A few months ago I started looking at a Chemistry Design Werks Holeyboard, which is a pedal board designed for attaching your pedals with zip ties instead of velcro. I really liked the idea and was thinking of buying one. Then of course I figured, "Hey, I should be able to build something like this." So that's what I did.

I'll admit it hasn't been as easy as I was thinking it would be, but I'm getting it done and it's turning out passably well. I'm sure a pro with the correct tools could certainly do a much better job though.

Here are links to all the project details on my blog for anyone interested. Following that will be photos of the work in progress.

Intro - http://gideond.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/little-holey-vengeance-pedal-board/
Phase 1 - http://gideond.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/little-holey-vengeance-pedal-board-build-phase-1/
Phase 2 - http://gideond.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/little-holey-vengeance-pedal-board-build-phase-2/
Phase 3A - http://gideond.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/little-holey-vengeance-pedal-board-build-phase-3a/
Phase 3B - http://gideond.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/little-holey-vengeance-pedal-board-build-phase-3b/
Phase 3C - http://gideond.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/little-holey-vengeance-pedal-board-build-phase-3c/
Phase 3D - http://gideond.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/little-holey-vengeance-pedal-board-build-phase-3d/
Phase 4 Final - http://gideond.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/little-holey-vengeance-pedal-board-build-phase-4-final/

The Design

Phase 1
The Template

The transferred template.

The hole jig.

First row.

All holes drilling on the main board.
Last edited by poppameth at Jun 10, 2012,
Phase 2
Main board cut out.

Edges routed over smooth.

All the pieces cut and routed.

Legs and top.

Rough layout of the final build.

That's all for now. I have to start the long process of sanding and filling in preparation for the lacquer sanding sealer before final sanding. They it's on to color and clear. I still haven't decided on the color scheme yet. I'm pretty sure I'm going to try a Duplicolor system on this one.
could you do a size comparison? the way the pictures look now it looks absolutely massive

but aside from that, it looks great
Quote by R45VT
Last edited by Viban at May 27, 2012,
It's pretty big, but it's meant to handle quite a few pedals. For reference, it's 30" wide from the edge of each handle and about 22" deep. Originally, I had it sized at 36" and with the shelf centered and room on the left for another large pedal like a Wah, but I decided that was just too large for my needs.

This is a basic one I built a while back.

It's 26" wide and about the same depth for reference. The main difference in size on the holey board is the handles. The guy using the orange board has already filled it up and needs more room.
Looks like cool and worthwhile project. I was never completely happy with my DIY velcro board. I'm wondering if the holes were made large enough for the patch cable ends to pass through, maybe you could keep the wiring mess to a minimum on the topside by routing excess lengths of cables on the bottom side of the board?
EBMM JP6, EBMM Bongo Bass 5-string, Heritage H140CM, ESP Tele Copy, ESP P-Bass Copy, ESP Maverick, Fender HM Strat, Ibanez ST-55, Epiphone Broadway, Taylor 310, Seagull S-12, Musicman Sixty-Five Reverb, Fender HRD, Ampeg B-25B
wow I was figuring maybe it was a regular maybe foot-2 foot one, but thats almost three, its pretty massive for pedals, but I like it. kudos
Quote by R45VT
No the holes are not large enough for the cabling. They are meant for the zip ties. If they were sized at 3/4" instead of 1/2" then they would accommodate a straight plug. I generally use right angle plugs on a pedal board though and sometimes the flatter pancake plugs. I can't see either of them fitting through the holes easily without drilling them very large. I custom make my own cables to the lengths I'll need so clutter won't be a big issues. The holes are large enough so you could route the power supply cabling under the board so that may help with clutter. I intend to put rubber feet on the bottom so it will be slightly elevated and accommodate this kind of wiring.

Thanks for the input.
Last edited by poppameth at May 27, 2012,
Phase 3A
I'm breaking this up into subsections since the finishing process can be lengthy.

Here are a few photos of the assembled board in front of some other equipment for a size comparison.

And here are some photos after the sanding sealer has been applied.

I almost wish I had planned to leave it natural so I didn't draw all over it. It looks really nice with just the sealer on it. I'm off to Advanced Auto here soon to see what Duplicolor they have in stock. I might do a Frankenstrat look on this thing.
Damn that thing is huge!!
How many pedals are you running?
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
I actually don't have many pedals right now. But I have a list of the ones I want and it just keeps growing. It's looking like 10 or 11 total by the time I get them all. Some of them are larger than average as well.

I think the top board will be devoted to time based effect that I'll be running into the effects loop. The bottom board will have everything that runs in front of the amp as well as a power supply under the shelf.
Last edited by poppameth at May 28, 2012,
This is A) a great idea, and B) a great build! Nice job man, it looks fantastic minus the pencil marks all over the wood.
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diggin it man. So how are the pedals going to be attached? I get the zip ties, but are they just running over the pedal?
*insert witty statement here*
Yep pretty much. Most of the pedals I have or have seen have plenty of room for the zip ties to run over the face of them without causing any issues. Then I can remove them any time I want with no adhesive mess to deal with. The only issue I can foresee is aligning the pedals with the holes correctly since there are many different sizes of pedals so I can't really space the holes for a particular make of pedal.

