Little Holey Vengeance Pedal Board – Followup 2

I finally got some casters installed on the pedal board case and finished up the layout of the board itself today. I wrapped the handles on the board in black parachute cord and zip-tied the existing pedals in place. Then I made the electrical and signal connections. Here it is for now. I hope you like it.

Pedal Board in Case

Pedal Board in Case

Pedal Board in Case

Pedal Board in Case

 

DIY Pedal Board Case

Introduction

Once I finished building the Little Holey Vengeance pedal board I decided I needed a case for it to protect all the pedals that will be on it. A guy can tie up a ton of cash on these things and it doesn’t make sense to trust their safety to a soft shell case to me. So I decided to build a hard shell case for the thing. I’ve never built a case like this before and I didn’t really know exactly how to go about it.

I watched some videos and read some tutorials and finally designed the case based on the methods used to make guitar cases. I had to modify a few things though. The board with all it’s pedals is both large and heavy. So I needed to construct the case out of thicker materials than I would have preferred. The frame is made of 3/4″ scraps of plywood and pine that I had lying around. The top and bottom are 3/16″ birch subfloor to keep the weight down. I covered the entire thing in an olive drab vinyl. It’s almost a perfect match to the board. Sometimes I think I could fall in love with Denise just because she has everything I need every time I go into the store. She’s cute and a great girl too! I also lined the case with rubber carpet pad, used for commercial double glue installations, and covered it with a soft velor material. It turned out well overall, but I did discover quite a few drawbacks to doing this. I’ll go ahead and list them ahead of time so you’ll be aware of what you are getting into before starting a similar project yourself.

Drawbacks

  • 3/4″ plywood is heavy.
  • Rubber pad is heavy.
  • Vinyl is heavy.
  • This damn thing turned out really heavy.
  • You have to select your materials more carefully than I did. Some vinyls aren’t meant to be glued.
  • You may need another person to help carry this thing because it’s really heavy.
  • Did I mention this thing turned out to be really heavy?

As you can see, the main problem is that this thing is heavy. It’s also very bulky, being akin to a very large suitcase. I haven’t weighed it yet, but I’m guessing it comes in at around 50lbs. That is before the board and pedals go in. It would be nice if you could find or commission a plastic case for this thing at a decent price, but that isn’t going to happen. I view this thing as a travel case, sort of like an ammunition crate. I doubt I’ll be keeping the board in it that much when it’s at home.

Now that you know what you are getting into, I’ll go ahead and show you how to build this monstrosity.

Building the Case

First of all I cut out my frame for the bottom part of the case. I used some scrap 3/4″ plywood leftover from the speaker cabinet build and the pedal board itself as well as some pine I had left over from some shelving I made. I cut a couple of 32″ x 8-1/2″ pieces and a couple of 24-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ pieces to start. I drilled and countersunk the ends and assembled them as shown, using wood glue at the joint to strengthen the bond.

Assembling the Frame

Assembling the Frame

Assembling the Frame

Assembling the Frame

Assembling the Frame

Assembling the Frame

I could have dovetailed or finger jointed the corners on this, but I was feeling lazy and opted for a straight butt joint. With the adhesive in place it should be plenty strong once the bottom goes on to give it dimensional stability. Note that the long sides of the frame go inside the short sides. This means that the screws go through the short side and into the long sides. This gives the best support when you consider how the case will be lifted.

I cut the bottom out of 3/16″ subfloor that we use at the store for installing sheet vinyl floors. It’s basically a higher quality void free luan plywood. I cut it slightly larger than the frame and attached it with another bead of glue all the way around the edge and ring shank nails. The ring shank prevents the nail from backing out and showing through the vinyl in the future.

Adding the bottom

Adding the bottom

Adding the bottom

Adding the bottom

Once the glue was dried I used my router and a trimmer bit with a collar on the tip to shave the edges of the bottom down even with the sides. Then I filled all nail and screw holes and sanded it all smooth once they dried.

I used the same jig I used on the speaker cabinet I built to drill holes for the handle and inserts. I neglected to take photos of this unfortunately but it’s pretty straight forward. I just attached and amp style handle to one of the long sides of the case. I centered it based on the total height of the case with the lid added.

