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Thread: DIY Equipment Rack Build

  1. #1
    Join Date: Oct 2013

    Location: Wrexham

    Posts: 1,038
    I'm Darren.

    Default DIY Equipment Rack Build

    Introduction A.K.A. ďThe boring bitĒ Ė Photos start in post #2.

    Having talked about this for long enough the time has eventually come to put the plan into action. The design of the rack is very simple, in favour of attempting to create a rack that can effectively isolate the equipment, Iíve gone done the road of mass damping. Iíve achieved good results with Constraint Layer Damping, using a sandwich of Slate, Cork and Bamboo under each piece of equipment, the rack is intended to be the final layer on top of which the Slate will sit. With this is mind I wanted the rack to act as much as possible as one very large piece of timber free of voids and mechanical fixings.

    My choice of material for the rack is Beech, which is an unusual selection for a timber rack and more at home in the Kitchen. The majority of commercial timber racks seem to be of a modular design and constructed of Oak. Despite the fact that I really like the look of Oak and have a plentiful supply in my timber pile, this really would be my last choice of material. Iíve experimented with a number of materials as equipment supports and Oak is one of my least favourite choices. To my ears Oak has imparted a very sharp ring and a ďgrungyĒ effect on virtually every piece of equipment Iíve placed on it. I appreciate many people use Oak products as equipment support and are very happy with them, Iím not saying every support constructed from Oak is the same, but purely expressing my opinion .

    In researching different timbers for the construction of the rack I remembered reading a brief article on TAS (https://theaudiostandard.net/thread/...ications-audio) regarding the structural properties of timber. This breaks hardwoods into 2 categories, Ring Porous and Diffuse Porous. Oak falls into the Ring Porous category as does Cherry, another timber I donít get on with in this application. So I turned my attention to the Diffuse Porous timbers which include both Maple and Birch, timbers renowned for their acoustic properties not only with the audio enthusiast, but for the construction of musical instruments. One of these timbers would then seem the obvious choice, but I have two major issues with these timbers:

    First and foremost, I donít like the look of either of them, I see them as bland white timber, especially Birch which makes me think of Ikea furniture. Iím not slagging off Ikeaís furniture or its patrons, I have some Ikea furniture and Iím actually sitting on an Ikea Birch Ply chair as I type this. However, the rack will be as much a piece of furniture as an equipment rack, so as the son of a Cabinet Maker, the look of the timber is almost as important to me as itís acoustic properties.

    Secondly, cost and availability. Maple would have nearly doubled my materials bill. Birch is so hard to source in the dimensions I wanted I gave up trying to get a price on it.

    I therefore chose Beech. To my eyes an interesting and attractive timber. Falling within the same Diffuse Porous category, so hopefully similar acoustic properties to Maple or Birch whilst being relatively cheap and available. I went for a ďFarmhouse BeechĒ worktop for the shelves. Itís a relatively low grade White Beech with lots of grain differentiation and knots. Aesthetically this is exactly what I wanted as I find it far more visually appealing then Prime Beech and Iíll be using Steamed Beech (a more pinky/brown colour) for the legs as I wanted to create something of a contrast with the hope that it will tie in to the darker timber in the blockboard.
    Darren.
    Listening Room.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    Turn Table. Garrard 401, Reso Mat, 2 Tier Slate Plinth, DIY Hadcock GH242, Nick G modded Lentek, Denon DL-103.
    Pre Amp. Croft Super Micro2. Power Amps Quad 405 Mono Blocks.
    Speakers. TBC

    Home Cinema.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    DAC/Pre Amp. Oppo 105D.
    BDP/Streamer. Panasonic DP-UB820EB / Xbox One X
    Display. Optoma UHD300X / DIY False Black Window Screen.
    FBA. Raspberry Pi3B+, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB.
    Power Amps. 2 x Nakamichi AVP1.
    Front Speakers. DIY Baby Celestion Ditton 66. Surround Speakers. Celestion Ditton 11. Subwoofer TBC.

    Old Gallery. http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...-of-the-70%92s

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2013

    Location: Wrexham

    Posts: 1,038
    I'm Darren.

    Default

    4 weeks ago, this little lot arrived in the form of one 3m long worktop. I roughly cut it into 3 x 1m lengths to make storage easier whilst allowing it time to acclimatise in the house.



