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Studio furniture for the cheapskate
Old 1st January 2003
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Studio furniture for the cheapskate

I want to retire the **** I've been using, since it's old desks, wobbly tables, whatever was hyper cheap. Suggestions? The Omnirax stuff is expensive for particle board. The QuikLok stuff is better for my budget, but all the open exposures would probably leave it looking sloppy.

Does anyone build their own furniture? I could borrow the tools, loose a finger.

Any cool, genius solutions?

Bear
Old 1st January 2003
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Mats Olsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Buy used.
Put an ad somewhere, post notes at web-forums everywhere, talk to broadcasting folks, talk to companies that is selling/buying/trading pro studio gear. And industrial strenght 19" racks seem to be used almost everywhere these days.

or:
Why not take on a semi-DIY project by de-constructing standard office furniture?, there must be a ton of reception desks and storage units that would be a good starting point. Perhaps you will only need to add conduits and rack rails, drilling some holes for cables and airflow.

BTW, why not get a quote from a carpenter, it might not get very expensive if you just stay away from exclusive woods & finishes.

Keep us posted!

/Mats
Old 1st January 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
cajonezzz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
We've got some of the Omniraxx stuff and it's really kind of a disapointment, and VERY expensive for particle board (heavy as hell too)
I'd seriously suggest looking up a cabinet builder type (ask around your friends, somebody will know somebody) and order the parts from MiddleAtlantic or similar. you'll save $$$ and have something custom to boot.
you'll besuprised how many musicians have skills in the construction arena...maybe you could trade out some time for work???

good luck , keep us posted, take pics if you can.
happy new year!
Old 1st January 2003
  #4
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
IKEA?
Old 1st January 2003
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Curious G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I wanted to buy used but I needed pretty specific sizes. Also, the used racks I saw had problems like: stripped threads and funky casters and were generally crappy looking. I ended up with new KK Audio racks that required some basic assembly but look pretty good and weren't horribly expensive.

A buddy of mine bought rack rails and made his. They look great, but he has the skill, the tools and the time that I lack in this regard.
Old 1st January 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
IKEA?
They have ( at least had ) a desk that had speaker stands off to the side and a monitor shelf in the middle, it looked perfect for a DAW setup, and was real aluminum-ish looking...
Old 2nd January 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
unbΓΆring
Old 2nd January 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The pre-made stuff like Omnirax is grossly over-priced in my opinion. It's not that hard to make what you need yourself out of materials you can buy at Home Depot (except the rack rails). I certainly don't consider myself particularily handy, but I designed and built some racks, a keyboard/rack station, and a mixer stand with built in racks. It all looks good (made out of pine), is *exactly* what I need, and was really cheap.

Just make sure you design everything on paper first, then measure carefully! You can have the wood cut at the store to your measurements if you don't have the tools for that. Once the cutting is done all you really need is a drill and a sander, along with a right angle and measuring tape.

The suggestion about having a friend who does woodwork is a good idea as well. You'd still need to design the pieces though.
Old 3rd January 2003
  #9
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
One of the best accoustic design tips I ever got.

"A heavy leather couch acts great as a bass trap"

It's true!

Old 3rd January 2003
  #10
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Find a local guy who does custom Formica kitchen work. the school where I teach had consoles made to order for the exact equipment we own. Got the height, the angles, the bridges and shelves exactly where we wanted them. We chose a smooth dark grey. Looks great, solid as hell and was competitive with the name brand ready made stuff.

The guy was happy to work on it too- a creative break from the same old kitchen stuff for him.
Old 3rd January 2003
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith
They have ( at least had ) a desk that had speaker stands off to the side and a monitor shelf in the middle, it looked perfect for a DAW setup, and was real aluminum-ish looking...
Got it! Great unit. Very solid. Lotsa flexability.
Mine has the birch laminate counters
Old 4th January 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I build my own stuff... racks, speaker stands, what ever, gobos are next. I worked construction for more than a few years in a former life and have the tools and the "nack" to do this stuff so it doesn't make sense for me not to, and I get exactly what I want. If you're not handy with a power tool the suggestions on having a local tradesman build something for you is a good alernative.
Old 4th January 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'll second hiring a local wood worker/cabinet maker over buying the overpriced and ugly (in my opinion at least) pre-made stuff. Good luck!
Old 4th January 2003
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Mats Olsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Do any of you cats know where one could find blueprints for studio furniture?

