Easiest DIY Guitar Pedal Step-By-Step

Building a diy guitar pedal is a fun and rewarding job because it is an effective way to improve your guitar’s sound. However, the process might be intimidating if you have never been familiar with electronics. This article will help show you the easiest method of building a diy guitar pedal and soon you’ll never be buying another one again!

Step-By-Step Procedure To Build A DIY Guitar Pedal

  • Tools Needed

You will need some tools for this method.

 

  • Hammond BB metal enclosure
  • 2N3904 transistors
  • Capacitor (22uF, 0.1uF, 0.01Uf)
  • Resistors (100K, 10K, 5.1K)
  • Potentiometer (5K, 100K)
  • DPDT heavy-duty push switch
  • PCB 
  • Dial plates
  • Knobs
  • Velcro square
  • 9V battery plug
  • Two 9V battery 1″ stereo jacks
  • 3M 30-NF contact cement
  • Drilling guides

 

Note: Each type of NPN transistor produces a slightly different sound. Test it on a breadboard with the circuit before going to the building process.

You can swap 0.1uF and 0.01uF capacitors, as they produce sounds slightly different from each other. Use a carbon film resistor kit.

  • Drilling Guide Attachment

You need to cut the drill guide and join them with the help of masking tape. Tape the center of the top and side parts of the enclosure.

  • Hole Up The Centers

Next, you should mark the centers on the drilling guide. You can use a nail to do so. The pilot hole must be drilled using a 1/8″ drill bit.  

  • Marking 9/32” Hole

Drill and widen all the holes you marked in the enclosure using a 9/32″ drill bit or the appropriate drill bit to drill enough space for the potentiometer.

  • Marking 3/8” Holes

Drill and enlarge all the holes on the side of the enclosure with a 3/8″ drill bit. Also, do not forget to widen the hole on the center front part of the enclosure using the 3/8″ drill bit.

  • Marking 1/2” Hole

Then, broaden the center DPDT switch hole in the enclosure’s front using ½” drill bit. A ½” drill bit can be more challenging than the others. So, clench the enclosure to your vice or the working table before drilling.

  • Mounting Tabs

Embed the potentiometers rearward and inside out into the front mounting holes. Move them back and forth. You can see a scratch in the line present on the surface coinciding with its mounting tab. Along this line, drill a hole of 1/8″ diameter to the left of the large mounting hole for the potentiometer.

  • Stencil

Place the front dial plate on the painter’s tape. Trace the dial and cut out the outline. Keep the template of that dial. Lay the front plate at the top of one of the potentiometer holes. Place the template around the dial and glue it to the front part of the enclosure.

Now, apply the contact cement on the center of the stencil and the back of the front dial plate. Let it dry until it becomes tacky to the touch. Once it dries out, put pressure on the dial to stick it in place.

Repeat the same process for the second dial.

  • Circuit Building

Follow the schematic diagram and build the circuit. This is typically a 2-transistor gain circuit, which is slightly varied from the one used in the classic fuzz guitar pedal. So, do not worry about the attachment of potentiometers, wiring, and others to the circuit board.

  •  Potentiometer 

On both of the potentiometers, solder the 5″ green wire to the center and pin on the right (if the potentiometer knob is right opposite to you). Now solder the 5″ black wire to the 100K potentiometer’s outer pin. 

Insert the potentiometer’s shaft up via the hole in the enclosure and adhere it with a mounting screw to install the potentiometer.

  •  Power And Jack

The next step is to wire the power. Join the 5″ black wire to the terminal, which is linked to the center barrel jack. Link the black wire of the 9V battery clip to the terminal of the shorter signal tab. Then, join the 5″ green wire to the terminal, which is linked to a more extended signal tab.

Set up the potentiometers and jacks inside the enclosure with the help of mounting nuts. Here, the input and gain pot will be present on the pedal’s left side, and the output jack and 100K volume pot will be present on the right.

  • Switch

Install the switch to the enclosure with the mounting hardware.

Now, link one of the center pins of the switch to the green wire, which is attached to the power jack. Next, connect the other one to a pin similar to the former one on the other power jack. Then, finally, join the one set of pins outside. 

Connect a wire between the pin in the same row with the output jack to the center pin present in the volume potentiometer. Now, join the green wire to the left pin.

  •  Ground Network 

Next, attach the black ground wire of the volume potentiometer with the terminal present in the power jack connected to the barrel.

Since the power jack uses a barrel connection as a switch for the ground network, the whole circuit is linked to the ground connection. Therefore, you will be linking it to the circuit board’s ground network without directly connecting it to the circuit board by simply attaching the potentiometer.

  •  Circuit Board Wiring

Install the red wire of the 9V power clip to the power rail and the black wire of the stereo jack to the ground rail. You should connect the gain potentiometer as specified in the schematics. Finally, connect the free wire in the input to the circuit’s input and link the remaining wire to the circuit’s output.

  •  Final Process

Use velcro tabs to stick the circuit board on the bottom of the enclosure. This velcro will hold it and prevent contact with the lid, which could cause shortening of the circuit.

Plug the battery in and shut the enclosure by fastening the lid on the enclosure with screws.

Attach the potentiometer knobs and turn them counterclockwise until they stop turning. Lay the knobs with the pointers pointing to the dial’s starting position. Using a set screw, fasten the knobs.

Now, plug in everything and you are good to go.

Conclusion

A fuzz pedal is the easiest diy guitar pedal to build. It needs only a few components. Building a guitar fuzz pedal will be a perfect weekend plan for guitarists and hobbyists. Even if you don’t make this fuzz pedal precisely the way it is mentioned, you will know and understand the components, essential tools needed, and the step-by-step procedure to build the pedal.

Get yourself familiar with the schematics before building a diy guitar pedal because it can prevent many mistakes. 

Don’t lose hope if it doesn’t go as planned. Work on it again. Practice makes perfect.  

Reference: https://www.instructables.com/DIY-Guitar-Pedal/