Flexy Rack Cosmetic Questions.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shawn McBride, Mar 30, 2001.

  1. Shawn McBride

    Shawn McBride Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi guys,
    I want to try my hand at building a flexy-rack to go in my office/play room at home to house my old TV, a couple of video games and my CED player. I believe I have all the tools I'll need but I really don't know the first thing about woodworking or construction. (I'm a computer nerd.) [​IMG]
    Everyone talks about painting the MDF boards but how about wood stain? I'd like to match the rack as closely as I can to the desk I already have in the room. Does MDF take stain well? If I'm not mistaken MDF has got a wood chip, particle-board kind of texture? Is there an inexpensive wood material that I should look at other than MDF for staining?
    Also, is it possible to paint the threaded rods and hardware? Do I need some kind of special paint? I want to give them a matte black finish.
    I know these questions sound REALLY basic but I've got zero experience here so any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Shawn
     
  2. Chad Anson

    Chad Anson Second Unit

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    Second question first, yes it is possible to paint the allthread and nuts. First, you want to clean the allthread using a rag soaked with mineral spirits. Next, use a high quality spray paint. The key is to use several light coats rather than one heavy one - follow the directions on the spray paint can for how long to let dry between coats. When spinning the nuts onto the painted allthread you may scrape a little bit of the paint off. Because I didn't want to buy a small can of matching paint, I sprayed some of the spraypaint into the cap and used a small brush to touch up the blemishes.
    I'm not sure how well MDF takes stain... my guess is that it will, but it'll look more like paint than stain (because there is no grain). They sell "grain tools" that you might be able to simulate the appearance of wood with. Keep in mind that the edges on MDF are notoriously "thirsty" - i.e., they suck up paint. You can buy some stuff called "sanding sealer" (available at home depot, etc.) that'll make the edges easier to finish.
    Use a scrap piece of MDF to see what finish looks best.
    Have fun!
     
  3. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    I just made by flexy and it looks awesome with pine shelves and black rods and hardware.
    If you have access to some basic power tools, then do it with nice pine boards. This is so far superior to MDF in terms of appearance.
    You would need:
    Cicular Saw (table saw preferred)
    Sander
    Glue
    Clamps
    Plane also helps
    I think Lowes sells pre-cut shelves that might be the right size or only would require a couple of cuts (which they will do). In that case, you would not need any tools. Otherwise, you have to glue up some boards to equal 16" width using the above tools.
    Another option is to use nice veneered plywood such as birch or oak (again Lowes or HD will cut it). You would then put a new banding around it. This i think is too neat looking. Mine is distressed with slighly rounded corners and edges and has a golden oak and wax finish.
    Brian
    ------------------
    Zed's Dead Baby...
     
  4. Shawn McBride

    Shawn McBride Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info guys. I'm going to stop by the Home Depot or maybe Lowes tonight and see what they've got for me. Hopefully I can find some good shelf material or get HD to cut most of what I need because I don't think my little hand-held jigsaw could handle too much "real" work. [​IMG]
    I talked to a friend at work about building shelves out of planks. That sound like more than I care to deal with right now with all the planing, squaring, gluing and sanding. And more tools...
    Any specific brand of spray paint and/or wood stain I should look for? Or can I generally assume that more expensive = better?
     
  5. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    I know Lowes sells pine shelves that are made of strips of pine already glued together and sanded, so they would be great for your purposes. Get them to cut them down to exactly 16" by 24" (or more if you want it deeper and wider).
    I was trying to match my furniture so i went with the golden oak stain and a wax finish. Looks great, like antique pine. If you were going for something industrial or retro you could just paint mdf or plywood black. Plywood does need a banding to make it look good.
    As far as spray paint goes, just about anything they sell will work fine. I like the Minwax stains.
    BTW, be careful when painting the rods and nuts. I got too much paint on the inside of a couple of nuts and unfortunately those were the ones i put on first. The result was that they scraped off a lot of the paint from the rods and took a hell of a time to get on. If you dont already have one, a clamp wrench is a must!
    Brian
    ------------------
    Zed's Dead Baby...
     
  6. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Shawn McBride

    Shawn McBride Stunt Coordinator

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    Ikiru,
    Looks nice! I've definately got to go for something with a woodgrain like that.
    I hit the home depot last night on my way home. MDF is more plain than I thought and I could see where staining would just look like brown paint. I saw some oak and birch plywood that I thought would make nice shelves if I put trim around the edges. And I would have plenty left over to put some shelves in my garage. [​IMG]
    I'm going to go to Lowes in the next few days to look for those pre-fabbed pine shelves that you mentioned, Brian. That would save me a good deal of work.
    Wish me luck,
    Shawn.
     

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