What is a DIY pedal board?
If you are like most guitarist, you've spent hours and hours researching the best guitar effects pedals needed to achieve the sound you are looking for. Even if you've only acquired a few high quality effects pedals, it's likely you've spent over a thousand dollars on your investment. Naturally you want a way to easily transport and protect your effects pedals as you travel with them to and from gigs. Additionally, you want an easy way get them set up and ready to play without the hassle of checking connections, finding power, and arranging them in the order you like.
Guitar effects pedal boards can be purchased for a relatively reasonable price considering the protection they provide, but if you are short on cash, or you are looking for something a little less bulky, you might want to consider a DIY pedal board. You may not know where to begin building your own pedal board, but the process is actually very easy. There are only a few materials and steps in the whole process:
How to build a pedal board:
- (1) 2x4 sheet of plywood
- (1) Large pack of industrial Velcro
- (4) Rubber feet with small screws
- (5) Short right-angle 1/4" cables
- (1) Guitar effects power supply
- (1) Box of 1 1/4" screws
Cut your plywood into the size that you want for the main pedal board surface. A good size to start with would be somewhere around 18" x 14". Be sure to add a little extra room so you can add a pedal or two if you decide you need an extra effect. That way you don't have to build a whole new pedal board.
Bonus Tip: Don't forget to include space for your pedal power supply. Trying to make room for all of the wall warts that come with your pedals can be a hassle. All in one power supplies make things look neat and organized.
Cut a 2" strip of plywood the width of you main pedal board surface. (i.e. 18" x 2")
Attach the 2" strip of plywood to one edge perpendicular to the main pedal board surface with a few screws. The result will be the main pedal board surface plywood being "angled up" about 5-10 degrees. (Imagine making the most stretched out "L" shape you've ever seen.)
Add the rubber feet to the bottom edge of the 2" strip of plywood with the supplied shorter screws. Space 4 of them evenly across the width of the strip. Be sure to pre-drill so you don't split the wood. The rubber feet should go into the "edge" of the plywood, not the side. The feet are designed to keep the pedal board from moving around when you stomp on a pedal.
Cover the entire surface of the pedalboard with the soft side of the Velcro. Use scissors or an exacto-knife to make it neat, as this will be the finished product people see.
Cut squares the size of your pedals and attach the hard Velcro to the bottom of every pedal. You may have to remove the feet off of your pedals for them to seat properly on your pedal board.
Remember to add Velcro to the bottom of your power supply.
Attach all of your pedals to the pedal board by simply pressing them firmly onto the Velcro of your pedal board. Take your time, pick out the perfect placement, and move them around as needed.
Connect all of your power supplies to your Pedal Power and complete the signal path using all of the short 90 degree 1/4" cables.
Enjoy your new homemade pedal board!