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Homemade Pedalboards

My first pedalboard.

I purchased a Temple Solo pedalboard some years back. It’s a well-made board with a unique method of attaching your effects pedal to the board. But, ultimately I was dissatisfied with the Temple Solo, mostly because the size was wrong for what I wanted. But also, as clever as their attachment method was, I got tired of it and wanted to go to the more traditional hook and loop method of placing pedals. (Obviously, I can and have put Velcro™ on the Temple board).

Temple Solo with Velcro
Temple board with pedals

Since that first pedalboard, I have built 3 boards to suit my needs. They are all quite simple such that almost anyone could build something similar. These are not artsy, craftsperson quality made from exotic woods with furniture-grade finishes. They are not tricked out with hinges, hidden inputs, and outputs, or geometric shapes more complex than a rectangle. 

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 How did I get here?

Before continuing I should say something about my needs which are probably different from your own. The most important thing to know is I am not a pedal person. I don’t understand how I can possibly have acquired 9 stompboxes considering my default assumption is I don’t need a pedal to sound good. I don’t collect pedals (except for my current 9 and any new ones I might purchase).

I am a minimalist. I am always attempting to reduce the number of pedals connected to my amps. The problem with the Solo, one of Temple’s smaller boards, is it is too large for me. I’m happy if I can get the number of pedals on my board down to three. And if I manage that, then I don’t want them on a board that can fit more than twice that many.

A fairly standard small pedal board for one row deep of pedals is 18” wide and about 5 to 8” deep. The Temple Solo is 18” x 8.5” although the usable space is 16.75” in width. A two-row deep pedal board typically starts at 18” wide as well and is 10 to 14” deep. 

 My homemade boards.

 Board 1. 

Board #1 with 2 pedals

My first and smallest pedalboard was made from an 8” plank of poplar (7.5”) and is 12” long. After cutting the board, covering the top in Velcro™ and attaching feet to the bottom, it was done. Easy. I can fit 3 standard sized pedals (e.g., Boss stomp boxes), a few more if using mini pedals. The board isn’t designed for complex wiring options. There is no room for routing the cables and connectors beneath the board. It meets my requirements for a small board.

Bottom of Board #1

 Board 2. 

I cut this board from 1/2” plywood. It is 16” x 7.5” deep. There still are no holes or slots through the surface to run patch cables or power connectors under the board. The design is still a piece of wood with feet and a loop surface that the hook half of the Velcro can grab. This is again a simple board and should be within the capabilities of most people.

Until recently I had my Quilter head mounted on this board.

Note that the odd spacing of the feet on this board (see below) was intentional so that it would sit on top of my small speaker cabinet (above image) without interference from the metal corners or handles.

Bottom of Board #2
Top of Board # 2. I didn’t cover the entire surface with Velcro.

 Board 3.

My newest pedalboard is made from poplar with 3 crosswise slats supported from below by two pieces of wood. It was supposed to be more complex than it turned out with an intended size of 15” x 12.5”. However, 1.5” of the width and height were due to a frame which I ended up not building. The size is thus a smaller 13.5” x 11”. For me, this is huge.

Board #3
I put Velcro on the bottom of the center slat of this board to anchor the patch and power cables with strips of hooked counterpart to looped Velcro.

The top and bottom slats are 2.5” wide cut from a nominal 3” board. The center slat is 4” wide. The width was ripped from a wider board but I could have instead used a 2.5” and a 1.5” wide board that sums to 4”. 

This board makes it easy to hide patch cables and power supply cords beneath the board.

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