Fishing guide builds guitar amp part 1

Not much of in the way of fishing to report from Teton Fly
Fishing world headquarters. Temperatures have been on the
cold side, with single digits and below zero numbers being
common the past week or so. It was -13 here mid morning
and we may have gotten above zero for a high…

Because of the cold, I have some time on my hands and
decided to embark on a project that I’ve wanted to do for some
time. As some of you know, I’m a music junkie. In addition to
collecting cds and records, I also love guitars (Martins and
Fenders), ukuleles and tube amplifiers (Old Fenders). Last year
I refinished a strat in sea foam green nitro. This year I decided
to build a tube amplifier; one based on a 5F1 Fender Champ
amp. Jamie was kind of enough to get me the necessary
electronic components for Christmas and I thought I’d delve
into woodworking and build the cabinet myself, customizing it
to hold a 10” speaker, thus making it louder!

After a few hours and a few burns on my fingers, I got the
electronics soldered and wired up. Unfortunately I managed
mix up something along the way and fry my transformer- a
rookie move (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). Not to be
defeated, I ordered a new transformer and am now awaiting its
arrival to see if I’ve remedied the situation…

Handwired chassis 


This past weekend I put in some time in my Dubois
workshop. I began with ¾” pine, cut into the appropriate
lengths. My goal is to make this cabinet much like the
originals made by Fender in the 50’s, so finger-joints were in
order. After attempting to cut them by hand with dovetail and
coping saws, I settled on using a scroll saw to get a much
more accurate cut. Surprisingly, my measuring was pretty
accurate and the joints came out pretty uniform. Once the
joints were cut, the box went together pretty tight, with
minimal chisel work. I glued and clamped it, letting it dry over
night. Then I began cutting and gluing extra cabinet pieces for
the top, sides and back as well as the baffle board that will
hold the speaker.

The workshop:

Teton Fly Fishing's workshop

Measured for finger joints:

measured for cuts

Finger joints cut:

joints cut

Glued, clamped and fairly square:

glued and clamped

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