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August 12, 2022, 09:18:52 PM

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Amp Cradle

Started by Hawk, June 01, 2015, 02:19:51 PM

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I've been putting off buying an amp cradle due to cost. Everyone using one? Or have you found a cheaper alternative to working on a tube amp chassis....thanks!


Well, if you buy one, it is made and there you are.

You can make one easy enough.  That means you have to decide how to put one together and what you want it to do.  Cheaper, but potential for snags.

I used to restore old jukebox amps, and while they can sit open side down, that is hard to work on.  I make a cradle for them.  A piece of shelf board and a couple sheet metal pieces bent screwed to it.  It held the chassis up off the bench six inches to clear the tubes and whatever.

For guitar amps I never use one.  On a typical Fender chassis, if I set it flat, open side up, then it leans on the tops of the power tubes.  Probably won't hurt them, but I don't do that.  But if I tip it towards me, then it sits on the transformers and the front edge of the chassis.  it is now at an angle facing me, which I find convenient.  Works on a Marshall same way.   On some chassis, the transformers are taller than the tubes, so I can just sit it on the transformer tops and there I am.  The old Ampegs with the rubber shock mounts?  Those end panels want to flop this way and that.  SO if I push them inwards, they tend to hit transformers and become stable, or I can push them outwards and we are resting on the transformers.

Sometimes an amp just isn't all that sstable upside down.  My partner used to have a heavy cardboard ring just the right size to support the chassis end.  I found a screwdriver whose handle was perfect for propping up one end.  The same partner also often stood the chassis on end, so the control panel went down the left edge, inputs near the top.  The transformer near the top end leaned against his bench riser.

So those solutions cost nothing.

If you make one it can be as elaborate or as simple as you like.  It can be as simple as a couple pieces of 2x4, or it can have adjustable sliding parts and so on.


Here's an old forum post from 2009 of a Trinity amp cradle kit.

Don't know if they still sell it but maybe it gives you ideas for making your own?
If it ain't broke I'll fix it until it is.


Here's the plans for that exact one. I cobbled one together from scrap wood. Works well.



Thanks guys, definitely some suggestions I hadn't considered.  8)

Bill Moore

I built one of those, even bought a metric tape measure. It works well, but, (since I don't think in metric), I didn't make it wide enough. I currently have a DR build in it, and it just fits!
Another thing, don't paint it where the boards pivot. After being clamped for a short time, it's stuck!

J M Fahey

Ouch !!!!!  xP

That said, why paint them anyway ? :cheesy:

FWIW  I just prop the transformers on a couple books, so as to let tubes float, but on occasion I have kludged a temporary stand with chipboard leftovers.

Of course if you work regularly with tube amps it's worth building a good, adjustable one.


I have a box of wood scraps, theres always a block in there to support whatever I'm working on. Nice to know I'm not the only one!