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
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.