Introduction: $5 Cymbal and Snare Rack

Every drummer knows that if you leave cymbals and drums in a room by themselves, they will eventually 'spontaneously reproduce' and make MORE cymbals and drums, which make more... You get the picture. This is the story I've stuck to for years, and anyone who tells my wife any different will be held responsible. Anyhoo, where to put all these extraneous instruments when they're not being masterfully played? Cymbals in particular are very finicky, delicate, and valuable creatures and should be stored as such. The solution: a $5 cymbal and snare rack, of course! But, you ask, where would I learn to build such a thing? Look no further mi amigo, Ye have found that which Ye seek. I say $5, but it may be 'free' (as in you have enough scraps laying around to piece one together), or it may be more than $5 depending on materials chosen. I reclaimed all the stuff I used (I never drive by a pile of wood or pipe of any kind without saving it!), and the only relatively expensive component is the copper pipe- however, PVC would work, as would dowels, or even just lengths of 2x3.... More on that later. Let's make it!

Step 1: Parts Party

Use what ya got! I always have some lumber and pipe around so I used it. But be creative, use this as a rough recipe and make it yours. I ended up using:

4- 40" pieces of 2x3 lumber
2- 6" or so scraps for the top 'straps' or crossbars
2- 12" or so scraps for the bottom 'straps' or crossbars
4- 15" lengths of pipe (I used 1/2" copper)
4- 15" lengths of pipe insulation
Nails or screws

Step 2: Puzzle Pieces

Ok, so basically we are making two big letter A shapes- the side pieces will be made of 40" 2x3's (or whatever you have) and the crosspieces will be any old scrap pieces that will fit- 2 pieces at about 6" and two at about 12". This doesn't have to be exact, but keep all the pieces the same as each other: so if you have say 38" sides instead of 40", that's okay, but make all 4 side pieces 38",okay? Okay. I laid my first A out on the floor- I wanted the pipes to be specific dstances apart to hold 12"-14" snare drums on top and 13"-24" cymbals below- I found that 2 parallel pipes (or dowels or board edges,etc) about 6"-8" apart for the top and about 12" apart for the bottom. (Mine ended up 6.5" apart top, 11" apart bottom and works great, so again, just get close). So I made an A with the tops touching and the bottom of the A being about 14" at its widest (outside of 2x3 across to outside of other 2x3). I then placed my crosspieces top and bottom and nailed them in with at least 3 nails at each join. I made one A first, then laid it down and built the other A right on top of it- this way I know that both A's are the same angle without any fancy measuring.

Step 3: Make It Hole-y

Ok, now you should have 2 identical A's and they should feel pretty sturdy already... Exciting eh? Just wait. We need to add the holes for the "racks" (mine are 1/2" copper pipe). I wanted the pipes to be a tight fit so I drilled a slightly smaller hole than I needed: I used a 9/16 paddle bit and lightly filed inside each hole. If that sounds like work to you, you may want to just drill your holes to size and go right through the 2x3 with the hole- then you can use longer pipes and add caps to the ends on the OUTSIDE of the frame. I think that'd look good too. Next time. Ok, so for the top holes I measured down 12" and made a dot in the center of the 2x3's. For the bottom holes I measured up from the bottom at 4" and marked it in the center- this made my top two holes 6.5" apart on center and the bottom two holes 11" apart in center. I put a piece of tape 3/4" up from the tip of my 9/16" drill bit to make sure the holes were all about 3/4" deep- this way the pipes will all seat evenly in the sides and the rack will be straight and true.

Step 4: Totally Tubular

Last step! You made it! Stop and have a root beer. All we need now are 4 even lengths of pipe (or whatever you used for racks). I had enough pipe to make 4 lengths of 14.5" each, and that worked out well. I had to hammer mine in a little, and that's just what I wanted. Lay one A down on the floor, bang in the 4 pipes, then lay the other A onto the 4 pipes, lining up the holes and push it on. (IKEA style!) Obviously, if you made your holes go all the way through, you will need to account for that extra length (and cap the ends so they can't slide back through ) and you won't have to bang anything. Giggity. Finally, just cover your pipes with insulation so they're nice and cushy for your music pies. A huge piece of insulation is super cheap, if you use some fat pvc pipe instead of copper, you could use a pool noodle. If you use lumber, cover the top with some old carpet. Done!

Step 5: Fill and Enjoy

You finally have a nice neat place to put your extra snare drums and cymbals and drum heads too... I couldn't believe how much space I cleaned up in my drum room! I hated having cymbals all over and drum head boxes leaning all over- NO MORE! Hope you enjoyed this and it inspired you to make yours! PLEASE give me a vote for the 'Reclaimed Wood Contest' - I'd love to win some tools to make more stuff to write more Ibles!


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