/Mats
Old 4th January 2003
  #15
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Mats Olsson
Do any of you cats know where one could find blueprints for studio furniture?

/Mats
You're going to want to make it up, I think, to fit your personal way of working. The big thing to remember is that the 19 inch rack is indeed a standard (and now that I think about it, it's not exactly 19 inches).

For example, I wanted the front of my racks to lean back so that any reflections from the monitors went up, rather than right back at me. So The carpenter and I designed racks that lean back at about a 55 degree angle. I can roll my chair right up to the rack, and actually read the markings on the bottom piece, which I could not do, for instance, with the Taytrix racks. And I wanted the bottom piece in the rack to be elevated enough so that I could read it. And I wanted the top of the racks to be big enough to set other, smaller racks on top of it, in needed. the final design was for 14 space racks (with a 15th space available at the top for a power strip, if desired). The racks are fairly deep, but I have the room for that. And there are

I built 9 of them - 6 sit behind the console in a producer's desk configuration, and three more are against one wall. I've still got a little space left in one of the 9, since I also have 2 8 space racks and a 4 space sitting on top. The nice thing is that as my rack needs grow I can put more together, since the design was consistent for all 9. They look (and work) as well as I had hoped.

We built a three bay, 7 foot tall rack for the machine room as well. (also out of oak plywood, like the racks in the control room). With the wheels, that rack is almost 8 feet tall. It holds lots of gear. By designing and building it myself (well, with a ton of help from the carpenter), I got exactly what I wanted. And a whole lot cheaper than I could have bought that many rack spaces, even cheap and ugly ones.
Old 4th January 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There must be blueprints around on the net somewhere, although I just drew up my own. It's really pretty simple. For any rack units getting the width right is important so the rack screw holes line up with your gear, as is leaving very slight spaces above and below the rack rails.

Almost any clear photo of studio furniture can serve as a rough blueprint of sorts, from which you can figure out how they made it and add refinements that suit you.
Old 4th January 2003
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Curious G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
And if you build your own make sure you leave some room for future gear!!
Old 4th January 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The important measurements are that the inside dimensions of the rack case must be 19 3/16" wide (although 19 1/4 works fine I've found). A single rack unit is 1 3/4" tall. You'd measure your rack rails and then add 1/4" to that for the inside height dimension of your rack. That's so you have 1/8" clearance both above and below the rack rails.

Simple racks are basically boxes where the insides conform to those measurements. You can get creative, but anything that will be housing rack gear will be a variation on 19 1/4" wide by a height of the rack rails plus at least 1/4".

Put wheels on them , whatever, it's all good. :-)

I generally use 5/8" inch pine because I like the way it looks and it's light and easy to work with--the stuff you get in Home Depot that's usually sold in 4 foot by 18 inch boards. I forget the exact name, it's not one solid pine board, but kind of strips of pine glued together to make a wide board. Not particle board, I hate that stuff, so heavy.

It's generally better to screw the pieces together rather than nail them. I think some also glue, but I don't. Glue may reduce or eliminate the possibility of rattles, so that's probably a good idea.

I know you want blueprints, but I just did a web search and came up with zilch. So hopefully some of this is helpful.
Old 6th January 2003
  #19
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
not totally right but...

some creative googling found

http://www.edfacilities.org/rl/music_suites.cfm

I'm in the market for this as well, very small project studio, I have VERY little room. (put it this way, our iso mostly the bedroom, and
that may get changed to the bathroom if i can get the reflections down.

sad really, 620 sq ft in lajolla ca, $930 a month. I keep promising myself I will do it right someday, but there are cash limitations, esp with a wife in art school...

I really liked the idea above about angling the racks though,
thats killer (esp for those of us who don't see so well)
Old 6th January 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Screws's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I bought my main stuff at Office Max (kinda like Office Depot) - one to put the mixer on, the other to put the keyboard on. They sit in an "L" shape with a corner piece (to complete the "L") where the Mac monitor sits. It was less than 1/2 the price of the Omni stuff, is solid and looks nice.

Then I built a rack to straddle and sit over the keyboard. It was pretty easy to make and it holds another keyboard on a roll out shelf as well as 2 - 12 space racks.

