Nifty Originals: Plastic Pedal Board

Our youngest sales representative, Colby, was looking for a way to neatly keep his guitar effects pedals together for easy setup and breakdowns for his weekly gigs. Any versed musician will tell him to go out and buy a pedal board. These allow you to line your pedals up in any order you desire, connect and fasten them to the board. All you really need to do from that point is carry the board wherever you want and plug the pedals into a power supply when you’re ready to jam. Some boards come equipped with wiring so that you only need to plug in one cord to a power supply after the initial setup.

Colby, a Business major at Cal State Fullerton, doesn’t exactly want to drop $200+ on such a nifty device. When I was in college, I never had that kind of money, so if he’s in a similar situation, it’s best to explore other options. He turned his sights on Paragon, which had almost everything he needed to make a pedal board himself!

“I got the idea from my brother, who built a wooden pedal board with our father. I was inspired to make one myself but out of the material that I’ve been currently learning to sell.”

Let’s look into what he used to get the job done:

  • 1/2″ acrylic rem pieces (colors optional)
  • Measuring tape
  • Drawn/written dimensions
  • Weld-On #16 acrylic adhesive
  • Adhesive applicator
  • Table saw (blade for cutting plastics)
  • Stick-on Velcro
  • Dimensions allowing room for all pedals (and a little extra)
  • 3 hours

Do not go into this without a well drawn-out plan. You’ll want to have a sketch of your product complete with dimensions and instructions. No need for a Da Vinci-esque masterpiece. Just get your numbers down on paper . The point is to get the cuts perfect to avoid having to re-cut and jump the cost of your project. Additionally, most sheets will have paper-masking on them. Use this to mark your cutting and drilling spots with a pencil for precision.

You can then move on to cutting. Colby used a table saw with a special blade for plastics. Hopefully, you don’t need me to tell you to use caution while doing this, but, make sure you’re taking every precaution. If you’re unsure how to be safe while operating dangerous tools, read the safety manual that came with your equipment.

After cutting, clean off your pieces of any debris from the cuts. Don’t let any unwanted pieces get into the adhesives. Size your pieces up as if you were about to glue them, just to make sure everything lines up correctly.

Everything look good? Take off the masks and glue away! You can either use clamps to hold the pieces in place or your hands. It only takes a minute or two for the glue to set, but follow the instructions on your glue container to see how long you’ll need to wait in order to get the best results. Weld-On #16 can get a good initial set in a few short minutes, but allowing it to fully set for 24 hours will give you a piece of mind later on when your stomping on the board.

Colby decided against polishing his board. He says it looked plenty clean, so I imagine you’ll be fine as well unless you prefer to buff out any blemishes or scratches.

While Paragon doesn’t hold any velcro, you can find them at just about any hobby shop or online. Stick them on any way you like, but I’d say covering it almost entirely allows a bit more flexibility when organizing your pedals. Also, it’s worth investing in a power strip, which you can velcro between the top board and bottom board. This will make setting up for your gig much easier.

You’re finished! All you need is to add the pedals to the board and you can start jamming in no-time.

“It’s a pleasant surprise that the board has held up as well as it has. The acrylic performs great as I’m practicing my music at home. The strength of the board is more than enough to withstand the pressure from my foot when I switch up my effects.”

 

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