Ikea Vardo DIY 5U cabinet

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Verschroben
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Ikea Vardo DIY 5U cabinet

Post by Verschroben » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:36 pm

Hello, fellow wigglers. This little find helped me save some money and time, putting together a case for my fledgling 5U system.

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20238223/

Ikea's VARDÖ Bed storage box happens to accommodate three rows of 5U modules perfectly by height, and with just a bit space left over in length, it's good for 33U of dotcom modules in total (11U for each row). It's 12 cm deep and set me back for only 41$ (and it seems to cost even less in other countries, 30$ or so.)

Total cost for case + rails didn't exceed 90$ (I used makerbeam hardware leftover from other projects)

Here's how the case looks now:
Image
As you can see there's some space leftover on each side, and that can be a pet peeve. I'm planning to cut it of soon and get rid of the gaps. Shouldn't be a problem, even for a newbie like me.

Here's the back of the case:
Image

The whole thing can be assembled leisurely in less then a day, and it served me well for some time now. When the time comes, I will most likely buy another one to use as a second case.
Last edited by Verschroben on Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:16 pm

Looks nice!

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bwhittington
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Post by bwhittington » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:25 pm

Great find! Looks really nice! I wonder if there some kind of hobby store trim that would fit those gaps. A little spray paint, a little glue...

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Post by bleeds_on_keys » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:19 pm

Verschroben
Where can one get these rails in the US? This is very much in line with my interests. Thanks for sharing this!

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Jamnuska
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Post by Jamnuska » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:26 pm

Nice.

I was going to go Rast from Ikea but this looks kind of interesting.

Two RASTs = pine, 27 (3x9) spaces with cabinet weighing 7.84 kg/16.65 # ($40 Cdn)
One VARDO = black or white MDF, 33 spaces (3x11) weighing 6.42 kg/14# ($40 Cdn).

Weight doesn't include any mounting hardware (rails, wood, whatever).
Last edited by Jamnuska on Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Verschroben
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Post by Verschroben » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:35 pm

JohnLRice Thank you!

bwhittington
Thanks. I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem to cover them and make it look nice as well. But I would rather just cut off the excess. There's about an inch (2,6cm or so in case of MU modules) of free space left, and you can move modules so that the gap remains on one side only.

bleeds_on_keys
I'm not sure if there is a distributor in the US, but this store ships worldwide:
http://www.makerbeam.com/
Also, in case of VARDÖ I need to point out that 5U modules fit in tightly by height, and thicker beams (like openbeam) might prevent them from fitting inside the case. Makerbeam are great though, I used them for both 5U and Euro and would definitely recommend them as a zrails alternative.

Jamnuska
That's interesting. One thing to consider though is that RAST is almost twice as deep.

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Jamnuska
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Post by Jamnuska » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:18 pm

Verschroben wrote: Jamnuska
That's interesting. One thing to consider though is that RAST is almost twice as deep.
I'm a 5U noob. Is that depth not enough for most modules? 18cm (7 1/8")?

I was thinking of being a cheap c**t and just using wooden rails.

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DJFonzi
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Post by DJFonzi » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:38 pm

Jamnuska wrote:
Verschroben wrote: Jamnuska
That's interesting. One thing to consider though is that RAST is almost twice as deep.
I'm a 5U noob. Is that depth not enough for most modules? 18cm (7 1/8")?

I was thinking of being a cheap c**t and just using wooden rails.
7.125" is more than enough for any module I've seen. I think the point was that the Rast is too deep. The case I made is 7" deep, and even it feels too deep for its dimensions (2x16sp)

I'm digging this Vardo thing.

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Verschroben
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Post by Verschroben » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:48 pm

Jamnuska I think most of the modules would fit in just fine. But it wouldn't hurt to check. DIY modules might be quite deep, depending on the way you mount pcb to the panel.
Also, internal power supply takes some space. I have one, and it gets really shallow where it sits. Had to change standoffs on a couple of modules for shorter ones to make them fit against it. It worked out fine.
Having said all that, I really enjoy how slim the cabinet turned out to be. It is perfectly stable, but leaves a lot of free space on my desk.

Wooden rails would work well, and I'd do them too if I didn't have makerbeam rails lying around.

DJFonzi good to know!

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bwhittington
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Post by bwhittington » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:24 pm

Hmm, 1 inch . . .

Maybe an option for others would be to make a frame and rails with 1/2" hardwood squares, except with 1/4" squares on the top and bottom. (I think 1/2" is what I used for my case rails; maybe it is was 5/8".)

You could screw the rails into the two end pieces, paint it all black (or yellow, or whatever) and then screw that frame into the Vardo from the inside so it looks tidy. Then you would hopefully have the cabinet tightly filled with 1/2" of wood on each side.

You've found a great DIY case for sure. How deep is the Vardo? Does it feel sturdy when patching it? My narrow 40 space cases wobble like nobody's business. :doh:

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Jamnuska
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Post by Jamnuska » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:32 pm

Verschroben Thanks for the info. And thanks to DJFonzi for pointing out the depth dilemma.

Ikea likes to call length - depth. This is for the Vardo.

Product dimensions
Width: 25 5/8 "
Depth: 27 1/2 "
Height: 7 1/8 "


Width: 65 cm
Depth: 70 cm
Height: 18 cm

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:34 pm

Seems like it could all be shifted to the side and then a strip of aluminum could go all the way up the other side to cover the open gap and it could have utility stuff like multiples, gender changers, passive or active attenuators and anything else you might want? Hardware stores sell long strips of flat aluminum in various widths.

