How much does it cost to build a 36" Flexy Rack? I know! *pics* (tips & some notes)

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MichaelDDD, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Well, I was hoping to stay under $100 and I did. I just got back from Home Depot. I purchased all the materials needed, except the acorn nuts for the top of the rods, which they didn't have...darn small towns!

    Anyway, here you go!

    [​IMG]


    Also, I'd read that finding the rubber washers would be difficult; I almost left Home Depot sans rubber washers. They had every kind of faucet washer and O-ring, but no big, rubber washers. Desperation set in...but then this package caught my eye.

    [​IMG]

    I took one out of the package and test fit it on the 5/8" rod. Success!!! [​IMG] Whaddaya know? Who would've thought that you needed "hose washers?" [​IMG]

    Construction starts tomorrow.


    A few notes.

    1. No HD in the Omaha area carries 6-foot threaded rod and I didn't want to mess w/mail order, etc. So, I got 3-foot lengths. This meant in order to fit all my components in 36" instead of 48", I'd have to go with 3/4" shelves instead of the 1.5" shelves I'd originally wanted.

    2. Shouldn't be a problem since the "weight" of the components is carried by the feet, which are in the corners, where the rods are.

    3. Eight shelves...each shelf needs 8 nuts, 8 washers and 8 rubber washers...holy crap, that's 64 of each!!! It adds up, but it's still cheaper than buying a POS, fiberboard screw-it-together-yourself-but-don't-move-it-else-it'll-bust! Walmart special, you know?

    4. There are two "spray paints" listed. I bought two cans of gray primer and three cans of black semi-gloss. FYI.

    5. The only thing they didn't have were the acorn nuts to finish off the top of the rods. Those are being purchased by a buddy and mailed to me from Texas. I miss Texas. What could those nuts cost? $.50/ea? That would still keep me under $100. [​IMG]

    6. There are other "little" extras involved, such as tools, sandpaper, etc that weren't factored into the cost given here. I have those things already...most DIY'ers do. [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading the thread. I'm trying to give back...I was curious how much it would cost and I'm sure others are too!
     
  2. Bill Leber

    Bill Leber Stunt Coordinator

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    What about rubber "feet"?
     
  3. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Both rubber feet or casters and tack clothes are missing. How many shelves will this be?
     
  4. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hi guys. Good questions. [​IMG]

    1. Tack cloths were replaced by a 100 PSI compressed air line. I blew all the dust off...and darn near tore the skin off my hand too! Compressed air = ouch at 1 inch away!!!! [​IMG]

    2. Rubber feet - good catch there! I forgot about them. Though I doubt this POS Home Depot has them. I will look tomorrow though!! Thanks for reminding me!!!



    PROGESS UPDATE:

    Today I:

    1. Cut the shelves
    2. Drilled all the holes (7 per shelf: 4 for rods and 3 for cable management (shamelessly stolen from RobertMc)
    3. Routered the edges (1/4 round over on both sides)
    4. Sanded them down
    5. Put first coat of primer on


    Not bad for the first day, huh? [​IMG] Tomorrow I may get around to getting another coat of primer on...we'll have to see. Not in a rush by any means.

    ps
    2" Forstner bits are the greatest thing since sliced bread!
     
  5. Jon W.

    Jon W. Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a friend that built one of these and he used PVC pipe to conceal the threaded rod and nuts. It looks very nice. Just thought I'd throw that out there.[​IMG]
     
  6. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    two cans of primer? i used a can per shelf on my flexy

    If you have a drill press a forstner bit makes short work of MDF, keep the RPM low and crank on the pressure.
     
  7. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hi guys,

    Some bad news; my "cheap rack" suddenly become very expensive when I tried to save time by using a cheap roller to apply the paint. [​IMG]

    I figured "Seven damn shelves, two sides per shelf...that'll take all day with the spray paint!! I'll get some black paint and a roller!"

