DIY ~20U server rack

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So, this is something mike has been looking to make for the past few days, ever since he got his new computer case for his awesome new computer. He originally wanted to buy a server rack, so he can mount his case in it, and mount the NAS he has with it, but those cost lots of lots of money. So, our solution, after thinking up at night, was to make one ourselves. I suggested iron gas piping, and mike suggested angle iron. Mike won because in the end, it would be easier to build with angle iron.

Either way, we managed to make a nice server rack for under $150 (although, that is partly the fault of the stupid workers at home depot, who didn’t scan in three of the $15 one inch pieces, but, we’re not complaining!)
full instructions, with pictures! after the click:

—EDIT: we’re bad at math, this is really a 20U rack, not a 32U one, fixed it!—

So, to begin our task, we have the parts we need:

from left to right, top to bottom:

item cost per $ total cost $
wavebird wireless controller for game cube*
imperial purple paint for projector*
1-1/4 inch 3 foot steel box tubes x4 15.87 15.87
1-1/4 inch 3 foot steel right angles x6 7.22 43.32
1-1/2inch x 1-1/2 inch 2 foot steel right angles x5 5.63 28.15
10 inch economy hacksaw (with 2 2packs of extra blades) 4.96 9.92
1-1/4 inch casters 2pack x2(we got these, but they’re too small, so we’re getting bigger ones) 2.28 4.56
bag of flat washers & lock washers x40 each 0.08 flat, 0.15, lock 9.20
box of 1/4-20 1 inch bolts with nuts 5.47 5.47
not pictured
box of 1/4-20 2inch blots with nuts 5.47 5.47
1-3/8inch 3foot steel plates x2 5.12 10.24
total paid 132.20
actual cost 179.81

*not actually required for construction of rack

Now, onto the actual construction of it:

Step 1: Design

Ok, this step is easy, its a 19 inch, by 30 inch, by 36 inch box. The 1-1/4 inch box tubes are the vertical braces, and the right angle ones are the other braces

Step 2: Cut top and bottom braces

The 1-1/2inch angle pieces we bought were 24 inches long, and we needed them 19 inches, so we cut them.

Step 3: Construct the ends

So, now that we have our cross braces, we need to screw them into the 1-1/4 tubes. This is where we made a mistake at home depot. I said get the box of 1.5 inch bolts, but, apparently mike can’t read, and we got 1 inch ones instead. Its ok though, cause we figured out how to do it anyway, by putting the screwdriver into the hole, and tightening the nut on the outside


Now, to just test the weight with the computer case, just to make sure it’s strong enough, otherwise we have a major problem!

Good, it works! Now we have to make another one!

Step 4: Cut the back cross pieces:

The pieces were 36 inches long, and we needed them 30 inches, me and mike split up the cutting, i do two, he does two, unfortunately, we only have documented proof of me doing all the cutting, eh, who cares.

Step 5 a: Bolt the pieces together


Step 5 b: Test it’s strength

Just cause it can hold up mike doesn’t mean its super strong, mike is skinny, then again, i’m short, and we both weight about the same, eh.

Step 5 c: Play Geometry Wars

Step 6: Back brace

I thought that there should be a brace holding up the back of the server(s) even though mike swore by the bolts on the front. As an engineer, i thought better to be safe then sorry, so we put a 3 foot angle piece in on either side, at around 22 inches back, the length of mike’s case. Onto this we will be putting another 19 inch angle piece.

Step 7: Put diagonal braces in

We discovered that the box isn’t exactly what one would call “square” so we needed some diagonal braces, not hard, just another trip to home depot.

Step 8: Wheels!

did you really think we would have made this with no wheels? If you did, you’re a crazy person!

You can’t really see the wheels, but they’re there, and we forgot the screws for the wheels, cause they’re smaller then the bolts we got, so they are currently zip tied in place. That’s ok for now though, cause it’s not going many places.

Step 9 a: Put the computers in


Look at those pretty computers, one is a Core 2 duo computer with SLI and lots of other goodies I forgot about.  The other one is the Deadly NAS, complete with 2.0 TB of hard disk space for all our microwaving fun!