I bought a Raxxess 12 space to go under one side of it and I built a cabinet (to put the Mac in) which goes under the other side. When there's more money I'll put a plexi door on the Mac cabinet and a fan/baffle door on the back.

My wife bought me a couch at some cheapo furniture store and a swivel office chair at the same Office Max.

Omnirax is way overpriced.
Old 9th January 2003
  #21
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Okay, I think I'm getting closer to getting some DIY done (well, I'm probably going to ask a carpenter guy I know to do the work . . .), and two questions are occuring:

How do you figure load bearing capacity? I don't have the heaviest board in the world, but it's not the lightest either, so that concerns me. I'm not even gonna mess with cabinetry for my Otari 8 track yet (the old one with seperate transport and audio units), but when I do, that'll be a big order.

And what allowances do you make for ventilation? do you put vents in your studio racks? Install computer fans to increase circulation? My equipment stash is small enough that I can leave empty buffer spaces (the shame, the shame), but I figure it's better to have the solution down to any issues down the road before they're loaded up.

Bear
Old 9th January 2003
  #22
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Load bearing won't be a problem as long as there's enough bracing and the top board is thick enough. Two layers of 5/8 or 3/4" ply with bracing (use 2x4's) every 16" OC should be enough to hold most consoles. Hell, I built my sister a workbench like that when I was in high school and I was able to stand on the top of it in the center without a problem and I'm about 200.

For racks, ventaliation could be sweet. I've never worried about it other then leaving a blank space above and/or below gear that runs really really hot. You can always cut a hole and put a fan in later. FWIW, I rarely if ever see fans in control room racks. Machine rooms are a different story.
Old 2nd June 2007 | Show parent
  #23
Here for the gear
 
PromoJAM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Build your own racks

I found this place. Thinking about building my own racks.
A few styles w/ build specs and measurements.

Page Title

Now, I continue to search for a studio desk design plans!
Old 2nd June 2007 | Show parent
  #24
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
At last I may have something of value to contribute!

I may build this one, or a variation:

Build This Workstation!

Old 2nd June 2007 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Something to watch out for with studio furniture is rattles and resonances. I think wheels are a mistake, unless you really, really need to roll things around.

Here's a cool, genius solution (for those with little money or building skills):

Concrete building blocks are cheap, and don't rattle or resonate. They can be painted to look cool, and to stop them shedding dust or absorbing moisture. You can stack them, glue them together with tube of construction glue, and use them to support ready-made shelves that most building stores have. Or sheets of MDF or plywood. You could cover sheets of wood with thin carpet, tacked, stapled or glued.

Closed cell foam is a useful construction material in a studio. Camping bedrolls can be a cheap source. Strips of this cut up can provide damping (and compensate for uneven surfaces). When mounting shelves onto supports, some strategic strips of this foam can solve problems and give a nice solid, noise-free feel.

Steel furniture (speaker stands, guitar stands, mic stands, keyboard or guitar stands, computer desks etc) can be great cheap furniture. But watch out for resonances. Tubes of closed cell foam can be used to dampen them down (slit them lengthways with a craft knife and just snap them on where needed).

I bought a bunch of standard wooden office PC desks and filing cabinets for my studio. I liked the style (and low price) and the natural wood look added some life to the decor.

Concrete drainage pipes or other available concrete structures could be useful in a studio - excellent diffusion, and could function as tuned bass traps very easy. Shelf supports, or speaker stands, or seats - whatever. Plywood tops could be made to fit. Rubber door stoppers could make an easy and stable method of pegging the tops on.

Other cheap-ass solutions: car seats from junkyards. Rough-cut wood and really gnarly plywood can be made to look very cool when painted with gloss paint. Junkyards can have really cool furniture or ex-shop fittings that look a bit gnarly, but can be turned into something cool-looking (not to mention more hygenic) with a good slap of paint (or 2 or 3).

A studio can be a fun place to run riot with funky cheap stuff. Outdoor furniture might even be a possibility.

Just watch out for rattles and resonances.
Old 2nd June 2007 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hey man, I have a Rxxess desk and sidecar AND a home-made (but good) ISO box I'd like to move (ie:it's taking up space <G>).

Drop me a line if interested.
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