Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Instrument Case Rack

I’ve been thinking about building an instrument case rack for my local jam, but I haven’t been able to come up with any decent plans. I found this model for purchase online and it looks relatively easy to copy,

but I was wondering if any of you guys had any better-easier-faster-prettier-cheaper plans.

I have considered making something similar. I like the peg idea for adjustable divider width. I made some bookshelves years ago using dowels for the shelves and backs, and I ran into a bit of a problem in that the dowels wanted to sag a bit. I might be inclined to replace the dowels with little T beams made up of something like a 1X3 and a 1X1.5. That should mitigate issues with sagging and warping.

One other thing I was thinking is that I am probably going to mount it on a wall. I’d probably need more than the one cross piece in the back as a result. Maybe I ought to weld the thing together :slight_smile:

I’m not sure I’m following you on the dowel sagging. Were the dowels on your bookshelves weight-bearing or did the dowel holes just get reamed out from use?

I wish I had a picture. The dowels were weight bearing. On your picture of the case rack, the two bottom rails that support the bottom of the cases appear to be dowels. They may not be, but that is what they look like to me. I made a couple bookcases that each “shelf” was actually four dowels, three to support the bottom of the books and one to support the back of the books (the shelf was tilted back). The only wood boards were the end pieces and one or two back braces. The dowels were plenty rigid to begin, but over time, they weren’t up to the task. It was a shame too… the bookcases were pretty sweet looking. :cry:

By the way, you have inspired me… once we get past the holidays, making a case rack is certainly on my list of things to do (somewhere on the list).

I’ve been eyeing those bottom rails as a potential weak spot in the design, too. Especially since I need a pretty wide rack.

Even though the rails look like dowels in this picture, from other pictures, it appears that they are made of 1x4’s with the front rail tilted so that the cases sit on the edge of the board (the 1" side) for extra rigidity. If the rack wasn’t too wide, and if the rails were made from hardwood, that might be good enough, though I like your idea of making a small T-beam, too.

Also, it looks like the bottom rails are just bolted on with a butt joint, which might be another weak spot. I found another design with mortise-and-tenon joints on the rails, but I don’t know if the extra work would be necessary or not.

Why don’t you make yours first so I can learn from your mistakes? :stuck_out_tongue:

Good thoughts on the butt joint. If you wanted to to make it pretty, mortise and tenon would be good. If you wanted to make it real pretty, you could extend the tenon through the side and pin it with a contrasting piece of wood.
If you just wanted the strength, you could make a cleat that would support the bottom rails (alternately some little metal “L” brackets). I hate hanging weight on screws, but if there are a few of them they are pretty resilient. If going the cleat rout, the cleat could be big enough to support the front and back rails and could be glued as well as screwed.

A cleat is a good idea -way easier than mortise-and-tenon- and shouldn’t be too obtrusive either. Might have to use individual cleats, though, since the rails are at different angles.

Here are a couple more pics I found.[attachment=2]rack.jpg[/attachment]You can see the angle of the front rail here.

These next two are both listed as deluxe models, but they’re designed differently.

This one has an extra back board and a beefed up front rail (a T system, it seems)[attachment=1]rack2.jpg[/attachment]

This one also has the extra back board, but just a single front rail (and it’s not edgewise, either).[attachment=0]rack3.jpg[/attachment]

Looks like all the models use veneered pressed board for the book ends. I have enough red oak left over from another project to make the rails, back boards and dowels. I bet if I picked up a half sheet of red oak plywood I could make both book ends out of it (the manufacturer lists the dimensions as 37-1/4" x 23-14"). Then I’d just have to figure out how to finish the plywood edges.

Thanks for the additional photos. They make quite a variety.

I haven’t used it, but I guess the most common way to treat the edge would be with the edge banding. Here’s some options from woodcraft: … %20banding

While we are talking supplies, I have used Niagara lumber for furniture lumber and have always loved the woods I get from them. Just figured I’d give them a plug.

In looking at the design, I might do something much simpler on the bookends. Basically just a triangle. If you did that, you could cover the edges with a strip of wood.

A right triangle with a cap strip is an interesting idea. I could probably get by with a quarter sheet of plywood and save the cost of the banding,too, but it would sure change the look of the rack.

Thanks for the links. I’ve used Woodcraft before, but wasn’t aware of Niagra.

If ya boys get to working on mine real quick you can still have it delivered to me for my present by the 25th!


:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Actually, that’s not a bad idea for a gift next year for some picking buddies. I am sure I’ll forget by then, but it’s a great idea.

— Begin quote from "Oldhat"

If ya boys get to working on mine real quick you can still have it delivered to me for my present by the 25th!

— End quote

Aww, man, I thought about making you a case rack, but I got you a nose flute instead. Maybe next year!


Hey you guys ever hang up your guitars on the wall? I never have…was always worried about using a single mount with the weight pulling down on my instrument causing neck stress. I know they do that in all the stores, but is it a practice one should keep or am I just worrying to much?

I do hang them, and according to everyone I have ever heard from on the subject, it is perfectly fine to do. The neck is a big ole chunk of wood.

The only problems I have had with having instruments on stands alot is finish reaction. I had one stand that made some gummy spots in the nitro. I contacted the stand maker and they had changed compounds for the contact points and sent me a new stand. I said “Wow. Thanks. It messed up my guitar and I get a replacement stand” The gummy spots turned out to be shallow and they rubbed out with a little elbow grease.

— Begin quote from "mreisz"

Actually, that’s not a bad idea for a gift next year for some picking buddies. I am sure I’ll forget by then, but it’s a great idea.

— End quote

Mike if you will include us “virtual” picking buddies into the idea then we will be sure to remind ya!


Did not find a nose flute in either my stocking nor under my tree…guess Rudolph musta’ found it and kept it for personal use, you know, he does have an awful famous nose!


I’m just imagining Rudolph with a Nose PIMP :open_mouth:

I’m assuming from all the preceding that the rack mount is intended to be kept in one place and not transported, correct? Seems it would be a large difficult shape to fit into a vehicle (though maybe not y’alls big pickerps!)

My immediate thought was to replace the dowels with metal tube with threaded rod at ends that would go through the end pieces with a wind-on knob (like you sometimes get on foldup lawnmowers). Not as purty as the timber but strong and easier to dismantle to transport.

I wasn’t so concerned about portability, but your idea would certainly make it easier to handle. I’m thinking I’ll build it and move it just once.

I’m getting nothing done right now, though, what with the distraction of the holidays. I haven’t even got around to restringing my dobro.

well fellas,i like the case rack idea .heres a little input on design. instead of plywood with a vaneer and edge strip(which with time might peel and lift,how about 1 in. planks edge planed and glued together using biscuits? sanded smooth and a couple coats of stain and if you match the grain it’ll look like one piece of wood.i did that when i built my kitchen cabinets.