Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack

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danvprod

Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« on: 28 Mar 2017, 01:59 pm »
I'd like to build an audio rack similar to what @JoshK and @decal have put together in this thread: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=63111.140.

I am planning on doing a 32" tall rack with three butcher block shelves 20"x15". I like the ideal of the 80/20 rails because they would let me convert this to a double wide in the future without losing any of my investment in the materials.

New, the 80/20 1515 1.5" x 1.5" extrusion (Part #1515-S x 32" long) is 18.91 per piece (for the 32" long rails):http://www.ebay.com/itm/331406626272

I was planning on using the 80/20 Inc T-Slot Aluminum 4 Hole - Tall Inside Corner Bracket 15 Series 4301 N to hold the shelves. I need 12 of these for the three shelves: http://www.ebay.com/itm/330293539467?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I also need the hardware kit:
80/20 Inc T-Slot Hardware 5/16-18 x .687" FBHSCS & Economy T-Nut #3320 (25pc) N


Total price shipped is about $167.16.

Butcher block shelves are going to be from overstock. Looking at either the 24 x 18 x 1.75" here:
https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Maple-Edge-Grain-Solid-Northern-Michigan-Hard-Maple-Cutting-Board/3307157/product.html?refccid=T5WHWWIZW2WI2PSKFHHAYVZFP4&searchidx=1 ($88.21) or 20 x 15 x 1.75 here:
https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Maple-Edge-Grain-20-inch-x-15-inch-Reversible-Cutting-Board/3307147/product.html?recset=91068b2e-02ff-405d-b447-1fa1bbd1f0fe&refccid=6C54FDS4UQXIWQ2BWGPUV646GM&recalg=872,873,839&recidx=1 ($60.78)

Shelves: $264.63 or $182.34
Aluminum: $167.16

Total cost is right around $400, which isn't too bad.

Top shelf is going to be for my turntable. Middle shelf for dac and phono pre. Bottom shelf for tube amp (with lots of room for cooling).

Power distribution will be behind the rack. Still haven't decided what I am going to go with. Looking at an audio power industries PW116 or a PS Audio Quintet.

It's replacing a wooden case shown in the picture below. Open to thoughts and comments and to make sure I'm not missing something about about to buy something that isn't going to work well. Right now the bottom of that cabinet is holding my records so I will have to figure out how to store those elsewhere in my listening room.

« Last Edit: 28 Mar 2017, 03:33 pm by danvprod »

sunnydaze

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #1 on: 28 Mar 2017, 02:45 pm »

I was planning on using the 80/20 Inc T-Slot Aluminum 4 Hole - Tall Inside Corner Bracket 15 Series 4301 N to hold the shelves. I need 6 of these for the three shelves: http://www.ebay.com/itm/330293539467?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT



Looks like a great plan, it's gonna be beautiful!    :thumb:

One comment.....
Don't you need more than 6 corner brackets?     3 shelves x 4 per shelf = 12 total.

If I were to do it again, your plan is exactly what I would build.  Probably double-wide like JoshK's.   Much less labor than than the one I built -- most of it on cutting / stripping / sanding / re-finishing old BB tables purchased on CraigsList.  Although I do prefer the more streamlined "look" of mine, and how the 80-20 uprights are "recessed" inside the rack.









JoshK

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #2 on: 28 Mar 2017, 03:23 pm »
I replied to your PM, but I listed the part numbers in reply #123 in that thread.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=63111.msg698238#msg698238

Early B.

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #3 on: 28 Mar 2017, 03:33 pm »
Consider using shelves thicker than 1.75". It may cost a little more up front, but will look better and should be sturdier. 

danvprod

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #4 on: 28 Mar 2017, 03:35 pm »
There is also the 3" butcher blocks available at overstock for about $91.29 each. I'm going to look locally as well and see if I can find something. 3" thick would be awesome.


Don_S

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #5 on: 28 Mar 2017, 03:59 pm »
Consider using shelves thicker than 1.75". It may cost a little more up front, but will look better and should be sturdier.

In what way would it be sturdier?   :scratch:  The legs and attachment method would not change. I am not sure what weight limits they have but if anything, heavier shelves might be a problem.

Thicker shelves also increase the total height of the rack if the same shelf spacing is preserved. That may not be much of a problem with maple but I have found pro racks that were ridiculous in the amount of height dedicated (lost) to isolation and support.

I like maple butcher block.  I gave up my pro rack and went back to my all maple rack (BB plus solid maple legs using a half-dado attachment). Looks better, sounds better, and it is much shorter. The fifth leg adds shelf support and makes an excellent brace.   






« Last Edit: 28 Mar 2017, 05:32 pm by Don_S »

sunnydaze

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #6 on: 28 Mar 2017, 04:41 pm »
Personally, I wouldn't get too hung up on thickness.

My shelves are not especially thick, and despite a largish rack (48 wide x 20 deep x 40 high),  it still looks proportionally balanced and visually pleasing, IMO.  Top and bottom BB is 2 inches thick, and the two middle shelves are only 1.50 inches thick. (photo above)

As far as performance improvements with thicker BB......I have no idea......but I have my doubts.   

PS:  great looking rack, Don.  Streamlined and elegant.

Don_S

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #7 on: 28 Mar 2017, 05:29 pm »

PS:  great looking rack, Don.  Streamlined and elegant.

Thank you sunnydaze.  What really gets me is how much better it sounds than the pro rack with zero wood. The maple rack does have a smaller profile due to less wasted height. That helps but I don't think it is the only reason the racks sound different.

