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home made pedal boards

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by gribuski, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. gribuski


    Aug 7, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    i'm looking to make my own pedal board. i could buy one of those skb or furman ones for like $200, and it'd be a lot easier, but that wouldn't be any fun. :)

    any way, i was wondering what i might need, and figured somebody else has done this before, and had some tips. i want to be able to take it from gig to gig, and not have to spend 30 minutes getting everything plugged in. i usually say screw it, and dont use any of them away from home because i get frustrated, and play clean anyway.

    here's what i figure i need:
    -power strip (or two)
    -some sort of non-slip rubber pad for the bottom
    -patch cables
    -two inputs jacks (one out, one in)
    -by-pass switch (because i play clean 95% of the time, and dont want to lose tone all of the time)
    -i'm thinking about trying to find a suitcase or toolbox, etc. and altering it...that's just a guess though

    can anyone think of anything else? any help would be much appreciated. i may just end up forking over the cash for a real one. :(
  2. Mohawk Freak

    Mohawk Freak

    Mar 8, 2002
    Just a quickie. I built my own out of unreasonably thick MDF and managed to blag catches, handles, and feet from and old flight case. It consisted of a baseboard with velcro onto which the pedals and powerstrips were stuck. either and I had squareframe steel handles (like a long, low goalpost) that allowed me to move it intact and held the lid (also V. thick MDF, with foam inside) in place. Painted black it resembled a small coffin and was b***ard heavy even without any stompboxes!!

    A quicker and possibly more convenient method is to convert a camera case (the silver ones with foam in, by opening up the hinges (so they become breaking hinges). Screw a piece of board into the lid to raise the pedals high enough for use. Stick your boxes, powerstrip, and anything else inside, held down by velcro. Cut foam for the lid to hold everything snug when you close it and voila! If you need more space than this use a bigger flightcase (harder to come by and possibly expensive) or use 2! You get to gig. Flip the lids off, connect the 2 boxes with a patch lead, plug into either side and go! You may want to screw some small rubber feet, ore put tennis racket grip tape or something on the bottom to stop them slkiding, but that's it.

    Damn, I said this was gonna be quick!!!
  3. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I made my own for very cheap cost (probably ~$60-$70 total counting the power supply, but not counting the cables or effects). I just bought some plywood and velcro strips and a can of cheap black paint. I have a power strip mounted under the top rack that uses a switchmode power supply to power all the pedals.
    I just drilled some holes in the top portion to feed cables through and I put velcro in standard patterns so I could move the pedals in almost any order. I also attached a non-slip carpet mat to the bottom with a staple gun and the rig has never moved. I love the setup and I saved money.
    here is a picture (let me know if you have any questions):


  4. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    oh yeah, I do have an A/B switch on there (the orange box in the front on the lower level) and I carry it in a cheap black "airline carry on" style suitcase (the kind with wheels and a retractable handle---I put some packing foam in it for padding) that I bought for about $25 at Wal mart.

  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    This is my home made pedal board/case:


    In its first verison I put in two-part hinges in a cheapo tools case ($20), making the bottom a detachable lid, and put in velcro strips. The pedals have the opposing velcro on the bottom. This worked pretty well, but the edge of the lid was a bit annoying. There are better cases that have a lower edge on the lid.

    In its second incarnation I made a board out of MDF that I clad with speaker cabinet cloth from a car stereo store. The velcro strips grip this cloth like crazy. The board just barely fits in the case, so I put a little strip of cloth at one edge to have something to pull the board out of the case with.

    A "multi cable" (a couple of cables bundled in shrink wrap tubing) connects the pedals to the input, effects send and effects return of the amp. If I had been thinking (still kicking myself) I would have put in a cable for 9 volts power supply as well.

    Initially I had a power strip and a wall wart but I removed that because of hum problems. I now use a small pack of rechargeable batteries to power the pedals. No hum, and the pack lasts for two or three gigs. I recharge frequently though.

    Another benefit is that the case is big enough to hold various other things like two collapsible Fender guitar stands, cables, batteries, etc.

  6. MAN KB! That is very nice. I'm on this project right now with the plywood and the velcro strips.

    The only differences are I want mine to fan out in a single row which means it's more of a wide "U" shape and I paint those suckers with phosphorescent paint on the major settings so I can see where I'm at at a glance,

    Maybe I'm just slow, but I can't stand more than a few seconds between songs.

    I really like your board, though. It beats the hell out of this $300 nonsense the manufacturers are selling to suckers.
  7. Johnalex


    Jul 20, 2001
    South Carolina
    I once opened for a band and the lead guitarist used a Skateboard as his pedal board, it looked pretty neat.
  8. When hit one of his stomp boxes, did he end up behind or in front of the bar???
  9. i would think he would removed the trucks (deelies that keep the wheels on) before he used it, but the basic concept for a effects board could be used as a skate board
  10. Mohawk Freak

    Mohawk Freak

    Mar 8, 2002
    If you take the boxes off mine it somewhat resembles a wind or kite surfing board (with it's little foot-loop handle things). In fact mt guitarist has nearly ended with similar injuries sustained in the above sports when he manages to wrap his foot around it as he walks past! :D
  11. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I just worked on a similar project a few months ago. Best source of info was 1) do a search of this forum for posts on pedalboard(s) / pedal board(s), and 2) ask your guitar player friends.

    The project is basically: 1) buy your pedals, 2) buy an AC to DC power supply, 3) buy velcro strips, 4) buy the board, 5) buy the connecting jacks or cables, and figure out how big you want the board to be. Put it all together.

    One major variable is the power supply. They range from a $20 item that you need to daisy chain, to the Voodoo Labs power supply that will power as many as 8 pedals and costs about $200+. The daisy chain route was not recommended by people I asked; it's supposed to be noisy.

    George L cables seem to work well as connecting cables because they're not bulky and the jacks don't protrude out as much as with regular cables. Also, you can use little male-to-male jacks for connecting one pedal to the immediately adjacent pedal in an efficient manner. They look like two male jacks connected to each other.

    I use a Morgan Miller bypass pedal because I didn't want to go through the trouble of building one myself.

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