Shelving Unit for Home Network Closet

Discussion in 'DIY and Makers Spot' started by IamSpartacus, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    I'm in search of a tall shelving unit (with at least 4 shelves) that I can use to house some network equipment (2 switches, firewall, etc.), a Cube mATX chassis or two, and various other parts. All the shelving units I've seen that can hold any kind of weight don't have solid shelves. I want to easily be able to place devices with feet on these shevles. I'll also need to be able to screw the unit into the wall for extra support.

    What are some of you using in your homes?
     
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  2. K D

    K D Well-Known Member

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    Look for Edsal and hdx brands in home depot. My neighbor uses one. Holds a few tower cabinets and switches.
     
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  3. Blinky 42

    Blinky 42 Active Member

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    I have a number of the edsel shelves as well (they had a different brand name when I got them at Lowes, but the same actual units).
    Shop edsal 72-in H x 72-in W x 24-in D 5-Tier Steel Freestanding Shelving Unit at Lowes.com

    Few variants on # of shelves and size, but you can buy a few sets to have more skinny shelves in a single unit if you want.

    They are sturdy enough to hold several 4U servers on a single shelf w/o it bowing over time, the rating on each shelf is like 500lbs+ depending on the model.

    only drawback that isn't apparent unless they have a demo unit setup is there is a still a bit of a lip up from the metal "tray" that the shelf is formed from that the pressbaord sits in. It is only a problem if you have things sticking out over the edge, the metal presses into the thing on the shelf at the edge or you can't just slide a heavy object right off the shelf w/o picking it up a little to get over the lip.
    Easy to works around with an extra piece of plywood or something if it is an issue for what you want to do.
     
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  4. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm...So I just measured the space and it's smaller than I had first thought. It's only about 27" wide. I can't seem to find any solid shelf units for under 36" wide.
     
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  5. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    What are the dimension constraints exactly?

    What's wrong with the steel wire shelving units that are commonly on sale at home depot and ebay? These seem to be popular among miners, and other DIY home labs...

    I use these to store 1/4 to 1/2" thick steel parts on as well as engine accessories, etc, they sag but hold and that is only 2 touch-points. With your 4 legs it would be easy to load and unload as well as not destabilize the entire rack. The weight I know is not a concern.
     
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  6. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    The exact dimensions of the closet are 102" H x 27" W " x 24" D. I've hesitated to buy one of the wire shelving because I often store a lot of small items on the shelves and would prefer a flat service for this. But At this point it doesn't look like I'll have much choice based on the available options.
     
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  7. Netwerkz101

    Netwerkz101 Active Member

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    If it's your property or you are allowed to modify it, why not make
    simple shelves using 1/2 - 3/4" inch plywood sitting on 2"x2" blocks ?

    Another option: If you find a non-solid surface unit you like/fits, just line it with
    a thin board (1/4" plywood or particle board).
     
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  8. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    Using 1/4" plywood on the shelves is a good idea. As for building my own shelves, it's just not in the cards. I'm good at many things, but having the patience for things like this is not one of them.
     
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  9. pc-tecky

    pc-tecky Member

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    Ikea's Hejne using the wider wooden soft pine shelving storage units has nearly perfect dimensions (~20" Deep(/Wide) x~31" Wide(/Deep) x ~5' Height; shelves are $14 USD for 2-pack of 30-3/8" x 18-1/2" with lag screw hardware, & $6 USD for 2-pack of posts, $1 for 2-pack of plastic "feet"), but it will need reinforcement to reduce wobble all around (2x4 wood studs, 1/2" C-channel or angled iron/aluminum, or wire braces, etc.) Pre-drilled shelve spacing is ~5" center to center, or just under 3-3/4" high between installed 1-1/4" square cross members on shelves. I posted a while back on this, something along the lines of "move over lack rack, hejne is here". It's stated shelving can handle ~100 lbs/shelve. reasonable for most mFlex, mATX, ITX sized systems and switches. Easily fits 12x, maybe eek 13x or 14x, 2u systems with a minor mod (drill holes) for one additional shelve at the very bottom just above plastic feet. Of course with every other shelve gone, 6x 4U systems should fit just fine with an ~1-3/4" of clearance, or 8-3/4" between shelves.

    Borrowing the design and using a hardwood would also work just as well, if you have the tools and are so inclined. Good luck!
     
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  10. pc-tecky

    pc-tecky Member

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    Well, on second thought... In a closet with 24" x 27" is not much room.. Plenty of room for most switches, but a gap in the back or a missing corner for power and heat to escape might be needed. You will be hard pressed to get a traditional 4U server in that space, my Intel chassis for the dual Xeon E5-2670 is ~25" not accounting for cables and knobs, etc. maybe that 1/4" thick solid brown hardboard, similar to peg board, material on top of wire shelving might do the trick. Still thinking that the "cubbies" from plywood would be reasonably quick and easy to put together given that the walls are plumb and square and the side wall plywood panels are equally cut true and square. If walls are not plumb and square, then using 3/4" all around will allow say ~1/4" wiggle room with reasonable support on the three sides. Left panel, Right panel, with Rear panel helping to keep left and right panels in place, a few nails or screws to keep things in place and gravity does the rest building as many layers as needed. The key to such a system is making sure the first layer is level and reasonably square, once that is done, the rest is fairly easy.
     
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  11. pc-tecky

    pc-tecky Member

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    Well, on second thought... In a closet with 24" x 27" is not much room.. Plenty for most switches, might need a gap in the back gaps or a missing corner for power and heat to escape. You will be hard pressed to get a traditional 4U server in that space, my Intel chassis for the dual Xeon E5-2670 is ~25" not accounting for cables and knobs, etc. Using 1/2" thick x 8" tall plywood on the sides and the back wall with 3/4" plywood with 1-1/2" tall hardwood trim to cover and support the front exposed end of the plywood might work.. err, but not so inclined.. ok, scratch that?!? maybe that 1/4" thick solid brown hardboard, similar to peg board, material on top of wire shelving might do the trick. Still thinking that the "cubbies" from plywood would be reasonably quick and easy to put together given that the walls are plumb and square and the side wall plywood panels are equally cut true and square. If walls are not plumb and square, then using 3/4" all around will allow say ~1/4" wiggle room with reasonable support on the three sides. Left panel, Right panel, with Rear panel helping to keep left and right panels in place, a few nails or screws to keep things in place and gravity does the rest building as many layers as needed. The key to such a system is making sure the first layer is level and reasonably square, once that is done, the rest is fairly easy.
     
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