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Brainstorming new approach to anchoring pedals to pedalboard

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Testing_123, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Testing_123


    Jan 23, 2011
    WMass, USA
    I posted this in another forum of which I'm a member, but I'm curious if TB'ers have ideas to add.

    I've been irrationally stubborn about this for a long time: I don't like attaching velcro to the bottom of pedals.

    For awhile I have used zip ties to anchor pedals to a board, but that isn't the most convenient if removing or repositioning pedals.

    My search for something more elegant continues.

    Idea #1:
    Thin, flexible metal tabs that attach between a pedal's bottom plate and main enclosure -- the edges of the tabs are "pinched" and held in place by the enclosure when the pedal's bottom is screwed into place. Those tabs (flanges?) flare out to the sides of the pedal's bottom plate perhaps an inch, and have velcro on the bottom.

    The goal is to allow the versatility of velcro attachment of pedals, but the velcro is affixed to the tabs, not the pedal itself, so there's no adhesive mucking up a pedal's bottom.

    I'm stuck on what material I could use for the tabs. Best I've come up with so far is aluminum from soda cans, cut to rectangles of around 1 inch x 2 inches, but the sharp edges might be less than ideal. Maybe there's some little hardware store widget or bracket that would do essentially the same thing?

    Idea #2:
    Most pedal enclosures' bottom plates are held in place by screws at all four corners. In reality, the bottom plate ought to stay on just fine with only two screws at opposite corners (I wouldn't advocate this for attaching aircraft wings, but seems reasonable for effect pedals, no?). This would leave two screw holes in the bottom plate that could be re-purposed and used as part of an anchoring mechanism...


    Just some thoughts out loud, er, in type. Suggestions?
  2. kaputsport


    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    I have used Chain links in the past. Worked well, but you had to disassemble your pedals to make it work. I think I really like the idea of the use two screws in the corners and get machine thread screws with washers and bolt your pedals down. No fuss, no muss, just bolted. Never to fall off again. Teh issue with this is that it'll add weight. If you have a thin board like I do, you need to add wood, and then bolts, etc, etc. If you are using a pedaltrain, you will destroy any resale value of the board by drilling holes in it.

    Search ebay for pedalboard chain link, and you will see a nice solution.
  3. I have a pedal that I've attached by removing a number of the screws on the bottom, then screwing the equivalent size (but longer) screws through the board into the pedal. It works fine, and seems relatively secure. It's a pain to set up, however, because aligning the pedal exactly with the board is a bit vexing. The way I ended up doing it was even more complex, as I actually screwed not only through the board, but through a piece of high density foam as well, which I'm using as a shock absorber.
  4. Explorer


    Jul 4, 2010
    Although a lot of people have been using the DIY Ikea Gorn wooden shelf ideal, combined either with velcro or bicycle chain links, I remember one person posting about using a metal shelf which had circular holes punched into it as a part of the design, and then using the bike links screwed/bolted to that shelf. Does anyone else remember the source for this idea, and/or is capable of posting photos/links for it?

    I seem to recall it was something like this:

  5. I use these barrier strip jumpers and screw them down. Has been working great for years.

  6. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I read somewhere on here about people taking the bottom plate off then wrapping it with tape with the sticky side out, then again with the sticky side in (so that you aren't actually attaching the tape to anything but itself in a loop around the plate), then attaching the velcro to this and screwing the plate back on. Basically creating a removable band of tape that is custom fit to slip onto the bottom plate of each pedal. I never tried this, but my only concern would be how well you could screw the bottom back down with the tape band on...
  7. Vr6spd


    Feb 14, 2011
    Whiteman AFB MO
  8. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    I've pondered on replacements for Velcro but I couldn't think of anything as easy to apply and remove as Velcro is. I personally don't like the idea of screwing pedals down because I myself am constantly rearranging things on my board to squeeze more in, preferably until you can't see the surface. I've removed and reapplied Velcro to pedals with different types of enclosure finishes and never had an issue with adhesive residue beneath my pedals.

    From a trouble-shooting standpoint, also, pedals attached with Velcro are easy to remove from the board without any tools and attach and detach from the board quickly and easily. This saves time when you suddenly realize something is wrong in your signal chain and you need to take it apart and test things quickly.