    Utilising a dry day, meant I could get to work squaring up and ripping down each shelf and allow the wind to take away the majority of the dust. Hardly luxury working conditions, but at least I only had 3 shelves to work on.



    3 shelves squared up and ripped down. I’ll joint the 2 offcuts on the left hand side and experiment with them as Speaker Stands. The offcut on the right hand side has been ripped down to use as a lateral brace. Probably unnecessary, but I had no other use for it and it will add a little more mass.



    Off my knees onto the legs, thankfully! That’s the finest tooth blade I have (70 on a 260mm blade) and it’s relatively fresh, but I still had to take my time to avoid burning the timber.



    4 Legs cut. Holes drilled for dowels to overcome any ideas the top shelf may have to lift. 2 x trenches / dados and 1 x rebate marked up.




    Test fitting along the way as much as anything else to relive the monotony of all the passes with the saw.





    Dry fitted with a sigh of relief that i, all my cuts were good, ii, my hands get a break, I’ve been off the tools full time for 2 years and they’ve got weak!





    The lines on the tops of the legs were transferred to the top shelf to line up the dowel jig for a reciprocal hole



    Running out of daylight and quite happy to call it a day it was time to pack up and tidy up. Next up will be a final clean up and finesse of the trenches, drill out for the threaded inserts for the feet and then give everything a good sand prior to gluing.

    I'm happy with how it's all coming together and the look with the Steamed Beech legs, although how this will change when it's oiled remains to be seen. It does look like it would be more at home in the Kitchen than the Living Room, hopefully stuffing it full of black electronics will change that?!?
    Last edited by DarrenHW; 08-10-2020 at 17:42.
    Darren.
    Listening Room.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    Turn Table. Garrard 401, Reso Mat, 2 Tier Slate Plinth, DIY Hadcock GH242, Nick G modded Lentek, Denon DL-103.
    Pre Amp. Croft Super Micro2. Power Amps Quad 405 Mono Blocks.
    Speakers. TBC

    Home Cinema.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    DAC/Pre Amp. Oppo 105D.
    BDP/Streamer. Panasonic DP-UB820EB / Xbox One X
    Display. Optoma UHD300X / DIY False Black Window Screen.
    FBA. Raspberry Pi3B+, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB.
    Power Amps. 2 x Nakamichi AVP1.
    Front Speakers. DIY Baby Celestion Ditton 66. Surround Speakers. Celestion Ditton 11. Subwoofer TBC.

    Old Gallery. http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...-of-the-70%92s

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 100,903
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Looking good, Dazza! And excellent workmanship, which I'd expect nothing less from with you.

    I haven't really experimented with different materials of wood for racks, as you've done, so I can't disagree with your observations in that respect on oak. However, visually the beech looks excellent, so if you reckon it sounds better, then you're onto a winner

    What I would say from the (considerable) experience I've had over the years experimenting with equipment racks/supports and damping/reducing vibration, etc, is that it's almost always beneficial to introduce a form of secondary isolation on the shelves of racks themselves.

    Therefore, consider installing a 'spike and cup' arrangement, in conjunction with another piece of timber, cut to the size of the gear its supporting (allowing for some overhang), which will be supported on said spikes, as I'm virtually certain that will sound better than simply placing your equipment directly onto the bare shelves.

    I'd also seriously consider doing the same with a plinth, which the rack itself sits on top of, thus offering another layer of isolation/decoupling from floor-borne vibrations, as in my experience the sonic benefits will be similar and eminently worthwhile.

    Furthermore, by introducing a plinth, particularly if you implement it properly, will allow the rack to sit higher up from the ground, thereby reducing the necessity to crawl on your hands and knees on the floor, when lifting equipment in or out, or whenever you have to access your gear.

    Trust me, it's far better having your gear, at least at waist height from the ground, than at floor level, for that very reason! Most commercially made racks sit too near the floor to realistically be practical, and accessing your gear, from the front or rear, as easily [and painlessly!] as possible, is an important and often not properly considered factor.

    So have a think about that aspect of the rack's design, in terms of where you'd like your gear situated for easy access - and in that respect, when placing it in your room, allow plenty of space from it and the back wall, so you can get at all the cables and connections easily.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts mate - it's going to turn out well and look really nice in your room, as well as sounding good

    Marco.

