Hello, I'm building my first flexi rack. It is 18" x 21" x 60"; it will have 10 shelves and will hold my A/V components. I purchased some nice furniture grade pine plywood (3/4"), cut the shelves to size with a table saw, and sanded them smooth. I also bought some stain & clearcoat. Here are my questions: 1. What size of threaded rod should I use? Others seem to use 5/8" or 3/4". Heaviest items on the rack are my HK525 and an old Teac amplifier. Everything else is reasonably light (DVD player, VCR, DSS, etc). 2. Where on earth do I buy the threaded rod?! Lowes & Home Depot don't have it. A local store can order 72" rod for me ($10/each for 5/8; $15 for 3/4, and I really only need 60"), but it will take a couple of weeks to get here. Are there any other options? 3. I'll be ordering a lot of fairly large washers and nuts (80 each). Can I buy these in bulk anywhere? Home Depot/Lowes charge insane prices for this type of stuff. 30 to 50 cents per nut seems horribly expensive to me. 4. Any advice on staining & applying clearcoat to get a great finish? I've never tried to build a nice looking piece of furniture. 5. How do I finish the sides of the shelves? The top & bottom are beautiful wood, but the center is plywood. Although it's nice plywood, it's still plywood, and I want to make the sides look as nice as the rest is going to (hopefully) look. Thank you!!