Flexy rack with 3/4" rod. What size to drill the holes?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MichaelDDD, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    I want to build a flexy rack. I've never done one before, and I want to make SURE it doesn't weeble, wobble or fall down. I'm going straight for 3/4" rod. *grunt noises*

    It's going to be a five or six-shelf unit...four-five feet high.

    What size holes do I drill in the shelves? One-inch? 3/4" would be too tight a fit, no?

    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  2. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

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    You want a tight fit. Drill the holes the same size as your allthread, it'll go through nicely.

    You're really going gung-ho with the HT hobby! You've got different questions everywhere! You've been bitten by the HT bug pretty hard, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

    Best of luck with the flexy. I have a thread around here somewhere where I made a half hearted attempt to collect url's to different flexy projects.

    Here it is
     
  3. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Bob. [​IMG]

    Yeah...I've been a posting maniac lately. This place is GREAT. Smart people, lots of experience. Straight up answers...a veritable gold mine of HT info.

    Actually, I've been into HT for years now..."way back" to the beginings of the Dolby Pro Logic on VHS tapes days.

    My first two HT subwoofers were built with leftover car audio subs and amps powered by a 12-volt bench test power supply.

    I had a modest system I put together with my modest funds...my tastes have matured though; I want more and I want it cleaner and crisper. Hearing high-end equipment in the stores also is a painful reminder that you have cheap stuff. :b

    A windfall of sorts...call it "built in overtime" of late has allowed me to splurge. You can't take it with you, so might as well enjoy it, right?

    But things like racks? Psh! I am not spending $400 on something I can build better for like $40!! *stomps foot*

    Thanks for the direction; I'll do 3/4" holes. Gonna be snazzy..gonna round the edges top and bottom....shelves will have rounded fronts as opposed to the shelf being a strict "rectangle."

    Ohhhhhh.....ahhhhhhh!
     
  4. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

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    Sounds nice. Maybe I'll have my flexy links page done (or even started) by the time you finish your rack. So take lots of pictures!
     
  5. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    Michael,

    I'm just finishing up a rack similar to what you are planning. I used a 1" hole, and found that even then there was a lot of rubbing on the rod when test fitting the shelves. A little bit of play was needed when installing the shelves since it wasn't possible to keep each shelf exactly level while putting it together. A little play helped out a lot in ease of assembly. I found the compression force from the nuts will keep the rack as tight as you need: there'll be no motion after assembly of the rod in the hole if it's a little oversize. If you use a 0.75" hole, I'd be worried that it would be too tight a fit, and the rod threads will rasp off interior MDF when you try to assemble it.

    Here's a drawing of the rack I built:

    [​IMG]

    It's similar to your plan except there're two towers, with connecting double thick full width shelves. Similar to yours, all shelf edges are beveled top and bottom, each corner is rounded to a 3" radius, and the front edge has a long outward bow of 2.5" from the ends. Each of the tower shelves follows this bow in front. It looked really good at the test fit. All it needs now is painting.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, but each tower has three rods, not four. There are two rods at each corner on the inside, and one rod centered at the outside.

    Andy
     
  6. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Hey Michael, EvilYoda here...yeah, the hole size should be the same size as your threaded rod. The first time around, it might rub on the edges, but that's good. While you push the rod through, try turning it with the thread, like you'd be screwing in a screw.

    Can't wait to see how it all turns out...you certainly have put a lot of time and money into this HT hobby in a very short amount of time. It'll be great when it's "done". (cuz we all know it's never really done)
     
  7. Ted Drain

    Ted Drain Agent

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    Another vote for 3/4" holes. That's what I used through 2 sheets of 1/2" plywood glued together. It was a snug but not too tight to get together.

    I built a small jig for the drill press to align each hole and everything went together great. If I had it to all over again, I would have clamped all the shelves together and drilled through all of them at the same time to make sure they lined up.
     
  8. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

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    Lining them up is easy. Make sure each shelf is the same size, and use a marking guage to scribe a line from each side on each corner. Where the lines meet is where you drill. This eliminates the need to drill perfectly plum through multiple sheets, which is hard and unnecessary.
     
  9. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Wow, great responses!

    Where to start?


    EvilYoda..err. JOE. [​IMG] Nice to see you. [​IMG]

    I've spent a pretty penny lately...but I've spent almost as much over the years..sad to say, I wish I knew then what I know now, but I guess we've all been there. I would've spent MUCH more wisely on GOOD stuff to start with. :b This place rocks; it's an invaluable resource. Its' where I"ve been hiding lately instead of "the other internet place." [​IMG]


    ANDREW: That looks like one HELL of a rack! Nice line drawing. I'd like to see a real pic, even if it's still raw MDF. I"ll bet it's incredible. It was a lot of work, I know that for sure.

