Back in the dark ages of Tym guitars, before signature pedals and Big Muds, I made a series of pedals we dubbed the "dog head" pedals for an obvious reason.
I realized pretty quickly to make my stuff stand out from everyone elses stuff it needed to not only sound good and different, it had to look different too. I had access to a foundry who were casting my metal necks so I designed this enclosure and made a pattern out of Masonite (a compressed hardwood fibre board) and gave that to the foundry to cast me some aluminum boxes that were totally unique. This is something I still do today in a way with my handmade stainless steel enclosures.
The Tym logo on the top of the box was a rubber stamp I got made back to front and glued to the pattern before casting. The idea was that each pedal would be the same rough cast enclosure with a different colour painted and then sanded back to make the Tym logo raw.
These boxes proved time consuming and difficult to make but I loved them so much.
I started with a basic overdrive, distortion and fuzz designed with the help of an electronics engineer friend. The overdrive I will probably resurrect one day as I've had several people who own one of these tell how good they are and it's a fairly unique design and unlike any other OD I've made since.
The fuzz was a fairly complex quad op amp, two transistor fuzz with no diode clipping. It was an "improved" version of the fuzz in my screen printed enclosure FUZZ and a circuit I haven't made in any other Tym effects since.
All three were handmade on veroboard and wired point to point to pots, jacks and switches.
All of this took quite a lot of time to make. The enclosures would arrive from the foundry in rough cast with slag still hanging off. They would need to be cleaned up with a grinder and linisher and then the holes drilled for the bottom "lid" hinge. Holes all had to be drilled by hand and the odd angles made it difficult to drill accurately by hand. With the electronics all being hand wired on veroboard and then hand wired in to the box I probably only made fifty or so of these pedals all up so they're pretty rare. There are also a handful of preamp/boosts, filters and even a tremolo in these enclosures out there, but I have no idea how many.
It was the first real foray into making my pedals totally unique and different to everything else and was a fun and great way of making my mark early on.
I recently found a box of unfinished enclosures and was thinking of making a small run for this years 15th anniversary ? Might be fun .............