I’ve been installing more music studio hardware into the rack lately. Because I’ve been pulling the rack in and out more, I ended up pulling the two “L” brackets holding the rack halves loose. So, while having the rack out when modifying and securing the X-Touch Mini into the rack, I took time to strengthen the rack and install additional rack rails.
What the rack itself is made of
The rack is made from two red, wooden “Lack” tables from IKEA. They perfectly match the internal width, more or less, of 19”. Most rack hardware devices do not take up the full width of 19” so the furniture works out perfectly. Best of all is the price, although red isn’t currently an option, at the time of writing this the price of the black table is an amazing $7.99.
I had then secured the two tables to each other with two “L” brackets, one screwed into the front left side of each table and the same on the opposite side.
Rack rails are then screwed into the wood to allow the rack hardware devices to be screwed into place.
Side panels were created out of the frosted plastic panels used for overhead lights, spray painted black, cut to size and screwed into place.
What went wrong
The issue was that I had pulled (technically yanked) on the top portion of the rack (the top table). This method had been fine for a long time, considering nearly all the rack hardware devices were installed in the top portion of the rack. But, now that more hardware is being installed in the bottom, the extra weight put a strain on the “L” brackets. Two “L” brackets were good enough when it was just a few devices, but the rack grew without the support growing along with it. So it was…
Time for reinforcement
I found more “L” brackets I happened to have on hand. The two tables are sturdy enough without any “L” brackets to hold them in place when in normal use. But it’s the fact of moving the rack in and out of position that makes me want the two pieces to be sturdy and move and function as one. The rack did this before, with just the two “L” brackets, but there’s so much more weight now… both in the devices installed and extra weight of the rack rails (and more weight will surely be added in the future).
Because the only reenforcement I had on hand were the “L” brackets, I can only use them in the corners. This means on the middle level on top, where the roof of the bottom table meets the legs of the top table.
I re-screwed the original screws back into the “L” brackets, then added six more “L” brackets to differing spots of the middle section and legs.
I did some test yanks… it’s crazy secure. It should be able to withstand more weight than the rack can ever fit. Speaking of adding weight…
Adding the final rack rails
I then installed the final rack rails. This once started out as a simple little project and grew into a full-grown rack. I never envisioned the top portion of the rack being filled completely. Let along the need for hardware to take up the bottom portion as well.
I left a little bit of space at the very bottom of the rack, as I still want the sustain pedal to sit under the rack.
These rack screws, by the way, don’t fit into the rack rails. I use a different type of screw for them. But I do use the little metal spacers from this kit and that’s why I buy them.
I would consider installing rollers on the bottom legs of the rack, but it would make it too high to fit under the desk I think. Although, while on the topic of rollers and moving the rack in and out of place…
I had an idea; if the problem when pulling (yanking) the rack out was because I was pulling on only one portion of the rack, what would happen if I made it so I could pull the top and bottom of the rack at the same time?
So I looked online and… after a ton of handles that just wouldn’t work, finally found some that would fit the narrow space of the wood, had screws that would work for what was required, would work as a handle for the rack and looked appropriate.
It should be fairly obvious, but these handles are not for carrying the rack but simply for pulling it in and out of position.
Because both ends of the handles are screwed into both tables, when using the handles to pull or push the rack furniture, it applies equal force between the bottom and top halves. It also helps to serve as a straight brace between the two tables; a brace that cleverly hides in plain sight.
The improvements I’ve done to the rack will ensure it lasts for a long time. It’s so sturdy that, when it comes time to move someday, I plan on keeping the music studio hardware devices installed into the rack when transporting it, complete with most of their wire connections still plugged in.
You know, it’s funny. I never planned on building a rack this way. Heck, I never even planned on stacking two tables on top of each other and securing them with “L” brackets for racking music studio hardware; I had already done this for storing storage boxes, not rack hardware. It just happened to work out fantastically awesome as a rack design.
…Funny the way things work out.
Later. – MJ