Now I was ready for vinyl. This is where things started turning sour. The vinyl I selected was one I had not worked with before. The Tolex I normally use on amp cabinets has a pretty smooth threadlike texture on the back of it and takes glue fairly well. The olive drab vinyl I got for the project was meant as more of an upholstery fabric. That means it was meant to be sewn over a padded surface, not glued to a hard surface. As a result I had all sorts of issues getting my glue to work.

First off all I started out with the waterborne 3M contact adhesive I used on the speaker cabinet.

Gluing the vinyl

Gluing the vinyl

I applied it to both surfaces to be bonded with a small roller.

Gluing the vinyl

Gluing the vinyl

Gluing the vinyl

Gluing the vinyl

Gluing the vinyl

Gluing the vinyl

It worked fine on the wood since it was a pretty smooth surface. It even dried quickly this time. The vinyl was another matter. The back was so fleecy that it soaked up all the adhesive. I tried gluing it three times and it still would not leave enough adhesive on the surface to allow it to tack sufficiently to form a good bond. It also took ages to dry.

After fighting with that for a while, I abandoned the contact adhesive and opted to try a carpet adhesive. I applied that with a trowel.

Gluing the vinyl

Gluing the vinyl

I stretched the vinyl across the back and then spent about a half an hour working the adhesive ridges out of it. This probably would have worked better if the contact adhesive was not already on the fabric. As it was, the multiple layers of contact adhesive had sealed the fleece up, preventing it from absorbing the excess carpet adhesive. I had to work the ridges out from the center using a rolling pin. I left it to dry overnight and it actually turned out fairly well. The bond was good, but I felt it could be better so I brought home  a can of rubber tile adhesive to use in place of the carpet adhesive. I figured that if it would hold rubber tile, then vinyl should be no issue. So I moved on to the the long sides next.

Gluing more vinyl

Gluing more vinyl

I ran a bead of Locktite Power Grab along the edge for extra and more immediate hold.

Gluing more vinyl

Gluing more vinyl

Gluing more vinyl

Gluing more vinyl

Gluing more vinyl

Gluing more vinyl

I then stretched the vinyl over the side as tight as I could and stapled it to the inside to keep a nice surface. Again, I had to work it out with a rolling pin, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the bottom since the fleece was open to absorb the adhesive. You can see where I also trimmed the corners in.

Seaming the corners

Seaming the corners

Seaming the corners

Seaming the corners

I also wrapped the side part way around the end of the case.

Seaming the corners

Seaming the corners

I glued this in place with Locktite. I did this because I wanted the seam to be on the end of the case instead of right on the corner. The corners are not the best place for seams. There is more stress and wear on the corners and it causes the seams to peel apart.I did the other long side the exact same way.

Here I pulled the end flap up and clamped it temporarily.

Seaming the corners

Seaming the corners

I then measured in 1-1/2″ from the edge and marked the vinyl. I also measured up 1/2″ and marked a diagonal line from the corner to the other line. Then I double cut the vinyl, meaning I cut through both layers are once. This gives a pretty good fit between the two pieces.

Seaming the corners

Seaming the corners

I dropped the flap down and peeled off the excess that I had cut away from the other pieces.

I glued the end the same was as the long sides and stretched it into place. I did have some issues with this method though. The adhesive I was using is not a fast grabbing adhesive like contact cement. It stays wet and moves around a bit for several hours. That resulted in the vinyl wanting to creep a little and the seams started to gap. I peeled them back slightly and re-adhered then with Locktite. That still didn’t quite cut it though so I ended up running a bead of super glue in the seams to keep them from coming back apart.

Once the vinyl was done I moved on to lining the case after attaching the handle. I cut another piece of 3/16″ plywood to fit inside the case with about 1/8″ of play. Then I sprayed it with Locktite spray on contact adhesive. I also cut a piece of 1/4″ thick 80 ounce rubber carpet pad and sprayed one side of it with contact adhesive. Once they tacked I pressed them together.

I then cut an over-sized piece of the lining material and sprayed both the backside of it and the other side of the rubber pad with contact adhesive. Once tacked, I stretched it into place over the pad and flipped it over to glue the edges on the back as well. These photos are from the sides I did this way, but the bottom was constructed the same.

