Sunday, September 9, 2012

Coca Cola Pedal Board!

I'm still working on my "Woody 57 Tweed Deluxe Mini Stack" amp. All pine, all hand wired, all the good stuff. I decided I wanted some pedals to go with it but I want to be careful about his whole pedal thing. I have fallen down the guitar pedal rabbit hole and I actually made it back out. I have had the boutique high dollar pedals and I have had $20 Danelectro pedals. What I don't want to do is get lost in my pedals when really the tone I want is going to come from the amp. With this in mind I ordered two Danelectro Fish N Chips equalizers (1 for each channel), one Visual Sound Garagetone Axel Grease delay, one Visual Sound Garagetone DriveTrain OD, and A/B box that goes to the Equalizers and then out to the amp and finally an ancient volume pedal. This story is not about the pedals, it's about the board.

I have been watching a Facebook page from a pretty cool pedal board maker called Salvage Custom Shop. They make killer boards that are new and also use old type writer cases and suitcases. You can see their stuff here. Don't go look yet though. I thought I was going to get one of those but I didn't really want to lay out the cash. So then I was on Ebay and found a killer board that was all fauxed out in my favorite colors. The problem is that one doesn't pack up in a case. Right after I looked at that I walked out of my guitar room/office and my eyes landed on two wood Coca Cola crates given to me long ago as a birthday present by the vivacious Cheryl. BAM!! I knew right then I was going to make a Coca Cola pedal board! I put some pedals in one and while not huge it seemed about right for what I needed. Then I slept on the idea. By morning I had the whole build worked out in my head.

First I started with the two wooden crates. I wanted to make sure every piece of the board looked as old as everything else. That is when I realized I could take apart the wooden sections that held the cokes and use them for the board. They were already close to the perfect sizes. The other holder was for two six packs and it had some nice wood in it as well.

As I was trying to figure out how to get them apart I really got a good look at how these were built. While the long sides were always red I realized the short sides were originally yellow, the old color. Also under the red paint is the name of a town and the word "TEXAS", how cool is that?! It also looks like these were hand made and hand cut. I have no way of knowing for sure but they look hand made to me. It made me wonder about the people that worked on them. Another interesting thing is that when I was cutting some of the pieces the wood smelled just like Coca Cola. All I can figure is over the years more than a few cokes were spilled on these crates.

I used the main piece of wood for the pedal board floor. I hinged it on the back so I could open it up and put my daisy chain power supply under there. It also has enough room for extra cables, slides and pedals. I used a piece of the wood as a lip for the board to lay down on to stay secure while playing.

To create the case I went to our hardware store and bought 4 snaps and put them on all four corners. I didn't know if that would actually worked but damn it did! They also had a metal handle that looked perfect to me. I got all that together one evening and brought it upstairs to show the wife. She actually really liked it. She even called it "art." High praise!

I decided the new hardware didn't fit. It looked too new. Everyone went to bed and I googled "aging metal hardware." The first link listed things I had in the house so I set out to age all the hardware. By morning every piece of metal looked as old as everything else. I was petty blown away.

I stole some rubber feet off an old type writer we have and took two of the side boards to elevate the front of the board. After I was done it looked great and worked just as well!

A few days later my pedals arrived and I went about figuring out how I wanted everything laid out. It all fit perfectly! I found some foam for the top and bottom. The top foam holds all the pedals in place firmly. I will anchor the pedals down with bicycle chain links when I feel good about what I'm running but it totally works as is now.

I can unplug the power and cables, put the top on and lock everything down and actually haul this thing around. I think it looks pretty damn cool. It's exactly how I saw it in my mind...and that's a pretty rare thing.  So there you have the "Coca Cola Pedal Board" from Jim T!


  1. That kicks ass. I used to have a shelf that was about 4 feet long and mounted everything to it. Power strip, midi controller, stomp boxes. It was an obscene example of function over form. The guys in my band called it my ironing board—not in a nice way. Needless to say this is cooler x 1,000,000. I've long since retired the ironing board and it's now being used as -get this- a shelf, in my garage. Still need to hear your amp.

  2. HA! That's great! I'm actually up a little late looking for a speaker for the Tweed Deluxe. I have a cab that matches the amp coming so I will have a 2x12 Tweed. Video soon!