Critique my custom A/V rack / book shelf. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-03-2013, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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My media room is nearly complete but I would love to hear any ideas or critiques of my design for my custom shelving that will be my A/V rack.

I have a space already prewired that is 7 feet tall, 27 inches deep and 26 inches wide. Shelving will be stained oak. I plan on a 4-6" open gap in the back to allow for airflow and wiring. I'll have nice trim under supporting each shelf and have fluted casing around the overall opening. It should look like a nice bookshelf when I'm done.


Where I'd love opinions on is the spacing (and number) of shelving. I do plan on purchasing an Emotiva AMP and a power line conditioner/UPS next year as well as a PS4 is on my list. Media storage is already handled elsewhere, and I can't think of much other components I will be needing and I don't have an endless budget either!

So do I have too much airspace planned for any component or not enough? Any design features that you can think of?


The Plan:


The space:




Thanks!!

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post #2 of 18 Old 12-05-2013, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, seems I've asked a dumb or too specific question or everyone is stumped! smile.gif I'll try to document my largely carpentry project for future reference, and can always revise later if I'm missing something not obvious.

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post #3 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 07:41 AM
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http://www.avsforum.com/t/788074/show-me-your-rack/450#post_15304589

 

Here is a rack similar to what you are going for but a little smaller.  I believe your rack is fine with space in the back for airflow.  I have seen other racks that had a fan at the bottom and an exhaust at the top that were built into the wall.  In the end, I foresee a nice looking rack :)

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post #4 of 18 Old 12-11-2013, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Yep no face plates in this design. I just spent the last 4 nights in my freezing garage staining and polycoating the wood. Going to try and install it tonight. Media furniture arrived two days ago too! After I hang the screen it'll be a working room!

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post #5 of 18 Old 12-11-2013, 12:21 PM
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My only concern would be that you have several pieces of equipment below the PJ that will be generating significant amounts of heat - this hot air will rise in the back of the space and be ingested by the PJ, possible compromising its ability to cool. I think you should do exactly as you are planning, and fire everything up to see how it goes, but I suspect that passive cooling might not be sufficient, especially on days where there is a high ambient temperature.

Just putting a fan in the top section won't be a good solution as it still won't address the need to get cool air to the PJ and you may even get into a situation where the two fans are battling each other. If ultimately needed, running a conduit/duct from ground level up to the projector shelf would be very simple and would give you a good source of cool air to feed the beast!
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-11-2013, 10:39 PM
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You won't need 12" for a cable box.

18" is a lot of space, so good airflow possibilities around, since there is no faceplate.

You might want to close-off the projector section except for a cable hole. It would separate system heated air from projector intake air.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-11-2013, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I got the top shelf installed and so far it's looking good. I love my nail gun! Turned a 30 minute ordeal into a 3 minute one.

I definitely over compensated on the airspace per shelf to combat future cooling issues. The projector also pulls air from the back and projects forward. If things don't keep their cool I'll definitely revisit. The 5" of air gap in the back should accommodate a 120mm fan easy on each shelf. If things still don't behave, I have an air return in the ceiling about 4 feet away I can tap into.

And I agree 12" is too much for a cable box, but I hope to have a PS4 sharing that shelf by summer, so I can't skimp too much. Here is a revised estimate/plan. Still not final, but I think it could work.

1. Projector shelf - 17" total room, leaving 11 7/8" airspace above projector.
2. Uverse / PS4 - 10" total, 8" actual space
3. PS3 Shelf 10" total with 7.64" airspace
4. Receiver 16" total with 9.75" actual airspace
5. Planned AMP 16" total with 8.25" acrual airspace if I get the Emotiva XPA3
6. Planned Line Converter 10" total

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post #8 of 18 Old 12-16-2013, 12:30 PM
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Hey Johnny,

Any updates on this? I am quite interested how things turned out for you as I am in the process of planning my media cabinet. How was the hot air gap in the back working out for you? did you install a couple of 120mm fans?
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-16-2013, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry about that Blindset! I had a little haitus as we just got back from Las Vegas. I do hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow morning.


