How to Build a Pedal Board

a.k.a GORM.
 

Let’s get something straight. I’ve spent a ton of time and money on my pedals. Figuring out exactly which ones I need, and spending the extra few mullah to get the extra smooth sheen that maybe two people in the audience may notice. But it’s my sound; it’s the heart of it all. So when it comes to the pedal board, it’s serious business. Not only because I want something great to house my precious babies, but stock boards you find at stores are way overpriced and are hard to customize to my needs.

Enter GORM, an $11 IKEA shelf that dreams of being so much more.

The Idea.

After I arrived to my perfect pedal lineup (I know, I know. Can one ever be satisfied?), I needed a board. I thought to myself, “boy, it would be nice to afford food tomorrow. There must be a way I can make one for cheap, with my own two hands even!” After my first failed attempt, I did what any sensible person would do; I fired up Google.

A quick “how to build a pedal board” search later, I came across this handy little forum thread. In the thread, “Armchair Bronco” took me on a narrated step-by step photo journal of how he turned a bland unassuming shelf into a wicked custom pedal board.

Needless to say, I was sold. A solid wood construction, nice long slats to place your pedals, spacing between slats for cable management, customizability (both aesthetically and functionally), and did I mention cheaper?

I won’t go into too much detail in the steps, since Armchair Bronco did such a great job, but here’s a quick synopsis:

  • Get this thing + exactly 2 bottles of Stella Artois (make sure they are the bottled kind) and a pack of frozen meatballs from the IKEA cafeteria (this is extremely important, you’ll see why soon!)
  • Choose one of the two boards as your main board.
  • Sand that main board until it is silky smooth.
  • Use the side bars from the second board as support brackets on the bottom of the board (so your hoofs don’t break the board in two when you’re rocking out).
  • Use a slat from the second board as a front panel, and also raise the front of your board up towards you. You should be able to use the nails already provided by IKEA.
  • Screw in some rubber feet. I used two on either end of the front panel, and one on each of the bottom two corners on the side bars.
  • Get some Velcro tape and smother a ‘lil bit of that on. Mmmm mmm. Oh yeah.
  • Mount your pedals and use the gaps between the slats to route your cables.
  • Consume the two bottles of Stella Artois in celebration and look at your bag of frozen meatballs in complete awe of how an internet stranger managed to get you to buy them.
  • Bonus!: tie in a power bar into the empty space by the front panel under the board.
  • Double Bonus!: get a woodburner (either the kit and/or artist with said kit) and customize that front board into a beautiful tapestry of your inner mind.

The Result.

Top View

My first pedal layout. As you can see, there is a lot of room to be accommodating and creative with your pedal layout. The slats will allow *most* of the cables to be hidden, leaving only the power cord from the daisy chain to run out from the board to the wall. If you look closely, you can see the support bracket between the gaps just below the muff and above the FS-5U.

Side View

The front panel does a great job of holding the board up, adding strength, and hiding the messy cables from the crowd. The rubber feet work really well at adding a little height, and keeping the board steady.

*drool*

Damn. That is one sexy board. Now I just need to find a wood burning artist!

Here’s my current pedal board layout. As you can see, I added the TU-3 and TR-2, and adjusted the layout accordingly. Keep your eyes peeled for reviews of all these sweet boxes coming soon!

The Conclusion.

After having this board for a few months, I can happily say that it is doing VERY well. There has been no give in the joints and the board is as solid as the day I made it. For transportation, I bought a very cheap keyboard gig bag ($10 from Tom Lee!!), which fits the board perfectly with just enough spare room for extra cables.

So there you have it! Simple! Brilliant! Affordable! If you give it a go, let me know how it went in the Comments!

9 thoughts on “How to Build a Pedal Board

  1. kasey says:

    you should have a bag of frozen meatballs and empty stellas in the end pictures! lol Great stuff!

  2. endofthegame says:

    Your pedalboard looks sort of similar to mine! I like the pattern you included with the velcro. You can see my GORMboard here http://endofthegame.net/2013/02/21/diy-effects-pedalboard/

  3. @fifthstory says:

    Just made one of these myself! Customized mine with some Doctor Who fandom. Check it out!

    Backside on my new #tardis #DIY #pedalboard. See it in action @therefugehhi. http://www.therefugehhi.com #hiltonhead #church #geek #doctorwho

    A photo posted by Chris Rosenberry (@fifthstory) on

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