A musician friend of mine commissioned me to design and fabricate a semi-circular pedal board for his effects pedals. Now it wasn’t for just a couple pedals, it turns out he uses a lot of pedals, like all of them. I accepted the challenge to to create a pedal board that was functional, durable, transportable, and had to come in under our humble budget. Luckily I had time on my side due to my city locking down for the Covid-19 virus. This is my tale about a unique lock down project from the 2020 pandemic.
Defining the shape and bending the steel: I was originally planning to run my steel stock through a roller to create the arc, however my stock was too thick and I had to bend it by hand wrestling it into shape. I don’t recommend this, it takes forever and both sides had to match.
It needed to fold in half: Early on we explored a concept where the arced board would fit inside of a larger flight case however our tiny budget made that impossible. I ultimately settled on a design that folded in half for traveling with steel corners for durability. A series of vertical structures would be needed to support the decking with an integrated hinge in the center.
Velcro: Traditionally effects pedals are secured by Velcro. At first I had my doubts about the effectiveness of this method however after the struggle of prying off the first misplaced pedal with a butter knife it was an obvious choice. I had to iron out the Velcro for a smooth attachment then laminate a second layer of wood to secure the edges for a seamless look and increased durability.
Finishing Touches: I think there’s like twelve grounded plugs and 4 powered USB ports throughout the board. I also wired in a six amp circuit breaker in case anyone spills a beer. We decided on a bright color for the outside. I don’t remember us consciously deciding on gloss yellow but that’s the color that came back from the store. I built a small flange to hide the electrics with a cut out for that monster Wa Wa Pedal. And finally I threw a coat of stain and lacquer on it to give it that “old world” feel.
Satisfied Customer: There’s a saying in my field, “Tell me what you want, I’ll show you what you get”. We this guy got exactly what he wanted. The Board measures 48 inches wide, and has a comfortable amount of room to perform inside it. The pedals are secured, it’s powered by a single standard plug and latches closed for transport. I am extraordinarily happy how this project turned out. I enjoyed the challenge of making it and and if I ever make another one it will be even slicker.