Introduction: Wood Pedaltrain Novo 32 Pedalboard, Easy Build, Limited Tools

Picture of Wood Pedaltrain Novo 32 Pedalboard, Easy Build, Limited Tools

Trust me all my steps will not be this Long

Shown in the last 2 pics of this step was my previous pedal board. It served me well for years but it had many design problems. My new wood pedaltrain novo 32 style pedalboard was designed with many considerations in mind:

1 It should be cheap!
$200 for a pedal board, forget about it! This board cost me around $25.

2. It should be easy to build!
Too many projects on this site use 3D printers, CNC machines, or other big power tools.
It's great to see what everyone is capable of, but this is supposed to be a "how to" site not a "look what I can do" site. This instructable is designed to be accessible to everyone! I cannot stress this enough: THE ONLY TOOLS YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT ARE A HAND SAW AND A DRILL, and a tape measure or yard stick, and a pencil. A square also helps but isn't necessary. I also purposely selected easily available lumber in sizes that wont require ripping (cutting down the length with either a table saw or band saw). Plus the wood I chose is easily and quickly cut with a hand saw.

3. It should be as close as possible to the real thing!
In case you want to buy a hard case at a later date or you want to get accessories, I want it to be as close to the real thing as possible.

4. It must be sturdy!
My old board bounced when I stepped on it. I have heard the plywood crack too. This one must be sturdy like a real pedal train. It should be able to hold up to stomping The final product is very strong and light weight.

5. Velcro needs to stick to it!
The velcro wouldn't stick to the spray paint on my old board and the pedals would fall off with the velcro. On this build I stuck the velcro to the bare wood and it's holding strong. I would still recommend putting a poly or a lacquer over the wood though.

Next up: materials.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

3 boards and some screws are the only materials you will need for this. Wood glue is optional, but I glued everything for extra strength. You also need to predrill your screw holes. It's nice to countersink them too and a countersinking bit is less than $5. I got an adjustable drill bit counter sink combo since I was going to predrill all my holes for screws anyway, this way you can do it in one move.

You want to get two 11/16" x 2" x 8' boards These have sharp square corners and are already planed smooth. I found them in the section where you would find molding and trim, and I believe these are commonly sold as a "one by twos" I will be referring to them as 1x2s or "one by twos"

You also want to get one 2" x 2" x 96" (96" is 8') (and also don't be scared/surprised when you notice your 2 x 2 is only 1-7/16 x 1-7/16 it's ok) This is a pretty rough cut board and it has smooth rounded over corners. I found it with the general purpose construction lumber. I will be referring to this as a 2x2 or "two by two".

Select your lumber carefully! Sight down it and make sure it's straight and try and get as few knots as possible. Make sure your 1x2 boards do not have any snipe, tear out, or bark showing. We will be using every last inch of these and you wont easily be able to work around any defects.

Lastly, you need to get some screws I'm using Construction Screws #6 x 1-5/8"

Important note: Like most all commercial home improvement store lumber, you rarely "get what you pay for"

Just like many people already know "two by fours" aren't really 2x4, none of the boards I'm advocating you buy are actually the dimensions advertised. This is ok but we will need to take it into consideration later. At least the 8 foot lengths of the boards are as advertised. This is important in the next step.

Step 2: Time to Make Some Cuts!

Picture of Time to Make Some Cuts!

Cut both of your 8 foot 1x2" boards into three lengths of 32" for a total of six 1x2x32" boards. (novo 32s only have 5 runners, do not throw away or otherwise destroy that 6th runner we will use it later)

After you measure your length on your board, you should mark 2 sides with a square. This will make following the line an making a square cut without a miter saw or a miter box easier. If you have a miter saw or a miter box by all means use it. I'm not looking for absolute perfection and I'm confidant with my dozuki.

Next cut 3 support "platform bars."

Get out your 2x2 and cut 3 pieces 14-7/16" long.

The pedal train website says the novo is 32" x 14". I measured a novo in person and it was 32 x 14-7/16". Cut your platform bars to this length it will come into play later.

Step 3: Screw a Square Frame Together.

Picture of Screw a Square Frame Together.

