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Dirt cheap rack blanks and vents
Old 7th September 2011
  #1
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
Dirt cheap rack blanks and vents

I need a handful of 1U and 2U vents and blanks.
Where do you buy them?
DIY is an option.
Or used, if you PM me.

These just seem ridiculously expensive, for what they are, everywhere I look.
Old 7th September 2011
  #3
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
No, not particularly, although I would still be spending a hundred dollars or more to get what I need. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right place. $7 would work, although I was hoping for the $5 range - or a source for suitable perforated steel that could be cut to size.
Old 7th September 2011
  #4
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Blue Bee's Avatar
These are the cheapest ive found and still seems expensive to me

Vents $8

Amazon.com: Odyssey APV01 1 Space Vent Panel Rack Accessory: Musical Instruments

Blanks $6

Amazon.com: Odyssey APB01 1 Space Blank Rack Panel Accessory: Musical Instruments

Search around and youll find the 2 space too
Old 7th September 2011
  #5
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by branbolio View Post
These are the cheapest ive found and still seems expensive to me
Exactly. This is obviously a profit driver - like cables, adapters, and other accessories - for retailers that sell high dollar, low margin gear. I bet that the retailers have >50% markup on them.

I need an inside connection, a DIY solution, or a box of them to show up on craigslist.

I don't even care if they are flanged on the edges. They don't carry weight, they just cover a hole.

I am trying to keep this away from "Moan Zone" material...
Old 8th September 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Barnabas's Avatar
 

Go to the hardware store and look at their sheet metal products. Here is a link to Home Depot where they have 28 different ones to choose from. Some vented, and some not.

Tools & Hardware - Hardware & Fasteners - Metal Stock - Sheet at The Home Depot
Old 8th September 2011
  #7
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
Thanks! I've been thinking I could use off the shelf galvanized sheet and cut to size and drill rack ears myself, but I hadn't thought about the fact that home depot or lowes would sell designer sheets with patterns cut in them. Most of these are aluminum, which is fine, but such thin gauge that they would be flimsy and bend if you bump up against them. I'd need 24 gauge or better, I think. Maybe vents could be drilled... 3/8" holes, staggered in a W pattern along a 1U blank... then spray painted black.
Old 8th September 2011
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by recordinghopkins View Post
Thanks! I've been thinking I could use off the shelf galvanized sheet and cut to size and drill rack ears myself, but I hadn't thought about the fact that home depot or lowes would sell designer sheets with patterns cut in them. Most of these are aluminum, which is fine, but such thin gauge that they would be flimsy and bend if you bump up against them. I'd need 24 gauge or better, I think. Maybe vents could be drilled... 3/8" holes, staggered in a W pattern along a 1U blank... then spray painted black.

Did you check used on the web?
Surplus places? If not listed on their site, call them. They tend to think they are worth NOTHING, and have them lying around, not bothering to list.

I got a bunch (6 x 3ru brushed aluminum, and 1 x black anodized) for under $20, plus shipping. There is a place near me, that buys up old gov't surplus computers and such. They often have them, and those monster server racks.

I would sell you my spares, but I gave them to my brother. Sorry.

Gov't surplus places, computer surplus places, look on ebay in server section, etc. Rack hardware. All over the place used. Shelfs, blanks, drawers, swing open panels etc.

Don't buy from A/V places.

Or, just cut out the thin ones from Home depot, and epoxy a brace on the back, so it doesn't flex. Just for looks right? And venting?

A piece of lowly ground wire tacked on the back would keep it stable... although copper ain't cheap. Maybe sandwich two sheets together? Shoot, a length of wood will stabilize it too. Nobody but you is going to know it's there.

Use what ya got, if really trying to dodge the $ bullet.

Have been there, and increasingly more often lately.

I feel ya.

Good luck man,
john

Edit, for that matter, at the risk of sounding too ghetto, do they have to be aluminum?
And why?

Get some 1/4" furniture grade plywood (or thinner if you can get it), cut to fit, drill vents with step bit or hole saw, drill screw holes, sand, stain, and poly to match your racks? Might look even better. Or paint em' friggin' black.

Then they'll be "custom" right? Do a good job, and it will look purpose built no?

I have seen mic preamps with this, can't remember who now. Looked good to me. Gordon? Lachapelle? I don't remember.

