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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a "closet" to house all the A/V equipment in the Family Room with the equipment fronts facing outward into the room.


My dilemma ......


I have 3 amps to put in the rack they all weigh about 65lbs each so I need to know what to do about shelving to support them.


My first thought is to make a 2x4 frame and then use 2x4s going acrossthe width of the rack for stability and support followed by a 24x24 shelf on top of the 2x4s that is 3/4" - 1" thick OAK or PINE. I would of course drywall the inside of the rack for looks and cover the front shelve areas of the rack with trim work and stain the shelves and trim work to match the other trim in the room. Will this be enough to support the weight??


The other choice would be something like a predone style rack (like midatlantic) but I have no idea how that stuff works --- ie none of my components are rack mountable and I see nothing about shelves on their site.


Anyone have any suggestions???


Greg
 

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Shane-

I'd recommend against sheetrocking the interior of the rack. it will get beat up. I built my own. You'll notice that in the picture below, my 72 pound Yamaha Rx-v1 is on the top.


FYI, I live in Brandermill on the southside, so if you'd like to come see my rack and setup, just let me know.

http://www.thecitycinema2.com/rack.jpg
 

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Greg: if you did want to go the Middle Atlantic route, they do have shelves available, ranging from ones that connect just on the front rails to ones that connect to the front and back rails for maximum support. Not trying to sell you on anything, but I just finished installing 3 Slim 5/AXS rackshelves to support my 3 amps (about 100 lbs. each) and it worked very well. Of course, if you don't have any rackmountable gear, getting a rackmount (and either generic shelves or custom faceplates) is going to be a pretty expensive proposition.


Just FYI:


Slim 5 rackshelf: http://www.middleatlantic.com/rackac...shelves2.htm#3
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Steve we should definitely hook up.


Would panelling be a better option than the drywall??


On the midatlantic stuff --- How much are we talking to do this, I would need about 8-10 shelves??



Greg
 

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Greg: RSEM and Markertek have pretty good MA rack prices. The racks come in all sizes, but in general, expect to pay $170-210 for a Slim 5 rack, plus about $50 per shelf. Shipped with 10 shelves you are probably looking at $750-800. The custom faceplate "shelves" run about $100 each, but they hide all gaps around your equipment. It gets very expensive, very quick, but you have lots of options for the racks--media holders, drawers, slide out shelves, etc. But as Steve has shown you, you can achieve a very similar effect for likely a lot less money!
 

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I'm going the MidAtlantic rack route myself because I like the custom faceplates and the general look of the racks when they're built in to the wall. However you can tell by looking at Steve's rack that you don't need to go MA to have an attractive set up and Steve's probably cost a fraction of what MA costs.

Will you have access to the back of the rack? If not MA makes some slide out racks that make wiring your equipment tons easier.
 

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My total cost was about $50. It's built with MDF. I "stole" the idea from Jim Mc, who described his construction process in thread a few months ago.


Here's Jim's description of how he built his:
Quote:
THE EQUIPMENT RACK

The rack is a basic carpentry project. The walls were framed using 2x4 construction and a 62â€H x 21â€W opening was framed 6†off the floor. I then built two sidewalls 14†back from the main wall at 90 degree. This is like building a closet but with no back. The rear of this rack is accessible from a closet whose door is in the adjoining bar area. The closet basically built to access the rear of the gear and an even more hidden mechanical area in an inner sealed and insulated room is painted black so no wires show through the rack from reflected light. The closet was also built with one wall at 45 degree to reduce resonance. A base was then built inside the cabinet at the 6†level. The theater floor is raised so it appears less than 6â€. This base must be level and the walls straight and plumb. A top was framed at 68†from the floor. The interior of the cabinet was a simple box of MDF, medium density fiberboard. MDF is smooth and paints well. If you look at my Lobby pics the Marquee is all built using MDF. The edges are hard to get smooth but the flat surface is like glass. The box measured 62â€tall x 21â€wide x 18†deep on the outside of the box. The box was made out of ½†MDF if you use ¾†MDF you will need to reduce the shelf widths by a ½â€. (Note: Be sure all of your gear will fit in the box size you plan. Check widths, depth and total height. Add the gear heights plus 2†minimum per piece for shelf and air space more for amps. Also factor in a slight fudge factor for getting the support into the right slot on the shelf standard. As you can see I placed 10 pieces of gear into this rack.) The left and right sides each had 2 vertical channels routed in them one 3†from the front and the other 2†from the back. The channels were 5/8†wide x 3/16†deep and ran the 62†height, use the shelf standards you buy as the guide here. I am talking about the shelf standards with short horizontal slots every inch that use the ¾ x ¾ flat tabs sticking out. If you don’t know what I am talking about the people in the Depot cabinet area will. The box was assembled using biscuit joinery but that was by choice not necessity. The box was slid into the opening for which it was built. The MDF box’s front edge was even with the wall’s drywall face. Behind each channel back up framing was in place, a 2x4. Then the regular Home Depot brass shelf standards were inserted into the routed channels and secured with screws every 6â€. I made shelves from ¾†MDF and rolled the front and back edge by making a top and bottom pass on a router table. I made most of the shelves 19 7/8†x 17†and a couple of extras 19 7/8†x 19 7/8†just in case I bought something deeper later. All of the MDF was painted with a sealer, and three coats of gloss black enamel don’t use flat. The flat black shows every mark is impossible to clean and will not hold up. The gloss black in this area has not been an issue. The shelves were placed about an inch back from the face of the box. Our theater walls are carpeted. The carpet is put up with wallpaper adhesive and covers all the walls. It runs past the drywall and onto the edge of the MDF box. I then placed a ¾†by ¾†outside corner molding over the carpet edge and MDF to give a clean finish. I tested window casing but it looked way out of scale and did not provide the same finished look as the ¾ outside corner molding. This is the molding visible in the photo.

Well that’s it. I hope the directions are helpful, as it’s pretty basic. I spent maybe $50 total to build this rack.
 

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Greg, as an option to a MA system that can get real expensive you may want to consider some custom carpentry.....I had an equipment rack and a DVD/CD/VHS storage rack built using 3/4" Birch. I sanded, stained and finsihed with 2 coats of Polyurethane and I think they turned out awesome. (Of course, I did the work!!!) Both are flush wall-mounted using the space under my stairs as the back side of my equipment room.


See my theater construction pics for yourself at my link below:


Thanks and good luck. Brett
 

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I too am planning on building a rack myself. RSEM also sells just the rack rails. I'm planning on framing out the rack in an existing wall and attaching the rails to side-front studs. I like the idea of the "professional look" of real rack mounted equipment. You can find shelves that run about $25 a piece and vented shelves for a little more (check ebay too). Trim pieces are also available to cover the rails and give it a nice finished look.


Andy
 

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I don't understand the fascination with rack rails or full rack mountable frames, unless someones equipment is all pro gear with direct bolt on 19" face plates. If all you do is to buy separate rack mount shelves to hold standard home gear, what gives?


Seems like a waste of money to me, If you want to use some of the nifty rack mount accessories, such as light panels, etc., then just use short rack rails in the position you want them.


And why anyone would want to paint the inside of a cabinet is beyond me. Paint is not very durable. Either use plastic laminate or better yet built your cabinet with Melamine. Both are much more durable, and Melamine is about the best bang for the buck.


Regards, Bruce
 
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