Samick Motherlode

December 2014
more... DIYHow-TosPedalboardPedal ProjectsOctober 2013

DIY Pedalboard Build

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Tools & Supplies

  • Appropriate lengths of 1/2" oak and 3/4" cabinet-grade birch
  • Table Saw (with taper angle attachment and 80-tooth blade)
  • Mitre Saw
  • Router (with 1/2" straight bit)
  • Medium-sized Phillips screwdriver (or similar-sized bit for a power drill)
  • (6) 1/2" self-tapping wood screws (1/8" diameter with fine threads)
  • (24) 1" self-tapping wood screws (1/8" diameter with fi ne threads)
  • (10) 1 1/4" self-tapping wood screws (1/8" diameter with fi ne threads)
  • Kreg Jig
  • Marinco 5278BL power inlet
  • (2) solderless Neutrik conenctors
  • 7/8" hole saw
  • 1 3/4" hole saw
  • Power drill
  • 1/8" drill bit
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • IEC power cord
  • 2" industrial-strength Velcro
  • 220-grit sandpaper

After playing and collecting pedals for a while, many players decide that off-the-shelf pedalboards don’t quite offer all of the options they’d prefer for organizing and getting the most out of their stompboxes. Some of us want little more than a platform with space for our effects and a power supply, while others are at the opposite end of the spectrum and can’t live without various jacks and specialized connections being built right into the pedalboard.

For this diy piece, I wanted to solve the problem I’m facing: I have a growing pedal collection, but after using some of the pre-assembled products on the market for a while I decided they weren’t quite cutting it. I wanted something closer to a custom pedalboard—minus the elevated price tag. After scoping out the range of custom options offered by various companies, I decided to make something with all the features I wanted. It’s a bit more involved than duct-taping everything to an IKEA shelf, but it’s definitely not as involved as some of the space-age control centers on the market. I was careful to keep costs as low as possible, though. in fact, I was able to keep the price around $100.

A couple of notes about things we’re not covering here: I won’t go into the theory of wiring up your board (effect order, switching options, etc.)—that’s a whole other topic. Here we’re covering the basics of getting a signal and power to and from your board. Also, though most players need a pedalboard case because they drag their boards all over the place, we’ll refer you to the fine folks at blackbirdpedalboards.com, stompin-ground. com, nycpedalboards.com and other outlets with a multitude of sizes, options, and materials for you to choose from once you’ve decided on the final size and shape of your board.

All right—let’s get to it!

Step 1
Lay out your pedals on the floor in ideal performing position and use a tape measure to determine what size of board will fit them. I decided on 24" x 16". I wanted my board to have an angled surface so I can comfortably reach two rows of pedals, so we'll also make the surface angle from 4" high in back down to 1 1/2" high along the front edge. This will also let me mount a power supply underneath.

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