Actually, I might do this myself sometime.
Old 8th September 2011
  #10
Found them used for you, sent PM. Please follow up, seems like a nice guy.

Peace,
john
Old 8th September 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Funk-O-Meter's Avatar
I've been going through the exact same search lately I've got a couple 24U racks that need rear panels that need to be covered. That shut adds up! I'm thinking I'll have to go the 1/4" plywood route. May need to hinge it somehow for access.
Old 8th September 2011
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funk-O-Meter View Post
I've been going through the exact same search lately I've got a couple 24U racks that need rear panels that need to be covered. That shut adds up! I'm thinking I'll have to go the 1/4" plywood route. May need to hinge it somehow for access.
Even better idea!

Thanks for that.

john

Dude your sig line is AWESOME!
Old 9th September 2011
  #13
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
Get some 1/4" furniture grade plywood (or thinner if you can get it), cut to fit, drill vents with step bit or hole saw, drill screw holes, sand, stain, and poly to match your racks? Might look even better. Or paint em' friggin' black.

Then they'll be "custom" right? Do a good job, and it will look purpose built no?
I actually started to try this today, but the stain I bought was just a bit too red.
I'm headed back to lowe's to swap it for the right one after I submit this post.

Thanks for the PM, Newt. I'll give the guy a call tomorrow, no matter what I end up doing. 12 of these are about $35.

Sorry the pic is sideways, you'll get the idea.
Attached Thumbnails
Dirt cheap rack blanks and vents-woodpanel.jpg  
Old 10th September 2011
  #14
That does look cool!

Was that cherry?

I'm sure once you get a closer match it will be fine. Looks as good if not better than a plain blacked out panel.

Glad to see it's working.
john
Old 10th September 2011
  #15
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Yes, that was cherry. My memory told me for some reason that my rack was a bit more on the red side, but I was wrong. I still haven't matched it properly just yet, but I'm gonna have to put vents around those power supplies. I am actually considering a rack fan above the top power supply and a vent below it.
Old 11th September 2011
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by recordinghopkins View Post
Thanks! I've been thinking I could use off the shelf galvanized sheet and cut to size and drill rack ears myself, but I hadn't thought about the fact that home depot or lowes would sell designer sheets with patterns cut in them. Most of these are aluminum, which is fine, but such thin gauge that they would be flimsy and bend if you bump up against them. I'd need 24 gauge or better, I think. Maybe vents could be drilled... 3/8" holes, staggered in a W pattern along a 1U blank... then spray painted black.
I understand the desire to save money but at $7-$8 I don't see how you could loose. It seems to me that by the time you buy the materials, wear out a drill bit or two and buy spray paint, the cost would be the same for an inferior product. Then consider your labor.

I DO understand the low end theory and like to do DIY too but I try to keep it in perspective.

Just a thought.
Old 11th September 2011
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogoth View Post
I understand the desire to save money but at $7-$8 I don't see how you could loose. It seems to me that by the time you buy the materials, wear out a drill bit or two and buy spray paint, the cost would be the same for an inferior product. Then consider your labor.

I DO understand the low end theory and like to do DIY too but I try to keep it in perspective.

Just a thought.
Good for you I guess.

Nah man...he's saving a couple bucks and it looks cool if he matches his furniture. Maybe he decided he doesn't want the run of the mill aluminum stuff that everyone on the planet has?

I know what you are saying. I get it, but sometimes you have more time than money. And sometimes you just want something unique.

If he's already got some of the stuff on hand, why not? Drill, drill bit, tape so it doesn't splinter on breakthrough. Besides, how many bits are you going to wear out on 1/4" plywood anyway? That is stretching the other side of the argument a little.

Also, I think he is staining, not painting, so the wood grain thing is a desired effect in this case.

He had the choice to call a guy and get the black aluminum panels for roughly the same price used, so I can only guess that it's aesthetics he's going for at this point.

I dunno, it looks cool. You may not however.

It was kinda my idea to start with, so criticise me for it, and leave Hopkins alone... heh

Just playin'

@ Hopkins:
The reason I asked if it was cherry, is becuase I used that color on my console stand, the trim in my studio, my diffusers, my racks etc. Even the trim around my breaker box. It would match well here. It also, gets a little less red over time, even when poly'd for some reason. It takes about a year, but it does fade some, and get more of a brown thing going on.

I think you are right on going darker and less red in your case though.

