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Thread: Building Rack Cases

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    RedHeffer is offline Newbie
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    Building Rack Cases

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    Hi, I decided to build my own rack case because those SKB cases are way too expensive. I need to build a portable and very sturdy case, so I bought 12U rack ears (or rack flanges? I'm not really sure what they're called) so that I can screw them onto some kind of material. This brings me to the question, when you guys make your own cases, what kind of wood do you use and how thick do you usually get them? I searched on this topic, but I didn't really find any details about the building process itself. I'd appreciate it if anyone could assist me. Thanks.

    Brian

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    Rochey's Avatar
    Rochey is offline Dedicated Member
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    Cool there's a guide on homerecording.com

    http://www.homerecording.com/make_rack.html

    try looking there.

    If I had the patience, i'd build one myself

    good luck...
    I'm no gear slut,
    I'm just the worlds best salesman... I can sell anything to myself.

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    Track Rat's Avatar
    Track Rat is offline Dungeon Studio
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    I build all of my cases. I use 3/4" plywood. It's lighter than partical board and much more durable.

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    I am a stagehand, and I have seen what happens when people make there own road cases (or use SKB crap). It is NOT worth it. If you are going to do any significant travel (even in town) you need to get good cases. Anvil would be a good choice, nothing less. You spend a lot of money on your gear, and unless you have access to a major woodworking shop, don't do it. I have access to an amazing shop (my father is a guitar builder), and I still would not do it. Besides, if you use an Anvil, your insurance is much more likely to cover you when you travel. I looked at the case in the link, and it was not good. Real cases need edge and corner protection, and a rugged covering. I know I am being overly wordy, but please, trust me. I know what can happen, and that it is always the stagehands who get blamed, and it is not our fault if you use a crappy case.
    "It's not about who killed my son, it's about what's killing our children."
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    Track Rat's Avatar
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    Hmmmmm....I gigged with some of mine for over 10 years and have NEVER had a problem. I suppose as in all things, YMMV. If you do a shitty job, you get shitty cases.

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    RICK FITZPATRICK is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    Rack Cases

    Howdy, are you talking studio racks, or traveling racks. I agree about traveling racks, although I built mine when I was younger and gigging around. But they have thier own quirks. But thats not to say you can't do it. Heres a clue. The stuff they use for covering is called Kydex. Its ABS in sheet form with a textured surface. They usually clad 3/8" ply with 1/16" kydex,(comes up to 1/4" thick and all basic colors) and use aluminum angle rivited at the joints. Corners can be found at music stores. Size depends on how much gear your going to mount in them. You can even mount casters. Same with studio racks. But remember, its your design. Do what you like. Have fun doing it. But planning is the key to any project. Ask a lot of questions if your not sure about things. Another thing. Your inside clear dimension for rack stuff is ususaly 1 3/4" x 19". Add a 1/16" overall i.d. for clearance at the end of the equipment. Theres all kinds of materials you can use. Ply, MDF. particle bd. ,welded steel, laminates(formica) kydex, and alot of music stores carry Peavy accessories for building your own stuff. Like thier brand of naughyde(nice stuff), handles, corners. wheels, etc. How good your project comes out depends on what you put into the details, and your patience to do a good job, craftsmanship, etc. But don't be afraid. Joinery is another thing, but that depends on your design, materials, etc. Rabits, dados, etc. are a way to go, but you can also use steel, aluminum, angles and or wood cleats. Like I said, its all in the design. well, have fun, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Some of my racks are welded steel frames, some are rolling tape deck type steel racks, some are black melamine(wood). Theres another idea I use. I look used store fixture places. They usually have a lot of neat stuff you can adapt. Cheers
    fitz

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    What Rick said.

    You can build a crappy 19" plywood box that won't make it past the third gig, or you can plan the design out and customize it the way you want it.

    I'm pretty handy in the shop. I do a lot of woodworking from time to time and some gunsmithing on the side.

    The joints of the case are going to be the weak link in any case. Strong joints, stong case. Screw and glue, dado's, dowel pins, bicuits, etc. and combinations of the above all result in strong joints. What you use will depend on the strength you require.

    It's all what you put into it.

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    RedHeffer is offline Newbie
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    Wow, thanks for all the great information. I didn't think that it would be that complicated, but I guess if I want a good rack, I'm going to have to take all your tips into consideration. I don't plan on traveling too much. I'm going off to college soon, so I just want to make a good enough case to hold my stuff and maybe be able to drag it around a little to record at different places. I guess the most important thing is that I'm planning on getting my new computer in a rack case, so my rack has to be sturdy enough to protect it.
    I've actually never built anything like this before, so a bunch of the materials that you guys have mentioned (kydex, MDF, ect) are foreign to me. But I'll definately ask more questions and refer to this post.
    I think the biggest rack unit I have(or will have) is my computer case. I think its supposed to be 7"H x 19"W x 20"D. How much extra space do you think I should add in terms of the depth?
    Thanks again for all your help.

    Brian

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    Rochey's Avatar
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    Talking why not wait until you get the case?

    Then add 6" to the back for additional cable access etc.

    What I DO recommend is that you make a blank panel with extention leads for your mobile recording platform.

    That way, when you have to plug in your keyboard and montor etc, you don't have to hunt around the back of the rack case. You simply plug them straight into the front of the case.

    I think it'd make life a lot easier if your serious about doing some recording outside of your room

    Good luck,

    cheers n beers

    R
    I'm no gear slut,
    I'm just the worlds best salesman... I can sell anything to myself.

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