At some point or the other in life, you must have seen a professional music band on stage, making use of their high-end pedalboards. For the average vocalist/drummer/bass player, however, spending 300-400$ and above, is not feasible.
The cost-effective solution for instrument playing enthusiasts? Try indulging in DIY pedalboard plans by using supplies that can be easily found at local stores or even around the house! Here is a list of 13 such ultra-cool DIY pedalboard plans:
1. DIY Custom Guitar Effects Pedalboard Plan
Not content with what corporate entities are marketing to you? This is a perfect and fully customizable DIY pedalboard plan wherein you can adjust the size, shape, or the kind of wood used as per your preference. All you need is a good ol’ toolbox and some creative talent up your sleeve.
This YouTuber gives you a step by step guide to creating the base, after which you can implement a personalized vision. Create graphic designs, spray paint, and select from varied paneled handles, to create your unique personal concoction for a pedalboard. Make sure to color outside the lines, because in this scenario, it is an added benefit.
2. DIY Modular Pedalboard Plan
The benefits of this modular pedalboard are well worth the time needed to construct it. Now, you do not need multiple pedalboards with a gazillion effect modulators that are barely used, neither do you need to keep stripping down your primary board to continuously changing out the original modulators.
This modular pedalboard also only requires a single source of power, and it keeps all the sound effects pedals that are frequently used at your immediate disposal for easy access. An idea stressed upon while making this DIY solution is to draw your plans in advance, so you can nip the probable errors before they overtake the entire project.
3. DIY Skateboard Pedalboard Plan
Here is a very hip idea for those that love a quirky touch. Simply repurpose an old skateboard; you can spray paint it to anything from bright neon to rustic dark mahogany, and make it look funky instantly. Bonus points for the wheels attached to the skateboard, making it all the more convenient for your DIY pedalboard invention to be swiveled around.
Truly embrace your pop-punk self and give it its moment to shine.
All in all, this DIY plan will not take more than three hours. You’ll also need a blow dryer, a Phillips screwdriver, a crescent wrench, a drill with regular and wood-boring bits, and the most important of them all, cable ties.
Take one wheel off of each set so the board angles toward you, and also stabilize the front with some small wedges of wood.
4. DIY IKEA Crate Pedalboard Plan
This idea takes being creative to a whole new league. We have now dealt with DIY pedalboard plans creating modular pedalboards, skateboard pedalboards, custom pedalboards but one built out of a crate? All you have to do is dismantle an old IKEA crate, or any crate for that matter, and voila!
This is the real craft of learning to DIY, which very few people master (and you can be one of them, using the simple set of instructions provided in the link). This entire setup will cost you less than 30$ and in the end, you will have enough materials left to build another DIY Crate Pedalboard.
After assembling the pedalboard, all you need to do is arrange your equipment in order. The general configuration is: guitar- tuner – compressor- overdrive/distortion – EQ – modulation – delay – reverb – loop pedals – amplifier.
5. DIY Mini Pedalboard Plan
If those massive, bulky pedalboards do not appease your palate, this DIY Mini Pedalboard is a minimalistic and elegant yet small option for you.
No entangled wires show and all you need is some sturdy Velcro or a few cable ties, to hold it all together in place. Plus, since the setup is smaller than the generic pedalboard, the chances of it getting damaged or breaking are highly reduced.
Thus, not only does it look better and cleaner, but it is also more efficient and durable. Best of all, it is a miniature version of the regular-sized pedalboards, and therefore, it is easier to carry around when required, instead of posing as a burden when traveling.
6. DIY Balling on a Budget Pedalboard
Want top-notch equipment but not willing to break the bank for it? Luckily, being thrifty and learning to DIY are two cohesive skills, and go very well together. If curated well, the end product is nothing short of a creative masterpiece.
Not willing to buy new plywood for the board base? Use different scraps of leftover or broken furniture and hammer it all together after sanding it down.
Don’t want to spend 60$ on that costly tuner that looks enticing but maybe completely unnecessary? Find cheaper alternatives upon scourging Quora and other blog posts.
7. DIY Tiered Pedalboard Plan
Now that it has become apparent that building a pedalboard on your own is no Herculean task, what should you do if you want to go that extra mile and add a little more sophistication to your invention?
Create a tiered pedalboard! You can make it anything from 2 to 3 or even 4 tiered!
