Skills You Need
Here are links that can help you make your own Guitar Stompboxes. Read through these sites then come back here for more info for beginners.
You should understand what a circuit is. Read about it here...
You should be able to identify basic components such as resistors,capacitors, diodes, transistors and integrated circuits like op amps.
Please read this page as well.
Check this great page for basic electronics!
You should be able to read resistor values. Resistor color codes and primer is here.
You should be able to read capacitor values. Here's a page on capacitor values.
Soldering. You need to know how to solder. Here are some links:
Basic Soldering Guide by Alan Winstanley
Soldering guide photo gallery by Alan Winstanley
Soldering, electronic basics.
Soldering Basics by Jack Orman
Tips on Soldering.
Soldering and desoldering tips. (E-Music DIY Reference Guide)
Here are tips on how to make a circuit board.
Making circuit boards. I do #2, Perfboards.
Easy PCBs by Al Williams
Tips on how to package your circuit.
Other web sites to read.
Justin Philpott's page is an excellent place to start. Build his Electra Distortion circuit first. Here is a link to his beginner Page. After you make the Electra Circuit, move on to Jack Orman's page, Digital Music Zone (DMZ) You can read about technology here at R.G. Keen's excellent web site (Guitar Effects Oriented Website GEO). His Guitar Effects FAQ is good reading. Here is another version (older?) of the FAQ which contains some extra information. JD Sleep has an excellent site for beginners. Read his articles, they were designed for beginners.
3/19/99 - Check out SPARKS for some excellent articles on how to make your own boards, read schematics etc...
To make your quest easier, you may want to make your own printed circuit boards. Check out Swap Site for Guitar PCBs, contribute your own too.
Check out this article on toner transfer by Techniks.
I just created our very own DIY Stompbox forum. Post tips, questions and anything that might help other DIYers!
Pretty much everything is covered in the Guitar Effects FAQ and Justin's Beginner's Page. Read these articles!!!!
More "how to read schematic sites"
Electronics for beginners
GEO has a huge section on electronics.
Jack Orman found this link: Electronics Tutorial
You can also purchase these excellent books right here!
Do-It-Yourself Projects for Guitarists This is a recent one that I bought that started me going again.
Electronic Projects for Guitar
The Stompbox by Art Thompson - ORDER it here and save off the list price.
I just bought this book and it is great! If you somehow missed the great pedals of the 70's and 80's or if you want to know more about the companies that made great pedals like the Big Muff, Octavia, Soul Preacher, Cry Baby and Electric Mistress get this book! Nice pictures as well.