/ Homelab

An 18U LackRack Design

In an effort to have a more organized home server setup, I decided to build myself a LackRack. The decision to go this route over a traditional server rack was partly due to budget restriction but mostly because I thought it would be a cool project.

My design is a bit different than those I've seen out there. Most designs I found online were fairly basic and small. But, of course, I had to be difficult and wanted a half rack on a budget. I know you can stack LackRacks to add more capacity, but I wanted something that looked better and more like a traditional rack.

The design I came up with, thanks to the help of /r/homelab, yields about 18U of rack space which is close enough to that half rack I wanted. I did this by attaching two Lack tables end to end, rather than stacking them. As part of the design, I reinforced the legs with 2x2's which gives it a better base for attaching rails and shelves. The whole build cost under $50 in material (maybe $60 total if you have to factor in shipping from Ikea).

lack-rack-complete-crop

This is not meant to be a step-by-step guide, however I will try to provide enough detail for someone to reproduce this build. If anyone has any questions about something I may have left out, feel free to DM me on Twitter.

Firstly, I had to knock out the blocks in the feet of the legs. This process was harder than I thought it would be, and some legs have a longer block inserted in them making it much more frustrating to get out. I resorted to drilling about 5 decent sized holes in the bottom of each leg, and then hitting the bottom with a hammer. This worked fairly well on most of the legs. However, there were a few I had to cut and chisel out by hand.

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Next, it was easy enough to assemble one table normally. With the second table, I drilled the pre-drilled holes all the way though the table and attached the legs on the topside as you normally would. This forms the bottom of the rack keeping the nice side up. I also taped up the ends of the legs to protect from a glue mess.

lack-rack-assembled-tables

Then, I cut two 2x2's into four leg reinforcements. The lengths will differ from table to table and even leg to leg. Since Ikea fills the ends of each leg with a mostly random amount of pressed wood chips, each leg needs to be measured individually. This means you need to decide which legs are going to match up from the two tables and make sure you keep it straight.

I then used LiquidNails to glue the reinforcements in place.
Note I used a lot of glue. Not just on the ends, but also along the 2x2 on the two sides which directly touch the lack rack legs.

lack-rack-reinforcements-2

I let that dry overnight to make sure it was sturdy. Then I glued the other table on top. Since some glues expand as they dry, make sure you apply plenty of weight on top of the table while it dries in this stage.
Note Again, I used a generous amount of glue. For the entire project I used about 2/3rds of a tube of LiquidNails. That was probably overkill, but its damn sturdy.

lack-rack-drying

Once that dried overnight again, I installed some castors on the bottom, because, why not? Just make sure to install them in the very edges of the four corners. There is only a two inch by two inch block of wood in each corner to screw into.

lack-rack-casters

And then it was done! This results in 18U of space. I will write a follow-up once I get my servers into rack-mountable cases and load it up. I have no idea how much weight this can support so I may not be able to fully load it. I plan on using a few U of space at the top for my lightweight networking gear, so it does not matter too much.

Feel free to let me know if you build one of these especially if you made design improvements.

lack-rack-complete-crop

Ryan Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan

If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I am a giant nerd. I live and breath technology; coding for both my day job and my hobbies. My favorite pastime is gaming. You get the idea.

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