Step 9 b: Connect the computers

In connecting the computers up, we decided to mount the power surge on the side with some of the left over right angle pieces:


We also decided to use a piece of wood we found along time ago as a base to hold the UPS the mike has. It was alittle big, so we cut it, and it holds the 40lb battery well.


That wood is gonna be replaced by some sheet metal as soon as we go back to home depot to get it again, man, we need a car.



That’s it. Kinda simple really! We couldn’t believe how easy it was, less then $200, less then 2 hours of work, and absolutely no hot glue used at all (Mike was happy about that one!)
This server rack is about 32U.

View the entire gallery here.

UPDATE: 11/04/10

Originally we had planned to make these server racks and sell them to people, but that was along time ago, over 4 years actually.  Alot has changed since then, and we no longer offer that.  Sorry.  However, you should still be able to follow this guide easily and make your own.  Also, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.  I’ll usually respond within a day or two.

98 responses to “DIY ~20U server rack

  1. So, you’re going to sell this make custom racks and sell them, even though shipping one of these racks full made is futile to do through USPS or UPS because of the box size, and selling and packing in pieces defeats the purpose because a person could do it themselves. Also, if anything happens to your server, it’s only your own fault. Unfortunately, so will it be your fault if theirs break. But hey, I’m all for risky investment, so go for it!
    Sorry, I’m feeling a little critical right now.

  2. there’s always someone who has to rain on my parade, always, and it pisses me off alot.
    why does someone always have to say that things will go horribly wrong, and people will die and it will be my fault? cause i just suggested this idea, and we thought it was a good one, and one person doesnt like it, or just doesnt want me to succeed?
    well ive had enough of it, your allowed to have your doubts, but let me live my life, and make my own choices damnit.

    im sorry, i went alittle too far there, and i dont want to delete it cause im lazy, and its a valid point.

  3. I understand, and I’m sorry to be the one doing the rain dance on your life. It’s just my mood at the moment. I’ll be easier on the self-esteem later, I promise.

  4. It’s a sweet DIY, and well thought out, but not something I’d ever use. I could see others using it though. More practical, than say, the home-made rocket launcher, which is a lot more fun…

  5. > I thought that there should be a brace holding up the back of the server(s) even though mike swore by the bolts on the front.

    Ok, new rule… Mike has never seen a rack before in his life. Never listen to him again… the “little dog-ears” that we attach with TWO screws each are NOT structural 🙂

    > at around 22 inches back, the length of mike’s case.

    This will work, provided that you *never* add a second unit to this rack. Which, as you know, completely contradicts the purpose of *having* a rack.

    In real life, no two cases are the same length. The only uniform feature is the width.

    Likewise, the faces are *not* structural, and should *not* be used to carry the load. Along the length of the case, you’ll find several holes… for rails. THOSE carry the weight. Not the face, and not the rear.

    Additionally, fixed mounting (by front and rear of the case) makes the rack useless as more gear is added; add something to the space above your existing unit, and you can no longer service that existing unit without a nearly complete tear-down of the rack. The photo of you having the rack on its back pretty much sums it up.

    So, some type of rail system is a must.

    For a non-rack case (or if no rails are present), make shelving. Two pieces of wider angle iron, running front to back, will probably prove adequate if they are wide enough that the case will safely sit on them without the iron twisting. That will give you a “rail-like” look, remove the dependancy on the case length, and allow you to slide a unit out of the rack while the other units remain in production. At that point, you can then show Mike that the dog-ears on the front… are to prevent the case from sliding. And nothing else. 🙂

    Great “version 1”, though, for sure.

  6. Oh this is by far a final version, we will be adding things to it as time goes.
    and i’ll make sure mike reads this cause i was trying to argue with him as to how it could all hold itself up when trying to do work on one unit.

    I had some basic rail design in my head before we built it, but it was lost in production.

    when i get enough money to make myself one of the computers mounted in the rack, then i’ll make my own, but, that wont be for a while.

