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Preparing 3M Dual Lock tape to your pedals

Note that you don’t need to cover the whole bottom of each pedal with 3M Dual Lock tape. It’s sufficient if you apply two strips running left to right – one near the front end of the pedal, and the other near the back end. 3M Dual Lock works best when the tape is placed perpendicularly to the force of your foot stepping on the pedal.

For a regular-sized pedal you will need 20 cm of 3M Dual Lock tape. Cut this length into four 5 cm pieces to place beneath the effect. For larger effect casings you might want to use 30 cm per pedal, cut into about 3-4 cm pieces for each corner of the pedal.

Any possible pedal risers should naturally be installed first on the frame, in the same way a pedal is stuck to the frame.

    Should you need to raise a pedal by only a little bit, using two additional layers of 3M Dual Lock tape is a workable solution. This is done by sticking the additional two lengths of tape to each other back-to-back. The rest of the installation follows the normal procedure.
    • Hold the Dual Lock tape to the pedal’s base plate near the pedal’s front end, and then cut off a piece that stays just inside the pedal’s perimeter.
    • Take the piece of tape and use it to measure the second length to be cut off.
    • Stick the tape pieces together heads to heads, but leave the protective plastic in place for the time being.

    If the pedal in question is rectangular, you can cut off two additional pieces of the same length. If the effect has uneven shape, you have to measure the bottom strips separately.

    • Attach the tape pieces to the effect’s bottom plate, but leave the protective plastic on the frame side in place for the time being.
    • Put this pedal back in its place on the frame, and pick up the next pedal.
    • Prepare the rest of the pedals in the same fashion.

    Volume-, expression-, and wah-pedals will benefit from two additional tape stripes, either going toe to heel, or left to right (glued to the middle beam or beams). This will keep these large and heavy effects in place even more securely.

    Make sure the pedals are placed on top of the frame according to the photo taken during the planning phase. Keep the protective film on the 3M Dual Lock tape for now, because it is much easier to connect all cables when the effects can still be moved.

    Attaching the pedals

    We at Custom Boards are real sticklers when it comes to straight pedals on a pedalboard. We want our pedals to sit perfectly straight, which is why we spend a lot of time determining the best possible layout during the planning phase. We look for a balanced look in the pedals’ edges, and we aim at having all the footswitches placed in one straight line.

    A good place to start the process of attaching the pedals to the frame is either starting from the outer corners, or by placing large, central pedals first. Starting from the corners and continuing towards the center helps to keep the pedals at equal distances from one another, making the board easier to use and pleasing to the eye.

    While working out the final placement of each pedal, try to leave a little more room around the input of the effect pedal somewhere in the middle of your signal path, so you can plug in your guitar directly – and bypass a part of the board – in case some kind of a problem arises.

    This effect input will be our so-called “insert point”, allowing us quicker troubleshooting of the board, should something go haywire during a gig. If you have a board with ten pedals, for example, effect number six would be a great place for our insert point. We will tell you how to make the most of your insert point in our tutorial about Troubleshooting a pedalboard.

    At Custom Boards we sometimes have to take off an already installed effect pedal during this phase. We will then replace the Dual Lock tape with fresh pieces, and reattach the pedal in a better spot. We’ll do this for as long as it takes to get to a point where the effect layout looks beautiful and inspiring to the guitarist.

    Important note: If you have a very tightly spaced pedalboard and want to use it with a cable loom, remember to plug in the loom’s connectors before removing the Dual Lock’s protective plastic on the pedals. Especially with loopers it can prove very difficult to get to the outputs, once all effects are stuck firmly in place.

    The loom’s cables will be secured to the pedalboard frame at a later stage, so they can be left hanging loose for the moment. This makes it easier to move them out of the way, while you attach and dress the patch cables.

    • Remove the protective foil from the bottom of the pedals, one by one, and stick the effects to the board’s frame.
    • Remove your preliminary masking tape labels from the pedals.
    • Remove the masking tape markings for pedal order.

    Please remember that the adhesive used in the 3M Dual Lock tape takes approximately 24 hours to set completely. The best case scenario would see the board resting for that period in its working position (pedals on top), but you could also start with installing the patch cables right away.


    If you have purchased all the parts and components but get a feeling that you might not be up to the task after all, we can make your pedalboard for you, using the components you have bought from us. Don’t worry, we won’t let anything go to waste.


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