How to build a Marshall Speaker Cabinet REPLICA (1960a 4×12)

Installing the Speaker Mesh

You’ll need about a yard to a yard and a half.  Here is the type I ordered. Start with one side, staple at an angle every half inch or so all the way across.  Leave the corners open for now.  Once you’ve done one side, stretch it across the frame, and begin stapling the other side.  Then, do sides 3 and 4, making sure that you’re not stretching too much to distort the grid.  Once all four sides are done, you can slice the corners with a blade at a 45 degree angle outward. Then fold over, staple taut, and trim any excess.

This process looks difficult, but it’s not really.  It only took me about 30 minutes, and it looks very professional.

Installing the Speakers

Only after the mesh is finished, can you install the speakers.  This should be done on a flat surface, since the speakers are rather heavy, and you don’t want to put any unnecessary load on the brace you just built. Since the screws are already in place, you simply lay the speakers onto the holes, and add a lock washer and a nut on each screw.  This is time consuming, but make sure each one is tight, so you don’t have any rattles in the cabinet down the road.  This speaker assembly will be pretty heavy once all speakers are in, set this aside and on to the next step.

Rounding the Edges

So, your frame is more or less complete.  Now we have to do some beautification.  Start with a router, to make the roundover on each corner.  The drawings of the DIY Marshall 1960a called for a 1″ roundover, which I found out is an extremely hard-to-find bit for a handheld router.  I only found one online, and it was over $100 for the bit itself, so I used what I had instead, and settled for a 5/8″ roundover and a palm sander to finish it off.  Let the router do as much of the work as possible on all the edges (except the inner edges).  Then a palm or belt sander with a 60 or 80 grit paper will really smooth it out further.  I definitely don’t have the Marshall 1″ roundover, but you wouldn’t know it unless you were looking for it, so I’m fine with that compromise.

Last Minute Prep Before Tolex

After the roundover process, I used wood filler to fill each screw hole or chip in the plywood.  I let it dry, sanded it smooth and wiped it clean with a damp cloth, since the tolex was the next step, you need a clean surface for the cement to stick to.  The pictures below show what the cabinet looks like during the fill/sand process.