Good luck man!
j
Old 11th September 2011
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
Good for you I guess.

Nah man...he's saving a couple bucks and it looks cool if he matches his furniture. Maybe he decided he doesn't want the run of the mill aluminum stuff that everyone on the planet has?

I know what you are saying. I get it, but sometimes you have more time than money. And sometimes you just want something unique.

If he's already got some of the stuff on hand, why not? Drill, drill bit, tape so it doesn't splinter on breakthrough. Besides, how many bits are you going to wear out on 1/4" plywood anyway? That is stretching the other side of the argument a little.

Also, I think he is staining, not painting, so the wood grain thing is a desired effect in this case.

He had the choice to call a guy and get the black aluminum panels for roughly the same price used, so I can only guess that it's aesthetics he's going for at this point.

I dunno, it looks cool. You may not however.

It was kinda my idea to start with, so criticise me for it, and leave Hopkins alone... heh

Just playin'

@ Hopkins:
The reason I asked if it was cherry, is becuase I used that color on my console stand, the trim in my studio, my diffusers, my racks etc. Even the trim around my breaker box. It would match well here. It also, gets a little less red over time, even when poly'd for some reason. It takes about a year, but it does fade some, and get more of a brown thing going on.

I think you are right on going darker and less red in your case though.

Good luck man!
j
No criticism intended. I thought he was talking about modifying sheet metal to make the blanks. I totaly understand the asthetic side. Yes plywood and a little stain and you're looking good. Cheap and effective.
Old 11th September 2011
  #19
Gear Addict
 
tarnationsauce's Avatar
 

I just use hard board (like peg board without holes). Cheap from HD/Lowes. Cut to size, paint, and drill. $15 for $100 worth of rack blanks.
This way you can customize the size to youe exact needs. Great for huge 12+ blanks.
Old 11th September 2011
  #20
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
I do actually have a budget for upgrades and various maintenance tasks to keep my studio running well and looking good. It's a mid level place, for sure, but its paid for. Yes, I know I posted in the low end forum, but being able to drop the cash is not the problem. This is just such an unglamorous way to spend part of my annual budgeted upgrade fund, and I rather enjoy the DIY route to equipping my studio.
Running any business requires a personal investment of time and money. Doing it successfully requires controlling cost, even if that means the owner works extra hours. Mic cables, interconnects, acoustic treatment, electronic repair, instrument repair, cutting the grass, cleaning the bathroom - there are lots of ways that I can invest in my business during down time without spending a lot of money. This is one of them. I buy what I have to and make what I can. If I can customize a bit and get unique results by getting creative, that is my preferred course of action.
Old 11th September 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarnationsauce View Post
I just use hard board (like peg board without holes). Cheap from HD/Lowes. Cut to size, paint, and drill. $15 for $100 worth of rack blanks.
This way you can customize the size to youe exact needs. Great for huge 12+ blanks.
I actually considered peg board, and may in fact go that route for the rear of my mobile racks. I have also looked at strips of pre-finished wood flooring for rack blanks, but they all seem too thick to seamlessly fill in the gaps. What you see in the picture is 1/8" oak veneer plywood.
Old 11th September 2011
  #22
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
@ Hopkins:
The reason I asked if it was cherry, is becuase I used that color on my console stand, the trim in my studio, my diffusers, my racks etc. Even the trim around my breaker box. It would match well here. It also, gets a little less red over time, even when poly'd for some reason. It takes about a year, but it does fade some, and get more of a brown thing going on.

I think you are right on going darker and less red in your case though.

Good luck man!
j
Thanks! I actually really like the cherry, and now I'm wishing that my rack was cherry as well. It looks sooo good in incandescent light. I'm looking into applying a real wood veneer to the Argosy laminate on the top and sides, and down the dividing strips betwen rack sections. That way I can go with cherry all around. The next project I'll tackle will be replacing the rubber elbow rest on the console with a matching wood one, then later building a custom desk for it. One thing at a time though.
Old 11th September 2011
  #23
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andreaeffe's Avatar
If looking for metal blank rack panels, at the prices U guys have been posting here I would suspect U might be better off getting them here in Europe - at a certain point/quantity, even calculating in shipping, customs/tax etc might still leave U with a better price:

Suchergebnisse - Seite 1

These start at 1.95 euro a piece, in various colours.

Hope it helps...


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