BESTÅ shelf unit cranked up to 11

DIY Marshall 4x12 guitar speaker cabinet

Materials: BESTÅ Shelf unit/height extension unit (60x40x64 cm)

We wanted something to cleanly store away all of the cables and clutter from our AV equipment, but we were uninspired by all the typical TV/AV units available to buy.

I love guitars and music in general, so I had the idea to make this cool looking unit in the style of a classic Marshall 4×12 guitar speaker cabinet, starting from an IKEA BESTÅ unit.

To make this yourself, you will need to get hold of the appropriate guitar amp/speaker parts. I managed to source all of the OEM replacement parts from online sellers and auction sites. This includes the plastic logo, the plastic corner protectors, approx 3m length of the vinyl wrap (known as “Tolex“), approx 3m length of white rubber piping (for the door trim), the grill cloth and the carry handle. The Tolex and grill cloth are available in a variety of patterns/colours, so you can really customise it to your personal taste.

I found some generic screw-on castor wheels, which were ideal. IKEA do sell their own castor wheels to fit the BESTÅ cabinet, but they don’t look as authentic as the generics.

For the front door frame, you will need some wood, hinges and some kind of catch (magnetic/push etc). I used some strips of pine which I purchased from my local DIY store (approx 3m in length altogether). I wanted to make sure that the remote controls will still work even when the door is shut, hence I made a door frame rather than a solid door, so that the infrared beams pass through the grill cloth.

In addition to all the above, you will need a few tools and consumables: a can of spray adhesive, a utility knife, scissors, ruler, screws, screwdriver (ideally electric), electric sander, staple gun, hammer and double-sided sticky tape.

DIY Marshall 4x12 guitar speaker cabinet 3 DIY Marshall 4x12 guitar speaker cabinet 2 marshall cab (TV unit) 1

1. Build the BESTÅ shelf unit completely, except for the thin fibreboard back and the feet (leaving the unit “open backed” will allow for good ventilation for all the AV boxes that will be kept inside).

2. Use an electric sander to smooth over the front and side edges to make them more curved and rounded.

3. Trim the Tolex to a width of approx 55cm. This will allow for a decent amount of overlap when wrapping it inside the unit, but if you want to aim for a full internal wrap, just cut the tolex to the appropriate width.

4. Starting with the bottom side of the unit, secure one end of the Tolex to the unit using some double-sided sticky tape. Place more of the double-sided sticky tape on all of the corner edges of the unit.

5. Proceed to wrap the Tolex around the unit, one side at a time, using plenty of spray adhesive all over the side of the unit, together with the double-sided sticky tape on the edges. Make sure you follow the manufacturer guidelines for using the spray adhesive (typically it should be used in a well ventilated area). Allow each side to dry/cure for several minutes before moving onto the next side. Make sure any air bubbles are smoothed out, using a ruler or something similar. If in doubt, pull the tolex back and re-apply it.

6. Once the unit was been fully wrapped around the external sides, trim the end edge of the Tolex so that it fits snugly against the starting edge of the Tolex (or overlap them slightly). Secure the end of the tolex using more double-sided sticky tape and/or staple gun.

7. Now it’s time to wrap the loose Tolex around the inside edges of the unit. The corners will be the trickiest part. Trim the corners to size/fit using the utility knife. Use plenty of sticky tape to secure the Tolex to the corners and the inside edges of the unit. Then use the staple gun to add a more permanent fixing (use the hammer to drive in the staples all the way, if the gun doesn’t do it first time).

8. Screw on the plastic corner protectors (or use the authentic metal pins, if provided).

9 Screw the castor wheels to the bottom of the unit.

10. Screw the handle onto the top side of the unit.

11. The next stage is to build the door. For this, I cut five lengths of wood to the appropriate size (the four sides, plus a centre piece for added strength/support). When measuring, make sure you consider the extra thickness that the grill cloth will add on after you’ve wrapped the door (this is likely to be an extra 1mm or 2mm along each side). Also consider whether you want the door to be sat on the outside of the main unit, or to be housed within the unit (set back slightly inside the front). There are a variety of joinery techniques that you can use to build the door, but I opted for the simple approach of joining the pieces together with metal angle-brackets and screws.

12. Use the sander to smooth the corners of the door, making them slightly rounded.

13. Take the black card and trim to the same size as the door frame. secure it to the door frame using double-sided sticky tape. Use an appropriately sized plate (or similar round shaped object) as a template for cutting 4 round holes in the card. This will create the illusion of 4 “speaker holes”.

14. Wrap the grill cloth around the door, with the black card in between. Trimming the cloth to size and work carefully on the corners. Secure each side/corner with staples.

15. Next, staple the white rubber piping around the edge of the door.

16. If you’re adding a plastic logo to the front of the door, this can probably be glued on. Alternatively, if it has plastic pins, these can be secured into the centre of the wooden door frame (drill holes as necessary).

17. Mount the door to the unit, using suitable hinges and add a catch if desired (eg. magnetic or push-open).

18. Position the internal BESTÅ shelves inside the unit as desired. Job done!

Jules Yap