After building the Poor Player’s Pedalboard, I decided to make something more practical that would be more useful for the gigging or recording musician. I personally don’t care for angled pedalboards, as I like to use a wah pedal, and the extra angle isn’t comfortable. The obvious answer was to get, or build, a two-tiered pedalboard.
Being as stubborn as I am, I didn’t want to build a board. So I ordered one on ebay. It was crap. MDF glued together, not even one screw to hold it together. Naturally, it fell apart. So I fixed it, and put it back together with some wood screws. Then when I started putting pedals on it, I realized I hated the dimensions. I don’t need 16″ depth, I wanted 12″ depth, and it wasn’t nearly wide enough.
So I gave in and decided to build a real board. I laid my pedals on the floor exactly as I would want them on my new board. I measured the area around them, and gave some extra space because I change pedals often enough.
I went to the hardware store, and got some REAL wood. I went with 1″ thick White Pine for the floor board because it’s sturdy enough and light. For the top platform and supports, I used Oak. Why? Because Oak is strong, and the wood screws will break before the wood fails. If you don’t have a good saw at home, one great thing about knowing your measurements when you get to the hardware store: they can cut the wood for you.
When I got home I lined up the wood, measured and traced where the supports would go, and then pre-drilled all the screw holes. After I put the board together, and used 3 wood screws on each end of each support, I painted the wood black. It’s a good idea to paint the wood for a number of reasons. Most importantly, you want to seal the wood from the elements and reduce the likelihood of warping. …and depending on where you store your board, it can also help repel termites. I hope you don’t leave your gear where that would be a problem. 🙂
After letting the paint dry thoroughly, I added some industrial strength hook and loop fasteners. You can use whatever fastening system you like of course. The final result is a pedalboard that I’m happy to use because it fits my pedals EXACTLY the way I want to use them. I had enough left over materials that I made a small board to bring with me if I’m going to play out and don’t want to bring the full board. Be careful if you do that though, it may inspired some GAS to fill up the second board.
The last thing you’re probably wondering about is how to safely transport the pedalboard. When determining the measurements of your board, pick out a case in advance. It could be a generic pedalboard case, or what I prefer, a keyboard case. Keyboard cases come in a large variety of sizes to the point where you can make almost any size board you want and have a nice case to go along with it as long as you plan ahead.
Here’s the basic plans I made for my pedalboard. They’re not the same dimensions as my board pictured above, but it’s basically scale and a good starting point to build your own pedalboard.
You can get creative if you want and angle the top platform supports if you have a nice miter saw…or a pencil and some patience. I thought about it, but I was afraid I might break a pencil.