Sunday, 11 September 2016

Ikea RAST 6U rack case

For about a year or so, I've had a couple of rack sized effects units on my table that were being used for live jamming for my MiniBrute; a Behringer Virtualizer and an Alesis Microverb 4. For the longest time, they have been taking up space on the side of my room in a non-optimal place to store and use them, so I have been looking for another solution.

Step in the Ikea RAST, a cheap side table with an amazing feature: it's 19" wide, the perfect fit for a rack unit. Just add some 6U metal rack rails and M6 bolts and you can convert this into a 6U rack unit - the cheapo wood preserver from B&Q was a couple of quid so in total the project was only £15 if only.

I can't take any credit for being able to build this, as I completely followed the great Instructables how-to for the 6U version and managed to get hold of a Rast unit before they were discontinued in the UK.

Putting the unit together, but not fully together so we can take it apart easily for painting. 
Offering up the rack units on the inside of the side table. I measured 10mm at the bottom edge and used the racks and some pencil markings for the screw holes. After putting the marks in I used the tip of a wood screw to make some pilot holes.
Taking it all apart before using the wood preserver on each section
Putting it all back together once it had a good coat of wood preserver and screwing the rack ends on. As you can see, it comes together very easily - obviously your mileage will vary but it took about 20 minutes to coat all four pieces of wood and 50 minutes for this to dry. 
All done! Plenty of space for the couple of rack units I have and loads of space for other units, trays etc. What's nice about this is that I can put things on top of the table as was originally intended by Ikea, plus a unique way to put the rack unit gear in.
I've already asked my dad if he has any rack unit gear to add to this, plus there's plenty of cheap accessories for under a tenner each from Amazon.

If you want a cheap audio rack, there are some quite cheap alternatives on Amazon that are worth a look at. I have seen one of these in the flesh from Stagg that is also under £15, but the practical advantage of the Rast is that you can use it as a normal piece of furniture regardless of how many rack units you're using.

The biggest problem as I can see is the availability of the Rast side table. It's still available in the US, but as it's probably at least triple the cost to ship one to the UK, an alternative to the Rast needs to be found. Some ideas are:

HOL Side table:

50cm wide, but not sure how wide the end legs are so potentially could be just too small.

LACK table:

Cheap and would work, but apparently the legs are not constructed so that they are strong enough to deal with the weight.