  7. Nice project. Pretty well thought out. I have been surfing around looking for a doable diy for my rack and this one is pretty well put together.

    Kudos to you and Mike.

  8. Hey there nice Rack!!!
    That is a sweet idea. I have been searching the net for such a plan. What is the weight of the servers in that rack? I recently acquired a Compaq ML530, and wanted to build one for my server. If you are not familiar with the ML 530 it is not a light server. I have the rail kit for it and was wondering if you knew what the load capacity on your design is?

    Regards,
    Zman

  9. -zman

    while we never officially weighed the computers we put into the rack, we can estimate that the main computer is about 35lbs, and the NAS is about 25lbs, add onto that a switch that was not much, and a few other nonessential things, and i think it’s safe to say that our rack can handle about 70 ~ 80 lbs.
    I think that that range is fairly accurate, and i hope it helps you with your project.

  10. I’ve been thinking about doing this type of project myself recently because I’ve started to build a home lab to study for certifications and jsut various testing/interests (considering I’m a network engineer). I looked at various pages around the net and I still come back to yours. There is that other guy online who converted his closet into a rack but that is hardly applicable to the space I have. lol.

    ANYWAY… question is, what do you think of the suggestion above about building shelves instead of trying to perfect a DIY rack replica? It seems you have an amazing start, but in the long run as we add servers and devices, I can’t help but comparing the sturdiness of ther racks I work with on a weekly basis. Obviously, I am not about to purchase an APC Net Shelter for my apartment. LOL (though that would be sweet!). I do think that building an open 4 post shelving unit might work out though……….

  11. -Goldrush

    The shelving is probably the best way to go. And actually, mike completly redid the rack last month by welding the pieces together. (You don’t need to weld them, the bolts worked perfectly, but we had to take it home over winter break, and it didn’t fit in the car, so it was already taken appart)
    Anyway, mike also welded on some rails or shelves if you want to call them at the right intervals for the servers we currently have.

    And to stress the fact, the rack we built is very sturdy, more then sturdy enough to hold our computers which we estimated to be about 80lbs total.

    Hope this helps, and look on here in the comming weeks for another diy of how we updated our rack.

  12. I was actually looking for a server rack, they are so expensive and then it costs almost as much as the rack to have it shipped to me. As soon as I have some time I am definitely buiolding me one of these, great work guys. (although I think the one guy hs a point about shipping, for a half rack which is about the same size as yours I have seen outrageous prices (most had to be freight shipped and scould not go UPS or USPS because of the size) but you might be able to do something sililar if you pre cut all the pieces and include a detailed set of instructions. (Don’t let one the first guy said discourage you, you guys shgould be abe to make some money of this.) I think shipping the completed rqack might be too expensive though

  13. Nice job! It seems to hold pretty well and it is generally the same process that factories use. But i wonder why i can’t find a 36U or smaller rack for less than $800.00. So when are you gonna come over and build me one?

  14. couple suggestions. If you can locate a place that makes angle-iron storage racks (Yellow Pages – Shelving) you’ll find that they sell some really handy accessories for the rack: things like corner plates to help ensure the rack is square; and bolts that fit correctly with the right washers and nuts; and decent castors; and other things that help. And often, they rent a guillotine-style cutter for the angle iron – way faster and easier than the hacksaw, and the cost should keep you inside your budget (and give a better finish to your cut ends). Well worth checking out.

    Oh, yeah. If you build the rack with the angle iron turned the right way on the side posts at front and back, you can mount server rails and have the server correctly mounted so it slides in and out.

    And this stuff is great for making server workbenches too, with the addition of 3/4-inch ‘good one side’ plywood.