Line everything up with a square the best you can and screw your corners together. Measure and line up the middle piece and screw it down last. STOP and read the next step after you have these 5 pieces together. (Just so theres no confusion, your three 2x2" support platforms are on bottom and your two 1x2 runners are on top.)

I set my combination square and my caliper so I could easily mark all my 1x2 boards for screws. I did 2 screws on each end of the runners and 1 screw in the middle. I also glued and screwed my runners down, probably overkill.

Step 4: Spacing the Runners

Picture of Spacing the Runners

The reason I made a point of saying stop at the last step is because the other 3 runners are not spaced all the same.

I measured a real pedal train and the runners aren't actually 2" wide, thats ok because guess what? Your 1x2s aren't actually 2" wide either. Trust me everything will add up.

The first gap or top gap is wider than the other gaps just like the real pedaltrain.

Mark the first gap 1-11/16" down from the top runner on both sides. (This is also not the dimension listed on the pedaltrain web site{ they say it's 1-1/2. It's not, I measured}) Than you can go ahead and glue and screw the runner down.

Step 5: Spacing the Last 2 Runners

Picture of Spacing the Last 2 Runners

Measure down from the last runner we put in 1" on each end and glue and screw the next runner in.

You should be able to measure down from that runner 1" and measure up from the bottom runner by 1" to find the location of your last runner.

Mine lined up perfectly but if your's doesn't just space the last runner evenly.

Step 6: Adding the Angle

Picture of Adding the Angle

You could stop right here if your ok with a board flat on the ground. If you want the 8° ish angle, get out that last 1x2x32" runner, this is going to be out riser runner.

Flip your board over and line up your last runner like shown. Remember the top of the pedal board has the slightly larger gap (1-11/16") between runners. This should also be the end with the extra height from the riser runner.

If your fancy you could use a KREG jig and pocket screws here, if your like me and have limited tools we need to cut some support blocks for strength.

Get that 2x2 back out and cut three 2x2x2" blocks from it. (yeah they're not literally 2x2x2" just cut them into cubes) Line the cubes up with the last runner, mark their positions, than glue and screw them down as I have shown. You need to put the screws on the corners so we can drive a screw between them later. Its also important to put the grain direction of your blocks stacked like I have shown in the last picture in this step. If you don't you can easily split the blocks down the grain when you go to screw them down.

Note: if you don't need an angle this steep or you want to save some time and make things easy, you can just use your 2x2 and screw it down as your riser runner and skip the extra blocks.

Step 7: Attach the Lastish Piece, the Riser Runner.

Picture of Attach the Lastish Piece, the Riser Runner.

Once you have all 3 blocks in, line up the last runner piece and screw it in. You could measure your screws but I think I eyeballed it. Maybe my combo square was still set and I measured with it idk. Just make sure these 3 screws go in-between the 2 screws already on each block.

Step 8: And You Are Done!

Picture of And You Are Done!

Looks nice right?

Now would be the time to add a finish so your velcro sticks better later. If you're not worried about it, skip it. If you want to add a finish, sand the top boards to 220 and spray on or wipe on some finish. I like Deft polyurethane in a spray can, or Watco lacquer in a spray can. Add some rubber feet to the bottom so it doesn't slide.

Step 9: Making It Extra Fancy, Adding a Pedal Power With Bracket.

Picture of Making It Extra Fancy, Adding a Pedal Power With Bracket.

I could have just used velcro to attach my pedal power supplies to the bottom of the board but I already had mounting brackets and wanted to use them.

Time to cut more blocks from the 2x2. You want two 2x2x2" cube blocks, and two 2x2x7/8" blocks

With a pencil, roughly mark out where the power main cords from the wall come in (and out if you have a courtesy output)

Cut and chisel, use a small saw, or use a 1-1/4" spade bit to make holes to accommodate the main power cables.

Screw and glue the blocks down like we did in previous steps. I clamped the middle ones because I split one and needed the glue to hold. This is the only time I used a clamp this whole project and I could have just cut a new block

Once all the blocks are in mark your holes for your pedal power brackets, drill em and screw that bad boy down.

Add velcro to the top, rubber feet on the bottom, and now your really done. Throw your pedals on and wire it up!

Comments

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-01-20

Great pedal board build.

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