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The Optimum Pedal Board Solution

Discussion in 'DIY Effects Forum' started by guitartwonk, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    Hey guys, hoping someone can help me out here. Here's the problem: pedal boards. Not so much the pedals themselves, not which order to put them in, or any of that stuff, but the board itself, the solution you use to assemble your pedal board.

    It's really hard to find any kind of pedal board that actually works as well as it should and for a reasonable price.

    So, I'm going to design and build a better solution that doesn't cost the earth. I've already got a few ideas, but I could really use some out-of-the-box thinking about what works for you....? How do you attach the pedals and the power supplies? Do you have a way of keeping all the signal and power patch cables tidy? Is there a better option than cable-ties, and why?

    If I use any of your ideas I'll let you know and I aim to post some pictures of the build while in progress and the finished article.

    So, go on, give me your weirdest wackiest ideas!

    ---------------------

    (In case you're interested, here's what I've found so far...)

    I LIKE:

    • Carry-cases like the ones Stagg make - that's convenient!
    • Best way I've found to attach pedals is using cable-ties across the width of the pedal.
    • Board needs to cater for mains power supply
    • Needs to be easy to reconfigure
    • Need sufficient space all round for connections to and from pedals
    • Pedal-mounting surface needs to be uniform in size but I do need extra space for wah
    • Needs to be fairly rugged.

    PITA:

    • Any commercially available boards that will take cable ties only work if the ties go across the length of the pedal, which sucks: all those switches and dials just get in the way!
    • All decent commercially available boards are hideously expensive!
    • Most commercial boards are set up for velcro.
    • Velcro just does not work IMHO; the glue nearly always comes unstuck when you try to move the pedals.
    • Alternative method: drill a hole in pedal base unit and screw that bad-boy down to the board. It's a load of hassle compared to cable ties though and probably will invalidate your pedal's warranty.
    • Did I mention the price? Some of these things are up in the hundreds of pounds for a couple of lengths of wood or steel... seriously...?
     
  2. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    I used Pedaltrains for years with no problem. I had the PT1 which came with a hard case for $119. Power supply fits under it nicely, Velcro holds like a champ and I used Velcro tie downs to hold the cables under the rails of the board.

    When I downsized to only a few pedals I made one out of wood from my Home Depot. Just a flat board 18x13, painted black and add some Velcro. Of course now the cables and power cords are exposed on the top but I used plastic guides to secure them. Works okay but I will probably replace with a Pedal Train or Friedman board soon.
     
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  3. DickBanks

    DickBanks Strat-O-Master

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    I don't use discrete pedals (Line 6 Helix only), byt others in my band do. The best "pedal organizers" I've seen are custom made, of wood and appropriately-placed magnets.
     
  4. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    one option for securing your pedals to the board is angled brackets. the only bad thing is you would have to drill holes in your pedals.
    homedecorhardware_2529_840553531.jpeg
     
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  5. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

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  6. Grux

    Grux Strat-O-Master

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    20170213_152646.jpg bike chain master links, use the screws on the backs of pedals and use the masterlinks as washers. Now you have a convenient tab to screw the pedals down with. This is a small board I made some time ago but you get the idea.

    Edit: This board is made of Hickory too, super tough, you won't smash it lol.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  7. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i like this idea better than mine.
     
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  8. Grux

    Grux Strat-O-Master

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    Works great, the only problem is some pedals don't have screws on the back or some may not be long enough. Most of them I've tried to work though and you never have a gummy sticky mess of velcro on your pedals. I HATE velcro!
     
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  9. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah, one option I've been playing with is the board with multiple holes - it's easily reconfigurable. I like it.
     
  10. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    Now there's a stroke of genius, using the structure of the pedal itself to give you what you need. I like this idea so much I might steal it, or maybe a variation on the theme. Good work!
     
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  11. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    How do the magnets work? Do you need to add magnets somehow to the pedal too, or is this on the basis that the pedal has a metal chassis? It's an interesting idea.
     
  12. Grux

    Grux Strat-O-Master

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    I searched for years for a solution, and it works for me man. The master links on amazon are super cheap too, like I said it may not work on all pedals but I'll say "most" pedals. Can't hurt to try it :thumb:
     
  13. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah, I'm sure I mentioned (alright, once or twice) how much I hate velcro - I tried it once, and immediately regretted it. In one case the glue wasn't strong enough so as soon as I went to carry the board in its case, it fell off.

    In another case, the glue was fine, but I wanted to move a pedal, so I pulled... and of course the glue and velcro held firm, and the fabric coating on the board itself came away with the pedal.

    Velcro = Useless.
     
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  14. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    Great, I think it'll work for most of mine too.
     
  15. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    You can get used chain links for any bicycle store usually for free. I still prefer Velcro. I have used it for 10+ years. Also if I am selling a pedal I just pull the Velcro off it, use the sticky back on the back of the pedal and it cleans up and leftover glue residue on the pedal in like 2 minuets. I have also never had the Velcro pull off, come unstuck or tear and I have had some fairly heavy pedals on my boards over the years.
     
  16. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    Glad you can get the velcro to work for you - by rights it should be the ideal solution - but it's just never really worked for me. :)
     
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  17. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    you gotta get the super heavy duty stuff. ive never had a problem with it either.
     
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  18. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes this is key. Either use the super heavy duty stuff from Lowes or Home Depot or the stuff that comes with Pedal Trains.
     
  19. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

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    But which type of board has the best impact on tone? :p:whistling::D
     
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  20. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    Fair enough. I'm still leaning towards the bike chain approach - I'm sure I can find some old lengths of chain somewhere in the pile of stuff I keep meaning to get rid of ;-)

    Now if we can combine the bike chain idea with a way of the cables leading away neatly underneath the pedal-deck, we could have quite a design! So, like the pedal-train but with bike-chain links as fasteners...

    I'm really glad I put this post up now, I'm getting some great ideas here - thanks all!
     
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