Lining the case

Lining the case – rubber pad

Lining the case

Lining the case – lining

Lining the case

Lining the case – pad on board

Lining the case

Lining the case – assembled panels

This contact adhesive dries very quickly since it’s solvent based. It’ll make a real mess though with the over spray. I’d suggest using some throw away drop cloths. Paper or plastic doesn’t work well though as they stick to everything. Canvas is better but more expensive. I managed the entire project just flipping one 12′ x 15′ drop cloth to a clean spot repeatedly.

Once the panels were ready I installed them using the Locktite Power Grab adhesive. I did the bottom first, then the long sides, and finally the short sides, fitting them inside the longer sides.

Lining the case

Lining the case

Lining the case

Lining the case

Lining the case

Lining the case

Lining the case

Lining the case

The adhesive grabs fast, but it still needs some pressure on it for a while to get the best bond. The last couple of photos show how I used some flat wood and a set of spreader clamps to tension the inside panels until they cured.

Note that I made these inside panels 1/2″  taller than the case. They protrude above the case to give it a lip for the top to drop over.

Next I flipped the whole thing over and put some plastic feet on it so it glides. These things came with an adhesive disk as well as a screw to attach them. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you remove the adhesive disk and clean it up with some Goo Gone. I installed these with the disk the first time and the glue liquified and oozed everywhere.

Adding feet

Adding feet

Once that was done I moved on to constructing the top. It was just like the bottom except I only made the frame 1″ tall.

Constructing the top

Constructing the top

Constructing the top

Constructing the top

Constructing the top

Constructing the top

Orion sanded the hell out of it for me to make it nice and smooth. We used the spray on contact adhesive to attach the vinyl this time. It seemed to work well. The seams definitely came out better. However, it seems that the lighter coat of spray adhesive did not saturate the fleecy backing enough to solidify it. That means that when you press or set something heavy on the top it leaves a mark pretty easily and doesn’t seem to come out. So the contact adhesive was better for the seams but worse for the open areas.

We used a thicker memory foam carpet pad in the top of the case since it may be resting against the actual pedals on the board. The process was the same for this as it was for the other panels. We did not make any side panels for the top. The lip from the bottom fits firmly against the top panel when closed. The top panel fills the majority of the lid.

Lining the top

Lining the top

I had intended to attach the lid with a piano hinge on one side and latches on the other. However, the lid fit so tightly that I wasn’t sure it would close properly if it were hinged. So I opted to put a set of latches all the way around the case instead. This way the lid just pushes down on and completely detaches when unlatched.

Hardware installed

Hardware installed

Hardware installed

Hardware installed

Here is the finished case.

Complete

Complete

Complete

Complete

Conclusion

Well, it certainly will protect those pedals. It turned out pretty well for something I’ve never done before. If I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn’t do it at all. This thing is just too damn heavy. I intend to put a set of casters on the side opposite the handle so it sits level and is easier to tote around. I doubt it’ll see much use around the house but it’ll served as good protection during transport. I couldn’t have built a better crate if I’d tried to built a crate.

All in all, I wish I had stuck with my original idea of making a plexiglass shell that would just drop over the board and thumb screw onto it. It would have offered plenty of protection and been one hell of a lot lighter. This case does provide an extreme amount of protection and will do a better job keeping water out though. We live and learn!

I hope everyone found this interesting. I sure did. Now I can move on to easier projects for a while. I think I’ll re-cover my weight bench while I have all this vinyl knowledge fresh in mind. I guess I get to go see Denise again soon!

Thanks for reading.

Little Holey Vengeance Pedal Board – Followup 1

I mounted my power supply and did a little cabling tonight. I thought I’d post a few photos for anyone interested. There’s not much on the board yet, but you get the idea.

VooDoo Labs Pedal Power 2+

VooDoo Labs Pedal Power 2+

I chose the tried and true Voodoo  Labs Pedal Power 2+ as my PSU.

Strapped in

Strapped in

I strapped it in with a nylon web strap so it can be easily removed to get to the switches on the bottom if the need arises.

