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DIY Pedal Design

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jimmy rocket, Oct 19, 2009.


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  1. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    I've always been a DIY kinda guy, and about 7 or 8 months ago I took the plunge into building my own effects. Since then I've been asked a few times about the artwork adorning these little babies, and so I thought I'd get a design thread going for anyone interested in the process.

    I thought I'd go through a basic tutorial on the design and application process and then post some of my favorites. Ideally, however, I'd also like to see other people's designs, so hopefully this can become a collaborative thread. Feel free to post your own designs or tips! :)

    So, here's the process:

    Once I've decided what I'm building and what sort of enclosure I'm using, I come up with a design theme for the pedal. For instance, my modified tube screamer became this a la Allan Ginsberg:
    4013773599_48c0d58079.

    I just recently improved my process and decided to redo an old pedal, so I'll use that as an example. This is a reverb kit based on the Hermida Audio design.

    [​IMG]

    when I saw those two wide set screw holes for the belton reverb brick I immediately thought of a face (a bear face to be precise and so I put this together in photoshop:
    4026480853_1428bb90c5.

    next comes painting (well, actually painting should come first so you let it dry while you're hacking about in photoshop.)

    Make sure your enclosure is clean and prepped. I usually use a superfine sanding sponge to make it smooth, but with enough grit for the paint to adhere well.

    The best paint to use is the stuff you get from an auto store, but I've had really good results from plain old wal-mart Krylon gloss.

    Spray the enclosure, but do it slowly and let the layers do the work for you. There's nothing worse than putting on a thick coat in a rush and then watching it run.

    several nice even coats should get you to this point:
    4026509505_62a36c75d9.

    Next you need to locate yourself some inkjet (or laser printer) decal paper and fixative. I use Testors brand.

    print out your decal like so:
    4026510077_1f982cd693.

    spray it with fixative.

    Time to apply it. More to come in the next post...
     
  2. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Prepare your mis en place:
    4026552117_590e9788fc.

    and apply!

    4026552897_b2497389ee.

    NOTE: You will crap this up at least once, so be ready for that.

    After things have dried, use an exacto knife to open the holes, and coat with some clear coat. Again, the auto store stuff is boss, but I'm a fan of clear rustoleum laquer.

    after a few coats, sand with a superfine sanding sponge and rub it down with some rubbing compound.

    Install everything and you're good to go.

    play on playa...
     
  3. chicago_mike

    chicago_mike

    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    Nice.
     
  4. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Here are some other designs:

    4027234932_35f6ea9823.

    4014540474_3d3545ddb3.

    4014549666_cb40970c3a.

    3921354414_2c787b83f7.

    3894020376_3eed63b3c8.
     
  5. chicago_mike

    chicago_mike

    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    Im going polich a couple of my enclosures for as chrome of a finish that aluminum can get. Ill try to post the process if I can be buggered too.
     
  6. chicago_mike

    chicago_mike

    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    Photoshop and illustrator or somthing else for the graphics?
     
  7. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    photoshop
     
  8. chicago_mike

    chicago_mike

    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    cool.
     
  9. moose23

    moose23

    Dec 27, 2007
    Builder Moose23 Electronics
    Love that Big Bear Reverb. Seen another couple of your designs on diystompboxes. Top work.
     
  10. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    I've done a couple of BYOC enclosures. In the future, I'm probably going to skip the spray paint, and just decal the aluminum box (similar to Electro Harmonix, etc). The spray paint steps are a pain, and IMO not really necessary.
     
  11. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Thanks for this. Subscribed for future reference if/when I ever start rolling my own as it were.
     
  12. moose23

    moose23

    Dec 27, 2007
    Builder Moose23 Electronics
    Are you still going to clear coat them?
     
  13. Lapicide

    Lapicide

    Feb 19, 2008
    Nice work Jimmy,
    I use the same process and finish up with a few coats of clear lacquer. Here is my rehoused and modified Behringer UV300 vibrato. I added a two speed fast/slow select switch...... Lapicide


    DSCF1416a.
     
  14. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    That's really nice work.

    Do you have any inside shots?

    I finished up the reverb with clear last night, so maybe I'll try to get some pics up today.
     
  15. Lapicide

    Lapicide

    Feb 19, 2008
    An inside shot. As you can see, I had to cut down the pcb to fit. I also installed true bypass and off the pcb jacks so I could have the jacks in the back rather than sides of the box. I coat the underside of the bottom cover with electrical insulating paint. I recently found also at the hardware store, a spray on version. That would work much easier and faster than painting on several coats as I had done in the past. Works great and no worries about anything shorting out...... Lapicide

    DSCF1529_resize.
     
  16. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Great thread but the thread title is misleading. Perhaps go with DIY Pedal Graphic Design since this thread isn't about the circuits.
     
  17. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    good idea. done :)
     
  18. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    I'll be building a flipster in a week or two, and I just worked up some graphics for it, so I thought I'd share.

    4046505896_799a1fc2ce.
     
  19. looks awesome, i've subscribed.
     
  20. Hey Jimmy, do you make and sell pedals or is this just a "buy the parts and put it together yourself" kind of thing? Like putting together model cars?

    Sweet designs. Has me interested in making my own pedals lol. And I don't know the first thing about electronics!
     

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