    I like this idea, though, for anybody weary of adhesives. :D
  9. Eric!

    Eric! Commercial User

    Jan 22, 2009
    America's High-Five
    Mojo Hand FX
    I've removed the crappy velcro off some pedals to put on the nice, clean-removing velcro I use. That industrial stuff? I dun like it one bit. It takes almost an hour to thoroughly clean it, but it's doable. Loads of Goo Gone and VERY careful scrapping.

    That tape-around idea? NOICE.

    Hey. What about...magnets? Would that mess up electronics?? I think it would digital ones for sure..but some resistors, diodes, and capacitors? I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

    Mebbe like..little slit-tab things? I...dunno how to describe it. Nevermind.
  10. If you use packing tape, it's wide enough to accept the velcro, thin enough that it doesn't usually screw with the fit of the pedal, and flexible enough that it will usually tighten down as you run the screws in. It didn't work very well on my MXR M80 because the battery door got in the way, but for most Boss or Hammond style enclosures it is a slick solution.
  11. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I may have to give this a try- I have been just velcroing pedals, but there isn't much reason to continue if such a simple alternative exists and is effective!
  12. kokoshmusun


    Feb 5, 2011
    There is something called holeyboard that just has holes and you use zipties to attach the pedals onto it. Does anyone have experience with this?
  13. For a while I used a white shelf for a pedalboard, with holes drilled for zip ties. It anchored down pedals very well, and if I needed to rearrange things the it wasn't a big deal to cut off the zip tie and use another. Nowadays I use Boss pedals and two of their BCB-30 pedalboards.
  14. I'm always on the hunt for a way to replace velcro as well. My biggest complaint about it is that sometimes I want to take two to three pedals with velcro off of my board and just throw them in my gig bag, and velcro makes them slide all over a hard surface.

    One solution I've seen is a from a company called bedroom boards who use shag carpet on the bottom of the board and thick foam in the lid which is supposed to hold the pedals down in the shag while the lid is on, and they just sort of sit there while it's open. I could see it working for simple set-ups, but I can also see they aren't more popular.

    I also remember seeing a company that made really nice looking boards out of perforated aluminum, and they made pins that attach to the bottom of the pedal that you put through the holes and basically bolt down. I think the pins still attached with adhesive though and of course your pedals wouldn't easily sit on the floor without removing them.

    The idea crossed my mind to rig up something with 3M command strips. I think it may actually work. Most of them are rated to hold 3-5lbs on a wall, so I think if you put a couple of them on a pedal it's reasonable to think they could hold. The biggest flaw I see in this plan is the expense of the strips, the need to be able to reach that little tab to remove them.

    I think on of the best solutions could just be a board thats perforated and using zip ties. If the board is fully perforated, you can place a pedal virtually anywhere on it. I've been considering try to build one out of metal speaker grill like this: http://www.reliablehardware.com/customspeakergrill-14diastaggered.aspx
  15. Rubber bands? Used like zip ties would be? With something like a pedaltrain that has the horizontal beams, one could wrap a bunch of bands around the beams and use them to hold the pedals down.
  16. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    If your concern with using self-adhesive velcro is simply that it can leave a sticky residue on your pedals after it's been removed, just cover the bottom of your pedals with some 3M 8402 polyester tape before attaching the velcro. That 8402 tape is specifically designed not to leave any residue if/when it ever gets removed.
  17. Darknut

    Darknut Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    I change my pedal config too much to bolt them down. :)

    I've used "Pro" Velcro for years ... the kind you can only get from a sign supply type supplier that is used trade show displays & such. It leaves very little glue when removed & the pedals stay put.

    The kind from Lowes or WallyWorld is crappy
  18. Our guitarist uses a piece of foam camping mat (about 1/2" thick) with pedal shaped holes cut in it to stop the pedals sliding about.

    He has several pieces of foam that he has cut over the years with different numbers of pedal holes and swaps them as needed. One 6 foot mat will make a load of pedal holders.
  19. jbednarski

    jbednarski Supporting Member

    May 31, 2010
    Chicago area