I was looking into buying a rack for a new audio system I'm putting together for my home office, but the cost of 'audiophile' racks made me choke. I was looking for a nice looking, decent rack without breaking the bank, and decided to build one. My total cost to build was probably about $250. If you don't go the spendy route I took buying stainless steel hardware, you can probably make one for about $75-100.

I had to buy more MDF than I needed, because my lumberyard only stocks 4' x 8' sheets, so I actually have extra material. Also, the great people at the fastening supply store I bought the hardware at gave me 6' all-thread rods instead of 3', which means I can build a second equally sized rack for the same amount of money.

You have probably seen Flexy Racks all around the web. My inspiration was a dual rack found at http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/flexye.html. Full credit to the folks at TNT Audio for the great idea.

I decided to post clear instructions for a dual rack with measurements, since it's mostly a guessing game, and I love clear instructions.

Disclaimer: I make no warranties, express or implied, about the process laid out here. Always use safety equipment, don't hurt yourself, etc. Most of all, have fun with your cool new rack. :)

Step 1: Materials, consumables, and tools

The main materials are (for a 5 shelf rack):

- 1 ea. 4'x4'x3/4" sheet of MDF (medium density fiberboard)
- 5 ea. 5/8" all-thread rods (3' length recommended)
- 30 ea. 5/8" nuts
- 30 ea. 5/8" flat washers
- 30 ea. 5/8" rubber, neoprene, or santoprene flat washers
- 10 ea. 5/8" acorn nuts
- 5 ea. 1/2" x 8' edge molding (I used white oak. Any type of molding that covers most of the edge of the MDF is fine. Make sure it's unfinished.)

The consumables are:

- wood filler
- wood glue
- 120, 180, and 220 grit sandpaper (no need for wet or dry)
- 1/2" and 4" chip brushes (go for the cheapo ones!)
- mineral spirits
- any brand gel-type wood stain (dark colors are probably better)
- fast-drying spray polyurethane (I used clear satin)
- nitrile gloves
- lint free rags
- plastic drop sheets

Required tools:

- table saw (or a friendly lumberyard that will do cuts for you)
- drill (drill press is recommended)
- miter saw (so you can get that nice finished corner on the molding)
- 5/8" and 1-1/2" spade bits
- hammer
- nail set (used to hide the nail heads)
- 3" plastic putty knife
- two 8" adjustable wrenches

A few notes:

- Since I live in a hot, humid salt air environment, I chose to use 304 (also known as 18-8) grade stainless steel for the hardware. Aside from the aesthetics of the SS, the corrosion resistance was a requirement for me, but I must warn that there is a cost difference between the two. I suggest you go to McMaster-Carr (http://mcmaster.com) and price it out. My local fastening supply store had a great selection and I was able to get a better price (if I factored in shipping, plus they gave me some freebies).

- With a 4'x4' sheet of MDF, you can have up to six shelves. I chose five because of my spacing requirements between the shelves. If you wish to have a sixth shelf, add 6 each of the nuts, flat washers, and rubber washers.

OP here, if you have any comments or questions, I'd be happy to respond.
I built a variation on this using unfinished pine boards.
Awesome post, I am definitely going to be making something similar for my amp and turntable. Thanks!<br>
Beautiful result and very clean 'ible. Thanks for sharing. I actually found myself thinking about how to make the shelves adjustable so you could resize each section depending on what you decide to put in in. Might be a fun version 2!
You mean the shelf size being adjustable?
The shelf height, not the shelf footprint; basically make it so the shelves can slide up and down on the poles and then tighten down when the get to where you want them. (it may already work that way and I just missed it when I skimmed the instructable...).<br><br>Anyway, great project.
The shelf height is infinitely adjustable, I just put in the measurements that I used to fit all the LPs that I have.<br><br>The all-thread rod allows complete adjustment - if you see the mock-up picture and then the completed component, the heights are different.<br><br>Thanks for the compliments!
Oh! I read 3' all-thread rods and saw 3&quot;! After that I just assumed you were slotting the rods into pipes that you had cut to pre-determined lengths. Shows what I get for skimming.
I'd never thought about staining MDF before. I'll have to experiment a bit.
I found it to be pretty easy. You don't wipe off the gel stain, you just let it set for a while, and it comes out with the faux wood grain finish I got. You could experiment with different types of brushes or with maybe a graining tool.
I've painted miles of MDF, and stained several fiberglass doors, faux-woodgrained many stage props, and I'm currently duplicating 100 year old faux-woodgrain finish in a historic home for a client, but for some reason it never occurred to me to stain MDF. Right now, duplicating the historic finish, natural sea sponges are working quite well, as they are much more subtle than the graining tool.
Yeah, I considered using a sea sponge, but once I tried the chip brush method I discarded that idea. The important part is using gel stain. It sticks and stands up well, instead of laying down. Maybe a more detailed instructable on the MDF staining process is in the works. :)
Ooh, good tip about drilling. I always wondered how to avoid splintering and breaking in chipboard and MDF.
Good work, well detailed.
Debo decir muchas gracias, en vez de thanks! Saludos desde Puerto Rico.

About This Instructable


54 favorites


More by wsgspeed: Flexy Rack (with MDF staining tips)
Add instructable to: