Introduction: Simple Guitar Pedal Board
Another music-related project for others to use. I don't play any instruments, but since I serve as the 'technician' for my friends' band No Response (please check them out), I deal a lot with music equipment, usually electrical. For some of my other projects related to music electronics, please see my pocket sized milli-Amp guitar amp as well as my Active Pickup 9 Volt Adapter.
This project did not deal with electronics in the same capacity as many of my normal projects do. One of the guitarists from No Response wanted a simple, small pedal board. He only had a half dozen or so pedals, and did not want anything big and complicated. That makes things easy for me.
The board is made out of .5 inch MDF, chosen for its ease of cutting and assembly, as well as strength. The back of the board is 6 inches high, and the front 2 inches high. On the underside, there are 1 inch by 1 inch by 2 inch blocks that abut all the points where different panels meet in order to increase rigidity. The top part of the board has a 12 by 24 inch mounting surface. There are three rows of 1 inch holes, which the cables thread through from one pedal to another. Between each row of holes is a strip of Velcro to mount the pedals on. This system was designed for infinite flexibility. Pedals can be mounted anywhere on the board, and any orientation, to allow the user to arrange the pedals so that they are easy to press.
The paint job was the most involved part. It is a blue/black speckled pattern, produced by layering black enamel and high gloss blue paint. First a black base coat was laid down to cover any marks on the MDF, followed by a light pass of blue paint immediately after the application of the black paint. The paint was then left to dry. Next, a light pass of clear coat was applied, immediately by a light pass of black from a couple feet away in order to give a spotted black texture over the blue. This was then repeated with the blue, and the paint left to dry. Finally, a layer of clear coat. All of this leads to a slightly pearlescent effect. In weak lighting, the board looks black, and in bright lighting, the blue shines through.
The cables were actually made before the idea of the board was born. I would have liked to have made cables with right angle plugs, but my friend did not want to foot the bill for different cables. The cables thread through the holes under the board from one pedal to another. This keeps everything nice and tidy on the board. Overall, the project came to 30 bucks for the pedal board and 20 bucks for 16 short cables.