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Building my own rack case.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jiant., Aug 24, 2004.

  1. jiant.


    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
    I am looking into building my own rack case, I'd like to store my Behriger head in it as well as a Korg tuner and possibly a power conditioner and some kind of effects processor. I'm wanting to make it in the ATA flight case style, aluminum rails, metal corners, and plywood. I just need to know if there is anywhere online where I could possibly get blueprints for it, and I was also wondering how many spaces I should make it. Thanks a lot and God Bless!
    † -Brad
  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Because ATA cases tend to be bulky and heavy, you don't want to make it any larger than you need to. 4-spaces and 6-spaces tend to be fairly common. This is probably how your space will get budgetted, but please adjust it for your own personal preferences:

    2 spaces for the power amp
    1 space for the preamp
    1 space for a power conditioner
    1 space for a tuner or other effects box

    You can get a Furman power conditioner with a built-in tuner and fit into 4 spaces, but doing so will limit your options later.
  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I built a floating rack case about a year ago. I did it on the fly with no blueprints.

    Click here to check it out. It might help you work out how to build yours.
  4. I've built quite a few, and do it on order. A few suggestions:

    Ask yourself how rugged it needs to be. If it's a general purpose thing, go with 1/2" plywood. Rabbet all joints glue and staple. Where did you plan on getting your extrusions?

    Corners and handles are commonplace, but quality extrusion isn't. If you're looking for good quality recessed handles, latches, extrusions, I say Penn Fabrication is the way to go.

    If you're going 6 space or more, I'd suggest getting that thing to roll. Corner casters rock. Not too hard to install either. Corner casters and a retract-handle set. Neat stuff.
  5. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Be careful, I made one once out of plywood and the thing was almost unliftable. They can be very heavy.
  6. Hence my comment about casters. What would you suggest making it out of then? MDF is heavier, and more fragile, OSB is the same-ish in wieght, but again, more fragile.

    Just about any ATA case out there is made of plywood. Do you want to protect your gear? Go with plywood.

    My 1/2" comment was in re: to the weight issue.
    And a 6 space rack made of ply weighs little, if you ask me. It's all the stuff you're putting in, combined, that makes up the "unliftable" scenario. :bassist:
  7. Tell me about it - $5K for hernia surgery 2 yrs ago. Still hurts. The lovely 10 space rack I made, w/pop out casters, exhaust fans, bottom drawer, pull out lights, twin handles, finished in a beatiful automotive upholstery cloth with chromed corners and removeable front/back faces is now a piece of furniture in my living room I rebuilt it to host my home theatre PC/vdeo editing system. I get a lot of compliments on it...

    bought a cheapo SKB plastic rack case that I can carry w/one hand and whittled my rig down to 4 spaces. I don't fly-don't need ATA-don't have a roadie
  8. We're talking 1/2" ply here folks. In a case that is pretty small, really. ATA grade or not, he wants to build one. He COULD buy a light SKB, sure. Ask yourself if you can pick up all the gear you want to put in it all at once, in the first place. If you CAN'T, then a case definitely isn't the answer from the get-go.

    Something, (at least to me) about building your own gear is infinitely more satisfying, as it's exactly what YOU want.

    That's where I'm coming from here.

    It's cool, yo. Good luck in whatever you do.