    Guess what happened? [​IMG] The roller left a bumpy ass texture on the shelves. BAD, bumpy texture. (yes, I stirred the paint...it was the roller)

    So, I had to sand the shelves and repaint. I did the first coat on one side today; I used a nice 2" brush. It looks OK...but not "piano finish" by any means. :angry:

    I figure on at least two coats...maybe three. The rack is short (36") and really the only thing that will be very visible is the top shelf. I should be OK.

    It was my error...who would've thought that a roller would screw things up? BTW, sanding seven shelves that have primer and a topcoat on them produces 26 pounds of cancerous, black/gray dust. It's horrible. [​IMG]
     
  8. Chris Keen

    Chris Keen Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael, I know you have a compressor, I just don't what size. I would have recommended purchasing a cheap but good HVLP gun from Harbor Freight, and shooting the paint using the gun.

    First off, I could have told you that there was NO WAY IN HECK you were going to get a good finish close to piano glass black with a roller or a paint brush. It just isn't happening. What type of paint did you try to put on the shelves with the roller/brush?

    If it was Latex, then there's really no chance. An oil based paint would get you closer, an alkyd-enamel even closer, and best yet would be a lacquer based paint. Whichever paint you choose, you want to use the same type of primer. For example, oil based primer for oil based paint.

    Just a suggestion.
     
  9. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hi Chris,

    The paint is enamel...that's all I remember about it. Gloss black.

    I have a compressor that could power two spray guns at once; the problem is that I don't have the work area to spray it, and the compressor is buried in my storage closet out on my patio. [​IMG]

    I have access to a woodshop on base (I'm military), and that's where I've been working on the shelves. They have a room in the back for painting/varnishing.

    For me to drag my compressor down three flights of stairs to my truck, to base, to hook it up...then have to leave it there for a few days (not a good idea) than have to drag it back up the stairs...not worth it.

    I used a 2" regular brush yesterday, with decent results. I need to sand down the first coat though and recoat. This is taking forever.

    I was advised by one of the old timers at the shop that I'd get good results with a foam brush; i.e. no streaks. I bought some foam brushes and will try them tonight.

    At this point, I just want to get it done. There's a shop charge of $2.50/hour; you don't want to know how many hours I've been there already. [​IMG] My cheap rack is no longer cheap.

    Yes, I know; I need a house. It's my only goal in life right now...but right now I have to be in an apartment due to the fact I move around every few years.
     
  10. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Good news: The foam brush worked like a charm. I now have two coats on the top and it looks pretty decent. There's still the slighest of brush marks left over from the brush, but I think 90% of them will be taken care of w/the third coat. The first coat was really just to fill in the gaps created by having to sand off the coat I did w/the roller. [​IMG]

    Tomorrow, I'll put the one coat on the bottom of the shelves; quick coat, just so they are black and not gray...nobody's gonna see them anyway, but just in case, you know? [​IMG]

    On Saturday I'll put the third coat on the top. That should do it...I'll have to see what it looks like after it dries.

    I really don't need to have the rack assembled any time soon (not getting my projector until next week sometime) so I have the time for a fourth coat. We'll see.

    This is good news, at least.
     
  11. Chris Keen

    Chris Keen Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael, don't tell me you're at Offutt AFB? You know what they say about what happens once your at Offutt. I was fortunate enough not to get stuck there. Right now, if I were you, I'd just do everything you can to save and plan for your future.

    BTW, thanks for your service to our country!
    [​IMG]

    Also, those foam brushes are a bag of mixed results. The reality with them, and I know this is hard to believe, is that they aren't all created equal. Good foam brushes perform really well with paints and finishes that flow on nicely. I'm not sure off of the top of my head, but I can go and check what might be good to thin the enamel down some. Doing this on a fourth coat and maybe a fifth coat might really smooth out the finish.
     
  12. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hi Chris,

    YGPM. [​IMG] Yeah, I'm at Offutt. It ain't Texas, that's for sure. [​IMG]

    I believe you on the results of thinning the paint, but at this point, I want to finish this. As I said above, it's $2.50/hour to use the shop. Believe me, you blink and you've been there 5 hours already. I could almost have bought a Bell'O rack w/the money I've spent so far. :b
     

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