    P.S I've tied up your pics and removed some unnecessary img tags, containing your name on your flickr account, so it looks better.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tearsĒ - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

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  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: London

    Posts: 4,382
    I'm Robert.

    Default

    Nuff respect Darren and looking good.

    Racks can cost big bucks so I've only admiration for anyone who has the skill and mind to build his own
    My System:
    Amplification - Sansui AU-alpha 707 DR
    Turntable - Technics SP10 MK2-Technics EPA-250 Tonearm-Yannis Tome 423.5Plus tonearm cable-Eichmann KLEI Absolute Harmony plugs.
    Ortofon Cadenza Black moving coil cartridge-Fritz Gyger S re-tip. Panzerholz plinth.

    CDP - Pioneer PD-91
    Speakers - Spendor D7 on Soundcare SuperSpikes
    QED Silver Spiral speaker cable-airloc banana plugs
    Mains - Ultra Pure silver plated un-switched socket-Missing link EPS 500 silver plated plugs-Hi-Fi Tuning gold plated silver ceramic 13 amp fuses

  5. #5
    Join Date: Oct 2013

    Location: Wrexham

    Posts: 1,038
    I'm Darren.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Looking good, Dazza! And excellent workmanship, which I'd expect nothing less from with you.

    I haven't really experimented with different materials of wood for racks, as you've done, so I can't disagree with your observations in that respect on oak. However, visually the beech looks excellent, so if you reckon it sounds better, then you're onto a winner
    Thank you very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    What I would say from the (considerable) experience I've had with experiment with equipment racks/supports and damping/reducing vibration, etc, is that it's almost always beneficial to introduce a form of secondary isolation on the shelves of racks themselves.

    Therefore, consider introducing a 'spike and cup' arrangement, in conjunction with another piece of timber, cut to the size of the gear its supporting (allowing for some overhang), which will be supported on said spikes, as I'm virtually certain that will sound better than simply placing your equipment directly onto the bare shelves.
    We're on the same page. This will be for the AV gear so the only thing I'm really concerned with optimising will be the BDP which I intend to cite on a Mana Sound Frame clone. This will also have the aesthetic advantage of giving it a bit of height so it doesn't look so tiny sat next to the incoming Denon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    I'd also seriously consider doing the same with a plinth, which the rack itself sits on top of, thus offering another layer of isolation from vibrations introduced from the floor, as in my experience the sonic benefits will be similar and eminently worthwhile. Furthermore, introducing a plinth, particularly if you implement it properly, will allow the rack to sit higher up from the ground, thereby reducing the necessity to crawl on your hands and knees on the floor, when lifting equipment in or out, or whenever you have to access your gear.
    I have thought about that and if I drop on a suitably sized and priced piece of slate that's exactly what I'll do, although I doubt anyone's back will be happy about getting that set in place!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Trust me, it's far better having your gear, at least at waist height from the ground, than at floor level, for that very reason! So have a think about that aspect of the rack's design, in terms of where you'd like your gear situated for easy access - and in that respect, when placing it in your room, allow plenty of space from it and the back wall, so you can get at all the cables and connections easily.
    I'll do that with the TT etc in the listening room, but I want this to be a low rider. Popping in the occassional UHDBD is the only time I intend to go near it once everything's finalised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    P.S I've tied up your pics and removed some unnecessary img tags, containing your name on your flickr account, so it looks better.
    Thank you, I'm still getting used to the shift to Flickr.
    Darren.
    Listening Room.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    Turn Table. Garrard 401, Reso Mat, 2 Tier Slate Plinth, DIY Hadcock GH242, Nick G modded Lentek, Denon DL-103.
    Pre Amp. Croft Super Micro2. Power Amps Quad 405 Mono Blocks.
    Speakers. TBC

    Home Cinema.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    DAC/Pre Amp. Oppo 105D.
    BDP/Streamer. Panasonic DP-UB820EB / Xbox One X
    Display. Optoma UHD300X / DIY False Black Window Screen.
    FBA. Raspberry Pi3B+, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB.
    Power Amps. 2 x Nakamichi AVP1.
    Front Speakers. DIY Baby Celestion Ditton 66. Surround Speakers. Celestion Ditton 11. Subwoofer TBC.

    Old Gallery. http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...-of-the-70%92s

  6. #6
    Join Date: Oct 2013

    Location: Wrexham

    Posts: 1,038
    I'm Darren.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieGong View Post
    Nuff respect Darren and looking good.

