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My IKEA Gorm Pedalboard Build Thread

Messages
620
Well, after several weeks of hard work, I've finally finished my first pedalboard and I thought it was time to start a build thread to show what I've been up to in my spare time. I decided to base my first DIY pedalboard on the well-known IKEA GORM design (who comes up with these names?). So I headed out to the local IKEA in Renton, WA and paid $4.00 for a GORM shelf and another $4.00 for two side boards. The dimensions of this thing are just slightly larger than a PedalTrain Jr.

Here's the initial layout I had in mind. I used some paper cutouts for pedals I hadn't bought yet.



A friend of mine at work used his table saw to cut the side boards to size.



I marked the location for some screw holes so I could use the original iron bolts to hold this thing together.



I decided to go with a bright orange Rustoleum spray paint finish for this pedalboard to match it up with my Orange Tiny Terror and my orange-Tolex covered Avatar 1x12 cab. It's an acquired taste, but I like it. I pre-sprayed the areas where the iron bolts would go (along with 4 thick washers) so I could install these pieces when I glued everything together, and then mask off the black bolts when it was time to start painting.



On one of the rare sunny weekend days in Seattle, I sprayed the top and back of the board before the rain came. The semi-circular cutouts you see are for the pancake-shaped 1/4" connectors I decided to use for cabling. I made three cutouts, with the one at the top extra deep because of the narrower gap at the top of the board.



You can see the masked-off bolts in this photo.



Here's my first test fitting after applying the paint. It’s starting to look pretty good…AND ORANGE!



Then it started raining and I couldn’t finish painting the underside for nearly a week. This left me with a lot of time on my hands. After playing with the pedals on the board, it looked like the bottom board was flexing a little so I decided to add a stabilizing board to the center of the pedalboard. Here I'm attaching the fitted stabilizer to the underside of the board with some Gorilla glue and some giant bolts and a jar of jelly for some weight.

Adding this stabilizer introduced a major design flaw (Design Flaw #1) into my board. Can you see what the problem is? If not, you'll find out later.



Finally! The sun peaked out long enough one morning for me to quickly spray paint the underside. I needed a 30 minute window, and Mother Nature gave me 35 minutes before the rain started up again.



Later that night, I decided to get started putting Velcro on all my pedals. Here I am applying the plasticky/hook side to the bottom of my pedals. But then...I started thinking: "Hummm, should I be using the hook side or the soft/fuzzy side for the pedals?" I started a thread on HCEF and was told that the hook side is the conventional side. But then some folks said that with the soft side, I'd be able to take my pedals off and use them on tables or floors without scratching things up. Also, all my BOSS pedals had really bumpy bottoms and the soft Velcro side seemed like it would fit better.

So, reluctantly I ripped off all the hook side Velcro from my pedals (Design Flaw #2) and started over.



After that, I put the hook side Velcro on to the board. Even though this is the unconventional way to do it, I was happy that I changed my mind. Cutting the Velcro was really easy on my rubber cutting board using a metal ruler marked off with both inches and centimeters (I tried to make this a ‘Metric Build’). I bought a box of 100 single-edge razor blades and I made sure to use new blades frequently.



After that, it was time for another test fitting. Now my pedals can defy gravity if I turn the board upside down.



So: back to Design Flaw #1. Remember those cutouts I made early on? I did this because of the pancake style connectors I decided to use. Here are some close-ups of me showing how to insert a connector through the cutouts.





The flaw was that with the stabilizing board running down the center of the board, I wouldn't be able to get my speaker cables over to the right side of the board! Doohh! What an idiot! So, I had to cut out some squares from the Velcro on the right side, break out my Dremel tool again, and make new cutouts. Then I had to do some touch up repainting and cut out 3 Velcro patches. This set me back a day.



Next it was time to break out the soldering iron and start making cables. I practiced using a scrap piece of 12" cabling; after 45 minutes I figured out the right way to solder the cabling to the thin connectors. I also had to use my hand drill to slightly enlarge the hole for the center cable. Each cable was cut to minimal length and the connectors were attached with the cables making a natural twist relative to the pedals they would be attached to.

