I can not believe how expensive synergy type aluminum is!

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brett DiMichele, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been looking, and looking, and looking and, well you
    get the idea.. At audio racks since I have completely out
    grown my el cheapo bush job *read: Junk* and I want something
    that has an air of elegance to it..

    So I found this one rack that is to die for.. $1400.00 yeah
    you have a heart attack at the price! And I have of course
    considered the Flexy's and then I thought well wait a sec
    I can always build a Salamander Synergy knock off since
    companies like McMaster Carr sell the bulk etruded leg
    materials.

    So I went to McMaster's web site and woah the stuff is like
    $56.00 per 8' and I need at least 4 8' sections to do the
    legs without having any seams.. Well scratch that idea I
    guess I will just have to do the typical ol flexy but at
    least I can dress it up by using tubing over the rods and
    cutting the shelves differently than the "norm".

    Now I have to sit back and think about how I want to do the
    rack. I need at least 7 or 8 component shelvs and I want to
    cover the threaded rod with brushed aluminum pipe (or just
    spray paint PVC with Silver paint and clearcoat it..)

    Hrmm..

    Anyone done anything "different" than the typical flexy? I
    am considering doing it as a 3 leg unit with 2 legs up front
    and the third leg centered in the rear.
     
  2. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brett, what is your budget? if you want elagance dont you have to pay for it?

    I had an idea for a rack where you have 4 poles and on each pole there were flat tabs that hung out. well each "tab" is suposed to hold the foot of the component. to keep it all sturdy, you'd have to connect the poles somehow, but since you were looking for ideas, i thought i'd at least try to help.
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Geno,

    No I don't think Elegant should mean it costs $1600.00....

    This is the AV Rack I have taken a shine to.

    [​IMG]


    If I can get my one friend (machinist) to machine me 6 or
    7 of the circular connectors out of aluminium (they don't
    have to be as ornate as the one's shown above) then I think
    I can handle the rest for a paultry sum. Instead of using
    channel aluminum like they did I will buy 3 8' sections of
    the 4 sided T-Slot extrusions like those found on the
    Salamander Synergy racks ($150.00 for 3 8' sections) and
    then use solid oak for the stanchions beteen the 3 legs and
    the center section.

    I would gun drill all the way through the oak beams and run
    all thread through the center and have a counterbore on the
    end of the oak beam where it connects to the leg and use a
    nut and washer. Not sure what I would do on the other end
    where the oak beam connects to the center section. I could
    just tap the aluminum and have the all thread locktighted
    into the aluminum.

    I would spend up to $300.00 on a prefab rack so I guess the
    same can apply to DIY. I think this rack could be kloned for
    less than $250.00 the biggest part of that expenditure being
    the extrusions from McMaster Carr.


    (oops I just checked the image out again and I see this is
    a 4 leg design.. That's $200.00 just for the aluminum extrusions..)

    Hurm...
     
  4. George W

    George W Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now that is a sexy rack, I must say. One thing to consider is that although the picture shows a four legged rack, it doesn't necessarily have to be an exact copy. I'm curious though, even with the design pictured, where do the component legs sit, balanced on the beams? Seems a little precarious to me, I guess you could just lay the component across the struts forgoing the component feet, but I don't know if that would effect the sound, a matter of some debate I'd imagine. It's a bummer that aluminum costs that much. I'll eventually build my own rack and was hoping it was a lot cheaper....perhaps you could do the legs out of a different type of wood? Wouldn't look quite as good I suppose but if done right could still look very cool. Good luck with your project.
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    George,

    Your certainly right I do not have to copy it exactly and
    it's not going to be a 100% Klone. I decided just to do 3
    legs instead of 4.

    To put the components on (on the bought version) they give
    you polymer clips that snap onto the wooden beams and you
    then position them under the component.

    Since my version would be scratch built I wouldn't have
    those fancy polymer clips but I could instead use some brass
    spike kits from Parts Express ($19.00 for 4 spikes and cups)
    I use these on my TurnTable and they work very well. They
    look similar to the Lovan decoupling spikes.

    3 Legs would cost $150.00 give or take a few dollars and
    then I would need to buy some good oak for the beams and see
    if I could sheister one of my buds into machining the centers
    for free (or for beer..).

    I am going to have to talk to my bud this weekend and show
    him the picture and see what he says.. Heck he may even be
    able to machine them just like the picture if he feels like
    sitting down and writing a program for the Haas Milling
    Center.

    I love that rack.. But the day I pay $1600.00 for a dang
    rack? No farking way!
     
  6. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    0
    OOOH I like I like [​IMG]
    Can your friend try to make the legs too? It looks like bent or folded sheet metal with increment hole in them for diff heighths. PS if you get the cost down, im sure youll be able to sell them here at HTF for that elegant $1600
    I like your style
     
  7. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Geno,

    Thanks.. I like my style too.. The problem is... I can't
    afford my own tastes! [​IMG]

    The legs on the Finite Elemente` Spider are made out of
    aluminium extrusions and as such would be signifigantly
    more ridgid than a simple bent steel design. And I have
    never seen an extrusion like that for sale they most likely
    own the dies to manufacture that shape.

    This is the material I want to use for the legs:
    [​IMG]

    Or...

