1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

DIY or purchased effect pedal cases

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by steve42, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. steve42


    Jan 24, 2013
    I am not a big pedal user for my bass (just a tuning pedal and a multi-effect), but the guitarist in our group at church has a fair collection. He has been talking about building an effects board, but he thinks he will have to build the case as well. I would like to think he could use a commercially available case.

    I have looked at the cases on Rondo Music and some of the Pedaltrain cases, and I see pros and cons for several styles. What he wants to do is have a "ramp-style" pedal board that is hinged near the top so he can store his instrument cables under it, and then a power strip section at the front.

    I notice some players use the breakaway hinge cases so they can just set them down, open them, and set the lid aside. Others use a more conventional case and just lift the board out of it to play.

    I was thinking that a tool case like Harbor Freight sells would work for a lift out style, but I wonder if any of you (or your bandmates) have ever used a standard case inverted (placed lid-side-down) on the stage) and changed the hinges to breakaway style. I would think if they were the right size, that would not be difficult after drilling out the rivets.

    I haven't seen anyone in threads that actually saved any money building a case over the prices of the commercially available cases, though they might have wound up with a sturdier final product.

    My friend will not be traveling with it. He usually leaves the pedals on the stage, but because the church is also a school, there are times when we have to "load out" so the students can use the stage and it takes him a while to unhook and move everything. With a case, he might actually take them home because they would be easier to carry.

    Any hints would be appreciated.

  2. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    I use an old suitcase I got at the thrift store for 3 bucks. It works great. I could probably easily convert it to a hinge case but I made a custom pedal train I take in and out that fits my power supply underneath as well as my cables just fine. If you are gonna build one just think outside the box a little bit. I have seen some pretty creative stuff around here.
  3. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I built my last case DIY, (for my XL board 32"x15"x9"), and building something that can manage the weight of the board and is weight conscious and allows for the dimensions I needed... it was more of a challenge than I thought when I started... My next revision will likely be building it more modular-minded into cases about the size of the harbor freight... So I think you are likely on to something. 13" deep will be good for wah enclosures, 6" high should allow for a little ramping, padding, and cable storage...
  4. negativefx

    negativefx complete hack

    Feb 18, 2013
    Fort Collins
    I used an aluminum case not intended for pedals before and found the quality to be not-so-hot. The aluminum was really thin and dented easily. The lid hinges allowed for it to be easily detached so I mounted my board to the lid. The hinges went to sh*t after only a few weeks and the case was so banged up that I just tossed it in the trash. $80 wasted. My current board is 26x18 so the harborfreight boxes wouldn't work but they do look to be a bit better quality (harbor freight? quality?) than the one I had.

    Old school hardshell suitcases work great and can be found for quite cheap at thrift shops.
  5. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    North East Texas
    I have used one of those cases from Harbor Freight for a lift out type board. The Pedaltrain mini fits in there perfect, and leave about half the space for cables and such. But that's a pretty small board - only holds about 4 pedals.

    Since you guy doesn't have to travel with the board and only moves it occasionally, I would get a Pedaltrain board and a soft case for it.

    My feeling on DIY stuff is that if you are DIY person, and have all the tools, know how, and some of the materials, then that's a good approach. Starting something from scratch usual will end up being more expensive, or a wash after you factor in tools and such you might have to buy.
  6. steve42


    Jan 24, 2013
    Yeah, the reason I was thinking about that HF case is that it is 18" wide, so if it could be inverted and adapted with breakaways, then I could make the wedge 13" wide and place a Crybaby to the right side (off the wedge but inside the case).

    I'm also thinking that I might mount 1/4" jacks into the edge of the case section so I could just insert the amp and instrument cables into them and be ready to play. If you were concerned about dust getting in them, they sell 1/4" dummy plugs that can be inserted during travel/storage.