 
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620
After making the cables, it was time to install some rubber feet. I looked high and low for some black rubber feet, but the only ones I could find that were rugged and tall enough were white (and they hung out over the edge a centimeter on each side). Oh well, function over form in this case.





Then, it was time to attach a power strip. I used a combination of Velcro and some black plastic tie downs. These fit nicely through the holes on the end piece of wood. I used a 1 Spot 9-volt adapter for every pedal except for my Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man which requires a 24-volt adapter. To make that adapter fit, I had to drive out to Frys in Renton, WA and buy a $3.49 Power Strip Liberator. Finally, I attached the EXH adapter with Velcro and a tie down of its own.
Then I spent some time carefully folding and wrapping all of the loose wires which I secured with some black electrical tape.







Yay! I'm done. Here's a shot of my completed pedalboard in its new home -- just in front of the rosewood liquor cabinet that sits between my SG Classic and my rack of guitars and my cab and Tiny Terror. I also spared no expense on cabling and made new thicker cables for my guitars and for connecting the pedalboard to the amp. (I was amazed how much better they sounded compared to the Monster cables I was using previously.)



And here's an action shot of me doing my thang with my right foot while playing my Fender Jaguar Classic Player Special HH in the foreground!
This was a great project that took much longer than it needed to, and on which I spent more than I should have (although I still came in much lower than the $100 cost of a PedalTrain Jr. plus $170 for a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power +). I figure I spent under $70. But I also kept myself out of trouble for a few weeks.

Next up: I'm planning to build a couple of clone pedals from "General Guitar Gadgets". I'll start things off with a ProCo RAT clone! I figure there's room for at least 3 new pedals on my board!

 

bestegw

Member
Messages
120
<mod edit: Leave the Spam out>


Anyway, that's one of the coolest approaches to a pedalboard I've ever seen. Beats Pedaltrain by a mile!!! Heck, even beats Pumaboard, although he's way cool!!

All the best!!

BSTGW
 
Last edited by a moderator:

PanicProne

Member
Messages
968
Oh yeah, I found your thread. Really nice and inpiring work. As I said in the pedalboard-thread. I'm actually considering doing this myself. Just have to find out what the GORM is called over here in Ikea-land (Sweden).
 

Cornbread

Member
Messages
5,450
I'll say it again, I really (really) dig it.

I have had a Gorm board since January but haven't been able to do anything with it yet due to a combination of general laziness and uncooperative weather (painting).

I am now inspired to turn this into something.....



...and moving the PP2+ underneath will allow 2 more pedals


So thanks for the inspiration and the build thread

:dude
 

CrunchTone78

Member
Messages
202
Been contemplating to put together some plywoods [DIY pedalboard] that just laying around in my garage, but you just inspire me...!!!!

Why sweat if you can buy that board for $4..!!

Great job and wonderful color...!
 
Messages
620
Thanks, guys!

Right now, I'm on a quest for some black rubber bumpers/feet that don't hang out over the edge. The local Home Depot only carried those white ones. As I said in the thread, "function over form"...but I'm greedy: I want *both* form & function.

I just purchased a new (vintage) pedal for my birthday: a Big Box ProCo RAT from 1983. To make this fit on the board, I'll need to build a small wooden tray for it using Velcro on the bottom side of the tray and small rare earth magnets on the top so I can attach this vintage RAT without ripping off the original rubber feet.

I'm going to retire the BOSS FS-5U footswitch to free up space and just use a Yamaha piano sustain pedal as a Tempo & Stop pedal for my RC-2 Loop Station. The FS-5U is too stiff and awkward for me.
 

eugewong

Member
Messages
726
Funnily enough, one of my early boards was a Gorm... a larger one though. And i put in much less effort as well..

 

eyeball987

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,413
I have one too. All I did to it though was to paint it black. I prop it up on the lid to my rack to give it some angle. Works great. I really like what you did with yours. The orange looks great.
 
Messages
620
amazing job there. i love the mod for those plugs to fit through the main board.
This is what I used to make the cutouts for the pancake connectors (although if I were buying a new Dremel tool, I'd get one with a power cable instead of the cordless version -- my battery only lasts 15 minutes or so off a 3-hour charge):

 




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