Pedalboard

I’ve been getting back into playing guitar more often. I have a bunch of pedals, but no pedalboard. I had been looking at Pedaltrain and some of the boutique-y makers out there (see list below). I knew I could pull something together myself and practice woodworking in the process.

I decided I wanted something like a Salvage Custom board. I threw some sketches together and came up with a simplified version I could make with plywood.

I wanted to use rabbets as corner joints. A quick trip to the coin sorting machine and I was off to Home Depot for a stacked dado blade set. I’ve wanted one for a while but wouldn’t impulse-buy one. Now I had my excuse.

Rabbet joints are easy to cut. Badly planned rabbet joints are NOT. My original design called for rabbeting both parts of the corner, like this:

The problem was that the depth and width of the cut (height of blade and fence position) needed to be exactly the same. Otherwise, I ended up with gaps and the joint wouldn’t work. This level of accuracy does not happen with a cheap table saw and dado set. I thought I was doing something wrong and burned through a lot of my material trying to get this joint to work.

I thought it over for a while, trying to fix my method and not even thinking about the design. As I was thinking of jigs and gauges I could make, it came to me out of nowhere – my design was wrong, not my hands. If you rabbet one side of the joint, the dimensions are much less critical. My new joints look like this:

Much easier to set up the saw and plenty stable once glued up! I think this is how you are *supposed* to do it anyway.

I used a homemade taper jig to cut the top of the sides at an angle. It was hard to line it up, but I got it to come out good enough.

Once I got the frame glued up, I did a ton of sanding. I shaped it by feel, not worrying too much. I threw on a coat of grey stain. This cheapo plywood did not take the stain evenly. I ended up with a neato streaky patina. Two coats of poly and I was all set.

The top is 1/2″ plywood. I drilled a few 5/8″ holes and connected them with a jigsaw to create the cable slots. The velcro loop sheet and the hardware all came from pedalboardshop.com. I decided to use “electrosocket” style input and output jacks and an IEC power plug.

Here are my notes from my project book.

If you are in the market for a pedalboard or thinking of making one, here’s some of the cool stuff I found out there. I looked at these makers over and over while planning my design, all the while admiring their great work.

http://www.salvagecustom.com/

http://blackbirdpedalboards.com/

http://templeboards.com/

http://trailertrashpedalboards.com/

http://www.helwegpedalboards.com/

Workspaces

I have a lot of interests. I like to make things, break things, occasionally fix things, tinker and learn. JUSBOT.COM is a place for me to share some of this random junk I do. To get started, I want to talk about my  workspaces.

I’ve set up two separate spots in our apartment. My primary space is in our “studio” – where the dining room would go if we were “normal” people. 

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This is my half of the room. My partner Maurice uses the other half, and we sometimes collaborate on projects in the middle. Down here I do most of my messing around. I’ve got lots of miscellaneous supplies, electronic components, hardware, etc. Most of my hand tools, computer hardware and music gear lives here. If I’m doing serious computer-y stuff, I’m sitting here instead of at a desk or on the couch.

Up in the attic I have the “heavy duty” workshop – a makeshift space for power tools and messy stuff. 

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The attic is not really habitable space. There’s no outlets and it’s poorly insulated. But it works, so I can’t complain. I have a small table saw, band saw, drill press and workbench. I have a closet full of wood scraps and various materials. I’ve got some hand planes, saws, clamps, sanders, fasteners, this-and-thats up here. I made the tool stands and the workbench. The tools are on casters so I can set the small space up however I need.

Having separate workspaces for different tasks has some drawbacks. I have tools and supplies in different locations and it’s hard to figure out what to keep where sometimes. Running back and forth for forgotten tools or supplies is annoying. I have less isolation when I’m working downstairs and am easily distracted. However it’s great to not have sawdust all over everything when I’m working on guitars or circuits or arts and crafty stuff, so I’m happy with this setup.

More pics ahead.

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