Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    nightflier
    Guest

    Butcher-block Cutting boards for Shelves?

    OK, I was browsing around the web for a new and solid equipment rack. I have had racks by Salamander in the past and considering the simplicity and more importantly, the prices, I thought heck, I could probably make this myself. What I'm looking for is something of the caliber of the Mapleshade Samson rack (http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/aud...s/samson1.php), but w/o the ostentacious $1K price tag or the $250 shelves.

    There are a number of sites that have suggestions, but the wood shelves always end up being the deal-breaker - making it more expensive than buying a finished commercial product. That's when I started thinking about using pre-made butcher-block cutting boards. There's one guy who even hand-makes them out of ash, which is harder than oak, apparently. But before I go too far I had some questions about this:

    - Are harder shelves better for sound isolation, or should I go for softer wood instead?
    - Are combosite boards or MDF-derived ones an option?
    - Is there a material that is better than wood? For example some type of composite plastic / fiberglass stuff?
    - I was considering just 3 posts, to cut down on costs, but is that stable enough for amps and all the other gear?

    Any other suggestions or doh! details I'm forgetting, please let me know.

  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    Posts
    9,025
    Interesting - if it was speaker cabinets and vibration/resonance damping we were looking at, MDF, 7-ply birch plywood (or oak) would be preferable materials to wood, and likely cheaper.
    Harder shelves would vibrate less so I'd go that way for isolation - MDF is tough to beat, but HDF is even better. Veneer/vinyl/painting required, of course.
    Good quality plys are pretty rigid and an option as well.

    I dunno about plastics and fiberglass, there's probably options out there of course but I'm guessing they're not cheap or easily available.

    I built my last rack with 3 posts. I found the single rear post in the middle looked kinda cool, but honestly it's a real pain getting at cables and I wouldn't do it again. If you're sitting a processor or receiver on there, you will want the extra room. Don't be cheap, go with the 4 posts. Worth it IMO.

  3. #3
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,275
    NF,

    I've always hated 4 post/cone designs. They just do not make solid contact to grounding surface. One end is always floating or feels a bit loose.

    3 post will be a great idea, but be sure to place 2 post on one side and 1 post on he end of the other side(not back). This way you shouldn't have any issues with cabling issues, unless you endup with an amp such as a Mac 275(you can always turn your rack 180 degrees though..).

    I cannot comment on Flexy-like stands, but doesnt MDF have tendency to sag in a middle? Maybe you can avoid it by sandwiching 2 layers of 3/4" MDF.

    JRA

  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    Posts
    9,025
    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    NF,

    I've always hated 4 post/cone designs. They just do not make solid contact to grounding surface. One end is always floating or feels a bit loose.
    I think this should be resolved by the use of adjustable floor spikes. I can't say I've ever had the floating/loose feeling problem with my 4 post racks, but if it's level, should be good to go, if not, adjust the spike until level.

    3 post will be a great idea, but be sure to place 2 post on one side and 1 post on he end of the other side(not back). This way you shouldn't have any issues with cabling issues, unless you endup with an amp such as a Mac 275(you can always turn your rack 180 degrees though..).
    That could work too...

    I cannot comment on Flexy-like stands, but doesnt MDF have tendency to sag in a middle? Maybe you can avoid it by sandwiching 2 layers of 3/4" MDF.
    Any wood/material will sag a bit if the weight is applied in the center and the strength isn't up to par. MDF is pretty strong stuff though. I have a 65 lbs amp and 35 lb receiver on 2 separate shelves, no sag so far. My MDF shelves are pushing 9 years old in my stereo rack. I wouldn't go smaller then 3/4" MDF though....
    I put my 65 lb amp on my HT rack (3-post) and it was fine for a few days, but I think I might have been more comfortable with 1" MDF for that unit. So I put it on the bottom shelf eventually.

    I think the 4 post design would be added insurance against sagging though, the extra post does more to distribute weight across each shelf instead of 2 or 3 sides only, but if the shelves are strong enough, that's a moot point anyway.

    At the end of the day, there's more than one way to skin a cat....

  5. #5
    nightflier
    Guest

    Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Interesting - if it was speaker cabinets and vibration/resonance damping we were looking at, MDF, 7-ply birch plywood (or oak) would be preferable materials to wood, and likely cheaper.
    Harder shelves would vibrate less so I'd go that way for isolation - MDF is tough to beat, but HDF is even better. Veneer/vinyl/painting required, of course.
    Good quality plys are pretty rigid and an option as well.

    I dunno about plastics and fiberglass, there's probably options out there of course but I'm guessing they're not cheap or easily available.

    I built my last rack with 3 posts. I found the single rear post in the middle looked kinda cool, but honestly it's a real pain getting at cables and I wouldn't do it again. If you're sitting a processor or receiver on there, you will want the extra room. Don't be cheap, go with the 4 posts. Worth it IMO.
    Well I was quoted a price of $18 a square foot for 1 3/4" butcher block ash wood shelves. As many as I want. Maybe I'll order 7 of them...

  6. #6
    Linear Guy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Posts
    308

    No bamboo

    I got a nice thick bamboo cutting board for a platform under the CD player. Bamboo is harder than wood. Problem is, it came unglued and fell apart, presumably from the heat of the equipment. So then it was a gorrilla glue repair situation. I believe wood works but think twice about bamboo cutting boards.

    To the point of the thread, butcher block boards are not designed to carry weight as shelves so they may suffer the same fate as bamboo. Look for the ones designed as table tops ( having parallel long pieces ) or just buy table tops and trim to size.

  7. #7
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    Posts
    9,025
    I'm going to piggyback on this thread, sorry NF.

    I'm countersinking my new HT rack into the wall of the HT room in our new home. I decided to have the builder use 3/4" birch plywood for shelves. I can jump on a shelf and it'll support my weight. Nuff said. They offered to stain and finish it all up or paint (no thanks). My cabinet builder also offered to finish it in a nice velvet/felt material like a pool table - in several colors. That's pretty easy to do. Might go with that, should look sharp. Any reason why I shouldn't use fabric? Can't imagine it affecting sound or anything.

  8. #8
    nightflier
    Guest
    Kexo, one problem with fabric is the dust accumulation. It looks great for about 6 months after that it's a pain. And I hope you don't own cats....

  9. #9
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    Posts
    9,025
    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Kexo, one problem with fabric is the dust accumulation. It looks great for about 6 months after that it's a pain. And I hope you don't own cats....
    Good point.
    We have an air filtration system going in that should cut down on that, but I'll keep an eye on it. Worst case, I could use those lint brush sticky things as needed. I have to dust my a/v racks anyway, so no increased workload.

    How do they clean pool/poker tables? I'm sort of under the impression the fabric is a bit less dust-accumulating.

  10. #10
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Out there
    Posts
    6,777
    Pool tables are cleaned with horse-hair brushes, which can be expensive. I also use those lint pickup rollers for cat hair which works well on some surfaces.

  11. #11
    nightflier
    Guest
    Maybe this is a stupid question, but how big should a shelf be? Considering I'll need space for the holes to pass the threaded posts through and I want to make sure I have room for the slightly wider components out there, how wide & deep should the shelves be?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •