Tutorial: How to Make an Eyelet Board

I made this tutorial with pedals in mind, but the same construction techniques apply for amps as well.

So here we go on making an eyelet board. The process is fairly simple, and I've probably given more details than necessary, but here it is anyway.

What you need (where to get it):

Circuit board material (Watts Tube Audio - http://www.turretboards.com/ )
The 1/8" thick stuff is standard for tube amps. It also works fine for pedal boards. I now prefer the 1/16" thick board material, as it is quicker and easier to drill and cut and takes up a little less space in smaller enclosures. Be aware that the thinner material takes shorter eyelets, and the only source for these eyelets I've found is Mouser (see below). I use the board material that is 1.5" wide.

Eyelets (Watts Tube Audio - OR - Mouser)
The standard eyelets at Watts will work with 1/8" thick board material. If you want to use the 1/16" thick board material, order the short eyelets from Mouser (part# 534-43).

Eyelet Staking Tool (Watts Tube Audio)
This is used to pound the eyelet flat on the back side to fix it to the board.

Drill and 1/8" Drill Bit (anywhere)


I made up a drilling template because I have insanely poor depth perception (one near-sighted eye and one far-sighted eye). This is not necessary for most people with a decent eye for scale. Just mark the board with a sharpie. I have my template set up for 1-cm spacing from center to center of each hole. This isn't a critical distance, just make sure the eyelets aren't close enough to touch.

I tape the template on the board and then cut the board with a pair of tin snips. If you're using the thicker board material, a hack saw or similar will be required to cut the board.

Now drill the board with a 1/8" bit. Please note that my Unibit's 1/8" setting makes holes that are too big. I recommend using a dedicate twist bit for this.

This is the board with holes drilled (including standoff holes) but eyelets not yet inserted:

Here's a shot of the eyelets and the staking tool:

Place a full row of eyelets in the holes and then secure them with scotch tape. This keeps them from falling out when you flip the board over. If you can manage without the tape, go for it.

Flip the board over and place it on some kind of hardened metal surface. Wood or concrete will not work very well. Trust me on this. You'll end up with either damaged wood or misshapen eyelets. This is what the back side of the board looks like before you stake the eyelets:

Set the staking tool on top of an eyelet and give the tool a few firm hits with a hammer or mallet (I prefer a rubber mallet).

Here's a shot of a staked eyelet (right) next to the unstaked eyelets:

And here is the finished eyelet board, just ready for an Electra circuit to be soldered in:

Now get to staking!!