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:
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|
|box of 1/4-20 2inch blots with nuts||5.47||5.47|
|1-3/8inch 3foot steel plates x2||5.12||10.24|
*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.
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.