I thought it might be worth mentioning some of the upcoming projects we’ll be doing at Darkling Designs. These are musical equipment related. It may be a while before project guides are posted since these are in the planning stages.
DIY Holeyboard Pedalboard
I like the idea behind the Chemistry Holeyboards line of guitar effects pedalboards. I’ve built a few pedalboards in my time and done the tried and not so true method of velcro attachment. It really isn’t idea to be honest. More often than not I end up leaving the velcro stuck to the pedalboard instead of the back of the pedals where it’s suppose to be. The adhesive just doesn’t keep the velcro on the back of most of the pedals I try it on. A more aggressive adhesive may cause permanent damage to the paint on the pedals though. What’s the solution? Zip ties. The Chemistry Holeyboard is basically a pedalboard with a bunch of holes in it through which you can lace zip ties to strap your pedals to the board. This has the advantage of a more secure fit and no damage at all to the pedals. The only problems I can foresee are lining the ties up perfectly on the pedals and finding zip ties that aren’t total junk. I’ve run into issues with pretty much all the zip ties I’ve gotten from Lowes. They simply don’t hold worth a crap.
I’ve considered purchasing a Holeyboard, but two things have kept me from doing so. First, they are pretty expensive. Second, I’d rather make one myself because I like to make things and because I already have all the wood I would need for it left over from other projects, which will save me a ton of money on the cost of materials. So I’ve decided to figure out my own holeyboard plans based on the Chemistry Holeyboard Deluxe Wide. I’ll post a set of plans for it once I get all the kinks worked out of the design. Don’t expect it to be just like the Chemistry version. I’ll be squaring mine off more and designing it to accept a cover over top of the entire board so you can safely transport your pedals while in place. Chemistry offers a padded bag for their boards, but I personally just don’t trust my expensive equipment to soft shell bags.
Here is a glimpse of my design. I spent about three hours researching and laying this out. That means it has a long way to go and this is just a preliminary design.
Sears Silvertone 1484 Rebuild
My father has an old Sears Silvertone 1484 amplifier. It’s basically the poor man’s Fender Twin Reverb. It was never a great amp by any means but it got the job done and has an interesting sound to it. I’m pretty sure he’s blown the output transformer and it probably needs a whole set of new guts. I’m not very experienced with electronics on this level but I intend to figure this one out. I know enough to drain the filter caps before I electrocute myself at least. The speakers are in good shape and it even has some original tubes in it. I intend to rebuild the core of the amp with a few much needed modifications like a proper standby switch and a decent reverb tank. I’ll also be building new cabinets for the head and speakers. Stay tuned for details on this one when summer rolls around.
Series 10 Bass Rebuild
Orion still has his original Series 10 Bass, which if I’m not mistaken is a cheap JCPenny model. He loves the thing though so we will rebuild it into something halfway decent. At this point it’s a bit of a mess. It has decent pickups but everything else is stock. We’ll gut the electronics and maybe the tuners and bridge. What it really needs is a paint job. He took some artist’s acrylics to it back in the day and laid a nice sloppy coat of spray poly over the mess of graffiti he came up with. We’ll be stripping it down to bare wood and laying a few coats of primer and paint on it to get it back to solid black. Then he intends to recreate the majority of his graffiti with a bit more quality and give it a proper clear coat. Some people just don’t grow out of their childhoods. I’m glad to do it regardless because I need to get some more experience under my belt with proper painting techniques.