  15. -Rick, thank’s for the suggestions, i’m in the middle of posting the Server Rack 2.0 of this build, but when i do something like this for me, i’ll look into those suggestions you said.

    thank’s for the suggestions, and keep ’em comming

  16. Its cool that you did it your self, but the time and energy could have been spent doing something else- you can buy a full size reack frame with build in cable management for less then 400 buck – twice the height and all the extras, plus it is rated to 2000 pounds. This will work for some home users but try adding casters and getting around the sharp metal edges. For 200.00 more you can buy a http://WWW.Kendallhowad.com Server rack and have safety for a a little more then that you can add a lock so no one gets at it. Racks are not that expensive any more you should Check them out. this one is not bad but it belongs in a closet not out for people to see. Just my opinion though.

    Good luck with the next project

  17. John in regards to your comments, Some people live in areas that shipping server racks or anything big in heavy is out of the question, let alone, building something yourself gives alot more satification then just buying something premade. All this one needs to dress up is some aluminum side panels, would look nice in the living room, you can even use a dremel to do your own cut outs.

  18. -Ed as for making it look nice, we would, but it went in a closet, no need to make it look pretty, just close the door and no need to see it anymore!

  19. That is neat, and I understand the DIY urge. But it strictly economic terms, it seems like you’d be better off buying a Middle Atlantic BRK-20 (a nice 20U rack cabinet), which is about $140 at my local (Denver) distributor.

  20. Hey, I’ve gotten my rack up and I’m quite excited! Time to fill it up!

    This brings my question: Do you know what is the minimum size for a rack mounted server to hold a full height PCI card in it (no PCI riser)? Is it 2U, 3U or 4U?

    Thanks

  21. what’s the point of reinventing the rack when you can pick up 24U Compaq or similar brand on ebay for this price? well made, secure and sturdy. waste of time in my opinion.

  22. what’s the point of reinventing the rack when you can pick up 24U Compaq or similar brand on ebay for this price? well made, secure and sturdy. waste of time in my opinion.

    you might find a good deal on ebay, but when it comes to a freight charge the price will add a Minimum of $100 to the price you paid.

    I don’t have the money to buy a fancy pre-made setup let alone to freight it here. so I’m considering building my own.

    1. It’s not cast iron, it’s galvanized or anodized (coated, regardless) steel “dexion”. It would look better painted after a coat of primer then 2-3 coats of a good satin black, or even hammer finish if they want to blow the $$ for the paint. Make sure the holes have no paint in them afterwards since this is part of your grounding system.

      Old bed rails are great for DIY racks – free and you need only drill (or drill then tap for threads) holes in the front rails and where the lengths bolt together – could even weld it if you never wanted to tear it down.

      I just built a wall mounted 6U for my switch, patch panel and cable management in the 19″ area with a shelf on top for the Linksys wireless router and SpeedStream DSL modem and patch antennas to guide my wifi only where I use it. Made totally of 3/4″ pine 1×10 board I had excess front stair treads. Painted it flat black, mounted to the wall and used coarse drywall screws to mount the rack items.

      My tall server rack is in work – used to be a tray cart for a hospital. Steamed it at the car wash, let it dry a week and primed and painted the aluminum satin black then drilled and tapped the front rails for a standard rack pattern. About 7 ft tall, big wheels under it. Cost me $5 for the surplus cart without a front door and about $20 in paint at the local department store (just the generic grey primer and satin finish black spray – about $2 a can).

    2. Great going guys! Love the pictures of the rack being assembled. I help people select the best server rack for their applications and found your site doing a server rack word search. If there is a rack you are not able to make, let me know.

  23. This is entirely a worthwhile project to build, and a financially sound decision as well. To those of you saying you’ve found racks from Middle Atlantic, those are audio racks for A/V components and dont have the depth for mounting server rails in. For those of you who’ve found cheap soltions at Kendall Howard, the cheap ones are A/V cabinets or wall-mount units, and again don’t have the depth for rails. You just can’t buy a real server rack, with wheels, for under $500. (some sites have them available for $400 without doors, handles or wheels attached, and are happy to sell them as addons. I’ve trolled ebay too, shipping’s expensive and it’s hard to find a rack with the appropriate depth to take server rails. plenty of short stubby ones for cheap, and plenty of APC NetShelters but they’re expensive.

