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All-custom Pedalboard build

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by vbchaos, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    Since I built my fEARful cabs, the DIY virus has infected me with heavy impact. On the lookout for a new project I (literally) trapped on my current pedal-board, which looks like this:

    And that is not even all of the pedals I need, it is just a collection for the current set-list we compiled. So I was on the look-out for a new pedalboard. My major handicap is that I am left-handed and by this also left-footed, and that means that my pedalboard needs to be mirrored (wahwahs on the left, chain from left to right). I eventually found the Smith&Stange pedals boards which I found very inspirating but I wasn't amused to pay +500 euros for a pedalboard. In the end, it is just a bunch of fancy-sawn panels glued together. So I planned to do it myself, with the knowledge that it will look a bit less professional, might be less stable but will be much cheaper and absolutely and 100% designed for my very needs and requirements! And as the great philosopher ALF already said: If you want it to be done well, do it yourself!

    So, here are the requirements:
    - 2 layer design
    - upper layer can swing open (up) to give access to room underneath
    - Room underneath gives space for all power wiring and allows storage of wires from/to pedalboard
    - Should be lightend in some way
    - Must end up as a kind of case, must be light and easily moveable (road-ready)
    - future-proof - means that I do not have all the pedals yet but do know which I want to add. Leave room for 2 more
    - Maybe (I am not sure about that yet) add wheels to one side and a handle to the other
    - Costs < 100&#8364;


    Here we go:

    At first, I made paper dummies of all pedals I have and/or intent to have in the near future. With that in hands, I experimented with room/space:
    Afterwards I used the pedals I already have for a more realistic test. As you can see it was my intention to have my G55 receiver in sight but in some way hidden.

    I eventually went with a width of 80cm, depth of 40cm and hights of 25cm

    Sawdust, glue and paint
    OK, time to make some sawdust! I live in an appartement and have no room for big machines, so I had the saw-guy at the DIY store have horrible time cutting the panels. But he did a fine job after all:
    A bit of assemblage already:
    New check with pedals:
    Adjusting the side panels and calculate the wire channels:
    A colleague at work helps me with a CNC cutter with the wire channels in the panels. They are now routed with 0,1mm precision (a bit overkill ;-)):
    Both layer installed with hinges:

    Time for some Duratex - I went with a white finish and black hardware:

    That whole things gets a lid, too:

    stability test:

    The lid is paint, too!

    Finishes and details

    felt inlay:

    Raising the NERD factor - RGB lights:

    Connectivity to the outside world! One power connector and two jacks.

    And finally, the status of this very morning!!!

    I have to admit that this board is huge! Since we do not gig massively (2 shows per month) I don't care as much, but with a tour I guess this thing can become a burdon.
    All went well but took a lot of time - especially since I have no pro machines nor the propper space for that kind of work (all happened in the basement).
    Regarding the costs: I went with 12mm PowerPlex panels which were 50 euros in total (incl cutting). Velcro strips 10 euros, bunch of hardware and paint another 40 euros. So, the 100 euros were a good target. I have to admit that I fancy those RGB LEDs which came in at 30 euros from IKEA, so I eventually paid 30 euros more than intended.

    Things left to do:
    - the lid must be equipped with hardware (corners, feet, locks)
    - Lid-inside will get felt inlay
    - Install handles

    Thanks for watching :)

    All pictures of this build can be seen in my web album:
  2. OEW3


    Nov 6, 2011
    That looks great. Nice work. Seeing this really makes me want to make one of my own. I doubt I could do as well as this though. I like the two tiers, and power storage underneath. There's nothing more satisfying than making it yourself. Well done.
  3. Bravo. Looks incredible. I built my own board too, but it looks nowhere near as good as this. :)
  4. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Very nice. How much does it weigh?
  5. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    Thank you all :)
    Regarding the weight: I haven't had it on scales yet but tried to insert/wire all my effect pedals yesterday evening and noticed that this thing is heavy. I guess around 10kg (20lbs).

    With a good, stable handle in the center of the front it will be quite easy to carry around
  6. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    Very good job!
  7. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Very nice work I like the creativity and I like the way the finish and fit look.
  8. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    Love the white finish. The two tiers with hinges is a great idea. Now you just need to fill it with pedals! :)
  9. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    That is beautiful, impressive, and functional work!