Hiwatt cabinet - Loosened rabbet joints

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Hiwatt cabinet - Loosened rabbet joints

Postby cyteryt on Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:35 pm

Hello there. Recently I bought a Hiwatt SE4122 from 1970 from France and was a little bit surprised that the cabinet is literally starting to fall apart lol!
The rabbet joints on the top and bottom in one corner are starting to loosen quite much. To my surprise, the cabinet does not resonate even at highest volumes with full bass, so no problems with sound.
Any idea how to repair this? I´d like to do it as less invasive as possible. Or should I dont care about it? Is it possible for the cabinet to literally fall apart in few years? My idea is trying to apply some glue and try to shrink the cabinet around with some wire, or is that a stupid idea? Sorry, I am not into woodworking so any idea helps. Thanks.


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Re: Hiwatt cabinet - Loosened rabbet joints

Postby sound city 69 on Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:11 am

I'd use yellow glue, sometimes called carpenters glue (Elmers and Tightbond are common brands) and pipe clamps, at least two, so that you can clamp in both directions from the corner, four would be best.
Glue one corner at a time using gravity to pull the glue into the crack. After a few minutes clamp and release, then apply more glue, repeat as necessary until you have worked the glue into all loose areas.
Wipe the excess glue off with a damp rag, rinse the rag and repeat until there is no residue left. Don't forget to wipe the inside and protect the speakers from the glue.
Also use some padding under the clamps to protect the vinyl. Install the back panel with a couple of screws to keep the cabinet square while drying.
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Re: Hiwatt cabinet - Loosened rabbet joints

Postby OldSchoolDave on Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:51 pm

Unfortunately, that's one of those things that has to get worse before it gets better :( .

In order to assure the glue fully penetrates, the cracks will have to be opened further. I'd suggest removing the speaker baffle. That will make for easier clamping and will allow the case to be flexed to open each joint. Use proper corner and large (at least 30" opening) beam clamps to hold everything steady while the glue dries. Don't rush it - give it more than the manufacturer's recommended time to fully cure. If woodworking isn't an ongoing passion, look into renting professional-grade clamps for this project.

As sound city 69 advised, wipe off (and keep wiping off) the excess glue before it dries on the tolex.

Best of luck!
Dave
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Re: Hiwatt cabinet - Loosened rabbet joints

Postby jaywalker on Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:18 am

I have had some success using a syringe to inject carpenter's glue into small cracks then clamping. Do not try to draw the glue up into the syringe, it's too thick and will pull the rubber end from the plunger, rather cut the glue 50/50 with water. Remove the plunger and pour it into the syringe then put the plunger back in and squirt the glue into crack. The water helps the glue to flow through the needle and into the crack better. You will have to try to spread the crack to really get it down in there...as much glue as you can! Try to find a syringe with a fair capacity or fill a few small ones so you can do one side quickly. Watch out for the needle!
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