• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Tips for wiring your board!


Senior Member
I'm building my new board this week, and want to hear all of your tips. Tips for tone, tips for looks, etc.

Any good George-L wiring tips?

I'll get the ball rolling.

Use zip ties and zip tie holders on the bottom to keep cables clean and reduce their movement.

Use straight power cables going into your power supply and right-angles into the pedals if the jack in on the side, or straights if they are on the back.


Silver Supporting Member
One thing out of the norm that I do is shield my power cables that are close or under my patch cables.
I take some sticky Velcro, place copper shielding on top of the tape, then black duct tape on top of the copper, (just for looks, keep things black).
Any area where a patch cable runs over a power supply cable, I put my Velcro/copper/duct tape sandwich on top of the power cable.
It secures the power line in place, and makes me feel like I care.
Does it reduce any noise? How would I know? :)
I do have a quiet board, and I also think it helps to keep away tigers, cause they never come around.


Place all your pedals first and figure out where you are going to route cables.
Keep power and signal separate where possible.
Then make all your cables to fit your routing, keeping it as short and orderly as possible.
Tie everything up with zip ties and anchors where needed to keep everything in place and orderly.
Look to the "Neatest Pedalboard" thread for pics on some that are done well.


Senior Member
Is it cleaner to cut all cables the same length (or have 2 or 3 standardized lengths, 3"/6"/9") or have all custom lengths?


I always use custom lengths. No more than I need, no less.

And I use cable wraps under my board, in addition to zip ties and adhesive mounting bases. Like so:

You can find them at Home Depot, Menards, Lowe's, etc.

Here's the top:

Right angle everything (except for the Timeline adapter).


Senior Member
use soldered cables.
avoid velcro or any sort of tape product.
utilize true bypass loops to allow taking the board out of your signal chain when not needed.

Tim Bowen

* Before committing to size for a new board project, I cut posterboard to prospective size(s) first to use as a template to move stuff around on. Years ago I cut posterboard to various pedal sizes. This saved me from having to rip stuff off of other boards to check size and placement. I can lay everything out on a coffee table and painlessly plan a new board while watching a baseball game.

* Determine whether you're "right-footed", "left-footed", or "ambidextrous-footed". Lay out accordingly with regard to items of frequent stomping or particularly those that require a degree of finesse - tap tempo, wah, volume, expression, etc. Lay stuff out so you can make finesse foot moves easily without having to move back & forth, left to right so much.

* For organizing cables I like these guys: http://m.delcity.net/store/Adhesive...t_1.r_IF1003?gclid=CK3X1Z_mxrwCFRNp7AodPHgAGg

* I have fear of commitment in relationships. That is, I like modular approaches and don't like to get too locked into anything. I like having the ability to go flat or angled with a board. I use rubber footsies on the corners, but to the inside of the feet are 2" Velcro strips that will accept rubber doorstops for when I want angled. I've never committed to a dedicated "second tier" on the back row. Some utility stomps don't need to be elevated. I build little wooden lifts for a variety of pedal sizes, paint them black like the board, apply Velcro, and all that. So the lifts elevate what needs to be higher, and I can double up on the lifts for more height when needed.

* There are alternative mounting methods such as securing stomps with zip ties or bicycle chain link. Thse are no-go for me as I need to be able to move stuff around quickly and easily for different jobs and projects. Velcro has always worked well for me. However, I've recently started using some smaller items (mini pedals, tap favorite switch), and with Velcro these little guys can be wobbly and unstable. So I use 3M Dual Lock for the smaller items. I don't want to use Dual Lock where Velcro will do - not only is it more expensive, but can be difficult to lift with standard/larger size pedals. It always comes back to being able to make moves quickly for me.

* George L's. Yeah I guess these are somewhat polarizing. Apparently people enjoy arguing about them nearly as much as they love arguing about Klons. I bought a slew of GL's connectors and cable in the early 90's and have never bought another patch cable since. Talking a couple thousand gigs with these patch cables at this point so I guess I get along with 'em. What you always hear with GL's is that the cut needs to be clean, straight, and quick, and this is true. I use fresh #11 X-acto blades, but I've heard of folks using cigar cutters and whatnot. What you don't hear so much about are fixes for the plugs coming unscrewed; before tightening, add a small amount of Elmer's glue to the thread screws. DON'T use super glue and the like; you want to be able to break the bond if there's an issue, and this is fairly easily done with Elmer's.

