This is a powered pedal board with integral electrics and connections, designed to be a plug and play piece of gear. All the power and cabling, as far as possible, is beneath the board, which is wedge shaped to accommodate them and also raise the back row for better access. It's obviously an unashamed rip off of some other board designs available commercially, but I wanted to make one that was tailored exactly to my own needs. There are a few elements of my own design in here too.
Step 1: Mindcraftings
This stage is the most essential and difficult, requiring thought formation, not my strongest area. I tried to keep it as small as possible but leave some room for future pedal acquisitions. "One does not simply own one pedal" as the old meme goes.
Step 2: Making the Frame
after cutting the four sides, I decided, for no good reason really, to use box joints. A good tip is to cut as much as possible with a bandsaw for best accuracy and minimum chisel work.
Step 3: You See...
This is all that's left by the bandsaw, just a little bit of chisel work now.
Step 4: Cut the Holes for the Electrical Bits
Once the joints were cut and the sanding done, I cut the holes for the IEC socket and the jack sockets.
Step 5: Pilot Holes
I also drilled pilot holes for the sockets.
Step 6: Dry Fit
Yes, all looks good so far. Note the ridiculously long overshoots of the joints. Perfect for demoralising toil later on.
Step 7: Glue Time
Self explanatory. A good idea in hindsight would have been to use a brace from front to back in the middle to stop the front piece curving inwards slightly due to the pressure from the clamps.
Step 8: Reinforcement
Maybe unnecessary but I wanted peace of mind as the board will be lugged around to gigs so needs to be as strong as possible.
Step 9: Making the Top
Now the frame is done, sanded flush on the corners and ready to take the sockets, it's time to make the top. I waited until this stage so I could make it fit the final gap, which I wisely thought would no doubt end up being inaccurate in comparison to the original drawing. I used 18 mm plywood.
Step 10: Make the Holes
Here begins the dumbbell style slots creation, inspired by a certain well known board manufacturer. A Forstner bit was ideal for this job as a neat cut was needed. I also made sure that the hole was just large enough to let the jack plugs through.
Step 11: The Slits
Now the holes are done, a jigsaw can be used to join them up with thin slits. I think mine were 10 mm wide to allow guitar cable through with a little breathing space to make movement easy.
TOP TIP: Please use a premium quality blade to get a straight cut. Cheap blades bend from top to bottom, so the slit will not be parallel from top to bottom and also tends to wander and create a wavy line. Looks a real mess. I used A Festool blade, it gave a fantastic, straight cut with no effort.
ANOTHER TOP TIP: Turn the wood upside down to cut with the jigsaw, as the breakout will be on the side facing upwards because the teeth of the blade also face upwards.
Step 12: Secret Weapon
this is my own genius addition. I used copper pipe clips as cable tidies underneath the board. This stops any cables flapping around or touching the floor. Works a treat.
Step 13: Power Mounting
Here's my plate to mount the power socket onto.
Step 14: Safety First
Here's the box, just glued to the side, for the cable to pass through and make safe the bare wire joints of the IEC socket.
Step 15: Apply a Finish
I used wood finishing oil. Three coats.
Step 16: Assemble
I then put the thing back together and added the handles. Nearly there!
Step 17: Fill Her Up
Now it's time to stuff her with electrics. I used locking jacks that I got from eBay. Not genuine Neutrik but good enough for the likes of me. If you're in a band like me, with a singer that likes to throw himself around and accidentally pull your cables out with his big daft feet then you'll appreciate how necessary these are.
Step 18: Keep Filling...
in goes the power socket.
Step 19: Feet
Don't forget some rubber feet. Hmm, those cables look like they could do with some bracing to stop them being pulled too hard and breaking the solder joints...
Step 20: Power
The power socket is now complete and ready for the one spot supply to be plugged in.
Step 21: Tidy!
Even at this stage, the cable tidy idea can be clearly seen as a huge success.
Step 22: Power Finally Put In
And here we can clearly see the power supply in place.
Step 23: Bracing the Cables
I used P clips to secure the guitar cable to the board so that the solder joints can't be pulled on. A nice cheap option and I still have 96% of the packet left to use in other projects.
Step 24: All Pedals Installed and Wired Up
To give you an idea of what the finished board may look like underneath, this shows my board of modest means all finished and ready to rock. As you can see it's fairly neat, if I do say so myself. Obviously the Velcro has already been applied, I used genuine Velcro brand extra strong stuff, not much more expensive and incredibly strong. When I tried to remove my original gold Klon Centaur, the pedal itself actually broke into many pieces before it would come away from the board, it's that strong. Oh well, I'll just get another. Easy come, easy go.
Step 25: Done-diddly-Done
And here we have the finished pedal board, ready to rock.