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Verschroben
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Post by Verschroben » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:45 pm

bwhittington that sounds like a great and cheap option to me. Without the risk of chipping the cabinet frame while sawing of the excess. Would look nice I'm sure.

The usable depth is less them 18 cm, though, since the bottom wall of the cabinet isn't attached to the edge of the frame directly, but instead is set a bit deeper. Insides of my case measures 12cm deep, but you can add an extra cm+ by placing rails closer to the edge. I wanted to sink mine a bit into the cabinet so that the knobs and jacks wouldn't stick out that much.

JohnLRice that would deffinitly work well!

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Verschroben
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Post by Verschroben » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:54 pm

Oh, and yes, my Vardo case stands next to the wall, but is not actually touching it. I didn't notice any unwanted movement whatsoever. Maybe because dotcom sockets are so damn smooth you don't need to force the jack in and out. Or the power supply, which is quite heavy, makes it more stable.
I would definitely be more cautious if it stood in the open.

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Post by coyoteous » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:54 pm

You can get makerbeam (10mm) from amazon, as well as openbeam (15mm) and nanobeam (5mm)... cool to see it in action here!

Almost went that route, but opted for an erector set of the cheapest rack rail, panels and shelves I could find... kind of a nightmare until I worked out a few kinks, and I'd actually recommend just about any other option to anyone else, but I'm sticking with it or going down with the ship.

I'll do a full reveal at some point... kind of more like an arts and crafts project rather sensible case building... probably shoulda gone with elmer's and popsicle sticks instead.
Shark, jumped.

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Henfield
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Post by Henfield » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:38 pm

Great looking case!

I want to know more about these Makerbeam rails! How do they attach to the side of your case? I have a Haliburton Aluminum briefcase that I had an MU system inside, where I used wooden rails. This type of rail would really work well with this case.
For Sale/Trade: All of my Euro, as I am jumping back into MU: 14U 84 hp Euro case, Pulp Logic 1U tiles, Doepfer A183-3 and A138D Modules. Willing to trade towards MU Modules, Dotcom Box 11 case, QCR8 rack frames, and Moogerfooger and Minifooger pedals!

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Verschroben
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Post by Verschroben » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:06 am

coyoteous That's good to know, wanted to try Nanobeam for a while now.

Henfield Thanks! Makerbeams are 10mm thick and happen to fit perfectly with MU panels:
Image

I used simple corner brackets to attach beams to the inside of the case:
Image
This way it's easy to remove a rail if I need to.

And modules are attached to the rail with those T-slot nuts:
http://www.makerbeam.com/makerbeam-t-sl ... m-25p.html

I'm sure there are cheaper option, but those just happened to lie around unused.

Those might also work: http://www.ctrl-mod.com/collections/cas ... pack-of-50
Haven't tried it, but t-slot nuts worked well with vector rails, so I guess it can go the other way around as well.

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Post by Stereotactixxx » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:27 am

Verschroben wrote:Makerbeams are 10mm thick and happen to fit perfectly with MU panels:
Those rails are an awesome find! :hyper:
I am totally bookmarking that Makerbeam site for when it's time to make a new case.

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Post by sduck » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:46 am

Bookmarked this thread. Cool info!

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Verschroben
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Post by Verschroben » Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:35 am

Stereotactixxx, sduck, glad you found it usefull!

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Henfield
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Post by Henfield » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:03 am

Is it easy to cut the rails without altering the shape at the ends?
For Sale/Trade: All of my Euro, as I am jumping back into MU: 14U 84 hp Euro case, Pulp Logic 1U tiles, Doepfer A183-3 and A138D Modules. Willing to trade towards MU Modules, Dotcom Box 11 case, QCR8 rack frames, and Moogerfooger and Minifooger pedals!

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Verschroben
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Post by Verschroben » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:26 am

Henfield What do you mean by altering the shape? Beams are aluminum and easy to cut. I used a small hacksaw and a cheap plastic miter box to get the angle right. Worked well. It didn't bend or chip or anything.
You would need to form a new thread in the center of the beam if you cut it. If you are planning to use it, that is. In my case brackets are attached to the side of the beam, so I didn't bother. But they do have a thread forming pack on their website:
http://www.makerbeam.com/openbeam-threa ... m-100.html

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Jamnuska
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Post by Jamnuska » Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:42 am

You can get similar rails in the USA but I have only looked at them in larger sizes. Different name I think but I looked five years ago and don't remember. They are not generally cheap for the bigger ones. Was looking at converting a Sprinter van to a camper and was going to use this system.

They do make different shapes, bends, corners, etc. Again this was on a bigger size, never looked at the puny modular sizes.

Aluminum is easy to cut and a joke to file, and as the OP said super easy to cut new threads in. Easy to drill, machine, bend. Pain in the butt to weld however.

Google the picture of the rail and you will probably find something.

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:32 am

This looks to be very cool stuff, thanks for the tip Verschroben! :tu:

FYI: it looks like Amazon in the USA sells a complete line of Makerbeam parts! :nana:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... =MakerBeam+

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Verschroben
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Post by Verschroben » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:05 pm

JohnLRice My pleasure, John!

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