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DIY pedalboard question

dedekind

Member
Messages
497
Hi,

so I've decided to start a DIY pedalboard for myself and now I'm having second thoughts. I started with the gorm idea, so I got the ikea gorm shelves, and already sanded them and used one slat to make it angled. That's just $10 so far.

Now, I was thinking, well, yeah, $10 for a pedaltrain-like thing, that's a no brainer. I always thought that boards like PT are way overpriced. But now I have to add the velcro to the gorm. I like at least industrial strenght, so that's $30 more. And I want a gig bag. I found a 49-key keyboard bag for $30 on GC which is bigger than the gorm by not so much, so it should work. Plus taxes, rubber feet, paint, and the like, I'm looking at a $85 or $90 board. A PT-2 with a softcase can be bought new for $110 at GC, so is it really worth it? Mind that $10 are already spent on the shelf, but it's not a lot anyway.

I like the satisfaction of DIY, but I'm no expert and have done really few things on my life like this, so it's not going to be very sturdy (in fact already the screws tightening the angle slat on the gorm shelf are too close to the borders so they are a bit weak IMO). Also, the PT bag will be a much nicer fit. Also, PT is aluminum, so it's a lot lighter. Last but not least, I've spent the last few days really thinking about this and doing a lot of research, and it feels like a waste of my free time, which I should be using to play the guitar.

What do you guys think? Just throw in your opinions :)

I should also add: I have an old DIY board project which is only a piece of plywood with velcro loop all over it. I could perhaps remove it from there and put it on the gorm, but my guess is that the adhesive will not be very strong if I remove it from one board to put it into another one. I do have velcro hook available for pedals.
 

Invisible Man

Member
Messages
377
I've done both, and I'd definitely recommend the Pedal Train. Here's why:

You'll have to source your parts, invest the time and labor, and still deal with things failing/needing replacement. The folks at PT have done all this work for you.

I've built my own boards, and they're a lot of fun--it takes on the form of a hobby. I'm pretty sure my DIY board cost as much or more than my PT-3 in the long run, though, and it sounds like this is what you're looking at, too. It's simple, clean, comes with a bag and velcro, and will never break down or fail.

I wish I'd just bitten the bullet earlier and gone for a prefab board. I thought they were way overpriced, too, but after spending two days sawing, drilling, gluing, clamping, applying velcro and assembling, my board still looked like salty garbage and had cables going everywhere. There's a reason prefab boards are so popular...And no, I'm not affiliated in any way with any brands.
 

Preacherofrock

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
On yeah,,.like anything else you don't save much money by going DIY, but sometimes it's fun to say I built it. Also, I just finished a board that (apparently) is an odd size because I couldn't buy one from any maker without ordering custom. Also, I have had and thoroughly enjoyed pedaltrain boards, but I hate that they all look the same. My new board looks like me, bruises and all. I kinda like that.
 

Invisible Man

Member
Messages
377
Also consider that PT boards get scaled up in features/size for progressively less $$$. PT-2=$110, PT-3=$140, PT-Pro=$150. I'm already wishing I'd sprung the extra $10 for the Pro...not that big a difference price-wise. Give yourself room to grow!
 

Bobby Wasabi

Member
Messages
2,101
I'm a big fan of the Ikea Gorm DIY pedalboards. Last one I built I used for 3-4 years. As sturdy as the day I made it. I did not use a gig bag or case, so I did not incur that cost.

Fw9gaQmKMq_ZdLRSbIPxJcuzO_8e4nDcRRDZT_Bs5MM=w277-h207-p-no


I've since downsized and all that remains is the Smart Gate, CC, and FB with a Barber Gain Changer on a Nano board...go figure. :dunno I do have the materials lying around to make another Gorm board half the size of the one pictured though if I ever go "big" again.

I can see what you're saying, that it may not be worth the hassle and $$$, but I think the appeal to me is you can make the board completely customizable to your needs. You don't just have to go with the stock size of the Gorm shelf. One end piece can be easily removed, the three slats sawed down to length, and the end piece nailed back on - custom size! You can paint/stain it whatever color you want. I did not use velcro, but the "bike-chain method" where you screw the pedals right into the wood. Stronger, and cheaper than velcro (in fact, free, just find an old bike chain somewhere).
 

dedekind

Member
Messages
497
Thanks for the input everyone. Maybe I should say that I know that DIY things are customizable and personal, but I think that the PT design works perfect, so what I wanted to do was some sort of a DIY pedaltrain (in wood). My ideal size would be the PT-2. The PT-Pro has good width, but it's too deep, and the PT-3 has the same width as PT-2 but it's also too deep. The 30x12 gorm is some kind of wider PT-2, which is nice, but 24x12 is big enough for me.

And the bag is kind of important for me, so.. in any case, if I get the PT, I'll keep the already started gorm project to finish sometime later. You can never have too many pedalboards, I assume.
 

j a

Member
Messages
52
Thanks for the input everyone. Maybe I should say that I know that DIY things are customizable and personal, but I think that the PT design works perfect, so what I wanted to do was some sort of a DIY pedaltrain (in wood). My ideal size would be the PT-2. The PT-Pro has good width, but it's too deep, and the PT-3 has the same width as PT-2 but it's also too deep. The 30x12 gorm is some kind of wider PT-2, which is nice, but 24x12 is big enough for me.