    Kudos to Dan, starting with a good set of pre-drilled pre-cut rails is the best way to go. they aren’t that expensive and you know you’ve got the right threading and spacing on them for all standard equipment.

    Frame them up however you want, as long as the holes are 19″ apart and the rail-to-rail (front to back depth) is 34″ – 36″ (EIA 310-D) and you’re good to go.

    I’m building something similar myself, but already had a set of pre-drilled rails i scavenged off some older equipment, it makes things so much easier.

  24. nice!
    I’m still in a better place than anyone else so far – my desk has a hole the right size for a 19″ rack in it already, and when i checked it against one of my dmx dimmer units, the sides were a perfect fit!
    so i just bolted it straight into that! thankyou muchly ikea! (i think the desk is discontinued now though).

    I’ll still have to build one when i go to university next year thoug.h!

  25. I think your idea is damn good! I personally don’t see how shipping it will work but you could try http://www.urbandispatch.com….. I must point out that custom building your own rack as you did is an amazing idea! I have my own Linux server at home and I have been thinking about building a rack for it… yes a whole rack for one server…. but I plan to get more (current server is a web and fileserver – http://www.urhostingpro.com, plan to just have a web server and a seperate file server for playing around with VMware).

  26. Hmm. Kinda stole your idea…..but doubled the dimensions…and built a (40ish) U rack out of angle iron and box tubes. I used angle iron to provide, ‘shelving’ for the cases to rest on, and mounted plywood behind the cases for power supplies/other things to mount to. It came out fairly well. Ended up costing about 350 dollars. Oh, I found it cheaper to get the metal through McMasterCarr online than thru home depot. Anyway, thanks for posting your ‘walk through’ because it would have never occurred to me to try without it.

  27. @Jeremy the idea was there to be modded, and made your own.
    40(ish)U is pretty big. Im sure the metal is cheaper online, but how much did shipping cost?

    glad it helped you a bit. if you have photos send them, I’d love to see them and post them

  28. Shipping was about 30 bucks total. It might have been cheaper, but I forgot to get rectangular bar’s at first and had to order them separately. got 4 6′ box tubes for 22.41 each, 22 pieces of 3′ angle iron for 3.85 each, and 25 3′ rectangular bars for 3.09 each.

    To be exact, 2 pieces of angle iron and 25 rectangular bars was 11 dollars to ship. the other 20 pieces of angle iron and 4 box tubes was 23 dollars to ship.

    I took pictures of most of the construction process. Should I send them to steve@deadlycomputer.com or
    tips@deadlycomputer.com?

  29. Wow, those prices are much cheaper then what we paid, and $30 seems pretty cheap. You got a steal!

    The one plus about getting them at Home Depot/Lowes is that when you forget something, its just a 5min drive to go pick it up.

    either email address is fine.

  30. I absolutely love the idea. Not sure how quick it will get off the ground, but I guarantee you others will want this…not because it’s something they can’t do, (of course they can), but because it’s already done for them. Humans are naturally lazy, and if they can get something pre-packaged that saves them time – many will be all over it. I’ll be watching. How are you going to control cooling, and have you had any power problems as of yet?

  31. I’ve taken on this idea and expanded it with my DIY rackmount setup, built in speakers in the bottom (totally custom) and the rack is fully welded 1 1/4″ tube for the frame and 1″ angle iron for rails to put the cases in. A custom paint job and built in blue LED’s to boot. For now I only have pics up online, building a site soon.

  32. @Shad -surprisingly, there has been little interest in people asking us to send them kits to make their own racks. Probably because of lack of advertisement on our part. As for cooling, and power issues, we haven’t had any. In fact cooling wise, for a while, a short while, we had an elaborate liquid cooling system set up. That didn’t last long for various reasons, none of which were Rack related, but rather school related. And as for power, no issues to report.

    @Hack -We had a version 2 of our rack that was welded, I never got around to posting it because of a change in plans and other things we got rid of it. But please, send some pictures to me about it: steve@deadlycomputer.com I’ll gladly post them!

