Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why Making Shit Rules

This is why making shit is awesome. Because when my buddy Nick made this for me and sent it outta the blue a while back, it totally made my fucking day. Props Nick James. Everybody should make something and sent it to someone else.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Spaces of creation

In order to make shit, you need a spot to think. Here are two I built out.

This is my "Adventure Room" at home

And this is the man-cave/garage

Rats in the Walls Demo 7"

This is the demo for my old band, Rats in the Walls. Those were good goddamn days.

Another Random DIY Vest

Don't look like this any more. RIP the 1% Bicycle and Drinking Club.

DIY Headphone Amp

Here's a little DIY headphone amp I built with the help of my buddy Dan. It's based on the design of a grado amp but with two batteries for extra niceness. The case is made of solid routed Mahogany treated with a bunch of tung oil to keep the clean look. I left a lot of space in there in case I ever want to put in a DAC. I also put a knob on the front to clean it up so it doesn't look so goofy.

Shop Sign

My friend Justin throws a hand made gift swap every year around xmas in which a bunch of people send their names, likes, and dislikes in and are assigned a person at random to make a gift for. This year I got my friend Alan, who goes by the name Cycling Weapons of Mass Destruction as my person. So's I made him this guy. This was my first attempt at playing with the crappy little 115v MIG welder that we have in the garage. My friend Al was packing up his whole awesome fabrication shop to move to Canada with his rad lady Sasha and hooked me up with all the bar stock and angle iron.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Hey man, is that an Orange? NO.

Back many, many moons ago, when Havnted Castle was still a band and my handy buddy Thom still lived in NYC, I decided that I wanted a really fucking nice 4x12 cabinet for my rig. I had just upgraded to a gorgeous Hiwatt set up (1977 4x12 Cab with original Fanes and an '81 Custom 50) and decided that it would sound better with more massiveness. Sadly, Orange cabs, which is what I really wanted at the time, were going for retarded money. Like $800 for used cabs. Which is fucking stupid because that's what they cost new. And trust me, I know all the craigslist/ebay tricks. Thus, the mission to construct a cab began.

It all began by finding an orange cab and measuring the outside dimensions for reference. Then the fun started.

So I cobbled together 4 of these fuckers on craigslist for pretty good prices.

Ordered a bunch of odds and ends online for finishing.

And then went about putting it together with Thom. We chose 13ply Baltic Marine Birch for the wood. This shit ain't cheap, and it definitely ain't fucking light, but man does it sound good.

Here's Thom playing with fun toys that I wasn't allowed to touch...

After we chopped it all up into component pieces, we decided on biscuit joints + screw and glue to seal it all together. Here's Thom making the biscuit slit-scuits...

Now sticking it all together

And a few clamps to ensure a tight seal

Screwing it together for extra strength

While waiting for the glue to dry we put together the baffle (thing the speakers sit on out of MDF (way more dense for better sound projection)

And then worked on the frame for the front. Again we used biscuit joints, this is a nonstructural part though so it didn't need screws.

On to routing out speaker holes in the baffle. Thom's little handy dandy perfect circle maker template made this fast as hell.

Then some paint so it doesn't show through the grill cloth

Checking to make sure the speakers fit properly

They all fit perfectly so we then attached a brace for the baffle. Otherwise the vibration would snap that shit and we'd lose a ton of efficiency/volume. This will press into the back panel.

Speaking of back panels, here's our first attempt at routing out the plug plate for the back panel. We fucked this up by putting it right where the baffle attaches because we weren't thinking. Fortunately we had enough wood to cut another panel. The hole on the top of the template is for the handles.

Adding butt joint style supports for the back panel and baffle.

Then we pressed in the baffle, tightened it down and put in the sockets for the bolts that attach the speakers

Here's how the internal bracing works

All together now!

Finishing touches before putting on the tolex. Puttying up the screw holes so you can't feel them.
img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3554/3306068231_204ea18092_o.jpg" width=600/>

Sadly, because applying tolex is such a shitty, messy, sticky, pain in the ass of a process and I was in the zone, I totally forgot to take pictures. Anyways, here's the final product. I couldn't be more stoked with how this thing has held up for the last two or so years. Although we didn't make a name badge for it, I decided that our little one shot brand should be called NO.

PS: Just for more fun DIY points, the Sunn amp you see in the photos is no longer mine, but i bought it broken, replaced some tube sockets, a few caps and a switch or two and it worked awesome.