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HOW-TO: Build your own pedal board


Look, I know many of you strive to be the next Jeff Beck or Alex Lifeson, but let's face it, you can't. But you can try however and I'm sure you already have. You've probably bought every pedal there is to buy out there to try to get that explicit sound your favorite guitarist makes right? Now they're all laying around on your floor, tumbled together, cables tangled up, etc. Well not anymore. Today you're going to learn how to make your own pedal board from stuff you have at home and a few other things....and of course it'll be on the cheap. That's how we rock and roll.

So. The first part for a pedal board is of course, the �board.� Find something with enough room for at least 5 average sized (read: BOSS) pedals and use that. I chose the side of an old IBM PC case I had around. It�s big enough, has room for expansion, and sits on a nice sloped angle.

pedal board 01
Next up, grab your pedals and patch cables. Obviously if you don�t have 6 inch patch cables, now is the time to get some. Lay your pedals out in a way that suits your style of playing best. Also remember that you�ll be buying more pedals in the future, so keep space in mind and try to group them together in a convienient way.
pedal board 03
Now it�s time to get out ultra-sticky duct tape. I happened to have a roll that is so sticky, it just sticks to you for days. It�s absolutely disgusting but works like a charm. Just carefully tape your pedals down on the bottom and position them correctly. There�s no need to screw and bolt things down since you don�t know if you�ll be adding pedals later. As you go to tape them down, make sure you�ve got your patch cables plugged in correctly so that you don�t need to go back and insert them later. It�s a real pain in the ass as you�ll find out so avoid it.

pedal board 05

Now comes power. Power power power. There are 2 ways of doing this. One is the elite hacker �everything I do has to be DIY or nothing at all� way, the other is the �I�m smart. I�ll spend $25 and be done with it� way. I reccomend the 2nd way. The first way just includes buying 9V power supply connectors and just relaying them over and over again for your pedals. However, if you go to your local guitar center or sam ash, you�ll find a few systems that daisy chain the plugs for you. They�re about $25 and you hook them up to only one power supply. This way, your pedal board is powered, you�re not using 9V batteries, and you don�t have 500 sega genesis AC adaptors plugged into the wall. Throw the daisy chain of plugs into your pedals and plug them in. Make sure everything is cool and you�re set.

Now it should start looking something like this
pedal board 04

Use duct tape to hold anything down that�s all over the place. Make sure everything works fine at this point. Try every pedal out with your guitar, etc. See how I left a nice big space to the left hand side so I can add a few more pedals? That�s what you should be doing. Especially since the next HOWTO might somehow benefit that (omg omg omg!!!!). Drill some holes into your pedal board if you can, and feed the cables and wiring underneath to make it cleaner if you need to. Be sure to rock out hard now that your pedals are all organized in once place with easy access and power. If you want you can go back and decorate it with felt, stars, feathers, what have you. I chose not to because I know I�ll be doing about 80 revisions of this version before I�m happy. Enjoy your new pedal board and who knows, soon you may have a new pedal to put on it!

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