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Attaching the pedals to the pedalboard

Attaching pedals to the pedalboard

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.

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