I felt like doing a little woodworking project to cool down after finishing up a couple of releases recently. A friend of mine has been in need of a nicer pedalboard setup for a while now, so why not go ahead and give it a shot!
I’ve made a couple of pedalboards in the past for my own use, from a basic design to building it into an old suitcase and even converting a vintage Coca-Cola case into a board. There’s really just so many possibilities when you’re building your own, and it’s not all that hard. That’s why I’m not a bit fan of the off-the-shelf pedalboards. They’re just too dang expensive for something that you can put together with a few scrap pieces of wood. Granted, if you’re an guitar player that is touring around the world with 20+ pedals, it’s probably best to have something standardized and easy to travel with.
This pedalboard is a fairly small one, only 5 pedals in a straight line. After laying out a couple of pedals, I decided to make it 17.5″ long out of a 2″ x 6″ board. Using a speed square, I set the legs to be at a 10° angle to make it comfortable and add room for routing cables underneath.
I wanted to make hooking it up live simpler as well, so I added a small panel on the back (it’s a 6-screw right angle bracket) with 9v in and our 1/4″ guitar in/out jacks. Wiring was straightforward since I wanted to leave it up to my friend to use his own power supply and there aren’t any crazy 18v pedals or anything. I did make one major mistake initially which you should probably watch out for in case you try to build one yourself. I used a spare barrel jack I had laying around for power which grounds the barrel shield to the panel. This would be fine in a normal setting, but I forgot that guitar power supplies actually use the outer shield of the barrel connector as the positive supply and ground the center pin. When connected to a guitar pedal, this would actually short out the connection which is a big no no. I ended up isolating the jack by wrapping the jack and the nut in heatshrink at just the right spot and adding a little bit of electrical around the hole. For power supply routing, I kept it simple and used a 5-way daisy chain cable.
In order to hide it on stage among all of the tolex amps and stage risers, I painted it a simple black with a little gloss to give it some shine. Sam put in her 2¢ by adding a few dots around the jacks and the Hummingsound logo hidden on the bottom. For the feet, I used some cheap furniture slides with a nail at one end and added a large dot of super glue on the bottom to keep it from moving around (Sam’s idea). This was surprisingly effective and could always be replaced with more hot glue if it ever gets messed up.
All in all, I’m really happy with this project and I almost want to keep it for myself! But alas, I’m sure my friend will enjoy it thoroughly.
I might be interested in creating more pedalboards in the future. If you are interested in having one custom-made for you, reach out to me via the contact page and we’ll get started!