Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

IconProjects, musings about guitar builds, guitar repairs, vintage tube amplifiers, old radios, travel, home renovation, and other stuff.

DIY Recording Studio Equpment Rack Completed

I finished the DIY studio equipment rack I started a few weeks back.  This is A Good Thing because now I can put my rack gear in it, wire it up and start recording.  And, of course, get on with other projects in the queue.

You may recall I chose pine for the box. This was a good and bad thing.  Good because pine is inexpensive and easy to work with.  Bad, because pine is difficult to finish.  Well, difficult if you want to use a stain or transparent finish to show the grain.

I'm confident I could have stained it and finished it with gloss nitro lacquer, which was the original plan.  But it's getting colder here and spraying outside is a problem.  I tried using a toner on it and it was just too cold and it looked bad.

So I waited for a decent day temperature wise, and just primed the thing.  The temperature was in the low 50s F.  I put my rattle cans in a bucket of warm water to help the paint flow more freely.

After the primer, I hit it with black paint, and then a few coats of clear.  I had one bad run and found a couple of dents.  Pine is really soft, and on this project, if I even looked at this thing wrong, it dented.

So I filled the dents and sanded the bad spots out and waited for a warm day again.  The warmest it got was low 40s (!), so I put the rack in the sunroom, and used a heat gun to warm the part I needed to respray.  

Then I took the rack outside and painted the repaired spots with warmed-up cans.

It came out ok.  The main thing is it's functional.

Then back to the shop to put some feet on it.

The bottom is one of the bad areas, it was difficult to paint given the size of the rack and the fact that I was working quickly due to the temperature.  I shot a couple passes of black on it and flipped it over.  It will never be seen again.

The rattle can paint is not lacquer.  I really suffered with it, because you can't wet sand it to get any gloss out of it, unlike our very good friend nitro lacquer.

So I waxed the cabinet with Butcher's Bowling Alley Wax, which I quite like.

And every time I use it I think of Sir John Gielgud's line to Liza Minelli:  "One would have to go to a bowling alley to find a woman of your stature."

Not so bad.  It IS solid wood and not MDF.  So it does have that going for it.

I'm going to put 20-space rails in it.  Hopefully I won't outgrow it.

I spaced the rails about .250 inch back from the edge.  That way the front panels of the rack units will sit back just a touch from the very edge.

You can see I used a square, clamped down to the rack, to align the rails as I screwed them in.

Here's one of the rails installed.

I used #12 x 3/4 inch wood screws to mount the racks.  Ten screws on each rail.  It seems to be very sturdy - nothing I'll put in here is so heavy that it will pull the rails away from the rack.

I hope.

Here's a few pieces put in the rack.  I have a few more to go but this gives you an idea of what it looks like with equipment in it.

Midiverbs...funny, no?  Shows you how long I've had some of this stuff.

I still have to make up a lot of cabling to run everything to the patch bay (not in the rack yet) and to the recorder.  But getting this far is a milestone.

Would I make a rack again?  Hmmm.  Hard to say.  I just don't like the looks of the inexpensive MDF racks.  I only spent about $30 on materials, including paint, and I have about 5 hours of time in this project.  But I do have the exact configuration I wanted for my gear.


Post a Comment 1 comments:

  • Traci Mcdaniel said...
    February 12, 2016 at 4:24 AM
    My son has taken over the garage with all his recording equipment. Most of it is on the floor, and the leak in our water heater has sold me we need to get his stuff up and off the floor today. Thank you for the detailed pictures and instructions, we are going to try and knock out this housing today.

    Traci Mcdaniel @ Carolina Material Handling

Post a Comment