And the bag is kind of important for me, so.. in any case, if I get the PT, I'll keep the already started gorm project to finish sometime later. You can never have too many pedalboards, I assume.

Like these? I made this one to fit a PT2 bag - 22x13. I have some that fit the Mini bag (20x7 1/2) as well.






 
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j a

Member
Messages
52
or these?

e8e4f6e0ab396696540ab3dd95e0bb5a.jpg

f01ec940800a86aebd044a596f016309.jpg

johnboard.jpg

Props! Those are really, really nice! I dig the custom picture frame type corners you did on the middle one!
I'm working on building some into a case and I think the idea you/salvage/Helwig etc. used is terrific. Another option is to go to guys like D2Kcovers. If you sell em you have to charge for it though, and then you find yourself competing with someone who's established and may have more resources. IMO there's really no way to properly charge for the labor on these.
 

ghostrider

Member
Messages
1,429
I was just in this very situation myself. I opted for the PT-2 with the soft case for the exact reasons you cited. It cost me $20-30 more for the PT compared to DIY but it's considerably lighter and will not need to be maintained like a DIY board would. Plus, if I was going the DIY route, I would have likely over-done it with interface jacks and such would have put it more expensive than the PT.

So I made the executive decision and my PT-2 just arrived yesterday and, after seeing it and starting to lay stuff out on it, I'm very confident that I made the right decision.

Good luck.
 

dedekind

Member
Messages
497
I was just in this very situation myself. I opted for the PT-2 with the soft case for the exact reasons you cited. It cost me $20-30 more for the PT compared to DIY but it's considerably lighter and will not need to be maintained like a DIY board would. Plus, if I was going the DIY route, I would have likely over-done it with interface jacks and such would have put it more expensive than the PT.

So I made the executive decision and my PT-2 just arrived yesterday and, after seeing it and starting to lay stuff out on it, I'm very confident that I made the right decision.

Good luck.

Thanks! I think I'm going the same route. I decided today that I would only go DIY now if the velcro that I had could be used in the new board, but the adhesive is basically useless once it's been already used. I'm probably going to order a PT-2 with soft case now.
 

Invisible Man

Member
Messages
377
These DIY boards look really good! Wish I had you guys' know-how/workbenches.

Custom is great, but, for my needs, the PT stuff is a blank slate. Custom never really entered the equation. Everyone's board is custom. These are still essentially flat surfaces (at an angle, if you're fancy) the hold stuff.

SAT question (answer?): Pedalboard :: plate as pedal :: food. A custom plate doesn't make a ton of sense. And I'm not knocking these awesome boards, or anyone who's building them--I've done it, it's fun, it's rewarding.

I still say the PT will save you time and money. The bag/case is super important, too. I cannibalized an old guitar case (ripped out the lining, installed wood in the lid, &c), so I had a "case," but it never worked right.
 

dpgreek

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,306
I just built my own and am kickin myself. I did a good job, but I could have bought a bad ass trailer trash or something along those lines for what I put into it (a la mistakes, etc) do yourself a favor. Save up and get what you want.
 

ran_dizolph

Member
Messages
68
I think you've also got to evaluate why you want to do it yourself, beyond brass tacks.

I recall building a rack for rack-mounted effects, and after what I spent on the materials and tools to do it, could've spent half on a store bought one (which would've been better quality-wise I'm sure), but I didn't regret it 'cause I just look at it as an opportunity to learn/try something.

I've built a huge Gorm board, for less than a PT, and it's rock solid after a couple of years of regular use.
 

dedekind

Member
Messages
497
I think you've also got to evaluate why you want to do it yourself, beyond brass tacks.

I recall building a rack for rack-mounted effects, and after what I spent on the materials and tools to do it, could've spent half on a store bought one (which would've been better quality-wise I'm sure), but I didn't regret it 'cause I just look at it as an opportunity to learn/try something.

I've built a huge Gorm board, for less than a PT, and it's rock solid after a couple of years of regular use.

I wanted to do it myself first because I thought it would be a lot cheaper, which I found out that it isn't. Also because I like the idea of having something done by myself. But I've never been too handy for these jobs, and I barely have any tools. It's a nice opportunity to learn, as you say, and I'm sure I can get better with more experience. But for now I will go with the PT. I will finish the Gorm board in the future though.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,309
I have pulled off some zero cost pedal boards. Prefab does have a higher durability factor.

For great Velcro alternative, Hello Music is selling the Golyke version of dual lock for $9 per meter. Don't need to carpet your board with it.
 

Balok

Member
Messages
3,633
This is cheaper and cruder than what's been mentioned, but I use a variation on the Zakk method. Instead of pieces of wood, I use a bent piece of aluminum angle stock. The pedal drops into the 'slot'. Easy to change around with self tapping wood screws into the 1/2" ply base. Very fast to make. Of course you can't flip it over, but how often do you turn your board upside down.
zakk_reserve_pedal_b.jpg
 

Carpalstunna

Member
Messages
691
Ya I am sure there really is not any money in making these. Its very expensive to build on parts. I do them more as favors. It would never be a fulltime viable business in my opinion. I think the guys at salvage are figuring that out too. It costs 150-250 just in parts and materials depending on the wood you use. The zebra wood for that last one was like 100 bucks just for it.
 




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