Let’s recycle! I realized that I needed a pedal board and started looking around the web. Most of the commercially available ones where made from metal, and I figured I wanted something that resonates with the instruments that I play – wooden and with a history.
Anyway, how hard can it be to make your own, right? Here’s how I made two DIY makeshift pedal boards out of an old swing and a mailbox.
1. Swing it!
First, the old swing. Basically it was just two wooden planks with beautiful patina that I figured would be perfect to hold four-five pedals, which is what I use in most live situations. So I basically just sawed two 1 decimeter “feet” from another plank and screwed them to the bottom of the planks. I didn’t have a power bank at that time, so I took the daisy chain cable and attached it to the pedal board with nails.
I attached velcro and put on rubber stamps on the feet so it wouldn’t glide or damage the floor. It was done! Here’s how it looked with pedals on, I’m playing my mandora lute through a TC Electronic Alter Ego (Flashback), Boss OC-3, EHX Superego in auto-mode and the TC Electronic Ditto X2 looper:
2. Tilt it!
While I really liked my new pedal board the daisy chain thing wasn’t that great – I got an annoying hum from my reverb pedal when it was in the chain so I always needed to have extra power anyway so that meant lots of cables and the initial niftyness of my pedal board was a bit ruined. I needed a power bank – but how would it fit on, or preferably below, the board? I heard of “Micro Mooer Power“, the tiny power bank from developers Mooer Audio. It was small enought to almost go under my board, but I would need to raise it a little bit to make it fit. Instead of raising the height of the whole board I decided to change the feet so it would tilt up a bit. That would also make it easer to reach the pedals.
Sawing the tilted feet was harder then expected, but with help from Facebook, a Japanese dozuki saw, my 8-year of son and a long plank that allowed for me to fail a few times it finally worked out pretty well.
I screwed the feet to my board, got the Mooer Micro Power and attached it with velcro to the bottom. I also attached velcro to several spots on each cable, which allowed me to tuck them away neatly underneath the board (as neat as it can get with 8 long cables coming out from the power bank like a weird electronic octopus). Niftyness restored!
3. Mail it!
Alright – brand new-old tilted swinging pedal board ready! But at this time I had started using a few more pedals – specifically two Digitech JamMan Express XT loopers, which (1) wouldn’t fit on the board and (2) didn’t seem to play well with the Mooer Micro Power, since I got a high pitched hiss coming from them when connected to the miniature power bank. I have not yet had the possibility to experiment with other power banks, so I am uncertain if this is a case of the pedals being super picky about having their own personal power adapter or if it could be solved with a more expensive/bigger power bank. Please let me know if you have tried the JamMan XT loopers with power banks and if it works?
I decided to make a separate board for the loopers and my EHX Superego, since I only use them on quite specific gigs. But how to make it? There I was all, out of swings, and my eyes fell on this old ugly wooden mailbox that we weren’t using anymore. That lid looked tempting…
So I loosened the lid, sanded it down a bit and drilled holes on strategic places to draw the cables through (I know it looks like crap from underneath, but who’s looking there?). Then I attached velcro (yay!) and that was basically it! It would probably look more professional if I’d sand away all the paint from it, but I kind of like that you can actually still see what it used to be.
Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions or comments!