Turning a Monoprice amp into a Fender Tweed
Monoprice makes a great 15 watt tube amp, but it has this ugly mashed potato colored Tolex covering on it it which I couldn't stand looking at.
So why not turn it into something beautiful, like a 1950s Fender Tweed amplifier which the circuitry in this amp is related to?
I removed the tubes from the amp so I could remove the amp chassis from the cabinet. Then removed the speaker, the speaker baffle board, the metal corners and the handle. I had fun ripping off the ugly Tolex.
I watched some videos online about how to apply Tolex to an amp and bought some tweed Tolex and some water-based contact cement. If you've never re-covered an amp before, it's a lot easier to start with something other than tweed, as you have to work extra hard to get all the diagonal stripes lined up just right.
I wanted to give it a lacquered and aged look, so I brushed on some Minwax PolyShades Honey Pine. Would normally never use the stain + poly combo on wood, as it comes out uneven no matter what you do, but I wanted that effect for the look of a vintage amp. I also replaced the speaker grille cloth with Oxblood, added dark brown chicken head knobs and a dark brown handle.
After putting it all back together, I think it looks really great! Just for fun, I nailed a Fender metal logo on it. I promise to never try to sell it as a real 1950s Fender amp ;-)