Like they all say, it's finished as soon as you hang the projector. Well mine is basically hung, but still need to finish out the trim and the rest of the shelves and put up the screen.

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post #10 of 18 Old 12-17-2013, 10:10 AM
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Nice, I havent been in a couple of years, hoping to go again this summer. Where did you stay?

I ALMOST ran into the same issues, the projector I wanted went on sale so I had to buy it even though I wasnt ready for it. I threw it on a shelf in my half finished basement and nailed my spandex to the wall. Hahaaha luckily the drywall wasnt up and there was still saw dust on the ground or else nothing else would have gotten down.

I look forward to the update.
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post #11 of 18 Old 12-18-2013, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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It was the Venetian hotel. I officially got a sick from the plane ride back however, so things have been slow in finishing the theater room.

But I did get all the shelves bracing mounted. The shelves are not nailed down yet because I want to be sure the cooling is fine as is. It seems to be working very well so far, so no plans for fans at this time.

The 3/4" molding is supporting the weight well and looks good with a 90 degree return at the front. I still have some stain touch ups to do with putty and more poly on top. I also need to install the front trim piece that will cover up the side of the plywood I used.

My tips so far:
1. If pre-staining before install, make extra of everything. I basically made 2-3 times the 45 degree miter returns needed because I knew there would be some variations in the drywall fitment and matching up the stain colorations.
2. Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner is worth it's weight in gold!
3. Never skimp on the materials. I hate cleaning brushes, so I usually buy a pack of el cheapo brushes to just toss at the end of a project. But never forget the tack cloth, rubber gloves, sandpaper, sanding blocks, etc
4. Staining takes time to do it right. Factor in 2 days for 2 coats and stain and 2 more days for 2 coats of polyurethane. Rushing this will be regretted later.
5. I used a "dry" brush to after each coat of stain to help even out the coat. Pay attention to all edges which can get buildup or other obvious brush marks. Using light even pressure, make long continuous strokes across the entire length of the wood for best results. After it starts to set you should have very little take up when you wipe up the excess stain.


I'll get some pictures shortly after I finish the front trim. I also will run some casing around the opening perimeter which should finish it off. That will probably be after the holidays though.

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post #12 of 18 Old 12-23-2013, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the miter joint for the shelf support. Shelf is not nailed down yet and I'm still finishing the front trim piece.

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post #13 of 18 Old 12-23-2013, 04:35 PM
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Thanks for the stain advice, I am planning on building an entire 8 ft tall x 12 ft wide center that will house all my equipment, my 110" screen for the projector, and behind the AT screen will be my LCR and two 18" subs. It wil be quite the undertaking but I think it will look absolutely stunning if it even comes out half how I would like it to. Im not really experienced when it comes to wood working but I have built an arcade cabinet and that turned out better than I expected. Still not sure what wood I will be using but probably an oak would be the easiest to find.

That miter looks stelar, working with such small pieces can be difficult. How are you finishing the front of the shelf, looks like bare wood still.
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post #14 of 18 Old 12-23-2013, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I decided to stain and poly all the pieces in my garage and assemble in the media room. So to be safe, I probably made 2-3 times as many of the end pieces as needed. It was fun sanding and staining them, but it allowed me to find a best match for each shelf support. Especially since the drywall is never square or plumb.

There is one more piece of molding that will cover that exposed wood Like this I just need to cut it to size and glue it down.

Boy 8x12 foot is huge! That will be a fun task, but good luck and it will be a fun project.

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post #15 of 18 Old 12-29-2013, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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98% done!

Detail of finished trim

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post #16 of 18 Old 12-29-2013, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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And it should be obvious, but runs perfectly cool with all that airspace. About the only thing I will add is some rear woodwork to help with wire management.

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post #17 of 18 Old 05-24-2014, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Just finished installing some cabinets, and have a pretty decent shot of the finished shelving.

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post #18 of 18 Old 05-25-2014, 08:13 AM
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