Building an equipment rack from scratch

I need help/suggestions for building an equipment rack that will hold my cdp, int. amp, and down the road, a turntable. I'm sort of limited for space widthwise but the depth isn't a problem. I have a very large Krell kav300i (19"Wx15"D), the cdp is an Arcam CD72 wich is the standard 17" wide. I already have a design in mind but would like some help making it "better" sonically.
My idea is to use 2" thick maple for the shelves which would measure approx. 21"Wx17"D. I also want the system to be modular so each shelf unit will be made seperately. Each shelf will be supported by three aluminum/steel? legs. One at the back in the middle and one on either side close to the front. The legs will come up flush to the top of each shelf and then extend down about 6-8". The first shelf will have Mapleshade threaded carpet piercing brass feet. All the shelves will basically be identical apart from not having the carpet piercing feet, just the regular Heavyfeet. The tops of the legs, which will be either solid or hollow to allow for filling, will have little dimples that the above shelve and brass feet can align up with. The legs will be fastened to the maple shelves using steel? plates welded perpendicular to legs on which the malpe will sit. I will notch out the underside of the maple so that the plates are hidden an then they will be screwed up into the maple. I will also notch the sides of the shelves to receive half of the round legs. The legs will be about 1.5" in diameter.
I hope that I have described this well enough to get some suggestions. The reason I decided on this design is that I can "build on it", meaning I can build another unit down the road and simply sit on top of the current shelves. As I said above, the idea is to eventually get into vinyl. I don't yet know which turntable I will be getting but I am on a limited budget so it will be something like a rega p3. This will obviously make a difference on the size.
One other note. I am also considering making the first two shelves as one unit to save on having to buy three more brass feet.
Any suggestions, especially on materials to use, would be very welcome as I am relatively new to this whole HiFi thing but I want to make sure that all the equipment is properly seperated.
Thanks in advance!
Just a quick addition. I am on a limited budget and also looks will play a role in its final design.
Thanks again
Go to home depot get a 1/2 sheet(2x8) MDF or plywood and some 5/8" threaded rods 3ft long and some nuts and you got a Salamander clone. I make one a while ago and have it listed here so you can see fotos of it
I have actually already made one of those out of 3/4" walnut plywood edged with solid walnut. I used 3/4" threaded rod painted black on all four corners and one in the back middle. Right now I have my tv, center channel, dvd player, receiver, and my cd player and integrated amp on it. The reason I want to build this other rack is so I can lower my tv and have my 2ch stereo equipment seperated from my ht stuff.
ive done the DIY rack thing & in the end it ended up costing more than a factory rack.

do a search on VTI here on the gon or ebay,mel has some real nice racks on the cheap too.

Your idea of using the 2" thickness material fro the shelves is a good idea if you plan to have good strong supports. The thick shelve only will benefit you for resonance control if the legs are sufficent. In other words the weak link in the chain should be the shelves as they will only be as strong as the foundation. I would look at using the threaded rod but cut some pipe or tubing of a rest the shlves on and use the threaded rod to keep them tight together. I think once you price this all out you will find that BigJoe is on target.
Thanks for the feedback. I've never seen the VTI racks before, but they are basically the exact design I had in my head! I'm sure that my rack will end up being more expensive than the VTI racks, but I enjoy building things and I like the idea of building something custom and to my own specs.
Bigjoe, I noticed you have a lot of equipment sitting on your rack; how sturdy is the three leg set up?
If and when I finaly do build this I'll make sure to post some pics.
I would advise against the three leg design, the leg in the back center will just get in the way of cables. It's partly the reason I'm going to make my own rack, but of a different design with the assitance of a furniture builder. Still trying to decide on which wood to use.
After building several different racks for family and friends and learning quite a bit along the way, i would have built them very differently now. I'll try to go into detail later as to what i would change, but suffice it to say that many of the racks that i've already built were similar to what you are describing here. I'd be glad to share what i think could be improved upon later, i just don't have the time to be specific right now. Sean
I have been considering going with a four leg design because of the reason you just desribed. On the Krell int. amp, all the inputs are right in the middle. The set up I have right now has a back center support which does get in the way. One of the reasons I wanted the three leg design was that it seems that all the "spiked feet" come in packs of three. Does anyone know of any manufacturers that sell in sets of four?
I look forward to hearing your ideas.
pilotboy,the VTI racks are ungodly sturdy,before i placed my mc2102 on the top shelf i climbed on top & stood with no problem,very stable.

ive had upwards of 1,000 lbs of gear on my rack before i changed systems & it held it all without so much as a wobble or a creak.

i think that vti way under rates the weight limits of their racks.
I've never seen or heard of the VTI racks before. They appear to be very cost effective for what you get. If you don't mind answering some questions Joe ( or anyone else that is familiar with them ), can you help us out here?

Are the shelves free floating or are they secured to the framework in some manner?

If free floating, are they sitting on upturned spikes, some type of mounting tabs that are spaced apart or is there an inner lip that runs along the entire frame that they drop down onto?

What material is the framework made out of?

The ad that i saw showed that the framework is sand or metal fillable/ Are they talking about just the vertical pillars or can the horizontal bracing also be accessed?

Any and all responses appreciated. Sean
I will be building the first part of this rack hopefully this weekend. I've decided on three inch thick maple for the bottom shelf which will hold my integrated amp. I ended up getting a pretty good deal on four Mapleshade carpet piercing footers here on A'gon so I might end up making the rack with four legs??? I'll post some pictures when it's done under "my system". Dylan
Good to hear regarding the VTI racks. They used to be very common on E-Bay and I almost bought one once. Sight unseen, I always questioned if they were junk trying to use a name that sounded like VPI.
Just wanted to add that a three legged rack can have two legs on one side and one on the other side. As opposed to front and back. By the way look for bargains on shelf material. They closed out John Boos 24by 18 by 1.5 at home depot at $14 each. Got the last 3. Still have not built them up. As Bigjoe said I found a great deal on a zoethecus and why bother. Go to italian site with some cool flexy pics.
I made my own rack out of commercial grade heavy gauge aluminum tubing and angle line at 3/16" wall thickness.Fasteners and other accessories are all of stainless steel.It's sand or lead fillable however is very heavy unfilled.It still needs to be anodized in black or clear.All shelves are 1/2" glass to keep the look but considering other material options.All shelves are level udjustable.I had a thread detailing the construction techniques(under Misc Audio)back in Sep-Oct 2004 but can no longer find it.It was a challenge to make I must admit,more of a labor of love.