Rack trolley

Being on a long-lasting mission to cram more audio gear into my small studio room, things recently reached a point where customized rack trolley was called for.

The most obvious route would’ve probably been the Ikea Rast hack, but this didn’t quite fit my use. I need a slightly taller (≈60cm) rack and the front panel needs to be slightly tilted. So, I settled with making one out of 18mm pre-glued pine board instead. Compared to Rast this roughly doubled the costs for wood material, totalling a bit over 20€. The 10U rack brackets were sourced from a dumpster and the caster wheels from Clas Ohlson. All in all, the material costs with this project were somewhere around 40€.

Wooden parts ready for assembly

The dimensions for the pine boards are:

  • Top piece:  30 * 50 cm
  • Bottom piece:  40 * 50cm
  • Side pieces:  30*56cm (top edge) to 40*56cm (bottom edge)

The angled front edge was cut with a table saw simply by following a line drawn between top and bottom edges. No fancy trigonometry or cutting supports here!

It's a start..

Ready for varnish! The rack brackets need a bit of paint too.

The pine boards were assembled together using 4 * 50mm yellow passivated screws with appropriate guide holes drilled on all boards. To speed up marking the guides, I made a template with a couple of screws and a thin wooden stick. After completing assembly, I started varnishing the trolley from the bottom and moved on to the inside. The acrylic varnish I use (Kiva by Tikkurila) dries up on the surface pretty fast, so by the time I was done treating the inner side, the bottom was ready for caster installation.. Or well, I did do some dishes in-between :)

Casters about to be fastened..

The casters were selected by height alone. Not sure if I should’ve used fixed ones on the rear, but the trolley sure is easy to move around this way. Maybe even a bit too easy.. The rack brackets were lightly sanded and painted with black matte spray. It’s at least a bit closer match with the dark brown varnish than the original light brown-tinted grey :)

All done but lacking some gear!

..so of course, some had to be test-installed right away :)

With 10U brackets installed right next to the top board, just about a 1U extra gap is left on the bottom of the trolley.. Good for routing some cables to the front side past the patch bay, storing one extra rack unit like in the picture above (Roland M-DC1 occupying the slot).. or maybe just collecting dust :)

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6 responses to “Rack trolley”

  1. Nina says :

    Still the same old, same old varnish, I see :D

  2. Pete says :

    I have a home-made rack in my home office here. Like you, I have a Morpheus, but it’s funny that we both have the very rare roland expander modules. I happen to have the M-VS1 Vintage Synth module.

    Plus a Virus A and a mixer

    Pete

    • arto says :

      Sorry Pete but I have to spoil the fun and mention that I have these on loan ;).

      I’m not sure what to think of M-DC1.. At a glance, it’s totally pointless; a hardware rompler that’s soundwise very outdated and, with all the compact/flexible VSTi romplers around nowadays, also total a waste of rack space. But still, I find having all the cheesy 90s dance/techno/whatever synth stabs etc. instantly playable very entertaining.. Must have something to do with the fact that I was following electronic music very actively in the 90s ;).

      Nothing quite like going silly with Enigma’s ‘Mea Culpa’ beat loop by soloing GM flute sounds on top!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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