Heat fused end

Heat fused end

Heat fused end

Heat fused end

Heat knife

Heat knife

I cut this off of a longer piece and melted the end so it didn’t unravel. I finally got to use the heat knife attachment on my soldering iron.

Padding

Padding

I also adhered some of the same close celled foam I used inside the channel strip to make sure the PSU didn’t slip at all.

Rough PSU wiring

Rough PSU wiring

This shows some basic wiring and pedal layout. The PSU wires are pretty long but I may have to make some custom wires to reach the far right side of the board. Voodoo Labs sells all the parts for them. Notice that there is room for a second PSU if it is needed below the shelf. Also I discovered that if I ever want to really pack some pedals on that board I can fit two full rows of the smaller pedals across the bottom. They’ll fit fine directly above one another. Lining them up with the holes could be tricky but I can always drill more!!

Example Cabling

Example Cabling

Example Cabling

Example Cabling

These are just some examples of how I’ll cable the board. I intend to keep it all color coded for identifying each loop’s signal chain.

That’s it for now. I’ll post some updates periodically as my pedal collection grows.

Little Holey Vengeance Pedal Board – Build Phase 4 Final

Phase 4

Today we finally finished up the Holey Vengeance Pedal Board. Well for now at least. There are a couple of details I’d like to tweak, but I’ll leave those for a future post. Most of this phase consists of building the channel strip on the back of the board. It all honesty, this is just an add-on. I did not originally intend for this to be part of the board, but the inspiration for it struck me out of nowhere. As a result it doesn’t fit the layout of the board as well as I’d like and the sizing causes a couple of issues. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but it does create some issues that may need adjustment in the future.

The purpose of this strip is to ease connection of the board to an amp and to avoid constantly plugging in and out of the actual pedals to prevent wear and tear on them. There are two loops here. Each loop run from the amp or instrument into a series of pedals and back out of the pedals into the amp. This is designed to allow for one loop to connect a set of pedals to the front of the amp and the other loop to connect a set of pedals into the effects loop of the amp. There is also a toggle switch that bridges the two loops together. This is for the occasion when the amp I’m playing through does not have an effects loop. The bridge basically shunts the first pedals loop directly into the second pedal loop and runs them all in series directly to the front of the amp. This way I simply flip a switch and connect the output to the amp to a different jack to change whether I’m running two loops or just one.

Right now I don’t have a good schematic of the circuit. All I have is a drawing I made by hand at work. I’ll attach a proper drawing once I get a chance to draw it into a computer.

First of all let’s take a look at the housing of the strip.

Housing

Housing

The center hole is drilled to 1/2″ for the toggle switch. The outer holes are 3/8″ and spaced 1″ apart. These are for mounting the 1/4″ jacks.

Reverse Mount

Reverse Mount

Next I mounted all the jacks and switches on the outside of the strip. This provided a convenient way to hold them in place and also allowed for accurate spacing so I didn’t have too much excess wire between parts.

Wired

Wired

This is what it looks like after soldering all the wiring into place.

Next I figured I would go ahead and cut the back plate for the strip and get it painted so it could dry while I was working on other things. I had to make the back plate deeper than planned in order to allow plenty of room for the jack tips inside.

Routing the bottom

Routing the bottom

Bottom Plate

Bottom Plate

I just used my router to carve a slot down the center of the back piece after cutting it to the correct size. I painted that and set it aside to dry.

Next I needed to shield the strip to keep interference out of the signal chain. I’m using aluminum duct tape, which you can buy at most any home improvement store.

Edge of shielding

Edge of Shielding

Notice how I folded the edge back on itself. This tape has a plastic backing, which is non-conductive. I folded the edge over so this piece and the piece under it would have a metal on metal connection where they overlapped. I would have soldered the edge together if I was using copper foil, but aluminum does not accept solder so that was not an option here.

Shielded

Shielded

This is the inside of the top half of the strip after I finished shielding it. I overlapped the edges of the shell as well so when the top and bottom halves are pushed together the shielding will make contact and complete the cage.

The inside of the strip is very tight so I wanted to do something extra to make sure no part of the jacks touched the shielding and grounded out when they weren’t supposed to.

