Introduction: Plush Fuzz Pedal

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…
Standard fuzz pedals were just not fuzzy enough for me. Only the fuzziest fuzz pedal was going to be suitable for my musical endeavors. I searched high and low for the fuzziest fuzz pedal in the land, but I couldn't find it. Finally, I resolved that if I wanted a fuzzy fuzz pedal, I was going to have make my own. After much careful analysis and planing, I can confidently say that I have made the fuzziest guitar fuzz pedal ever to grace this planet Earth. If that's not enough to wet your whistle, it's squishy too.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

A yard of white felt
A square foot of neoprene
A white feather boa (or two)
White thread
Sewing needle
Safety pins
Six square inches of conductive fabric
1/4" Female to 1/4" Female audio cable
Acrylic and an awesome Epilog laser cutter (or a standard PCB)
2N3904 transistor
2N5088 transistor
0.1uF capacitor
2.2uF capacitor
22uF capacitor
(3X) 100K resistors
1.2K resistor
10K resistor
Wire rings
9V regulated power source with M-type adapter
M-Type audio plug
An eyelet tool
Fabric glue
(x2) One inch thick 3" foam squares
White gaffers tape
Misc hardware (nuts and bolts, etc)
Misc hand tools (scissors, pliers, etc)

Step 2: Fabric Switch Prep

Cut out two 5" square pieces off neoprene and one slightly larger piece of neoprene that is roughly 6" x 5".

Then cut out two relatively thin, but equal sized strips of conductive fabric that are roughly 5" x 1.5".

Step 3: Glue Conductive Fabric

Glue the conductive to the neoprene such that the conductive fabric hangs an extra inch off the edge.

Fold this extra bit of fabric onto the back of the neoprene and glue it down on the other side.

Repeat and make another

Tip: It helps when gluing if you weight it down for a few minutes with something heavy like "The Art of Electronics" textbook.

Step 4: Cut Center

Cut some center holes in your largest (middle) piece of neoprene. I find that folding it in half and cutting out a hole in the center does the trick (repeat to the sides of the center as necessary).

The holes should be small enough that the two fabric sheets won't touch, but large enough that when someone steps on it, they can touch. I found that holes one inch by a quarter inch lined up in a row work well.

Step 5: Insert Eyelets

With a razor blade or exacto knife, cut a hole that is slightly smaller than your eyelet (in the center of the small conductive tab glued to the outside of the switch). Insert the eyelet through the hole and clamp it shut with your eyelet tool.

Step 6: Fasten Wires

Attach eyelets onto the end of two pieces of sturdy stranded wire.

Fasten these wires to each of the eyelets in such a way that the but (and washer) are facing in (the side with the larger conductive surface) and the bolt is inserted through the outside (the side with the small conductive tab).

Twist it on very tightly.

Step 7: Finish It

Sandwich the layers so that the conductive parts are separated by the middle sheet (the one with the holes) and when you press down, the two halves will be able to touch through the middle sheet.

Next pin them together in such a way that the pins do not pass through any of the conductive fabric.

Sew along one of the longer edges and pin as you go. When you get to the end, tie off the thread and glue down any loose ends. Repeat along the other long edge.

Glue down the short edges (so long as the conductive parts won't touch).

Trim any excess no conductive fabric and your fabric switch should be ready to roll.

Step 8: Prep Your Cables

Cut your audio cables such that both jack have two feet of excess wire attached.

Also cut an extra two feet of wire for attaching the M-type power jack.

When you are done, strip back some of the jacketing to expose the ground wire and the audio wire. Carefully strip off any jacketing cover things (being careful not to cross them) and set them aside for soldering.

Step 9: Cut a Circuit Bracket

Using your awesome Epilog laser cutter, cut out a circuit board using the file below.

I did one raster pass with the following settings:
Speed: 100
Power: 50
DPI: 300

And then I did one vector pass with these settings:
Speed: 10
Power: 100
Frequency: 5000

If you don't have a laser cutter, you can use a PCB.

Step 10: Build Your Circuit

This circuit is based on the Multi-Face Pedal from Runoff Groove which is in turn based on "The Many Faces of Fuzz". I recommend checking both of those out before you proceed. Feel free to experiment and make your own fuzz pedal variation.

Build your circuit using the schematic and pictures below as a guide.

When you are done, test to make certain it works.

Don't forget to add your M-type power jack onto the extra two feet of wire and to attach that to the circuit.

Step 11: Epoxy!

Make very certain that your circuit is working. Check it and then check it twice. If it does not work, do not pass go and go back to Step 10.

Coat both side of your circuit in a generous coating of epoxy. Make sure that the cables are untangled and laying flat on the board while you do this.

This will help protect it when you stomp on it and also hold the connections in place and keep the board from shorting. Don't hesitate to add more than one coat. It should feel smooth all around after this.

Step 12: Foam

Cut two peices of foam that are slightly larger than you circuit board and sandwhich your board in the middle. Hold all of this in place by wrapping it with gaffers tape.

Step 13: Cut Your Pattern

Cut the pattern out of white felt using the file below.

If you don't happen to have an awesome Epilog laser cutter to cut yours out with, you can print it out and use scissors.

Step 14: Sew a Ball

Line up two peel shaped pieces of fabric and sew along the entire edge of one side.

Place another peel shaped piece of fabric inside of the fold you just made and line up the edge of that new piece with either of the other edges. Sew again.

Repeat this until you have only two edges left to sew together. Sew these together almost entirely, but leave the ball 3" open.

Using this hole, flip the ball inside out.

Step 15: Wire It

Divide the ball into thirds (mentally) and cut 1/2" slits at one third intervals around the base of the ball. Pass the wires through these (being careful not to tangle them).

Step 16: Stuff It

Stuff the ball with fiberfil batting.

Carefully position to switch to lay flat along what you see as the top of the ball (probably side opposite of where all the wires are).

Stuff it until its full, but not too firm.

Step 17: Close It Up

Sew the last open seam of the ball shut.

Also sew the holes the wires are coming out of shut.

I add extra stitching at the two points on the ball where all the peels converge. This isn't pretty, but it makes the ball stronger.

Step 18: Fuzzy Wuzzy Was He?

Now is time to add the fuzz. I recommend wantonly sewing on generous amounts of batting and white feather boas.

For a more realistic effect, leave it under a dresser for a few weeks. If unlike me, you clean your home regularly, bring it over here. I have plenty of dust bunnies to go around. I'm too busy making things to clean.

Be careful not to sew through the fabric switch. You can easily cover that spot by placing fuzz over it and sewing around it.

Step 19: Detailing

Label your input and output plugs to make your life easier.

I laser cut stencils onto painters tape and then painted labels onto the plugs.

You could probably get away with hand cutting stencils or simply painting labels on by hand.

Step 20: ROCK!

Nothing says rock like a nice healthy dose of fuzzy distortion!

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