Aaron Young Abbotsford
DIY 19 Inch 20U Rack

DIY 19" 20U Studio Rack

I had been looking around for a reasonably priced rack for a while, and everything (nice) was over my price range. So because of this, I began designing my own. You can make it however you wish, single rack, double rack, triple rack - customize it for your exact needs. I will need to build a new one soon as 20U has become a bit limiting.


Step 1
First and foremost, sit down for a while and look up ideas on the internet - find existing designs that have features you would like to implement in your own design. Once your design is finalized, calculate how much material you will need to buy.
Important: The inside measurement must be 19 3/4" for the rack gear to fit properly with the 1" angle iron.
Step 2
Mark out all your pieces, and proceed to cut them up accordingly. I have a slight arc on the top, as well as a cutout for wiring from my reel to reel recorder. After you have finished your cuts, sand the newly exposed edges.
Step 3
Pre-drill all of your screw holes. Once with a bit slightly smaller than your screw diameter, and a second time with a bit that is the same size as your wood plugs.
Step 4
Begin attaching the edging starting at one side and moving to the other - be sure to use a cloth or towel between the iron and edging. After the piece is properly attached, use the roller to make sure there are no bubbles in behind the edging, then trim any excess. Assemble the rack for a test fitting - Make sure the rails fit your sides accordingly, and that each length is equal. Pre-drill the angle iron side that will mount to the inside walls.
Step 5
Pre-drill your gear mounting holes. This is the hardest part of the whole process, and extremely difficult to get perfect without a drill press. 1-1/4", 1/2" spacing (center to center) then repeat.
Step 6
Spray 2 coats of primer, and 2 coats of black on the rails. Stain all of the plywood and edging. Give the completed pieces a layer of clear coat.
Step 7
Tap all of the mounting holes. Make sure to use lots of Moovit/WD-40 to lubricate the metal on metal.
Step 8
Assembly. Once everything is dry, it should whip together quite fast since everything is pre-drilled and tested.

What You Will Need

  • 3/4" G1S Sanded Plywood
  • 3/4" Iron-On Edging
  • 2x4 SPF
  • 1" Angle Iron
  • Wood Screw-Hole Buttons
  • 1.5" to 2" Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Preferred Wood Stain
  • Varnish (Clear Coat)
  • Black Spray Paint & Primer

Required Tools

  • Safety Glasses/Ear Plugs
  • Power Drill, Drill Press & Drill Bits
  • Table Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Jig Saw (depending on design)
  • Sand Paper (or Sand Sponge)
  • Iron (preferably not your spouses)
  • Small Hand Roller
  • Scissors
  • Carpenter's Square
  • Tape Measure
  • Die & Tap Set
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Lloyd's Moovit, WD-40, etc.