However, as you keep increasing the number of tiers, using the pedalboard to create music will keep getting harder. You will tend to get baffled by what lies on which tier, and this can get a bit messy. If you do want that additional flair to your design but do not want to compromise on utility or efficacy, it is best to stick to the two-tier model as explained in the above-linked video.
8. DIY Flat Pedalboard Plan
Just like the tiered pedal board is accommodated to someone’s unique tastes, similarly, the flat pedalboard might turn out to be exactly your piece of cake.
Out of the DIY pedalboard plans presented to you so far, if one had to cherry-pick the one simplest to construct, it would be this. If all you want is an easy to make design with no additional hassle, this is the perfect model for you.
The only downside to this kind of design is that the board tends to get cluttered due to all the patches and power cables, which would not be the case with the regular angled pedalboard.
9. DIY Old Vintage Briefcase Pedalboard
This DIY Vintage Briefcase Pedalboard invention is for the whimsical old souls out there, who always are enthralled by a certain hint of nostalgia. Got a bruised, scratched briefcase that has lived past its years? Use it!
The clasps give this DIY pedalboard plan a sense of charm while also being utilitarian in making the effect pedals portable. You can carry it anywhere, while looking musically-savvy in the process.
Open the briefcase and jaws will drop in surprise. Moreover, in addition to all these perks, if you want to add even more pedals to increase your wide assortment range, simply place them in other briefcases and connect them all when you need them.
10. DIY Gormboard Pedalboard Plan
The DIYer who carried out this plan in the guide above is a renowned musician, so his take on making a DIY Gormboard Pedalboard is particularly intriguing.
For this, he repurposed some old IKEA Gormboard shelves and used 2 cans of spray paint (for 2 pedalboards), Velcro (which he clearly stated should not be skimped on), rubber feet, handles, right-angle brackets, sandpaper, medium to large cable ties, a power board with surge protection, a power brick, a saw and a cordless electric drill.
Bonus tip: Do not forget to check out the Makita-XRH01z 18V drill.
The end product turned out to be sturdy and practical with the capacity to easily hold 6-7 pedals. However, he also did mention that the wiring can turn out messy, and cutting the Velcro according to the perfect dimensions can be quite tedious. But if you do want to add a personalized touch to your project and have a few hours to spare, this is a highly practical, yet cost-effective solution.
11. DIY Metal Wire Shelf Pedalboard
This DIY Wire Shelf Pedalboard is another unique take on repurposing items around the house no longer in use. It has an industrial vibe, and looks almost modern chic. To add an even sleeker look, you can spray paint the metal wire mesh as this DIYer has done.
It is also comparatively easier to arrange the wires at the back as the mesh has at least one-inch gaps between two consecutive wire panels. This is definitely not the cleanest of looks but works if you do not have much time to spare and still want something in a budget, that can be hand made.
12. DIY Tea Tray Pedalboard
DIY Tea Tray Pedalboards like these have been described as perfect for the avid tea drinker and procrastinator. It is equivalent to killing two birds with one stone.
All you need to do is use a cutter to cut some Velcro and stick it to the tray to attach the respective pedals and other equipment. The tea tray already comes with raised edges, so you need not bother with handles, which is an added bonus. This type of pedalboard was pioneered by Guthrie Govan, and the invention has lived on. Keep in mind, not many DIY pedalboard plans by such esteemed musicians are over the internet!
13. DIY Walnut Pedalboard
Number 13 is the most revered and commonly used pedalboard. The DIY Walnut Pedalboard has a classic design that is timeless and never goes out of style. The angled wood panels fit together perfectly to create this evergreen piece.
Like building things? Like guitar gear? This is the quintessential amalgamation of the two where you are woodworking to build an integral part of guitar gear. Simply topped off with a suave wood stain, this DIY Walnut Pedalboard is nothing short of gorgeous.
A few more woodworking ideas for those who would like to put their skills to test again:
Bonus tip: Check out these DIY wooden pallet ideas for some epic DIY projects.
To wrap it all up nicely, it has been undoubtedly proven that woodworking can be a fascinating hobby and yield fantastic results. Even if you are not particularly good at sawing or attaching two right-angled panels together, there is something for every single person to try out in this list.
From repurposing wire mesh to shelves to old briefcases to crates, we have seen it all here, and the end product was definitely stunning in each case.
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