The Mysteries of Velcro, Revealed!

Well, no big mystery, really.

If you’re a fan of using velcro on your pedalboards, instead of say cable ties or bike links, then you’ve probably come across those ubiquitous black strips of velcro that came packaged with your boards. If you’re like me, there was no problem with the fuzzy side – just slap it on the board and you’re done, some boards even have that fuzzy side already built in.

The problem begins with the hook side. Do you just cut whatever size strips, stick it on the back of your pedal, then press it against the fuzzy side on your board? You’ll find pretty quickly that there will be almost zero grip that way. Try this instead – press, then twist one direction, then twist the other direction. That lets the velcro hooks grab the fuzz in every direction possible, resulting in more hooks hooking – bingo, your pedal is secure.

But some pedals have bottoms that aren’t very agreeable to velcro. Bottoms with feet, bottoms with paint that flakes off if it gets anywhere near the adhesive side of your velcro, bottoms made of rubber – hello Boss and Ibanez pedals! Even baseplates with delicate stickers that get destroyed after you cover it up with the sticky side of the velcro. What do you do then?

Some people source entirely new baseplates that are flat and exposed metal, perfect for sticking velcro on – but hey, then you have to go buy those new baseplates. That’s fine if you’re going to get a new baseplate anyhow, like the power plates for older Z.Vex pedals, but otherwise it’s a pain to source and heck an annoyance to reach for more cash. Plus, that doesn’t solve your problems if you have strangely shaped baseplates or rubber baseplates.

So what do you do? Get Industrial Strength Velcro, or my fave, 3M Dual Lock. Different, but does the same thing. You can use the stock fuzzy side velcro with both, so there’s cash saved right there. And for the hook side, here’s a totally reversible trick that won’t mod your baseplate permanently with velcro.

Cut small squares of the Dual Lock. I’m talking the size of your thumb, one for each cover of your baseplate. Do NOT just put a whole strip on there, you’ll never get this stuff off of the board otherwise! Now, keep the adhesive side of the Dual Lock under the wax paper. You will never ever have to use the adhesive side.

Now that you have your little squares, poke screw-sized holes into one corner of each square. What sized screw hole? Why, the size screw holding your pedal’s baseplate on the pedal. Now poke the baseplate screw through the square, and screw the whole thing back into the baseplate.

What if the screw is holding feet onto the baseplate? No problem, use that screw instead. What if there are adhesive feet next to the screw holes? No problem, the dual lock squares will cover those feet without using adhesive. What if there is rubber? Ignore it, you’re aiming for the screws. For Boss and Ibanez, the bottom two screws are hidden in the battery compartment – lift off the battery cover, and cut a dual lock strip that uses the baseplate screws and hangs low enough where the loop will have contact with the fuzzy velcro on your board.

What does this all look like? Like this:

Put it on the board the same way you do the normal velcro – push , twist one way, twist another way. Now that pedal won’t budge – even if some punk runs up during a gig and tries to steal a pedal, he’ll rip his fingernails off before that pedal ever leaves the board!

That’s one reason why you use just 4 small squares – you need to be able to take this thing off someday, right? So use a credit card or butter knife or whatever and kinda make a slicing motion between the dual lock and the board to “saw” the hook connection off the fuzz. Once in a while you might manage to just pull off a corner here and there with the wrong technique, but no worries – just throw away the bit that’s still on the screw, poke a new hole in another corner of the square, and bingo the dual lock is ready to be reused again.

Hope that helps with a bit of Do It Yourself Know How!

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