Any woodworkers wanna offer some advice?

My current living room system uses a pair of VT-100s to drive a pair of Proac 3.8s. I wanted to swap the VT-100s for a D-400 I have upstairs and use the VT-100s elsewhere, but... the D-400 doesn't fit in my solidsteel rack. I briefly considered buying myself a Mig welder and some square steel tubing, but then I remembered I don't know how to weld.

Since I'm sort of casting about for fun projects, I thought of building a rack that is more consistent with the rest of the furniture in my living room--mostly Stickley Mission oak. I'm thinking of a 3 "unit" width rack with two shelves and a top; six 2" x 2" columns with 3/4" W x 1" H shelf supports running along the bottom/middle/top of the front/back, and then similar stretchers running front-to-back. My concept was to sink some metal discs into the stretchers close to the columns, and support some 21" W x 22" D x 1" H granite slabs on cones resting on the discs. I'd build the thing with quartersawn white oak, mortise and tenon joinery, and probably epoxy some nuts in the bottom of the columns to allow me to use screw in cones for leveling the whole thing.

I don't want to build a closed rack; I tend to like the access provided by open racks and the cooling can't hurt either. I know people use a lot of maple in audio related applications; is white oak going to be bad for any reason? Given that I'm probably talking about $1K in granite, is there something better to use? I like the look and the weight of granite, but would, say, corian be better? I know Wilson makes its speakers with corian, but don't know if that means anything one way or the other. Any other suggestions?
Choose whatever wood you like the looks of. For open shelves quarter sawn (straight grained) might provide better stability and go with your craftman style furniture also. Good luck
Most people use maple because it tends to absorbe vibration a bit more than some woods, has a tight grain and is a harder wood what you want for a rack. Stay away from pine it is ok but a bit soft I think unless you want to use alot of wood, if you want to go that rout popler is like pine a bit harder and a green tint sometimes, the nice thing is it is cheap. Oak is cheap and hard also but has a ruffer finish and you see the grain.
Instead of inserting nuts into the bottom you may want to find the proper threaded inserts that the speaker companys use. Some are better than others and some just wallow right out under the weight. I know that Salamander has a steel coupling that threads the spikes and support rods for their Archetype series. If you drilled a 2 1/2" deep hole you could insert these for a very stable rack.

Good luck with the project!

Zeineth2 suggested that I throw my $0.02 to this conversation. Feel free to contact me at rhwoodworker {atsign} cox {period} net if you want more info.

White oak would probably be fine. Unlike red oak, it actually looks good, particularly if you show off the quarter grain by rotating those 2" legs 90-degrees. I.e., flat grain side goes left and right, 1/4 grain goes front-to-back... that way you'll more likely see the fleck pattern of white oak. I could look up the specific density of white oak if you'd like, but the density and hardness just might approach hard maple.

If you'd like to keep with the arts & crafts look, consider through tenons, wedged tenons, or interlocking joinery instead of straight (and rather banal) M&T.

For the shelves, you could save a dung-pile of money (used to buy more albums or CDs) by getting MDF and doubling it up with West System epoxy. The shelves come out to 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" thick, weighing... I dunno, 25 pounds each? I did this on two audio racks that I *just* built for my home, and they're superb, rock solid. If I'm not mistaken, MDF deals with vibration quite a bit better than granite. I'm looking into building a layer of Sorbothane into shelves, but haven't done the research, yet.

Now, for the fun part: I'm a woodworker, but my wife is a decorative paint artist. If you want, we could discuss building doubled MDF shelves and having her paint them to look like granite, marble, or any of hundreds of other finishes. She's really quite remarkable in what she can do - the best around. On our racks, we just went with basic black, but she uses proprietary products that are the best in the business. She could give you the look of granite or marble, and the weight of MDF for a fraction of the price you'd pay for real rock.

That's a start. Shout out if you want to talk about this.

Best regards,

You might check out some of the systems here on Audiogon. There are plenty of DIY racks. The only one that comes to mind now is Dan_ed. Good luck.
Thanks Rob, very helpful answer. Would have answered before, but managed to sneak out to Jackson Hole for few days over the New Years...

I was going to go with through tenons on the outside legs and for the front-to-back stretchers on the inside legs. For a while I actually thought about trying to build some quadralinear posts with rayflake on all four sides, but decided that wasn't worth it...

Think I may end up using your MDF shelf concept. Since I was going with absolute black granite anyway, I think I can probably paint'em myself and get a decent finish. Seems like it makes sense to do the glue up before cutting the shelves to final size for the best finish.

Anyway, maybe I'll figure out how to post some pics when I'm all done! Thanks for the help.