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Anyone ever built wooden shelves for their metal rack (Middle Atlantic)?


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#1 of 33 OFFLINE   Jason Price

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Posted October 15 2001 - 07:27 AM

I'm considering getting a Middle Atlantic Slim 5 to use for my equipment rack, but have discovered that the shelves are incredibly expensive. So, I'm wondering if anyone has ever built wooden shelves to put in a metal rack and how it turned out. Anyone done this?

As a side note/question, does anyone know why metal shelves and blank faceplates are so friggin expensive? It's crazy...

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#2 of 33 OFFLINE   James Mudler

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Posted October 15 2001 - 08:40 AM

Jason,

I have two pieces that were not rack mountable and my jaw dropped at the custom face plate prices. $500 for my VCR and DVD player. I made my own. I had brackets made that bolted to the covers and then made 90 degree angles to mount to the rack. They span the entire depth of the equipment and very sturdy. I had a metal shop cut the correct height and bent them. I painted them black (truck bed paint works great for texture) I used rubber washers to isolate from the brakets. All together I spent $22.

The only problem is spacing. You may need to make a filler strip because the standard blank panels may to to big or small.

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#3 of 33 OFFLINE   Patrick Bennett

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Posted October 16 2001 - 02:56 PM

The custom shelves/faceplates should only be about $100/110 a piece (check markertek.com). If somebody was wanting to charge you $250 for one they were taking you for a major ride.

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#4 of 33 OFFLINE   SamRoza

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:25 PM

If you go to www.smarthome.com they sell extremely affordable rack shelves. I don't know the exact dimensions of the Middle Atlantic racks, but I'd guess they fit with the standard of 19" wide and have retained the industry-standard RU(rack unit) heighth.

As long as that is so, these racks work wonderfully. I used them in my rack which is a cut-down server rack(I cut 3' out of it in heigth).

Sam
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#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Jason Price

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:27 PM

Sam-

Are you talking about these shelves? While $47 per shelf is cheaper than a lot of places, I still don't consider that "extremely affordable" for a simple metal shelf. Affordable would be half that at most. Posted Image

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#6 of 33 OFFLINE   Patrick Bennett

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Posted October 18 2001 - 02:00 AM

While I shop at smarthome occasionally (I like their site), their prices tend to be around full retail. The fact that they go out of their way (in some cases) to keep from telling you what the part # (or even manufacturer) of their items doesn't help matters any.
An example of the price differences:
The Slim-5 Middle Atlantic Rack (which I have) for a 79 inch rack costs $273.95 from SmartHome. From MarkerTek, it costs $185. As I recall, the shipping costs from Smarthome were significantly more as well.

I think I ended up having to buy my blank panels from Smarthome since I couldn't find the brushed/anodized finish panels at MarkerTek (who at least mostly uses MA's real part #'s).

Custom rackshelves are $95 or $110 (Depending on finish) at MarkerTek, and $110 / $120 at Smarthome. Not too much of a difference, but it adds up.

Smarthome wants $99 for a Rackmount DVD holder - it's $79 at MarkerTek.

I did end up having to buy some things at Smarthome, but I bought most of my rack accessories at MarkerTek. They were just tons cheaper (and price matching with Smarthome is a PITA - you can't match up part #'s, so it's a hassle)



#7 of 33 OFFLINE   GordonL

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Posted October 18 2001 - 02:46 AM

Don't know why something like this wouldn't work:
http://www.partsexpr...._ID=6010&DID=7
and pieces of plywood or MDF cut to size. Probably don't even need to paint them if you're using faceplates to cover your equipment.

#8 of 33 OFFLINE   Patrick Bennett

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Posted October 18 2001 - 04:58 AM

If it's just a plain shelf you want, you can get those for around $20. Buying those shelf supports would actually be the more expensive route to take.

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#9 of 33 OFFLINE   Jason Price

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Posted October 18 2001 - 05:33 AM

Patrick-

Where can you get shelves for $20?

#10 of 33 OFFLINE   Patrick Bennett

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Posted October 18 2001 - 05:51 AM

Well, actually, $25 and $30.
Go to markertek.com and search for US1.
They've got a US1 and US2 part # that are 1 and 2 space shelfs (holding up to 35 or 50 lbs respectively).
I've used them temporarily for a couple of components (I've got a 4U-high receiver on one)

#11 of 33 OFFLINE   SamRoza

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Posted October 18 2001 - 07:30 AM

Wow, I'm sorry I didn't check smarthome out before running off at the jaw.