    I've been down similar routes before with building subwoofer boxes...I plan on clamping all the sheets together and going thru with a spade bit on a drill press. Your idea about "a little play for leveling" makes sense, but I think with the drill press, I should be good to go with the 3/4" holes. [​IMG]


    TED & BOB: Thank you. I am lucky to have access to an industrial 1" chuck drill press, so I will thankfully be able to go thru three or four sheets at a time. I wouldn't even try it with my 3/8" handheld drill.

    Oh, one other question: I want to put wheels on it, since it's got to be elevated anyway to keep the bottom nuts off the floor...good idea? Bad idea? Should I just put "feet" of some kind on the bottom? (Newbie questions...I know...)
     
  10. Arthur_King

    Arthur_King Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, there's two things to consider with the casters.

    #1 Weight. Most casters I have seen at your HomeDepot/Lowes tend to be in the 150-300lb range. Thats not enough for a big beast like Andrew's. And thats not even mentioning the STUFF you put on it. How much do one of those 1000W line conditioners weigh?

    #2 Wobble. After putting this puppy on wheels, you better be very careful because no matter how tight you make the nuts, there will be wobble/sway to the unit, and if its tall enough or the casters are not spread apart enough, you can easily tip it over... Not a good thing with a 1000W line conditioner [​IMG]

    Other than that... go for it!

    Daffy Arthur King
     
  11. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    Michael,

    Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera handy during the test fit, and it's been disassembled for painting. I promise that once it's finished I'll be posting pictures. I've been working on it for too long not to!

    It looks like the majority of builders have had success with the 3/4" hole, and with the drill press you have available it'll probably work well. With mine, I only had an underpowered cordless drill, so I couldn't even use spades! I had to drill a pilot hole in a master shelf, use the master as a template to drill pilots in all the others, then use a router and circle jig to make the holes. Thus you see why I needed more room!

    For feet, you'd probably be better off with some of the slip on rod caps rather than casters. As Arthur said the weight will be an issue. On mine I'm using the bottom nut as the foot: I'm leaving a slight gap between the rod bottom and the nut bottom, so the load is passed to the nut and passed to the floor over the area of the nut rather than the smaller area of the rod bottom. The 3/4" nuts are rated for several thousands of pounds of load, so the load path is secure.

    If you like a more decorative look you could use acorn nuts as the foot and the cap.

    Andy
     
  12. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

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    I would recommend rubber endcaps for the feet ( see my sig or click here )
    I got mine at home depot.

    Acorn nuts would look cool for the top.
     
  13. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Ah, OK. Rubber feet it is. I was already planning on acorn nuts for the top. Great minds think alike. [​IMG]

    Bob, the rounded edge on your shelves; that's exactly what I want to do w/mine. I know little about routers. Did you use a "half round" bit? Thanks.
     
  14. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

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    I used a 1/4" radius roundover bit
     
  15. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Bob. [​IMG] I may just have to go w/the black, marblized finish...there's a great pic of it in an archived thread around here somewhere.
     
  16. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

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    Have fun with that. I left mine unfinished so I wouldn't screw it up. I absolutely hate finishing/painting. I'll build all day, but when it comes time to paint, i'll find something else to do. Maybe it's because i've destroyed projects with my impatience.
     
  17. Cliff L

    Cliff L Extra

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    I'm also in the process of building a flexy entertainment center except I'm using 5/8" diameter all-threaded rods. I'll be using an 11/16" spade drill bit which should drill a hole just hair larger than the diameter of the threaded rod. For 3/4", I would think you could use a 13/16" drill bit?

    I'll also be using a cordless drill to drill the holes in my boards (Black & Decker 14.4v) - would that be sufficient to use with a drill bit or should I look for a corded drill instead? Also - being my first time doing any sort of drilling, any tips on how I can do it easily and successfully?
     
  18. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

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    You want to use the same size bit as allthread.

    Your drill should be fine as long as your bit is sharp, but I bet the battery will die before you get done.
     
  19. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Cliff,

    I agree with Bob; your battery is gonna die. Good tools are a very worthwhile investment. All projects I've done for HT, car audio and computer stuff I've done with my tools that I have amassed over the years.

    Buy a GOOD 1/2" drill. One with a removable "D" handle on the end. Sears sells Craftsman drills like this for $50-$60. Worth every penny. The extra torque will get you thru multiple boards and most steel too.

    I would use a spade bit or Forstner bit. A good bit set is pricey, but again, the right tool for the job is essential for a good product.
     

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