    Racks can cost big bucks so I've only admiration for anyone who has the skill and mind to build his own
    Thanks Robbie, to be honest it's all in the tools. I enjoy both the planning and execution so that and the big cost saving is all the motivation I need, it's just time I've been short on.
    Darren.
    Listening Room.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    Turn Table. Garrard 401, Reso Mat, 2 Tier Slate Plinth, DIY Hadcock GH242, Nick G modded Lentek, Denon DL-103.
    Pre Amp. Croft Super Micro2. Power Amps Quad 405 Mono Blocks.
    Speakers. TBC

    Home Cinema.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    DAC/Pre Amp. Oppo 105D.
    BDP/Streamer. Panasonic DP-UB820EB / Xbox One X
    Display. Optoma UHD300X / DIY False Black Window Screen.
    FBA. Raspberry Pi3B+, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB.
    Power Amps. 2 x Nakamichi AVP1.
    Front Speakers. DIY Baby Celestion Ditton 66. Surround Speakers. Celestion Ditton 11. Subwoofer TBC.

    Old Gallery. http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...-of-the-70%92s

  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2019

    Location: South uk

    Posts: 483
    I'm Jon.

    Default

    Is that an E34 M5 in one of your pics?

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jul 2016

    Location: West Wales

    Posts: 121
    I'm Jonathan.

    Default

    Having made a small rack myself for my second system and my son last week making a custom rack for his kit, I can vouch that there is a huge amount of satisfaction especially if you like working with wood. I agree the planning is a key part.

    A great looking rack. Enjoy!

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2013

    Location: Wrexham

    Posts: 1,038
    I'm Darren.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by InThe Sticks View Post
    Is that an E34 M5 in one of your pics?
    Good eye! Unfortunately it's not an M5, just the wheel from one. It's a 1993 E34 520i Touring, so couldn't be further away really. I bought it as a "Practical Classic" i.e. one I could chuck timber in the back of, or strap my MTB to the top off without having a guilt complex. I had one as my first real car back in the early 00's and loved it, so thought I'd pick up another before they disappear into a pile of oxidised steel and degraded plastic.

    Darren.
    Listening Room.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    Turn Table. Garrard 401, Reso Mat, 2 Tier Slate Plinth, DIY Hadcock GH242, Nick G modded Lentek, Denon DL-103.
    Pre Amp. Croft Super Micro2. Power Amps Quad 405 Mono Blocks.
    Speakers. TBC

    Home Cinema.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    DAC/Pre Amp. Oppo 105D.
    BDP/Streamer. Panasonic DP-UB820EB / Xbox One X
    Display. Optoma UHD300X / DIY False Black Window Screen.
    FBA. Raspberry Pi3B+, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB.
    Power Amps. 2 x Nakamichi AVP1.
    Front Speakers. DIY Baby Celestion Ditton 66. Surround Speakers. Celestion Ditton 11. Subwoofer TBC.

    Old Gallery. http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...-of-the-70%92s

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2013

    Location: Wrexham

    Posts: 1,038
    I'm Darren.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bosa View Post
    Having made a small rack myself for my second system and my son last week making a custom rack for his kit, I can vouch that there is a huge amount of satisfaction especially if you like working with wood. I agree the planning is a key part.

    A great looking rack. Enjoy!
    Wot no build thread??

    What was your timber of choice?
    Darren.
    Listening Room.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    Turn Table. Garrard 401, Reso Mat, 2 Tier Slate Plinth, DIY Hadcock GH242, Nick G modded Lentek, Denon DL-103.
    Pre Amp. Croft Super Micro2. Power Amps Quad 405 Mono Blocks.
    Speakers. TBC

    Home Cinema.
    UNDER CONSTRUCTION
    DAC/Pre Amp. Oppo 105D.
    BDP/Streamer. Panasonic DP-UB820EB / Xbox One X
    Display. Optoma UHD300X / DIY False Black Window Screen.
    FBA. Raspberry Pi3B+, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB.
    Power Amps. 2 x Nakamichi AVP1.
    Front Speakers. DIY Baby Celestion Ditton 66. Surround Speakers. Celestion Ditton 11. Subwoofer TBC.

    Old Gallery. http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...-of-the-70%92s

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