    @Brooks -I’m sorry, I don’t remember how heavy the rack is. Not overly heavy, but not exactly light either. One person could lift it empty no problems, but other then that I can’t give you specifics.

  33. I stumbled upon your plans to build your own rack cabinet. I saw some of the negative comments. This project was very nicely done! I liked your plans, your photos, and the parts list. You have the right spirit to dream and want the unusual which is exactly the kind of people that succeed.
    We are told that the impact of an idea can be measured by the amount of resistance that the idea generates. Keep dreaming, keep working. It takes no talent to criticize. It takes great imagination to see something in your mind and then make it a reality. I am sincere.
    I am an engineer for a very major electronics company. Your project reminded me of myself many years ago. Thanks.

  34. you can also do what I did, build a box out of 3/4 plywood, and put fans in the back, with a hinged door. but 2 sets of middle atlantic rack rail, and screw to the inside, home depot for some plexi-glass, dark tint, black paint, door hardware, and some rollers for the bottom. cost me about:

    $80.00 plus misc stuff I had laying around so lets say $100.00 but I do like your idea. very cool. 5 stars

  35. Does anyone know if you build your own rack, do you have to put any type of ground on it to prevent static electricity from frying your equipment? I’m new to the i.t. industry and still have a lot to learn. Thanks

  36. I am attempting to create a server rack per your instructions. I will be working on it this weekend. I picked up the supplies at lowes which was pretty expensive, around 200…. I may buy some angle pieces to create some kind of rest for each server as others have said for the weight distribution. I will be using the server rack at my house. I will let you know how it goes.

    1. optional? i guess it’s not required for the building of the rack, but it is by no means optional, GW is an excellent stress reliever, and overall awesome game

  37. Love your DIY rack, simple, effective and most importantly dirt cheap. The components you used can be bought very cheaply here.

    Im planning on making the casing myself since those are kinda expensive to buy if you consider the fact that im using some old unwanted computer to do the job.

    And yes, geometry wars should be optional but not halo3 🙂

    Nice work and good luck on future projects!

    Clement

  38. I have three refurbished dell servers and I need to build a rack for these. Noticed you built one from scratch from Home Depot Material. Can you give an idea as to the type of rails I should use to hold the three servers or more. The more you were sitting on seems strong enough to hold three servers assuming they are about 30lbs each (1 think).
    I have a server cabinet that currently holds three Compaq proliant (antiques) servers and two UPS. I could use this but it requires a wider bracket and am not sure if the cabinet will hold another three servers.
    appreciate it
    James

    1. The rails we used were regular 1″ right angle steel that we bolted onto the frame at the height we wanted. Everything except the computers themselves were bought at Home Deopt/Lowes.

      Good luck in your project

  39. Great job guys! I was searching the web to see if I could DIY a server rack before I went and built myself a server for it. The prices I’ve seen companies sell them for (500+ for just an 8U) are ridiculous. I may not copy your plans (I like to design and create, thank you 15 years of LEGOs growing up) but you’ve definitely shaken my doubt of building a rack for cheap!

    Maybe you should consider spec-ing up some varying sizes and selling them! It looks like it only took a few hours to make. charge 100 bucks (labor) plus parts and you’ve still got the cheapest racks on the market!

  40. I had a quick question. How do the holes on the angle iron line up compared to actual Rack Rails?

    Cool project!

    1. if i remember correctly, the holes on the 4U case lined up perfectly, but then ones on the 1U case not so much.
      I think it had something to do with the slots. The 4U case was good because we were able to start it on a slot, and move it alittle up or down to line it up right.
      Not possible on a 1U.

  41. Just as a tip, remember to measure the ears on your cases. I followed most of what they did except for the box tubing, since homeless depot didnt have it. I used 1-1/2 inch. the edge where you bold on should be 1-3/8ths or smaller, I have a case that it barley bolts to it at that size but the ears are very small on it.

