14 March, 2018

DIY 20u server rack. Prepping and planning.

As life progresses my requirements for the home office are changing fairly quickly. What was once going to be a shared office space, IT training lab, and music studio is being forced into being converted into a guest room and home office.

This means the large 4 foot LAN rack and the wall mounted switch rack just aren't workable anymore. What I'm going to have to do is move the computer armoire from the bedroom into here this will has the monitor keyboard mouse and printer as well as a docking station for the laptops.

The real meat of the matter and where massive things are changing is the entire structured wiring is going to stay on the mount board but the mount board switch rack and all are being mounted in the closet and the desktop computers are going to be converted to rack mount as is the RAID cabinet.

This is a fairly massive change as I have already started pulling the ethernet telephone and coaxial cabling as you would already know if you watch my videos.

Now I can fairly easily go out and buy a prefabricated 20u four post server rack for about $175 but that just wouldn't be Dave's Workshop. No I'm going to have to make one.

Now I'm not much for metal work it's just not my thing so what I did was I went out to Amazon and sourced up two pairs of 20u rack rails. They were less than $30 a pair after taxes. I have way more than enough screws for this job but I still need to go to Home Depot for some supplies.

It's hard to believe but I am down to only one 2 by 4 in my inventory so I need to buy three more that's straight and dry as possible. I will also need a can of brush-on gloss black acrylic enamel. Yes I could do this with spray paint but I don't really want to.

The dimensions that the frame has to enclose is 19 and 5/8 wide by 35 and 1/4 High by 30 in deep. The height is 1/4 inch over the standard however I am wanting a little bit of Slack to allow 4 Non standard size components.

My idea is to get some adjustable depth rails that will act as shelves for the desktop Pcs, and stack them up along the rack. The cheap cases I got actually come right in at 4u high, I have a small mini ATX based system that is being used as the storage controller and cluster front end and of course the RAID cabinet itself which will be placed on a deep 19 in rack Shelf.

The cluster switches will be moved into this rack so that all of the components for cluster are in this rack. That leaves the TV coax distribution the 24-port ethernet switch and its associated cables the telephone distribution the cable modem the Wi-Fi router and the VoIP adapters to go into the switch rack which will be mounted immediately over the server rack.

the server rack build will be the subject of a video on my channel and will be linked here. The process should be fairly simple however I want to show it being done with as minimal of tools as possible so my plan can be followed by pretty much anybody. I will be using a circular saw a rafter Square a clamp a cheap cordless drill drill bits countersinks a driver bit and a sander.

I will have to double back on this post to give credit for the inspiration rack build as this is not entirely my idea I mean yes I had the general idea in mind but I didn't really have the dimensions squared away right off the bat. There is a user that built one and use some Minwax dark stain of some kind is a finish for his I don't particularly want mine stained and unlike this other person I don't want mine on casters I want mine solidly on the floor.

So I will be posting up again somewhat shortly with some progress once the rails arrived from Amazon and the other stuff comes home from Home Depot with me.

And like always I will link the products I am using as much as possible if you would like to reproduce my project. Not all of the tools that I am using are on the market anymore such as my 1990's vintage skill saw has been replaced by a much newer model. And the Ryobi drill bit set that I have likewise has been replaced with a newer version I will however link that newer version. I am happy with the Ryobi bit set I should mention.

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