apply. Can easily take an hour or more just to apply the glue to one piece of tolex and the matching side of the cab. Then another hour or so for it to fix. Not for the impatient, but that's how I do it.

    The key to getting perfect corner seams is to stretch the tolex a little over the front edge. Hard to explain, hopefully there are videos on youtube now of people doing this the right way. Last time I looked there wasn't.

    Dont expect to get it perfect first time, it's a skill and takes a lot of practise.
     
  5. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    My input is don't try to stretch the tolex very much. A little is OK. Too much and it'll distort, get "stretch marks", which we all know are ugly, and if it's near the edge, it'll tear itself off before long. The trick on a corner is to do a central cut, lay the two halves of the cut pieces over each other, and then cut through them. Remove the loose pieces and glue down the cut ends. Use a rubber mallet to bang it down solidly and don't be afraid to use a little super glue to freeze the seam. Cover with masking tape for at least 10 minutes afterwards to allow the glue to cure without interruption.

    On the larger corners of a Marshall cabinet, as compared to the smaller ones on a Fender or Mesa style cabinet, I've found that the best cut pattern over the corner is an X pattern. You end up with four petals when you're done, allowing the corner to be finished out with absolutely minimal tolex stretching. Almost no stretching at all, actually.

    I cheat a little on the corners by applying some paint under the corner area that's the same color as the tolex. And may use a little of that same paint after the work is done, to cover up tiny flaws.

    I've become pretty good recently. I did the whole stack and every corner is naked, and every corner looks very good even on close inspection. It is my best work to date.
     
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  6. Matt_Krush

    Matt_Krush Well-Known Member

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    I use laminate glue...you know...for counter tops.
    Wilsonart 400. Don't use water base brands.

    Roll on the wood, roll on the vinyl...roll another coat on the wood.
    When both the wood and vinyl is dry to the touch...you can stick it on.
    Obviously you only do the areas you are applying to, don't coat the whole cab/head at once....you'll have the vinyl stuck where and when you don't want it (and it aint coming off intact).
     
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  7. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    That looks excellent, nice work!
     
  8. Im247frogs

    Im247frogs Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Brooklyn, Joey!
  9. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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  10. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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    I’m in the US. Thanks for the link and info!
     
  11. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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  12. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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    Wow thanks, your cabs look great! Lots of good info. I have several other black cabs so will more than likely go back black. I have all the tools you mentioned except the spray gun. I have a small air compressor for nails and staples don’t think its big enough to spray. If I had to I could borrow one from a friend. My wife refinishes furniture as a hobby so the wood part is not a problem. Thanks for taking the time!
     
  13. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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    Thanks, I'm in the US. I'm retired so I got all the time in the world to get it right!
     
  14. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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    Good info, I watched a youtube video of a guy using superglue on the but corners. In my case I'm going with black tolex and will be replacing the corner protectors that will hide most of that i hope!
     
  15. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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    Thanks Matt,
     
  16. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Just my opinion, but I like the look of a Marshall cabinet without corner protectors. If you don't gig the amp you don't need them. If you do a good job on the corners, you don't have to hide bad work under the corners.

    As for spray guns, you can get a decent knock-off of a regular Binks 26 siphon feed gun from Harbor Freight, Lowe's, or Home Depot, for 20 bucks. Get a quart of MEK for cleanout of the gun, too. Real MEK, not MEK substitute.

    You'll note that the purple cabs I recovered don't have corner protectors. I'm not intending to subject them to road usage, although actually this rig was used just this evening by Rick Derringer at a show at Terra Fermata in Stuart, FL. That was fun and he liked my rig a lot.
    Rick D and purple JMP.jpg
     
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  17. SlickTide1

    SlickTide1 New Member

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    Pretty cool your purple creation has been Hoochie Koo’ed!
     

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