Making a homemade pedal board.
I recently found some info on the net about making your own pedal board from Gorm shelving found at Ikea. Since I don’t have an Ikea anywhere near me I decided to improvise and see what I had laying around in the basement. I found a good size board of low quality white pine my cousin had given us to use for some shelving my mother wanted in the kitchen. This was left over so it was free for use. I also had some left over velcro so that wouldn’t need to cost me a fortune either. I work in a paint store so spray paint is easy to come by as well.
Once I got all my supplies together I used the table saw and band saw to cut out my design and my new table top sander to shape it up a bit. Here is what I ended up with after putting it all together with some left over drywall screws.
I decided to make the top tier a little higher than the bottom so it would be easier to hit those pedals. I also left plenty of spacing to feed cables through. I reinforced the edge and middle of the shelving to make sure the cheap pine didn’t crack when it was stomped on. The next step was choosing a color to paint it. I had orange, yellow and green on hand. I finally decided on orange because I’ve been GASing for an Orange amp lately.
The first thing I did was spray a coat of shellac primer on. Shellac is alcohol based and made from Lac Beetle droppings, which are a natural plastic. Shellac is one of few things that will seal the knots in the wood and keep them from bleeding through. I was going to use a brush on version that I had tinted gray because the orange paint would have covered it better. Unfortunately, that can was old and had turned to gel. So I sprayed it white.
After letting it dry overnight I sanded the primer coat and sprayed two light coats of orange on the top and bottom. I put short nails in the bottom of each corner so after spraying the bottom I could flip it over and stand it on those nails to keep it spaced away from the drop cloth while I sprayed the top. Spray paint is a real pain by the way. Bright colors are even worse. They don’t cover well and they are so thin that they run easily. It’s important to keep your coats thin and even.
After it dried for a couple of days, I sanded it with 600 grit automotive paper and sprayed two more coats on top. When this dried I really wasn’t happy with the results. I hate gloss finishes because they are so hard to get a good even result. This was no exception. Gloss spray paint tends to orange peel when it builds up leaving a textured finish. I sanded it down a little again and spray one more light even coat on it. It still isn’t quite up to my expectations but it’ll be good enough for this pieced together project. The next time I may try Dupli-color sprays. These are automotive paints and go on a bit thicker. Another good trick is to use a flat color coat instead of gloss, though flats are harder to find. Once you get a few good coats on you can wet sand it with 1000, 2000, and 3000 grit paper and get a very smooth finish. Once that is done you can spray it with a good clear coat to get your gloss or satin finish as desired. This is the way I intend to do the next board I make.
Here is how it has ended up so far. This is an almost complete photo.
I found some old metal trim from a counter top I took out of my kitchen a couple of years ago. I cut it to size and sanded it with 1000 grit paper to give it a shiny brushed look. I affixed this to the front edges of each shelf to keep the user’s boots from rubbing the paint off the edges or damaging the soft pine. I also attached 8 white rubber feet to the bottom of the board. There are three on each side and one on each center support. These keep the board from sliding around. I got them at Home Depot fairly cheap.
All I have left to do is add the velcro. I’m figuring on either two or three strips per shelf. I have to look at the pedals that will be used and figure out what spacing I want. I plan to use the self adhesive backing to stick it in place and then add a few staples since the adhesive they use tends to peel over time. I’ll post a final photo when I’m done.
Stay tuned for the next project which is a continuation of this one. I’ve got my supplies together to make some high quality patch cables from scratch. These will be used to daisy chain all the pedals together on the board. Good cables are a must. Too many people spend a fortune on boutique pedals and then put them together with cheap buzzing cables.
Some final pics!