DIY Studio Rack: An Easy Project For Tight Budgets

Did you spend all your money on studio equipment, and you don’t have any left for a rack? Rest assured, I have just the right solution for you. You can easily build a DIY studio rack and keep your money in your pocket.

You’ll only need some materials that are likely already at your house. And the best thing is, the rack is easier than ever to build. You don’t need to have handymen skills to do it—only how to use a saw. Here are detailed steps.

Step 1: Choose the Wood

The first step to take when creating the DIY rack is choosing the wood you want to use. If you’re going to paint your rack, you can get away with any type of wood, even cheap types. That’s because the paint will hide the flaws. 

If you leave the wood bare, you’ll need to choose a nice-looking type.

When you choose the type of wood you want to use, get store-bought sheets, and determine the size of the rack you want to make.

Step 2: Cut the Sides

Before starting to cut the sides, lay out the dimensions of your rack. You can start with 16.75 inches for the top width, 19.5 inches for the bottom width, and 29.5 inches for the height. Of course, you can change these according to your preference.

Starting from the bottom width, make a mark at 3 inches for the kick plate. At this point, the rack’s frame will start slanting. Next, draw a line between the top width’s end and the kick plate’s top, which is the 3-inch mark.

You won’t need to make extra cuts if your wood pieces have straight edges. Now, you should start cutting the sides according to the dimensions you set earlier. For this step, a table saw will be ideal, but any saw you have will work. All you need to do is provide some kind of a straight edge in a parallel position to the line you’ll cut for reference.

Start cutting the bottom and top pieces, keeping the angled cut at the end. 

Once you’re done, do a once-over to make sure the piece you cut is symmetric, then start cutting the other side.

Step 3: Cut the Kickplate and the Lid

When preparing for cutting the kickplate, mark three inches for the height and around 19 ⅛ inches for the width. You can make it at 19 inches, but if you need to get a 19-inch piece of gear inside, it’ll get lodged. So it’s better to leave extra room.

You’ll want to cut two kick plates, one for the back and one for the front. Most people have studio racks with only one, but I recommend having a kickplate on the back for stability.

When you have the dimensions laid out and the sheets prepared, cut the kick plates using your saw, exactly as you did with the sides.

Moving on to the lid, mark 18 inches for its length and 22 inches for its width. Again, you can change the dimensions as you see fit; I’m just giving you an average.

When planning the lid’s dimensions, you can choose to have it close flush on the sides or have an overhang of one or two inches. Generally, leaving extra inches for the overhang gives a better look for the rack overall, but it depends on your preference.

Make your marks at the dimensions and cut the lid as you did with the sides and kick plate before.

Step 4: Cut the Bottom

When cutting the bottom, you should take into consideration the positioning you prefer. You may have it sit inside the rack’s sides and kickplate for a more aesthetic look, and you may have it under the sides. In both cases, make sure to adjust the dimensions accordingly.

If you’re placing it inside the sides, leave 18 inches for the length from the front to the back and 19 ⅛ inches for the width from side to side. Afterward, cut the bottom using the saw, as you did with the previous pieces. 

Now, you should have everything cut and ready for assembly. If you’re painting your wood, now would be the right time to do it. Make sure to put as many coats as the wood needs and leave it to dry for a sufficient time.

Step 5: Put Everything Together

After you’re done cutting, painting, and preparing the wood, it’s time to think of a good way to put everything together. For one, you can use elbow brackets, which add an aesthetic look to your rack. However, these aren’t the most durable, and they may come apart after a while.

Alternatively, you can use nails to connect all the parts, but you’ll need a nail gun for that. It’s also worth noting that using a nail gun will leave the nails bare. If you don’t like nails gouging out of your rack and ruining its exterior look, opt for an alternative connection method. 

For example, you can use elbow brackets and add glue in the seams for stability. Or, you can just use wood fillers to hide the holes the nail gun will cause.

When assembling the rack, start with the bottom, attaching it to the kick plates. Then, add the sides, following them by the lid.

If it’s your first time cutting wood, you may find some edges not lining up properly. If there’s an extra inch or something, you can clean it off using the saw. Generally, the better saw you use at the start, the fewer modifications you’ll need to do later.

To Wrap Up

Creating a DIY studio rack isn’t a hard process. If you know how to use a saw, you’re halfway there. Even if you don’t, watching a couple of tutorials or asking a friend for help ought to do it.

Remember to plan all the dimensions before starting to prevent having extra edges at the end. And make sure to wear your protective gear when using the saw.