Two years ago, when I bought all of my equipment, I paid about $25, maybe $30, for solid sttel, non-vented 2U high shelves from them. It appears that not only have they dropped the non-vented stuff, but jacked the price WAY up.

Sam
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#12 of 33 OFFLINE   SamRoza

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Posted October 18 2001 - 07:34 AM

Actually, if you look here: http://www.smarthome.com/87604.html I believe the top picture is the IDENTICAL one to the ones I bought...now they sell it for $120!!

Jesus...

Sam
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#13 of 33 OFFLINE   Patrick Bennett

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Posted October 18 2001 - 07:53 AM

Those are the shelves w/ custom faceplates (cut to the exact dimensions of your component). They've always been that expensive (at least as long I've know about them that is).

#14 of 33 OFFLINE   SamRoza

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Posted October 18 2001 - 08:10 AM

Either way, if you take the extra piece of trim off of the top of the top pic, it is IDENTICAL to my shelves. Size, dimension, build-all the same, just with a custom built faceplate.

Sam
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#15 of 33 OFFLINE   Patrick Bennett

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Posted October 18 2001 - 08:23 AM

Oh sure, but the key is the faceplate...


#16 of 33 OFFLINE   James Mudler

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Posted October 19 2001 - 01:01 AM

Patrs Express sells clamping rack shelves $49. But does not look like it will cover the sides.
http://www.partsexpr...._ID=6098&DID=7

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#17 of 33 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted March 12 2002 - 12:23 AM

I am about to order a MA Slim 5 Series rack (54 1/2" model) and also am shocked at shelf prices. Markertek's rack prices seem good. However, I stumbled on their private label shelves as mentioned by someone else. Here they are at $24.99 adn $29.99 each. I haven't seen any shelves at or below these prices:

http://www.markertek....m?BaseItem=US1

BTW, my rack will not be built in, so I plan to veneer rosewood or something else exotic to MDF or plywood panels and attach them to the sides of the rack. Are you guys actually paying those outrageous prices for custom faceplates/surrounds for your equipment?

#18 of 33 OFFLINE   Jason Price

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Posted March 12 2002 - 05:07 AM

Wow, a 5 month revival. Very nice, Hank... Posted Image You might want to check your link there, though - that links to Laminated Equipment Racks, not rack shelves.

I actually just ordered my rack last week (I got the big boy) and hope to frame it in this coming weekend, if it arrives in time. I haven't exactly decided what I'm doing for shelves yet, but I've got some time until I need to worry about that. I very seriously doubt I'll go with the custom faceplates, as nice as that would be - just too expensive. I'll probably either go with the generic racks, or try and create the wooden ones I've contemplated.

Seeing as I'm not going with the custom faceplates, I'm going to have to figure out the best way to close off the sides of the rack. I'm thinking about just some flat-black MDF or something. What have the rest of you guys done?

#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted March 12 2002 - 05:14 AM

Jason - I fixed it. I did copy the address when I was on the utility shelf page, but...oh well. I do plan to rosewood veneer MDF or plywood and use that as the sides. It should look very elegant and match my D-I-Y rosewood veneered tower speakers. For my taste, an all-black rack that large would look a bit too industrial, IMO. Keep us posted with pics.

#20 of 33 OFFLINE   Mike Brantley

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Posted March 15 2002 - 07:42 AM

AllPro Sound (http://www.allsoundpro.com) has some rack shelves with no face plates ranging from $18 for a one-unit shelf that's 10 inches deep to $32 for a three-unit shelf that's 14.5 inches (I think) deep.

Here's a link to what I just ordered....

http://www.allprosou....uts-3&CAT3=22F

I am getting the Middle Atlantic custom shelves and face plates for my more permanent components. But I'm having to order them one or two at a time as finances allow. Still, no way is a $100 VCR gonna sit on a $100 shelf! Posted Image The less-permanent components (like the VCR) can sit on the cheap and reusable rack shelves.

By the way, I don't have pictures of my new rack on my site yet, but I built it myself using plywood (nicely stained), hardwood molding for the edges and Middle Atlantic rack rails for the hardware to attach to. I think it turned out very nice. Pics to come as soon as I get a few more components installed. So far there's nothing in it except my new Yamaha receiver. Everything else is on the floor. What a mess!