Introduction: Radio Control Transmitter Rack

Picture of Radio Control Transmitter Rack


Here is something I've been wanting to build for a long while now and finally completed.  Partially through the build I thought this would make a great instructable so here it is.  This project is dirt cheap and easy yet helps protect and organize one of the most expensive investments concerning the radio control hobby.  While I geared this project more towards aircraft radios you could also use this for car/truck etc. radios as well as many other uses.  Enjoy!

Step 1: Supplies and Tools.

Picture of Supplies and Tools.


To build this project only a few simple supplies are needed if you already have woodworking tools.

Materials:

3/4" x 3 1/2" x 8'    finished grade pine/oak/poplar/cherry  (you get the idea)
1/8" x 6" x 48"        sanded plywood or luan (I use luan for many projects so I had some scrap laying around)
8 wire screw type cup hanger hooks.  You can get 8 in a pack for $0.98 at Wal~Mart
Woodworking glue
1" finish nails (about 4)
Your favorite shelf hanging mechanism or a couple 2 1/2" drywall screws

Tools:

Safety glasses (didn't think I'd forget that did you?)
Measuring tape
Straightedge
Pencil
A good table saw is essential for making the cuts in this project. 
A router is a nice compliment but not required.
Drill with a 1/16 bit
Hammer
Corner clamps are nice
Small 1/16 nail punch
Sandpaper or sanding block



Step 2: Getting Started.

Picture of Getting Started.


This project begins life as an ordinary shelf made from two 36" x 3 1/2" pieces of sanded pine.  Simply cut to finished dimensions and sand or shape with a router if desired.  My goal was more for function rather that beauty so I simply used a 1/4" roundover on one corner of each piece to give it some "finish".  Set the blade depth on the table saw to 1/4" and set the rip fence to 1/4".  Rip two 1/8" wide grooves in one face side of one piece, 1/4" from each edge.The grooves are the top of the shelf, so the router work is done on the opposite face (bottom) as seen in the picture.  Test fit the pieces together as shown (this is where the corner clamps are handy) and pre-drill four 1/16" holes, evenly spaced, starting in the back groove of top and drilling into the back.  Glue the top onto the back as shown, then drive four finish nails into the holes and into the back to secure it in place.  Use the punch to drive the head of the nail all the way down into the groove.  We will be using the full depth of the groove later. 

Step 3: Cutting Corners (really)

Picture of Cutting Corners (really)


While the blade is set now is a good time to cut grooves for the corner pieces from the remaining 2 feet of wood. Set the rip fence to 3/8" and cut a groove in the face of the wood, then rotate the stock end to end and turn the stock on edge and rip another groove in the same edge to make a future corner piece.  Now set the blade height to rip the full 3/4" stock and set the rip fence to 3/4".  Rip the double grooved edge from the 2 foot piece so you now have a 3/4" square piece of stock with two adjacent grooves as seen in the picture.  Using the miter gauge shave about 1/8" off the end to square it up then cut two 3" pieces from the stock.  Now using the router cut the corner opposite the 3/8" square between the grooves on the remaining piece of stock (you will only need about 4 1/2" so clamp one end and rout the other).  This will make the front corners.  The routing is purely cosmetic and optional.  Using the miter gauge again cut two 2" pieces from the routed end.  It's best to feed the routed corner into the blade on top to avoid splintering of your pretty new router work.

Step 4: Rip the Luan.

Picture of Rip the Luan.

Rip two 36" lengths of luan, one 2 1/4" wide and the other 3 1/4" wide.  The grain direction is up to you, my grain is running cross-ways (short).  Test fit the luan into the grooves you cut in the top and sand the edges if necessary.  Also decide if your material has a "pretty" side and make note of it, sand it if necessary for appearance sake.

Step 5: Test Fit, Mark and Glue.

Picture of Test Fit, Mark and Glue.

Test fit the 2" and 3" luan strips into the grooves of the top shelf along with the corner pieces keeping the corners flush.  You will have to cut the luan pieces to length based on the grooves in the corners.  It will be close to 35" long.  Once everything is fit and flush, mark the ends where the luan goes with a pencil.  Remove the luan, apply glue into the groove, and reapply the luan making sure to stay inside the pencil marks.  Most glues won't give you a second chance here.  Press the luan all the way into the grooves.  Apply glue to the appropriate groove of the corner pieces and one end and glue them into place keeping them flush with the front and sides.

Step 6: Make End Panels.

Picture of Make End Panels.


Now measure between the front and back corners, inside the grooves, and cut a small strip of luan to slide into grooves.  Slide the strip in, then using a straightedge draw a line from the back to the front corners to make an angle.  Using the rip fence and some scrap wood as a guide align the mark you made and set the miter gauge to match the angle.  Remove the rip fence and scrap wood and cut along the line you made using the miter gauge.  Reset your miter gauge to 0 degrees square and cut a duplicate piece, re-using the angle you just made when you cut the last piece.  Sand the pieces and slide them into place to test fit.  Once you're happy with the fit glue them in place.  Once secured use a sanding block to smooth out the protrusion above the back corner pieces.

Step 7: Get Hooked.

Picture of Get Hooked.


Now it just so happens that each transmitter I wish to hang fits very nicely within 9" of real estate so that works out to a perfect four per 36".  Most popular transmitters have a handle/stand/hoop on the back just behind the antenna that hangs perfectly on two hooks 3" apart.  This works out to a hook at 3", 6", 12", 15", 21", 24", 30", and 33".  Note there is no hook at 9", 18", or 27" because this is where the divider between two transmitters would be.  Drill 1/16" holes at the hook locations 1" from the routed/bottom edge of the back and thread in the hooks.  Finish up by attaching you favorite shelf hanging hardware.  I was more concerned about protecting my transmitters and the weight it would hold so I simply countersunk two 2 1/2 inch drywall screws through the back into the studs in my wall.  Hang your transmitters on the hooks ( you may have to bend open the hooks a little for some transmitter brands but they bend easily).  The shelf compartment above will hold your battery chargers, neck straps, receivers, and other small parts associated with your equipment.  Stand back and be proud.  I hope you have enjoyed this instructable and I hope you will get some use out of it.  Mine is already in service!

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