Need in-wall component rack ideas

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by ScottATL, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    I had my lumber delivered last week and I'm going to start framing in the basement this weekend. Can anyone give me ideas for an in wall rack. If anyone has any DIY ideas, can you give me some size recommendations.

    I want to have it to be able to hold external amps for future use, but right now I'm only using my receiver for power, and have a powered SVS sub.

    Will need to consider heat management as well.
     
  2. Andrew Stoakley

    Andrew Stoakley Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Scott,

    Check out the rack pics in my home theatre that show my homemade system. Real simple to make. I used 3/4" black laminate and measured out my largest component to make the template for the rack. My LD was 19" wide by 19" deep, so I made the rack 20" by 20" to allow for breathing room. I also used a router to route strips in the tops and bottoms to allow heat distribution. I haven't had any heat related problems and the thing is rock solid! I used 1 1/2" wood screws and then used black laminated banding to make it look all nice and neat... however, using the bloody iron to heat the glue to stick to the wood was a process I will 'never' miss!!! [​IMG]

    Just make sure you make a good template so that all the your rack spaces are nice and level! Nothing worse that unlevel surfaces [​IMG]

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Stoakley
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I built my rack into the wall as well. There's a bunch of pics on my website which you can get to by clicking the link below.
     
  4. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys, that gives me something to work with. I'm going to check with the unfinished furniture stores around and see if they have anything that I could just insert in, if not, i'll probably be making something similar to Andrew's. Does anyone else have any DIY pics?

    Thanks
     
  5. Andrew Stoakley

    Andrew Stoakley Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Scott,

    I tried to look for pre-fab racks and couldn't find any in the Toronto area, not to sure about Atlanta though. The biggest issue I ran into was the width of the racks. Everyone I looked at was either 16" or 32" wide. There was nothing remotely close to the 20" I was looking at. Good luck with your hunting.

    The rack cost about $75 Cdn to build - not bad considering steel racks from Middle-Atlantic start around $500 with parts (they look cool though [​IMG] )

    Cheers,
    Andrew

    PS: I bought the lamanite in 4'x8' sheets from the Home Despot and had them cut all the wood for me.
     
  6. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew, So you just laminated the wood yourself with something like countertop Laminate? thats a really good Idea I had not thought of that, Might have to do something like that myself. [​IMG]
     
  7. Andrew Stoakley

    Andrew Stoakley Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Travis,

    I laminated the ends of the wood from the saw cuts. I basically used shelving laminate wood - particle board that has already been laminated. Home Depot carries them in 4' x 8' sheets (white, black, grey) and I just had them cut the wood for me. I used the laminate banding that requires the bloody iron to heat the glue and then pressed the banding to the exposed particle board.

    I don't think I'm that handy to laminate a whole sheet of particle board [​IMG] Mind you, it would be a pretty cool project.

    I think I stated in an earlier post that I used wood nails, but I double checked that and I used laminate screws instead. I believe they have a different groove pattern on the screw body.

    Oh, one other thing... the whole rack weighs about 60lbs!!! Not easy to move by yourself.. [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
  8. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    Thats a good point, I have about 23 inches to work with, could probably make it 25 or 26 inches wide if I had to but will probably take a look at Home Depot tomorrow. It might actually be easier to make it myself, and not have to worry about finding something that will work.
     
  9. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Andrew, I will have to go take at that stuff, I try to avoid home depot and usually shop at Lowes but all they have is white, So I assumed that Home Depot was the same, guess I will have to break down and give Evil Orange some of my money
     
  10. Andrew Stoakley

    Andrew Stoakley Stunt Coordinator

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    Ah yes, the Evil Orange - or as I like to call them "The Home Despot." We don't have the luxary of shopping at Lowe's yet in Toronto, although the rumour is they are looking to set up shop here sometime soon. We have Rona Building Centres but I find their selections limited. I might have lucked out with my local HD and what lumber products they carry.

    It's a great DIY project that can be easily done in an afternoon. I think it was 4 beer project [​IMG]

    Give me a shout if you have any other questions.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
  11. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    You will like Lowe's, They have better lumber and I think the People that work there also are better, Home depot just seems to have a bunch of morons that dont know anything and the store always seems to be dirty compared to Lowes
     
  12. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    Instead of Lowes or HD for lumber, try a local building supply company. They are generally much cheaper and you can always talk them into delivery. HD and Lowes were 2.97 a stud, and I got them from a building supply company for 2.35 each. Multiply that by 200 and it was a pretty good savings, plus they delivered it for me. They were also 1.55 cheaper for a 10 foot 2x6. I think I saved almost 85.00 for all of my lumber. I'm buying my lighting from an internet store, and it's 5-7.00 cheaper each light. My last basement I shopped exclusively at HD and Lowes, but will only be going there this time around for the loose ends or for 1's and 2's of things.
     
  13. DelRay

    DelRay Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you plan on having access from the rear of the rack? I built mine with an open back. Easy way to get to the wiring. I also made a cover for the rear to make the backside look better. A fan is also installed at the top. Installing shelf rails will help with the various heights of the equipment also.
     
  14. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually haven't decided yet. I can, but not sure if I want to for cosmetic reasons. I hate not having access to the back as its so much harder to hook up the components. I'm thinking I'll put a "false door" on the side. The rack is going to be on an exposed corner, so I could put an access door on the side. Of course, it would probably be less work to not put the door in and spend the extra time hooking things up. I'm going to vent the rack to the other side. the room originally had a closet that was about 20 feet long and 3 feet wide, which is being turned into a bookshelf and my in-wall rack.

    I'll have about 5 feet between the bookshelf and the side of the rack, more then enough space to vent the rack.
     
  15. Tony#E

    Tony#E Extra

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    Scott, I went the spendy route but am very happy.
    I ordered a Middle Atlantic pro audio rack from a local dealer. It is 19" wide for standard audio gear. I picked up a 42 space rack (1 space= 1-1/4")for around $400.00. It comes broken down in boxes but is very stable once assembled. You can buy a pull-out rack for around $2500 but I don't plan to change out my gear that often. The rack will hold 600 pounds of gear. Email me if your interested.
     
  16. Aaron Smithski

    Aaron Smithski Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Scott,

    I had a buddy construct a built-in rack that might be just what you are looking for. It is made out of 3/4" oak plywood and measures 54"H x 20.5"W x 20.25"D.

    Like you, I wanted convenient access to the rear of the components -- without having to scrape up the shelves! I went with full-extension heavy-duty drawer slides to get to the back of the components.

    The rack is not installed yet. I have a few pictures of it sitting in my garage, but no site to post them to. I could email a few if you would like to check it out.
     
  17. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    could you email them to me, I'd like to see how those diy slides work out for you.
     
  18. Aaron Smithski

    Aaron Smithski Stunt Coordinator

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    Sure thing -- the pics are quality-challenged due to the location of the rack and lighting, but should give you a good idea of how it works.
     
  19. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    The rack looks really good. I hadn't thought about pull out shelves, but I think I'm going to put them in. Thanks for the suggestion and the pics.

    It seems about 20 inches in inside width is about the average, does that sound about right?
     
  20. Andrew Stoakley

    Andrew Stoakley Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Scott,

    Yes, 20" is about the standard as most AV components measure around 19" wide. I've seen some racks as wide as 22" and as thin as 19 1/4", but most are around the 20" mark.

    Good luck with the project. Looking forward to seeing final pictures.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     

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