Wood Pedaltrain Novo 32 Pedalboard, Easy Build, Limited Tools




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

Trust me all my steps will not be this Long.

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. I measured a real Pedaltrain and got almost all of my dimensions from that.

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

Next up: materials.

Step 1: 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!

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.

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

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

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

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.

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!

Looks nice right?

Apply a wood finish if you want to, I left mine bare.
Now all you need to do is add velcro and wire it up!

Step 9: 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!

1 Person Made This Project!


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14 Discussions


1 year ago

What is a PedalTrain? What is used for?


Reply 1 year ago

Hey LydiaT2, forgive me if I overexplain. Electric guitar players often have a bunch of effects pedals that need to go on the floor in between their guitar and their amp to change the sound. After you get more than 2 pedals they become pretty cumbersome to to keep organized or if you need to move them. What most players opt to do is to buy what’s called a pedal board, than Velcro their pedals onto it to secure them and for easy use and transportation. A PedalTrain is an expensive brand name of pedal board that can cost more than $200. They are widely available and the most popular brand of pedal board. This instructable shows how to make a functional equivalent for about 1/8th the price of the real-deal. Because it is the same dimension it will fit into road/touring cases made for the genuine PedalTrain.
There are other benefits to having a board too. Every patch cable between pedals can costs more than $10 having your pedals fixed on the board reduces cable strain and reduces the chance of breakage. Elevating them on a slope makes pedals in the second or even third row more accessible. Elevating them off the floor also means if someone spills a beer on stage or in a practice space it won’t short out an expensive boutique $500 effects pedal on the ground. There is also room underneath to mount a power supply so you don’t need 15 wall adapters. For these reasons pedal boards are the most convenient way to use, store, and transport effects pedals. But it also doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend $200 on one of you need one.


Question 2 years ago on Step 1

Would 1x3 runners be to big to use this for this build? I bought them because the place I went to didn't have 1x2 boards. Thanks


Answer 2 years ago

I found my 1x2” boards in the trim, baseboards, and molding
section of the home improvement store, not in the general construction lumber

Seeing as 1x3 boards are actually 1x2.5, by my estimate
(support board length – (runner width x number of runners) or (14.5-(2.5*5))=2
you would only have 2 inches total to be divided for all 4 gaps between the
runners to run cables through, This would mean the gaps would only be .5 or 1/2
an inchs each, which is enough room to run cables. If you only used four 1x3 runners instead of 5 and evenly spaced them the 3 gaps would be 1.5 inches each, the choice is yours.

I think you could get away with it either way, and the
design is meant to be flexible and customizable to your needs and how you want it, but 1x2
boards will give you a result closest to the real thing.

Good luck with the build! Let me know if I can answer any
other questions.


Question 2 years ago on Step 1

From the pictures it looks like your runners are 1 x 3 boards instead of 1 x 2. Is it possible there’s a mistake in the description? I followed the instructions exactly using 1 x 2 boards and it doesn’t look like yours. Otherwise it’s an awesome design and super sturdy!


Answer 2 years ago

Hey DanR209,
Thanks for the feed back.
If you look at the first image in “Step 1” you will see the sales tag stapled to the board in question. I triple checked, and the tag denotes they are indeed 11/16 x 2 by 8’. Or as I was commonly referring to them as 1 x 2. I hope your build went well, and if you find any other inconsistencies in my instructions or steps let me know.


Reply 2 years ago

You know, I totally didn’t catch that in the pics. However I finished the build and it came out great! I just modified the runner spacing slightly to compensate for any mistakes I made along the way. I’ve been wanting to build my own pedal board for a while and I didn’t know where to begin. You’ve been such a huge help!


Reply 2 years ago

Great! I’m super glad my instructable could help! The runner spacing isn’t super critical and in fact, the runners on the genuine pedal train aren’t evenly spaced anyway so your in the clear.
I would love to sees a pic of how yours turned out if your comfortable sharing.


Reply 2 years ago

Once I sand it and stain it I’ll be sure to post some pics!


Question 2 years ago

One more question: Since you mimicked the Pedaltrain board was it easy to find a case? (I am seriously considering your design for myself)


Answer 2 years ago

If you follow my dimensions, it will drop right into an official PedalTrain case. The biggest consideration is that my board sits taller. Once you have pedals on it, it might be a snug fit.

You can use a smaller “riser” board in the back.
You can also cut the front facing ends of the “platform bars” at an angle to so they sit lower and flat on the ground opposed to on their corner edges

If your are worried, you can buy the case first, and build the board to fit, making any small adjustments as needed.

I measured most all dimensions very meticulously off of a real PedalTrain but that was quite a while ago so I hate to make any promises or guarantee. Also considering I didn’t rip any boards to with on a table saw I doubt those dimensions are 100% perfect but overall length and with are.

Don’t hesitate to ask me any more questions, or if something needs explaining better or what have you, im happy to help


Question 2 years ago on Step 9

How much does this weigh in comparison to the PedalTrain which I think is aluminum?


Answer 2 years ago

Hey JeffS364 It is still very light weight (pine) and strong. Any additional weight (maybe a pound) over a genuine pedal train is negledgeable after its fully loaded with pedals, power supplies, and power strips.

The main consideration of this build was keeping the same function at a fraction of the price and I didn’t really take weight into consideration. That said, even fully loaded the board is what I would call not very heavy.

Hope this helps