I built a pedalboard for the guitarist in my band, based on a “best of” from designs I found online.
The parts cost roughly $120, including a 4′×8′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood, paint, flannel, and everything shown here. There are better ways to make boxes out of wood, but I lack the tools, skills, and patience.
The original design was for a 36″ wide board, 18″ deep and roughly 10″ tall. After putting it together, it was clear that we were overly optimistic about the number of pedals that would be acquired.
Cutting it down to 24″ wide was easy to do in the initial stages, and it still leaves room for 14″ of effects pedals and 10″ of expression pedals (2 side by side). The expression pedals will be mounted on the bottom of the box since they require extra stomping power to switch on and off, while the effects pedals will be mounted on a slanted platform.
The top and bottom of the box. Note the keyed angle cut, which keeps the 2 halves aligned. That was the only cut that wasn’t made at Home Depot. I clamped both sides together and cut most of the line with a circular saw, drilled 2 holes, and cut the rest with a jigsaw.
The slanted platform needs to lift up for access to the power and audio cables underneath.
This sliding lock will keep everything secure the rest of the time.
The slats on the platform are screwed in.
After painting the interior, the flat black paint I had ran out.
The slats on the expression pedal side will allow cables to run under the pedals.
I milled out the front of an old mini-ITX case to fit a power cord socket and some 1/4″ sockets. The milling machine was in poor condition, and the head rotated at one point which produced the angled side of the one cut. It turned out not to matter, but at the time I considered that I’ve made better cuts with a dremel and 3 pints of beer.
I made more mistakes while mounting the panel into the box. After carefully drawing lines to avoid hitting the 3/4″ floor and backing, I drilled into one of the corner brackets. Whoops.
It came out slightly off, but very usable.
OK. There’s a lot going on in this picture. The motivation here is the need to mount the power strip using the screw slots on the back. The wood screws I was using had heads that were just a little too big. So, I’m filing them down using a drill and a metal file.
There is a hard drive magnet stuck to the file, which keeps the metal shavings from going everywhere. To set up this picture, I accidentally got some shavings on the magnet. Normally, it goes on the back side of the file. When you’re done, hold the file over the trash and pull the magnet away.
I mounted a wall socket on the back side of the pedalboard. It can only come in handy in a live setting.
The power strip, panel, and work box are mounted and wired. The conduit I’m running from the incoming power to the work box is behind the power strip by design, so that wall wart plugs can be zip-tied to the strip easily.
I soldered on the 1/4″ plugs to their incoming sockets. There are 3 here: one for incoming signal, one for outgoing signal, and one for the switchbox that comes from the guitar amp.
To cover the box in fabric, I watered down some wood glue (1 part water to 5 or 10 parts glue). It brushed on easily. It sets almost immediately after you apply the fabric (both the wood and the fabric suck up moisture), so make sure you get it right on the first try, or your pattern will be warped. When I did the top half, I was an inch short on the tallest side, and when I pulled the fabric off it was stretched in the center.
The back outlet, all finished.
The inside, fully painted and covered with velcro. I also installed a handle in the back on the inside to provide something to grab onto — inevitably, the board will get shuffled around on stage while setting up and there needs to be a convenient way to hold it.
Mocked up! It looks great.
This is what it looks like with the cover on. Note the brass corners and gorilla tape edging.