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When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

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When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby MarkOne » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:25 am

So as you know I am in the process of building a new desk.

And I've hit a snag.

I have a quikloc RS513 rack from which I (foolishly) took all the dimensions very carefully, assuming (foolishly) that there was some sort of industry standard (which there is but not, apparently applying to quikloc) And I spent a lot of time making sure that I very carefully made the frames conform (to within a gnats wotnot) of the dimensions I took from the quicloc rack.

However the standard rail has these dimensions...
Image

Critically, the rial is 19mm wide with the centre of the punched hole 7mm from the outside edge.

and I bought some standard ones after completing the construction (Assuming that they would be the same as the QuikLoc ones)

But the quicloc rack rail is not 19mm wide. it's 17mm wide, (and the hole centre is still 7mm from the rail edge) meaning that my beautifully crafted rack bays, when you fit the standard rails in make your hole centres 4mm too close together.

AAAARGH!

So as a desperate idea I thought I could strip the QuikLoc rails out of that rack and repurpose them. But they are welded in.

It's my fault really. I should have bought the rails sooner and made up the frames accordingly but even so. I'm faced with surgery on the now veneered and varnished frames. Unless anyone knows where I can acquire rails of the same dimensions that quicloc use.

Not. Happy.
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:39 am

Find a local metal-fabrication company and contract them to make the appropriate size rails for you. It shouldn't cost much and will be a lot easier than reworking the desk, and you already have a template you can modify for the correct drawing dimensions!

After all, it's only a couple of pieces of angle steel with some drilled holes and some punched or milled holes. 30 minutes work for a company with the right tools...

H
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby MarkOne » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:03 am

Thanks Hugh.

I was thinking along those lines and had already been googling around for such a firm...But then I came across this company:

https://shop.esr.co.uk/index.html

And they have this aluminium extrusion product:
https://esr.co.uk/electronics/products/frame_hardware.htm

And it has these dimensions:

Image

So along with some of their square captive nuts, I think will do the trick - And it's worth punting £10 on a 2m length and 40 nuts.

I'll report back.
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:10 am

If those channels are the type with nuts that slide around in the channel - be aware they are fiddly to use.
I had to turn mine sideways to align the nuts for each piece of gear. Not a problem on a flightcase but tricky if this is built into a desk!
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby MarkOne » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:40 am

Jumpeyspyder wrote:I...be aware they are fiddly to use. ...

Though not as fiddly as a major modification of the desk. I figure that things will change in the rack infrequently enough that I will live with fiddliness occasionally. :)

It's on its way. So we will soon know.
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:57 am

It's a very good point though... if the nuts slot in to the vertical rails they will all fall to the bottom of the rack space... I have no idea how you would then move the nuts up into position to align with the mounting holes on rack gear.

I'd still go for a solution with customised angle steel fitted with cage nuts! :-)

H
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby MarkOne » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:11 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:...vertical rails ...

H

Happily, as I've said in the separate thread on the desk build The rack consoles are at 15 degrees to the desk:

Image

And I'm banking on friction being greater than gravity at that angle :)

We'll see
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:24 pm

With such a shallow angle, the other much -- much -- easier alternative would be to install some hard-wood side battens in the rack spaces to take the equipment weight, and then use longish 6mm bolts through drilled holes in the side battens with rear washers/nuts holding the rack gear in place.

That's got to be a lot quicker and easier than having custom rack rails made, and cheaper than your slotted rails, too.

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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:46 pm

MarkOne wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:...vertical rails ...

H

Happily, as I've said in the separate thread on the desk build The rack consoles are at 15 degrees to the desk:

And I'm banking on friction being greater than gravity at that angle :)

We'll see
You should be fine - if not I've remembered a trick - fill top of rack first and work down:-

a/ place the rack device near the bottom of the rack
b/ locate the first pair bolts in the top of the device to the top nuts in the stack
c/ slide up the rack device a coupe of centimeters and locate the next pair of bolts..
d/ slide to the top of the rack and fix firmly
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:32 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:With such a shallow angle, the other much -- much -- easier alternative would be to install some hard-wood side battens in the rack spaces to take the equipment weight, and then use longish 6mm bolts through drilled holes in the side battens with rear washers/nuts holding the rack gear in place.

That's what I'd tend to do as well.

Actually, I went even further with my office/studio desk, and cut a 19-inch wide hole in its top at the right hand side that's 9u high, so I could drop in a selection of power amps, synths, mic preamps and rack FX.

Yes, that means they are horizontal (not half as elegant as your 15 degree approach), but once I'd decided on how the various items were ordered I could just drill holes in the wooden sides and fit self-tapping screws and washers. I'm pleased with it anyway ;)

My previous desk had two 4u high vertical rack positions under a rear shelf, but when I dismantled it while moving house it I could immediately hear the improvement due to a reduction in desk reflections, so decided to inset the rack gear into the desk itself in my next studio.


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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby Kwackman » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:35 pm

Is routing 2mm off of each side of the desk's rack mount (the wood) edge an option?
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby MarkPAman » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:36 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:With such a shallow angle, the other much -- much -- easier alternative would be to install some hard-wood side battens in the rack spaces to take the equipment weight, and then use longish 6mm bolts through drilled holes in the side battens with rear washers/nuts holding the rack gear in place.

Could be very tricky to get the nuts on. How about 6mm T nuts on the back, probably with one side trimmed off.
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Re: When not all rack rails are the same AAARGH!

Postby blinddrew » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:50 am

Ignore me, mis-read the post.
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