So today, having gained the 4 hours that I lost when I went to Dubai, I have been beavering away with my current project that I’ve been dreaming up for a long time. A rather grand guitar pedalboard, built in to a tweed suitcase :D
A brief introduction to what a pedalboard is:
For those who don’t play guitar/people not in know, an effects pedal is a little metal box of glee for guitarists. They come in all shapes and sizes, but the main purpose of one is to make your guitar sound different. You can use more than one, and a lot of people do. Like me! :D
When you gather a large assortment, it can be tedious and time-consuming for those of us not blessed with roadies to unplug them all and set them all up again.
This is where a pedalboard comes in – you stick the pedals to it, wire it all up, and now you have a thing that you can take around wherever and not have to bother with all the faff of plugging them all in. It also has other handy duties, i.e. keeping them safe, showing them off etc. but this is the main use of them.
Now you can buy premade ones in the shop. But these tend to be boring plastic/aluminium items. So I decided to build one myself, mainly for three reasons:
- It looks better
- It’s more personal
- I can make things better than stuff you can buy ;)
So I decided upon a tweed suitcase – I couldn’t think of anything more blues/rock n’ roll than an old, battered up tweed suitcase. It’s also handy – turn it upside-down, and the lid becomes the pedalboard, and the main body of the suitcase a deep cover to accommodate the larger pedals I have. Genius, huh?
I came across this beauty a month ago on Ebay, and I couldn’t have dreamt of a better candidate:
60 (!) years old, bruised and battered. Full of character. Perfect :)
Today I started work after a prompt visit to Homebase to gather all the stuff I needed. A non-exhaustive bill-of-materials:
- MDF (I got a load of offcuts from the board-cutting guy for £6.50, which saved me a ton of money!)
- Rubber feet
- White paint
- Drawlock catches
- Some rather awesome self-adhesive foil, which for now shall be kept secret ;)
I also plan to get some LEDs to go on the inside. It’s going to be good!
So first task of the day was to remove the stubborn metal hinges. I went at the rivets holding them on with a Dremel, they popped off and we were in business. I took the lid (which is now the base of the whole affair) and ripped out the fabric. Here it is:
Next task, I cut out the MDF pieces (most of them). The base of the pedalboard (from here on after, pedalboard = lid of suitcase), which strengthens everything; the side panels of the pedalboard, and the main panel for the pedals themselves. This consists of a large 6mm MDF piece, and a thick 12mm ‘spine’ to strengthen it to resist all those rockstar stampings in the future.
It got pretty late, so I decided to call it a day. It went much slower than I had hoped, this is unfortunatelby as I hadn’t really planned the MDF pieces whatsoever and spent a lot of time thinking. It’s going to be good though, stay tuned :)