Check out the gallery at http://www.chemistrydesignwerks.com/gallery.html

They originated the design and you can see how they have them laid out on their boards.
Phase 3B

I'll be finishing up the primer today. I've decided to go with an olive drab military theme and turn every hole into a bullet hole effect. This is going to take forever, but my mind is made up!!!

I've run into a possible delay though. I'm using a new sanding sealer I've never worked with before. It's a Minwax Lacquer. It's feeling waxy though and I'm afraid I may have some adhesion problems with the acrylic primer I'm using. I have to wait and see how the bond is once it's cured a bit.
As feared, the primer peeled right off. It only took about 10 minutes though to scrape and sand it pretty clean and coat it with a shellac primer, which will hopefully eliminate the waxy issues. No more Minwax for me. I've never had anything but problems from Minwax since Sherwin Williams bought them out.

Update: The shellac primer did the trick. Everything is sound as it should be.
Last edited by poppameth at May 31, 2012,
you should see if you can find some bullethole stickers and put them on there and then use an exacto to cut out the middle, and then put some clear over it
Quote by R45VT
I've been thinking about that. All the stickers I've finding though are very unrealistic blast patterns. If you've ever seen real bullet holes in metal you'll know that they generally don't pop paint off in the jagged patterns that the sticker want to portray. I think I'll just take the time to hand paint them. Now that's not saying I won't get fed up in the middle of it and go find stickers anyway though!

I did take several days to three tone this Ibanez logo though so I think I can make it through.
Phase 3C

Painting the olive drab.

Stenciling the signage.

Bullet holes.

Finishing up for the night.

The start of a basic channel strip I'll be adding.

That's it for now. It's coming together slowly. I'm not sure how I feel about the bullet holes. There are just so many of them that it looks a bit too overdone. The stenciling will of course need some work too. As I feared, the paint ran under the stencil a bit. I'm going to have to get an airbrush one of these days.
the zip ties make more sense now. haha. I say keep the bullet holes the way they are. They don't take a ton away from it but still look good. (if that makes sense) Just my opinion though.

EDIT:By the way, rattle cans can do some pretty nice stuff too in a pinch. It obviously isn't a real airbrush, but I spend a dollar a can at walmart and get some pretty good results.
*insert witty statement here*
Last edited by metalhead352 at Jun 5, 2012,
Yeah, but you have to work so fast to get several coats done in a few hours. Either than or wait a week between coats. Otherwise it crackles the finish because the solvents breakdown the curing paint. I sprayed the orange one and ran into those issues. That's why I went all acrylic on this one. It's not as hard of a finish but it's more flexible. It may scuff a little easier but it shouldn't chip up as bad as enamel.

I agree though. You can get some nice effects with rattle cans if you take the time to get it right.
Spose that's true. I could just never deal with the brush lines in the paint. (granted, I can't paint with them to save my life so I guess that's why. )

This is coming out real nice though. Makes me wish I had actual pedals. haha
*insert witty statement here*
Almost done with this project. Here is the latest work session.

Phase 3D.

Basically I just have to screw the shelf onto the legs and it's done. I'm working on a channel strip for it though to make connection to the amp and an effects loop a little more convenient. It'll function like two interfaces, one for the effects that go in front of the amp and one for the effects that go in the loop. It'll also have a way to jumper the channels together for amps that don't have an effects loop. I'll either use a switch or just a patch cable to jumper the circuit.
I'm finally finished. There are a few small issues I may have to tweak, but for now I'm done.

Phase 4 Final
This phase mostly consists of building and attaching the channel strip.

The channel strip works great. It lets me loop two separate sets of pedals through the amp. One goes out in front and the other goes in the effects loop. If an amp doesn't have an effects loop and I can flip the toggle from Dual (two loops) to Sing. (a single bridge loop) and chain one loop into the other and right into the front of the amp.

The only real problem I have is that I didn't originally plan for a channel strip on the board. As a result it doesn't fit quite the way I'd like. It allows very little room to plug cables into the strip. Right angle connectors work fine but straight plugs can't plug in correctly. I'm thinking of hinging the shelf to allow for easier hookup, but that will come at a latter point.

Thanks for reading. I hope someone find this information useful.
Outstanding job!

Would love to see it when its loaded with pedals.
I'll put a few photos up once I get all my patch cables constructed and the pedals and PSU mounted. I have to shim a few feet as well. The one bad part about making a board like this is that you have a single flat piece of wood as the base and if it has the slightest bow in it (and it does of course) then it doesn't sit perfectly level.