Introduction: How to Make a Guitar Pedalboard Out of a Metal Shelf

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Hello everyone! This is my first instructable, so I apologize if it is low quality. Today I will teach you how to make a guitar pedalboard out of an aluminum shelf. (If you don't know what a pedalboard is, it is a board that guitarists put their effects pedals on so they don't have to reconnect them every time they perform. If you are still confused, look it up.) This instructable will be more of "How-I-made-it-and-you-can-follow-loosely" than a step-by-step thing, because I doubt anyone has this exact shelf AND wants to get rid of it.

So, let's get started!


·A metal shelf (duh)

·1 x 4 Wood boards (Or whatever works best for your dimensions)

·Screws (Preferably longish)

·Paint (Optional)


·Jigsaw (Make sure it has a bit that can cut metal!)


·Drill (So you can put in the screws)

·A table you can cut on

·Miter saw (To cut the wood)


·Tape Measure

Step 1: Removing the Wood

We were going to put this shelf out for big trash day, but I saw it and thought, "Pedalboard!" and here we are now.

The wood was junk so I unscrewed the brackets from the wood and threw it away. I kept the screws and brackets in case I needed them later. (By the way, the reason that last bracket is still on the pole is there was a spider that hatched when I smashed it! Luckily, that was the only one that did.)

I also took the brackets and soaked them in vinegar, and then scalding water. I was going to do just vinegar, but after they had soaked, a spider crawled out, so I figured it didn't do a good job.

Step 2: Removing the End Caps

Okay, if you look at the pictures you can see there are plastic caps on the end of the poles, so I did what any person in their right mind would do.



But seriously, this is what I did. I hit the end with a mallet to pop the cap off. And when I say "Hit it with a mallet" I mean over and over.

And over.

It probably doesn't help that the mallet's head kept popping off.

One (serious, lol) tip is don't whack it more than you need to. The caps on the poles were on really tight on mine, so whacking may not have been the best method in the first place. But it got the job done and almost didn't dent the pole at all.

I filled them with water, shook them around, and set them to dry.

It got too dark to work on it more, so I waited until tomorrow.

Step 3: Measuring and Cutting

I wanted to make the board two feet wide and one and a half feet deep.

So what I did:

The pole is a "U" shape, right?

So I measured from the bottom of the U to 18 inches out and marked it with a Sharpie™©®

My dad cut on the outside of the sharpie mark.

Now on the bottom of the "U" I got a straight pole and put it against the end we just cut to act as the "floor" and put it across the bottom of the "U". I marked it and my dad cut it.

(I'm sorry about the above sentence, I tried my best to explain it. Just ask me in the comments if you are confused)

We put the cut pole on top of the uncut one and marked it and cut it.

Now, we need a pole to hold the two "L" shapes together. I get one of the scraps and mark 24 inches from the edge and cut it.

Now, to attach the two pieces:

Put the long pole next to the "L" (Look at the picture if this doesn't make sense) and mark how far from the edge you should put in a screw.

Step 4: Putting the Caps Back on and Marking the Poles

I got the caps that I saved from step 2, cut them shorter (as you can see in the picture) and put them back on the ends of the poles that touch the ground, also with a mallet. Simple enough.

But now it's time for MORE MATH!

The boards that I got were 1 x 4. (Which is actually about .75 x 3.5, but the height doesn't matter at this point)

My pedalboard is 18 inches deep.

That means I can fit 4 boards on the top, with 1.25 inches of space between them.

I marked it with a marker and then with tape. The bottom edge represents the mark.

Step 5: Cutting/Sanding/Putting on the Wood

This step is pretty straightforward. I have two six foot 1 x 4 boards.

The board is 24 inches wide.

So I cut the boards in thirds lengthwise, two feet long each.

Drill the boards on according to the markings from the last step. You can also put a board on top for a handle or patchbay.

Then I got a piece of sandpaper that looks like a giant guitar pick and sanded the sharp edges.

On to the next step!

Step 6: Painting (Optional)

I chose a satin black spray paint to paint it with.

Remember to wear painting clothes, do it in a well ventilated area, yadda yadda yadda.

Y'all aren't dumb. You know what to do.


and if you don't, go read a how to paint instructable or something, I don't know....

Step 7: Put on Velcro Tape

As I do not have any of this yet (wouldn't come in time for the audio contest) I don't have any pictures. Once I get some, I might give some pictures.

For now, I'll just put empty space here.


Step 8: You're Done!

Give yourself a hearty pat on the back, because you're done!

I know it looks kind of dorky and underwhelming with just three pedals on it, but I'll get there ;D

Don't forget to vote for me in the Audio Contest!

Godbless and have a nice day!

Audio Contest 2018

Participated in the
Audio Contest 2018