Audiophile audio rack

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Touch base with him for his preferences.  Audio units I have built either include rollers so that the whole rig can swing away from the wall or flat "pullouts" that allow access to the connections on the equipment.  If he already has fans setup to move air around his Mac you may be able to integrate fastening locations for him.  Your nice open design will help avoid heat build up.

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It may not seem like much progress but I have now cut to length and planed all of the Hard Rock Maple, straight lined the edges of all boards on the tablesaw, and run every edge on the jointer.  These boards are heavy and I'm worn out!! LOL!

Running the Curly Maple on the jointer was a bit iffy since I have straight blades but they are razor sharp and I took very light passes.  The edges came out very clean with very minor tear out in a couple of places but they're in the middle of the edge so it's not going to be an issue.  I considered getting a Shelix head for the jointer - PM 54A - but since this worked I'll do that upgrade later (maybe).

I have another project I need to move to this afternoon and that may prevent me from gluing these boards today to get the 23" width but they're ready for that step.



More later!

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If I can reduce it (substantially) then that's really going to help.  I can work around minor tear out in the finishing process but these are relative craters as it stands now.

I'd hate to wet the wood and introduce an opportunity for rust on my jointer.  I spent several days removing rust from this jointer when I bought it and don't want to do that again. ;)


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The knives are razor sharp, might have seen five linear feet of Walnut face grain.  The faces of each board were planed with a segmented cutterhead so they're all good, but I have to joint the edges and if this was just a glue joint they would be fine as is. But this is the front edge and is the 'show' edge top shelf of the audio rack.  It has to be as perfect as it can be. 

When I initially ran these across the jointer I spot checked each board and about 90% of the edge is good, I should've looked closer at each edge.  But there are a few areas where I got the tear out and I need that to go away.


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  • 2 months later...

Ok, I'm back on the audio rack after installing the Shelix cutterhead in my jointer over the weekend.  Today I cleaned up the edges on the three Curly Maple boards, one pass each.  Because I bought the cutterhead with bearings installed and 15 extra knives the cost with shipping was $400 and it took about five weeks to arrive (backordered).  So that's about $67 per pass but wow do the edges look good! :D

Here are the chipped edges - 

And the edges I just cut today with the new Shelix cutterhead -


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I know some folks love their knifed machines.  I harbor a secret suspicion that the only person who doesn't prefer an insert head doesn't have one.  My jointer head paid for itself in 18 months based on my normal sharpening and replacement schedule for knives.

Certainly it is rare for a surface to get out of the shop coming straight off a machine but, the smoother the result off the milling machines, the less work to take me to being finish-ready.  I have heard a funny thing a time or two.  Something to the effect that knives are okay in your jointer but, use an insert head in your planer since you always plane after you joint and this will take care of any tearout from the jointer. 

Personally I really don't want to plane away 3/16" to get rid of the tearout from my knifed jointer on tiger maple; makes no sense to me.  I haven't done the math but, it has been enough years that I am sure I have paid for both the jointer and planer heads through better yield on expensive figured materials not to mention trips to the sharpener and knife replacements once they have lived their usable life.

Glad the head is working for you and I am jealous of you working with that beautiful material.

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That material is beautiful.

I still gear tear out from time to time on my HH cutter head jointer on maple but that's generally because i'm running grain the wrong way. My inserts are probably getting dull close to the fence where I do a lot of edge jointing but they still work. I haven't rotated an insert yet and I've had the jointer almost 4 years now.

The other oddity i've noticed from helical heads is they tend to direct the material in a direction. Both the planer and jointer want to push the material in the direction of the spiral. For the jointer that's towards the fence. For my planer it's to the left. It's more annoying on the planer as i often have to direct boards to make sure they don't rotate too much. It's still extremely minor though, i don't even notice any more.

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I may make a video of the entire build once this is complete, not sure, video production takes a while. ;)

Finally got to a point where I could begin joining the boards for the shelves and started with the Hard Rock Maple.  I'll save the much more expensive Curly Maple for the last in case I learn something new when I join these boards.  

Because these are heavy and the edges so crisp they're sharp I decided to do one joint at a time rather than attempt gluing all three boards at once.  That turned out to be a good move because doing just one joint is about all the open time I have for TB I, probably could have switched to TB III to get more open time but didn't want to do that.

I used biscuits for making certain everything stays aligned, not for strength, and it worked well for this application.






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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

It has been ages since I've posted about this project but it is now finished and delivered. There were many delays due to other contracts and jobs with hard deadlines so this got set aside many times (this one had no deadline). Even though it is completed and delivered I'll still post the steps to build and finished photos at the customer's house. And you're not going to believe how high-end his audio system is - amazing!

Laying out the Purpleheart legs for cutting on the CNC. I don't have a flat bottom blade for the table saw and since I have the CNC it just made sense to use that to ensure all the cuts were uniform.


Here are the toolpath profiles for the cuts I made on the CNC -



And the setup on the CNC to prevent blowout when the bit cut through -


Here are the five legs after cutting on the CNC and beveling the top and bottom surfaces on the table saw -


More later - 

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Test fit assembly - 


Drill press guide stand for drilling adjustable feet pockets - 


Drilling for adjustable feet - 


Legs ready for adjustable feet - 


Curly Maple edge on middle shelf - 


Testing for best leg location - 


Flip stands for spraying second side of shelves - you can see these in action here


Threaded inserts in place - 


More later - 

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