Intro to DIY Pedal Building

Speed Racer Overdrive InternalsThis is the first post in a series on building guitar effects pedals.  It’s going to be a bit out of order- I’ll be starting with what is usually considered the finishing touches- putting the pedal in an enclosure,  modeling and laying out an enclosure in Google/Trimble Sketchup, drilling the enclosure, painting and finishing it.

Then hopefully later, I’ll go back and do a project showing how to build a simple boost pedal from scratch.

Here’s the table of contents for the whole DIY pedal building series:

  1. Intro to DIY Pedal Building
  2. Beginner’s Course in Sketchup, Modeling a 125B Guitar Pedal Enclosure
  3. Drilling a 125B Guitar Effects Pedal Enclosure
  4. Pedal Enclosure Finishing: Surface Prep, Priming and Painting
  5. Using GIMP to Create Pedal Artwork
  6. Printing and Applying Waterslide Decal to Pedal Enclosure

This first video is the motivational intro: here are some of the things I’ve done, and yes, you can too!   If you have some interest in electronics and guitars, what better way to improve your knowledge?  You can get started with little or no electronics experience, and you’ll learn a bunch along the way. 

Here are some useful links for pedal building:

Pre-printed circuit boards, plans and kits, circuit diagrams:

Useful circuit diagrams, background info, forums, etc:

  • AMZ – excellent resource from Jack Orman, one of the pioneers of DIY pedal building
  • DIY Stompboxes – Great forums and blog
  • Fuzz Central – fuzz, wah, compressors, tremolos.  Lots of good info.
  • GEOFex  – los of useful resources
  • gaussmarkov: diy fx – some excellent intro resources for pedal circuits
  • Beavis Audio – more good guitar effects projects and resources (update- site no longer available, linked via the internet archive)
  • Pedal Haven – pedal mods, intro to DIY guitar pedals.

Parts resources (enclosures, jacks, switches, pots, knobs, transistors, caps, resistors, etc):

As mentioned in the video: