Swing-away stereo cabinet design considerations

I am about to build a new AV cabinet out of some leftover mahogany-faced plywood. The old one has a lot of space that's useless now. Three feet of LP storage space and a bay large enough to accommodate a turntable with a hinged plastic cover. Definitely not sized for today's stuff. (-"
The big consideration for this unit is wire concealment and access to the back of each piece of equipment. I want to be able to easily reach and reconfigure the wiring so I was thinking of mounting the cabinet on casters. However I think a hinged, swing-away design that swung along a fixed path would keep the wires from getting pulled out inadvertently the way they might with a free-wheeling caster unit.
I thought of using a $10 steel jackpost as a "hinge pin" and routing cables through the many holes in the column and down through the floor into the basement where most of the AV cables go but there are a number of problems with that sort of design that concern gravity and material fatigue.
To swing out from a center hinge pole requires very strong shelves. I've seen hardware for circular staircases that looks sturdy enough to support cantilevered shelves but it's frightfully expensive. I could make my own out of various pipe brackets but the A/V equipment is heavy and it would take some serious bracing to keep the shelves from drooping on the unsupported side.
So after considering all that, I decided what I need is a traditional box shelving unit design but with a pivot point on one corner and casters on the other three so that it always swings out on a predictable path. That probably means drilling a screw through the carpet into the underlayment but that's OK to secure the pivot point - something like a closet pole hanger.
I also intend to design false shelf bottoms of about 6" on each shelf to accommodate power strips, surge protectors, X10 modules, wall wart power transformers and misc. wiring. The false bottoms will be open in the back and will probably be ventilated by a series of 90cm PC ventilation fans - they're pretty quiet. Not sure if the front of the false bottoms will be a strip of plywood or some sort of cloth grille to aid in ventilation.
The same is true for the back of the unit, which will have a false back that's about 6 to 8" from the wall it's pushed against, again for concealing wiring between the shelves. The shelves themselves will end about an inch before the false back so that wires can drop behind the shelf and into the false bottoms or false back.
I'd post a sketch but as powerful as modern PC's are, I've yet to find something that can take my arthritically challenged freehand drawing and clean them up the way Word can do for writing. (-;
Comments, suggestions, improvements and critiques welcome.
-- Bobby G.
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Unless you actually like music. No way am I ever parting with my vinyl collection, humble though it may be.
If I ever do build my custom equipment rack, the wall behind it will open up to provide ready access to wiring.
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Smitty Two wrote:

That's what my wife's former step father did when he built a house. One end of his "media room" backed up to a closet in an adjoining bedroom. His intent was to have an access door from the bedroom closet into the area behind the A-V components in the media room with sufficient space behind the components for him to move around.
The actuality turned out differently. He did build an access door in the wall between the two rooms but it isn't much use because he then hung clothes rods in a manner that prevents the opening of the door. Even if he could open it it wouldn't be much use; he left 60" of space of depth in the bifold door closet but only 24" for his A-V components.
Did I mention he was a dumb ass?
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

of
a
Eventually your hearing will decay until you can't hear any difference between vinyl, CDs or a cheap Chinese clock radio. DAMHIKT )-:
As much as I like my old vinyl (especially records never reissued on CD) it takes clean room precision to keep vinyl pristine. I digitized all the ones that have any collectible value so they're safe from dust, needle wear, etc. (-:
I used to be able to balance a 33RPM record on my index finger by the spindle hole to slide it into the dust jacket. Those days disappeared with my hair. LPs are just too vulnerable for my taste and as I age, the payoff of pushbutton convenient access to all of my music on PC from any room in the house outweighs the "presence" of vinyl I can no longer really hear.

The wall of the house or the back of the cabinet. Gutting a wall seems extreme, especially if you route most of the necessary cables through a hole or so through the floor or wall. Right now each large piece of gear is mounted on a ball-bearing raceway so I can swing them around fairly easily but that still doesn't give me the kind of access I need.
-- Bobby G.
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On 2/2/13 1:17 AM, Robert Green wrote:

A picture here of a farm gate. http://tinyurl.com/bj5ax4q The pivot point on the left supports the weight of the gate.
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of
a
the
casters.
path
http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4634270580213330&pid=1.7&w 9&h2&c=7&rs=1
Uses an interesting triangular brace that extends higher up on the hinge pole. It's been a long time since I've worked with such gates, but I recall they always sag and many had wire tensioners with turnbuckles to raise them back to square once the started sagging. That might be hard to accomplish in a stereo cabinet so I think I am going to use three 4" hidden casters and one fixed pivot point. I recall some gates had support rollers if ground under them was level and that's when I thought the massive jack column hinge idea had some limitations. (-: .
I didn't realize Bing was such a useful resource. I'll certainly check it when I am looking for how things are designed. Many of the fences were four or six-slat panels with simple X bracing. Some had interesting decorative arch tops that ride high on the hingepole to provide extra rigid support.
Now I have to decide where to place the pivot point under the cabinet so that it swings outward with the least amount of unwanted excursion into the space surrounding the cabinet. I think that will be in the front left corner but I'll probably print out a few templates of various design sizes and test how they'll fit and swing using a push-pin.
With a pivot point at the left rear, there would be little or no pull on the wires exiting the unit. Putting the pivot up front means I'll have to leave a substantial slack loop on each incoming/outgoing cable.
Thanks for your input!
-- Bobby G.
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On 2/2/13 3:05 PM, Robert Green wrote:

The support posts would tend to give with the weight over time unless they were securely anchored. There aren't many farmers in my area (south central Nebraska) raising cattle anymore. The feed lots are big operations anymore. The operators aren't shy about using concrete to anchor things. I've seen gates with wheels on the outer ends as you mentioned.

Lazy Susan type thing in the middle of the end?
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recall
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accomplish
and
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hinge
Yep. As you note, the gate posts tend to give way after time as material fatigue sets it. While the plywood I'd use is pretty dimensionally stable and would be resistant to sagging, it would still do so over time, especially if there was a heavy load towards the end of the shelf. A support wheel is the way to go to distribute the weight evenly. A single hinge pole design would have put enormous stress on the floor below it. Since I once saw a floor jack punch through the concrete it was sitting on, I am less inclined to use that design.

the
leave
Yes, something like the ball bearing mounts heavy duty casters use but without the wheel attached and something like a pipe flange mount screwed into the floor under the carpet. I am definitely going to use push pins and cardboard cutouts made to scale to determine where to swing it from. I could even finally decide not to pivot at all, but to use casters on all four sides and pull the unit away from the wall when I needed access.
Thanks for your input!
-- Bobby G.

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On Sat, 2 Feb 2013 02:17:06 -0500, "Robert Green"

We built this http://gfretwell.com/ftp/cabinet/Our%20new%20Entertainment%20center.htm
The shelves for the components are on drawer slides so you can roll them out to get to the back and the whole thing is on casters. The stone faces slide to open.
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