Foam inserts

Foam inserts

It’s hard to see here, but I attached some self stick closed cell foam I bought from the crafts section at Wal-mart to the sides of the cover. I left the top with the holes bare metal so the jacks would touch it when installed. The foam on the sides prevents the jack tips from brushing the metal by accident.

Guts in place

Guts in place

Here is the shell with all the guts installed.

Top side

Top side

Here is a top view.

I was thinking of printing labels for all the jacks but decided to just hand label them with a paint marker.

Labeled

Labeled

Labeled

Labeled

Labeled

Labeled

The connections are not as complex as they may appear. The white lettering is for the dual circuit. Basically you have the following.

Inst. In – The guitar or other instrument plugs in here.
To PS1 – Out to the first pedal in the first set of pedals.
From PS1 – In from the last pedal in the first pedal set.
To Amp – Out to the face of the amp.

FX In – The send of the effects loop connects here.
To PS2 – Out to the first pedal of the second set of pedals.
From PS2 – In from the last pedal in the second set of pedals.
FX Out – Connects to the receive of the effects loop.

This functions as two separate loops when the switch is flipped to Dual.

When flipped to the gold Sing. (Single) position, the To Amp and FX In jacks are bridged inside the strip. It’s just like plugging a patch cable from To Amp into FX In. This connects the two loops one after another. The following changes are made to the circuit.

To Amp and FX In become N/A, which means they are not used at all.
FX Out becomes To Amp and connect directly to the face of the amp.

This allows both loops to be run as one long loop directly into the front of an amp. This is convenient for amps that do not have an effects loop. I can avoid switching cables around to change the way the loop runs and just flip a switch instead.

Next, I shielded and padded the bottom of the housing just like I did the top part.

Back shielded

Back shielded

Back padded

Back padded

The strip itself was finished at this point. All I had to do was press the two halves together to complete the shielding and clamp them onto the board.

To attach the unit, I decided to use U Bolts. The first thing I had to do was determine their position and drill the holes for them.

Drilling mounting holes

Drilling mounting holes

One bullet hole on each end lined up perfectly. I just drilled another corresponding hole across from each one to slide the other leg of the U bolt through.

U Bolts

U Bolts

On the back, I slid the metal retainer plate into place and threaded the nuts into place with a socket until the unit was firmly clamped. Then I used a rotary tool with a cut-off wheel to trim the extra length off the bolts.

Dead cut off wheel

Dead cut off wheel

The stainless steel bolts can kill a carbide wheel really quickly.

Cut and ground smooth

Cut and ground smooth

Once the bolts were cut and ground smooth I reinstalled the foot I had to move since it was exactly where the metal retainer had to lay.

Here is the finished product.

Mounting complete

Mounting complete

All Done

All Done

All Done

All Done

All Done

All Done

That completes the Holey Vengeance build for now. I’d like to detail a few issues I have with it though.

First of all, I was planning on the channel strip sitting a lot lower than it does. The bottom half was not really planned for, but I could only find a limited number of materials to try and make the strip from and it just wasn’t quite deep enough. The addition of the bottom half adds about 3/4″ to the height of the strip. This makes it difficult to have enough room to attach the cables to the strip. I can only use right angle connectors here. Straight plugs can’t plug into the strip due to the shelf putting them at an angle for insertion. Right angle plugs work fine though. I’m considering adding a hinge system to the shelf to allow it to tilt out of the way to make connections to the strip easier, but I have to think on that one a while.

The other issue is that the board has warped a little during production. It rocks the slightest bit when on a flat hard surface. I’ll have to shim the feet with some washers to level it out. This was almost bound to happen since the board is constructed of a single flat bottom piece.

Other than those issues I pretty happy with it. I may add some black rope wrap to the handles to give it a beefier grip.

That’s it for tonight. Once the paint cures completely I’ll get the pedals in place and take a few follow up photos. Until then, thanks for reading.

Little Holey Vengeance Pedal Board – Build Phase 3D

Phase 3D Update

I’ve decided to break Phase 3 of the Little Holey Vengeance pedal board build into subsections. I’ll be posting mini-updates over the next couple of weeks since the finishing process can take so long.

