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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Has anyone built their own pedalboard?

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LeftyMeister

Buckeye Country, USA

Tone is in the lingers
Feb 27th, 2018 03:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm thinking seriously about it. I'd like to build one from wood with quick-disconnect jacks and the power supply underneath.

If you've built one, was it worth the effort? What went well and what didn't? Any design tips to pass along?

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Feb 27th, 2018 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

And if you do this, do you have a case that you are to put it in?
That would also be a consideration to plan towards.
I think the PedalTrain with a case are the best ones out there, because it allows you to install a power supply underneath it with the supplied brackets. Mine holds 10 pedals and route the patch cables and power supply cables underneath the board and currently have them divided into two groups. Modulation and delays on the upper rail and tuner/distortion pedals on the lower rail. So, I just pull it out of the case and plug the upper pedals into my effects loop and the lower rail of pedals go to the front of the amp. It would be a cleaner setup if I had a wireless unit and not have so many cables on the floor but I'm content with what I have.

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Feb 27th, 2018 03:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes, I used an Oak stairstep from Home Depot.

Honestly, Pedal Trains are very nice (I have two).



Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Feb 27th, 2018 04:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've built several but very basic ones (emphasis on very). The most "elaborate" had a dual power point built into it. (outlet in your country)
I just plugged wall warts into it to power the pedals.

Despite being very basic plywood/marine carpet/ rubber feet design, they were exactly what I wanted to fit my purpose. *That* is the upside to DIY.

Depending on design and how fancy you want to get, it's usually cheaper than paying for a custom built one.

As Cal mentioned, I built mine to fit in a particular case rather than needing to also built a custom case.

FWIW, I have also built my own road cases for amps, power amps and mixers in the past. Those were pretty close to what you'd buy but worked out a lot cheaper.


Mike DeTorrice
Contributing Member
**

USA

Feb 27th, 2018 04:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Years ago in the early 1980's I built my own pedal board out of carpeted 3/4" plywood. It was pretty heavy-duty but I put a carry handle on the top and a large power strip for several Boss-type power supplies.

The pedals were held on by velcro, elastic straps or both. I placed some rubber feet under the top edge, so it angled towards me. It had a bunch of my gadgets on it and, back then, people probably wondered at a gig what was all that stuff at my feet !

MIke

BbendFender
Contributing Member
**********
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Feb 27th, 2018 04:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have built 2 and they work great. Cheap. I used 3/8" plywood. Spray paint them flat black. Mount my power supply and pedals and get after it.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

I say stuff
Feb 27th, 2018 04:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My current board is homemade. Not that elaborate though.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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******

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Feb 27th, 2018 04:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This one. I actually have two, one smaller one.

case closed

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Feb 27th, 2018 04:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Case open.

It has a DC brick power supply beneath the upper deck.

inside

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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******

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Feb 27th, 2018 04:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Case loaded.

The brown button is the main power on/off.

The silver box is a board bypass loop.

some pedals

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 06:53 PM, Feb 27th, 2018)

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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**********
******

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Feb 27th, 2018 04:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here it is with the upper deck pulled off.

exposed power

LeftyMeister

Buckeye Country, USA

Tone is in the lingers
Feb 27th, 2018 04:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"And if you do this, do you have a case that you are to put it in?"

That's a consideration, too!

Blondstrat, nice work! I don't know if I have that level of skill.

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Feb 27th, 2018 06:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Want to make it light? Use Poplar sold at Home Depot and I believe Lowe's


LeftyMeister

Buckeye Country, USA

Tone is in the lingers
Feb 27th, 2018 07:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Light might not be an option considering the number of pedals. lol!

Proposed Layout

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Feb 28th, 2018 06:01 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes, back in the 80's after one of my pedals was stolen off the stage at I show I was playing (while the band was on brake).

It was beautiful duct tape silver. (:oD

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

We all want

our time in hell
Feb 28th, 2018 06:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I did back before the commercial alternatives existed.

Honestly, a Pedaltrain or its ilk is lighter, more useful, and the case options better.

And it isn't particularly expensive.

I say this as someone who can't use the vast majority of pedals AS pedals in the 'use your foot' sense and just use boards now to organize effects in use.



ejm

usa

Feb 28th, 2018 09:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

For anyone that is getting/building a board, and uses more than 2-3 pedals, there is one thing that I have come to believe is a necessity.

A true bypass strip/switcher.
And......
Maybe a buffer, too.

I have an 8 switch TBP box for effects before the amp. I have another 5 switch TBP box in the amp effects loop. (Even with a buffered effects loop with adjustable send/return levels, I have a couple of effects in the loop that play games with the loading.)

Why the TBP?
With all of those interconnecting cables in series, if one goes bad/flaky, good luck finding it. Especially in the heat of the battle on a gig.
And it might not actually be a bad cable. If you leave a cable plugged in long enough, the connection can become intermittent, which will give you the same symptoms.
And all of this is assuming that a pedal didn't actually go bad, or have a dead battery.
If you have TBP switcher, just switch out the offending pedal or pedals.

There are a few companies that make them.
Road Rage and Loopmaster are maybe the two most popular.
One of these offers them built or as a kit. I did the pricing on the parts once. If you want to build your own, just buy the kit. It just as cheap as sourcing the parts yourself and less hassle.
If for some reason you decide to totally buy all of the parts and build from scratch, they aren't complicated. They do have more wires than you initially think, once you start adding it all up.
For you fancy schmancy types, BYOC also has a kit for an 8 position programmable box. Carl Martin also has the OctaSwitch, but it's kinda pricey.

Another tip: Don't even think about not having LEDs to indicate in or out status. Why? Sure, you can tell if a fuzz is switched in. But if you ever need to do any troubleshooting you'll need to know quickly what paths are in/out.

Buffer: This has been covered many times before.
If you have a TBP box, and all of the effects are switched out, now you have the total cable length and loading from guitar to TBP and TBP to amp to worry about.
You don't need a TBP box with a buffer built in (although some of them have them). Just take a buffered pedal, put it in the first loop, and leave it switched in the path all of the time. You don't need the effect to be on, you just need it switched in the path. By the way, make sure that the pedal is a good buffer. I have an old Boss PN-2 trem/pan pedal that loads the signal noticeably whether the effect is actually on or not.

Search terms for future use:
True bypass
TBP
RoadRage
Road Rage
LoopMaster
Loop Master
OctaSwitch
Octa Switch


Taildragger
Contributing Member
**********

USA

an acquired taste some may never acquire
Feb 28th, 2018 09:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Timely thread for me: I'm going to build one as soon as I snag a power supply.

Ayns
Contributing Member
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UK

England's Sloppiest Guitarist
Feb 28th, 2018 09:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Honestly, a Pedaltrain or its ilk is lighter, more useful, and the case options better.

And it isn't particularly expensive."

Ding ding.

I have a Pedaltrain, and I'm thinking of getting another.


BbendFender
Contributing Member
**********
**

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Feb 28th, 2018 10:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't use velcro on my home built pedal boards. I use links from a bicycle chain. It is a minor chore to take the bicycle chain apart but I've figured it out.
I remove 2 of the screws on the bottom of the pedal and put a chain link on opposite corners. I use small sheet metal screws to do the mounting. This has worked well for me for years.
Also, I make my pedal board to fit into an old tweed suitcase and it looks cool.

(This message was last edited by BbendFender at 12:46 PM, Feb 28th, 2018)

Next 20 Messages   Newest 20 Messages

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Has anyone built their own pedalboard?




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