  42. I tried looking at Home Depot here in town and they dont have the steel tubing with all those holes. Maybe Lowes has it? I plan to build one of these to stow away my Dell Rack servers, but I wanted to put some wood panels on top of the steel frame to make it look like a piece of furniture. Any advice?

    1. certain Home Depots are lacking in that particular part. Either that, or they just hide it somewhere really, really well.
      The one by me has a small selection of steel tubing in the same isle as the nuts & bolts and screws, & fasteners. I would try that isle first, then find a Lowes.

      This is what you want to find, maybe print out this page and ask someone where it is.
      1-1/4 x48in Angle Punched Zinc plated

  43. Thanks for the link. I went to Lowes today and they had the tubing. For the 4 main steel tubes and the top and bottom angle steel, and screws and casters, it all cost about 150. But I got 1-1/4 punched steel tubing, and the same for angle steel. Except I got shorter pieces cause I only need a 24U rack. Thanks for the DIY, if this works, it’ll save me a few hundred bucks 🙂

  44. Nice job guys. I noticed a lot of people on here saying that oh you can buy a rack from these other places for way cheaper. I have looked and you can’t find anything decent for under $400 unless you get very lucky. Maybe someone on craigslist is selling one and don’t know what its really worth.

    I have two suggestions:
    One suggestion I have is to use the angle metal pieces as a “rail” for the server. Just bolt it in front to back and slide your server in. Once the front is flush you can bolt the front on also. Sure it might make it a bit heavier but structurally its probably more sound.

    Second suggestion is to put your heavier equipment as low to the floor as possible in order to lower your center of gravity. It’s safer that way.

    Great post.

  45. Hey guys. It’s been a couple of years since I used your design to build my own (SLIGHTLY modified) server rack and it’s still standing and works like a charm. Just thought I’d give you guys a shot out and thanks for saving me a ton of loot. I’ve put it to good use.

  46. You guys gave me the idea of building my rack. As a post stated above, I was able to purchase all a materials from Mcmaster Carr. The only problem that i came across was the fact that it had a lot of sway, front to back and side to side. A couple of the angle brackets for the angle iron and that problem was solved.
    I hope to be building a v2 with sides and top, maybe a door for the front soon.

  47. Excellent, i love this stuff!. my first project, we made our own office desks with built in flat panel monitor under a glass top. to mount we used 5″ steel flat bar, cut to about 12″, then put wholes like a domino double four… – for monitor, following the EISA standard, 4 holes in a square 100mm centres (75mm smaller monitors) and then another 4 holes for bolts to attach to desk. the metal domino were bent into a V shape and attached to monitor and then bolted under glass top of desk to angled nicely for viewing. the metal monitor mount and screws cost about 70p each but the desk cost had overruns and cost more like 120 pounds each. next time i get desk cost down 😉

  48. Awesome rack build guys. Have you found that the price of server racks has come down a lot recently? I realize that this was several years ago when you made the rack but would you still consider building a server rack again or look for another method.
    I’ve heard that an old bakers bread rack works well. Do you have any tips to build your own server

  49. I was actually looking to make a secondary rack for demonstration purposes at my local company, then haul it around for more broad demonstrations. I enjoy going around the city I live in and showing them how much they can save by using the chea.. sorry “Cost effective” concepts. If you could, I’d like to have you send me an email with all of the photos? I could make a PDF document with measurements and things of that nature before I go building it myself (no money at the moment) and throw all the credit back your way.

  50. Pingback: vaptistika
  51. Fantastic website and How to!!!
    Im planning to build me own rack.
    Not sure to buy one or make one.
    Already have a design in mind.
    Plan to put on 16TB for NAS with bonded NIC’s for data IO running off a flash or ssd.

    If you dont mind me asking–what font are you using for this site. I LOVE IT!.

    Take care.

  52. Yeah, the front of a server or other rack-mount appliance is not structural. Appliances are meant to either be supported in the rear, or have a rail that the whole thing slides into, that mounts in both the front and the back. With rails, the front holes of an appliance are to just keep it from sliding in and out. Some are bolted in, and some have a quick-release type of system.

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