This is Phase 3D.

I got a fair bit done tonight on the pedal board. I finished up the lettering and the bullet holes on the shelf first so the paint could be drying while I worked on other things.

Lettering and paint done

Lettering and paint done

Next I installed all the feet on the bottom of the board to space it off of the floor.

Spacing the feet

Spacing the feet

The feet I got at Home Depot

The feet I got at Home Depot

All feet installed

All feet installed

I used a dozen feet so it feels nice and stable.

Next I went ahead and mounted the legs to the board so I could start roughing in the channel strip.

Legs mounted

Legs mounted

Rough-in of the channel strip

Rough-in of the channel strip

Here are a few shots of the channel strip itself. It’s at a fairly rough stage right now. I’m trying to decide how best to lay it out and mount it.

Channel strip

Channel strip

Channel strip

Channel strip

The purpose of the channel strip is to allow for quick connection of the board to the amp and effects loop on the amp. I’m basically going to have four sets of 1/4″ jacks on each end of the strip that will interface the board to the amp. One set will be for the pedals that go in front of the amp. The other set will be for the pedals that go in an effects loop, which I intend to have mostly on the top shelf. I’m also contemplating adding a switch or just using a patch cable to jumper the two circuits so all the pedals can run together in front of the amp. This is for convenience in case the amp being used doesn’t have an effects loop.

Here is a shot of what the board will look like when it’s all put together.

Mock-up of the finished board

Mock-up of the finished board

For the most part, the board is complete. All I have to do to make it functional is screw the shelf into the legs. The rest of the work now will be focused on the channel strip. I just have to figure out exactly how I want it to work and then get it built and installed on the board. I’m figuring on one more installment in this project to finish it up. I’m hoping to have it done this weekend.

That’s it for this time. Thanks for reading.

Little Holey Vengeance Pedal Board – Build Phase 3C

Phase 3C Update

I’ve decided to break Phase 3 of the Little Holey Vengeance pedal board build into subsections. I’ll be posting mini-updates over the next couple of weeks since the finishing process can take so long.

This is Phase 3C.

Well the finishing is now proceeding fairly smoothly. As I mentioned before the lacquer sanding sealer was causing some issues. The primer coat did indeed peel right off of the board. So I scraped it down and primed it with Zinsser BIN, a shellac primer in an alcohol vehicle. It seems to have done the trick. I checked back a few hours later and the BIN seemed to be perfectly sound. I proceeded to re-prime the entire board in the gray acrylic primer before starting my finish coats of olive drab. I will never touch the Minwax sealer again. It’s the only lacquer I’ve had this problem with so far.

Here are a few photos.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

You can see through the paint a bit on the first coat. I did it pretty thin. I applied two more full coats to all sides of the boards before I was done with the finish coats. I thought I took a photo of the finished pieces but I must have forgotten. Notice the blackout inside the holes. I had to hand paint that in before doing the green. That was tedious.

The next step was my signage. I couldn’t find any stencil plastic around this town so I bought a thicker plastic divider for separating pages in a binder and cut it out of that.

Cutting the stencil

Cutting the stencil

Then I taped it into place on the shelf.

Stencil in place

Stencil in place

I used a fine brush to dab the paint into the stencil. As I feared it seeped under the edges a bit. I’ll have some cleanup to do later. Taping the design would have been better but much more difficult. Ideally an airbrush would come in handy here but I don’t have access to one.

Stencil in place

Stencil in place

While the signage was drying I started on the bullet holes. I just free-handed these because I didn’t want them to look too uniform. I can’t say I did the best job. I haven’t seen enough real bullet holes in metal to get it quite right. Also I’m not much of an artist…at all.

Bullet holes

Bullet holes

Bullet holes

Bullet holes

Here is the finished product for now. I’m considering some shading on the bullet holes but may drop the idea. In an attempt to make something look better I could easily make it worse since I don’t have a clue how to get the results I want.

Finish shots for now

Finish shots for now

Finish shots for now

Finish shots for now

That’s it for the paint on this part. I’ll do some touch-up on the lettering and decide if I want to do any more to the bullet holes. I still have the back of the board to paint the bullet holes on. Right now I’m just waiting for paint to dry.