If I ever get speakers I can lift by myself I may get maple BB platforms and try them.

danvprod

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #8 on: 28 Mar 2017, 05:37 pm »
Sorry about my Naiveté, Don. What is the "pro rack with zero wood"? I really do like the rack you've posted here. I wish I had the tools and skills to put something like that myself.

That was part of the allure of the 80/20 rack, I could use pre-cut and configured parts and would not have to do a lot of woodworking. I could easily do the shelves, I think. I was even thinking about 1.5" MDF coated with DuraTex as an alternative to the maple cutting board idea. 

danvprod

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #9 on: 28 Mar 2017, 05:39 pm »
Kobi Blocks also manufactures the edge-gain maple cutting boards to whatever size I'd want and doesn't have the handles on the side. Might be a good option.

http://www.kobiblocks.com/maple-edge-grain/

sunnydaze

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #10 on: 28 Mar 2017, 05:45 pm »
Kobi Blocks also manufactures the edge-gain maple cutting boards to whatever size I'd want and doesn't have the handles on the side. Might be a good option.

http://www.kobiblocks.com/maple-edge-grain/

Great find!     :thumb:

They'll cut to your exact size and thickness needs.  Good prices.  Free shipping.

I've researched BB over the years and this is the best deal I've seen.  Free shipping is key as this stuff is heavy, and shipping charges can add up.

Don_S

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #11 on: 28 Mar 2017, 06:27 pm »
Dan,

I wish I could take credit for building the rack.  All I can take credit for is specifying the size and being clever enough to stop in the local woodworking equipment store (Shopsmith or Woodcraft) and asking if they knew anyone who would build a rack for me. A part-time employee took the job quite reasonably.  He also sourced the solid wood legs and suggested the half-dado design.

I won't name my pro rack and disparage the company.  I mean the rack had no wood involved in its construction. I did like the shelf height adjustment afforded.

sunnydaze,  Have you tried this company?   They offer different quality maple along with walnut, alder, and mahogany.   I have had a long-standing love of walnut. They are about two hours from me.  Wish I had known about them when I had my rack built.  I sourced the BB from Lumber Liquidators.  I am very pleased with the quality and price but like to support local businesses. I could have also order 4' slabs instead of 8'. And maybe, just maybe. gone nuts (walnut).  :lol:

http://www.perfectplank.com/index.html

sunnydaze

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #12 on: 28 Mar 2017, 06:54 pm »
Years ago when building my rack, I did look very closely at Perfect Plank.  At the time they were about the cheapest I found.  But after shipping charges (I live in NYC area) it was too expensive.

The other thing I didn't like about their product is that they use finger joints.  It's a cheaper form of construction, not employed by better quality BB.  You can see it in this pic:

http://www.perfectplank.com/mahoganyabutcher_block_tops.html

So I cheaped out and scoured CL for solid BB table tops.   Took awhile to get what I needed, and it was super cheap (probably paid about $125 total), but it really required lots of labor to make them nice -- some were pretty beat up.

I have zero woodworking skills, no shop, and only the most basic tools.  Ripping 4 foot lengths of 2 inch thick BB with a circular saw on my front deck was a bitch and a half!       :duh:    :lol: 

glynnw

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #13 on: 28 Mar 2017, 07:21 pm »
FWIW, Enid Lumley claimed one should use softer, porous woods, because they would absorb stray electrical currents better.

danvprod

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #14 on: 28 Mar 2017, 07:21 pm »
Thanks Don. I misunderstood you. I thought the "pro rack" was another DIY design (like the flexy or something like that) not that it was a commercially available product. Got it now. I think those edge-glue kobiblocks look close to ideal. I just need to figure out exactly what size I need, which is going to be driven by the footprint of my TT.

sunnydaze

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #15 on: 28 Mar 2017, 07:26 pm »
....What really gets me is how much better it sounds than the pro rack with zero wood.....

Not surprised.  Most high-end tweak products are little more than marketing gibberish and snake oil that preys on insecurities and nervosa, and is designed to empty wallets.

Don_S

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #16 on: 28 Mar 2017, 08:34 pm »
Years ago when building my rack, I did look very closely at Perfect Plank.  At the time they were about the cheapest I found.  But after shipping charges (I live in NYC area) it was too expensive.

The other thing I didn't like about their product is that they use finger joints.  It's a cheaper form of construction, not employed by better quality BB.  You can see it in this pic:

http://www.perfectplank.com/mahoganyabutcher_block_tops.html

So I cheaped out and scoured CL for solid BB table tops.   Took awhile to get what I needed, and it was super cheap (probably paid about $125 total), but it really required lots of labor to make them nice -- some were pretty beat up.

I have zero woodworking skills, no shop, and only the most basic tools.  Ripping 4 foot lengths of 2 inch thick BB with a circular saw on my front deck was a bitch and a half!       :duh:    :lol:

Perfect Plank does offer a "select grade" maple BB with no finger joints.  Posting this information for other interested parties who may be close enough for shipping to be affordable.

sunnydaze,  I hear you.  I ripped a small piece of scrap to use as a stand for my power conditioner.  The edge guide slipped and the cut strayed.   :x I hate when that happens. Fortunately the injured piece is hidden behind my rack.

sunnydaze

Re: Looking to build a 80/20 butcher block audio rack
« Reply #17 on: 28 Mar 2017, 08:52 pm »
Perfect Plank does offer a "select grade" maple BB with no finger joints.  Posting this information for other interested parties who may be close enough for shipping to be affordable.

Yeah,  I see that on their site now.   Wasn't there years ago when I was looking.   They now have many more offerings than previously.  Back then, it was only basic maple BB w/ finger joints.