* I see folks housing homemade boards in laptop bags, luggage, all sorts of things. Whatever you use, make certain that the fit is tight and snug, and that the board does not move around within its "case" at all. About twenty years ago I had heavy duty, foam-lined custom road cases built to spec for three different sizes. I lug gear around 6-7 days a week. Not sure if my boards would've withstood some of the more precarious travel/handling scenarios had they been housed in less heavy duty surroundings.

* I started building my own boards in the 80's and have never bought a commercially manufactured board. Lots of trial & error over the years. Boards I've built with 3/4" plywood have warped. Boards I've built with 3/4" particle board have remained flat and straight, no warp. I only use particle board.

* Home Depot (and maybe Loews as well, not sure) will cut materials bought there to size if you like. There are minimum cutting size restrictions for cutter operator safety, but most board sizes will fall easily within these dimensions. Speaking of these stores and hardware stores and such, I keep most supplies and items needed for board building and pedal prep around the shack so I can build a board anytime I like. Think I'm currently out of black and satin varnish sprays, but everything else is here. Some items that I use constantly for board building and pedal prep include a large kitchen cutting board and steel (not plastic) rulers in several different lengths.

* Pick your maximum size board and stick to it. Anybody that's ever played the downstairs stage at Tootsie's Wild Orchid Lounge in Nashville, Tennessee understands that Starship Enterprise boards won't work in every situation. The vast majority of "full size" commercially manufactured boards that I see at TGP and elsewhere are WAY TOO BIG for my tastes and purposes, but hey everybody's different. I won't use a board larger than 14" x 18". My current live working board is that size and it houses eleven stomps, a VLPP2, and a tap favorite switch. If I can't get it done with that, I might as well be playing banjo full time instead of just part time.


I don't agree with people who say to keep signal and power cables separate.

You have to remember that power feeds to your pedals are DC supply. Only AC, which is alternating by nature, will induce a magnetic field and hence noise into other cables.

As such, it is important to keep the main AC cable into your power supply as isolated as possible from the rest of your board, but once you are running DC to your pedals, it does not matter.

This of course only applies to DC pedals, which are most of them anyway. For those that run AC then care should be taken where possible.

Any noise induced is most likely from the actual power supply itself depending on the transformer it uses and how well it is shielded. Cheap power supplies can be noisy too depending on how much AC ripple is passed through. Good power supplies have good regulation that deals with AC ripple.

I run my power and George L's right next to each other zip tied in the same loom and my board is dead quiet with a Cioks DC10.


Senior Member
All the advice above is really good, read it all several times.

But, in the end, we can't keep you from every pothole.
The best way to keep yourself out of trouble is to (as Tim said), do whatever works for you to get as close to a real-life mockup as you can before you commit to anything, then go through every single step that will be needed and lay it out before you do it.
Don't take a single thing for granted in the mockup stage.

I'm just putting the finishing touches on my new board now and that thing changed easily over a dozen times as I worked my way through each logistical step. Every time I added in another part that needed to be there, it made me change/adapt the entire thing and now it's pretty different than what I had imagined I wanted at the start. If I had committed everything at first, I would have wasted a lot of time and materials, but I just kept doing more and more lifelike mockups until it sort of realized itself.

Another rule might be don't fully commit/build it until you have all (and I mean all) the actual materials you're going to use right in front of you. It makes a difference. Pedals, connectors, power supply, cables, everything counts in the mockup stages. Have it all right there in front of you before you start building.

Also, I took a lot of pics along the way for a reference.
Its funny to look at the first pics compared to the final stages and how it evolved along the way, but all in mockup stages, I didn't commit until I was sure. Absolutely sure, and that paid off.


Silver Supporting Member
Tip for right angle GeorgeL's
Cut clean with a sharp blade; tighten with pliers. If you need to remove, make a new cut.


Small, but IMO, a helpful tip; get some colored electrical tape and color code the ends of your high-power and/or different voltage cables coming off your power supplies. This could not only save time when rearranging pedal order, but may save you from damaging a pedal.


Small, but IMO, a helpful tip; get some colored electrical tape and color code the ends of your high-power and/or different voltage cables coming off your power supplies. This could not only save time when rearranging pedal order, but may save you from damaging a pedal.

Good Tip!:aok

Trending Topics

Top Bottom