I will take the opportunity to show you one more items I’m adding to the board. This is a plastic strip I came across that I decided to make a channel strip out of.

Channel Strip

Channel Strip

Channel Strip

Channel Strip

It was a white PVC like material to begin with. I sprayed it black with Krylon Fusion. I intend to cut it down and drill holes in it to mount 1/4″ jacks. I’ll have a set to connect directly into the amp on one side of the strip and my pedals will all plug into an identical set on the other side. Then I’ll add a second set that will hook into the effects loop on my amp and another corresponding set to connect any pedals going into the loop. It should help swap configurations a little easier and simplify setup when I play.

That’s it for this update. I hope to get some more done on Thursday. Thanks for reading.

Little Holey Vengeance Pedal Board – Build Phase 3B

Phase 3B Update

I’ve decided to break Phase 3 of the Little Holey Vengeance pedal board build into subsections. I’ll be posting mini-updates over the next couple of weeks since the finishing process can take so long.

This is Phase 3B.

Well, I finally decided on a finish to apply to the pedal board. I picked up a can of Duplicolor Blue Metalcast and the corresponding base coat. Then I completely changed my mind about what I was doing. I was struck with the sudden inspiration that I should paint the thing olive drab and stencil bullet holes around every hole in the board. This is going to take forever, of course, but my mind is made up and that’s the route I intend to go with this.

I considered going ahead with a spray paint finish, but finally decided against it. Spray enamels are a pain to work with because you have a very small window of time to work with them. You have to apply the primer and several coats of paint within one or two hours. If you aren’t finished in that time frame you have to wait about a week before you can spray additional coats. This is because the finish will have cured to the point that additional coats will start adhering to the surface instead of melting into the previous coats, but the solvent in the additional coats will degrade the bond strength of the original coats and cause them to start crackling and peeling. It’s not a fun situation to fix.

So instead I decided to roll the finish on with a fine paint roller and back brush it with a mostly dry brush to smooth it out. I had to decide between an oil or acrylic finish. Usually I would go with oil for durability, but I decided to try a product I’ve used quite a bit of in the past. We sell an acrylic DTM (direct to metal) paint designed originally to recoat old rail cars. It’s very aggressive and tough, but has great workability. The thing I was worried about was adhesion the the lacquer sanding sealer. I’ve used this primer and paint in the past over lacquer but not the Minwax sanding sealer I’m currently using. I’ve never used this Minwax product at all and I don’t think I’ll use it again.

I noticed earlier today that the sanding sealer had a very waxy feeling when I sanded it. That really had me worried. I know some shellac sealers are waxy and you have to be careful to get a de-waxed shellac, but I hadn’t heard of this with lacquer, though admittedly I don’t use much lacquer. I went ahead and applied an acrylic stain blocking primer tinted to a light gray color anyway.

This is the primer I used. Notice the lacquer thinner. I’ll be talking about that in a minute.

Primer

Primer

This is the paint I’ll use when the primer is ready for it.

Acrylic DTM

Acrylic DTM

Here is the primed pedal board. I’ll prime the other side when this one is dry.

Primed pedal board

Primed pedal board

Primed pedal board

Primed pedal board

I primed the large board first after a thorough sanding with 220 grit paper and washing it down with a water and mild cleaning solution using a microfiber cloth.

I notice pretty quickly that my fears were well placed. The large board seems to be okay overall but there are some areas where the primer separated like rain beading on a waxed car hood. Before painting the other pieces I wiped them down with lacquer thinner. They seem to be holding the primer better. I’ll have to give the primer some time to cure before testing the bond. It may be fine but I’m fearing it’ll peel right off. If it does I’ll have to strip the board and prime it with Zinsser B-I-N. This is a shellac based primer that will stick to just about anything. An oil based primer probably would have worked fine as well. The acrylic likewise should have worked fine, but this waxy sealer is really causing issues.

So at this point I’m at a stop until I see what the primer is going to do. I’ll stick to de-waxed shellac sealers in the future, and probably shellac primers for this sort of thing.

Stay tuned for the next update.