    [​IMG]

    Or...

    [​IMG]

    I am thinking that #2 would look very close to what Finite
    Elemente` uses.. Not "exact" but close enough for me..
     
  8. Chris Carswell

    Chris Carswell Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the pg# or url those bars are listed at mcmaster?
     
  9. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chris,

    Page # 1468 on the web and catalog.
     
  10. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay here is a quickie render I put together using the
    square T Slot material. The finished product would have the
    black plastic end caps on the top's of the extrusions and
    possibly black plastic inserts covering the T Slots that
    are not used.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Chris Keen

    Chris Keen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chris,

    You da man! I bookmarked those sites.. 80/20 has a ton more
    shapes available!

    All I need to do now is see if I can get one of my friends
    to machine 7 or 8 round pieces for the centers.. Most of
    my buds are machinists by trade so one of them has to be
    able to help me out [​IMG]
     
  13. Rob Formica

    Rob Formica Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wouldn't you be able to use simple tube cut into sections of several inches to make the center pieces rather than getting them "machined"? Then cut the end of your wood bars with a matching hole saw, screw together, and bingo!? [​IMG]

    Just a thought...
    Rob
     
  14. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rob,

    I don't think thin wall tubing would be strong enough.
    Essentialy with this design all of the force will be
    placed on those center rings they have to distribute
    all of the weight and that could be a couple hundred
    pounds easily.

    I think that 1/2" thick machined aluminum should be
    adequate enough to support the loads placed on the
    tri beams (plus it will look better?) [​IMG]

    getting the centers machined should not be an issue
    worst case scenario I have a co-worker who has his
    own lathe and mill at home and he would do it for me
    he has done things in the past for me.
     
  15. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brett,

    First, very neat idea for the rack. The 8020 stuff you've shown makes it very easy to make something non-permanent - just drop in the little mounting thingies in the side and tighten, so you could play with the design a bit. However, doing so (especially removing things) is a pain especially in cramped places. I would also consider just buying some nice textured square tubing (or maybe bronze) and bolting things to it. Just wanted to let you know, since my school built a robot using those exact extrusions and the result was a little difficult to work with. Difficult in that attaching and detaching things is not as easy as it looks, but easy in that you don't have to find another 3 feet of aluminum when you screw up.
     
  16. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike,

    Thanks for the heads up. Honestly though once the components
    are in place they won't be moving much. And adjusting the
    rack will be as simple as loosening a couple nuts and just
    dropping or raising the center sections. (and I have more
    than enough room behind my current rack to get at everything
    so space isn't much of an issue either.)

    Thanks again for the info! [​IMG]
     
  17. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    I sent an email to my co-worker today and I expect to hear
    back from him in the morning about whether or not he can
    machine 8 of the rings for me. I gave him rough figures for
    the rings 3" OD 2.5" ID and 2" deep should be adequate.

    He has a bead blasting cabinent so I told him just get them
    machined relatively smooth then hit them with the bead blaster
    because I want that satin finish on those pieces.

    I will have to figure out the angles I want to mount the
    hard wood beams to the centers and then drill the inside
    of the beams the whole way through and also drill the center
    pieces and I will have to radius the beams where the touch
    the centers so that they fit together. I will run allthread
    all the way through the beams, through the centers and use
    a locking nut (nylon insert nuts) and the allthread will go
    into the T-Slots on the legs and will enguage the T-Slot
    Locking Tabs which you slide up inside the legs. The shelvs
    will be infinately adjustable up or down and the beams could
    also be relocated by drilling different holes into the center
    sections in different indexed locations.
     
  18. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay here is my progress thus far tracking down the raw
    materials. To order the 80/20 stuff go to www.reidtool.com
    they sell by the inch no minimum orders and it's cheap
    compared to McMaster Carr

    Here is the price breakdown, catalog page and quantities
    needed for the rack. This price does not include the centers
    which need to be custom machined or the price of wood beams.

    I expect when all said and done to have about $250.00 total
    into the rack that will hold and isolate 8 components. This
    is cheaper than most B-B, C-C junk racks and it's a true
    "audiophile" worthy piece. Now quick, someone find me an
    audiophile??? [​IMG]

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Part Number Page Number Price Each

    AES1515(lite) Page 381 $0.45 Per Inch
    1.5" Square Need 3 sections 4.5' in length @ $72.90

    AES2030 Page 383 $1.35Ea
    End Caps Need 6 total $8.10

    AES2110 Page 382 $3.50Ea
    T-Slot Cover Need 7 total $24.50

    AES3278 Page 384 $0.27Ea
    T-Nut 5/16-18 Thread Need 30 $8.10
    RSB-15 Page 168 $2.63
    Tapered Square Isolation Pads (50)
    RSB-35 Page 168 $5.60
    Hemispherical Isolation Pads (49)
    TR-80 Page 458 $1.38Ea
    5/16-18 AllThread 36" Long Need 24 $33.12
    DK-126 Page 9 $0.75Ea
    Knob W/Thru Hole Need 24 $18.00
    Total $172.95
     
  19. Chris Carswell

    Chris Carswell Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. thanks to this thread, we made a mid design halt last week on a Unistrut system and are now using 8020. 7 revisions later, I have a final design. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page