Upon purchasing yet another guitar and trying to figure out where to put it, I initially considered hanging my guitars from the wall. That takes up quite a bit of space, and I don't have that much free wall space in my music room. Then it occurred to me that some kind of rack or stand that could hold all my guitars would allow me to keep them in a reasonably small space, while still providing easy access. A quick Google search turned up many different designs, but I ended up with the one shown above that is based on one I found on Instructables.com. I chose this one based on the simplicity of construction as well as how nice the finished product looked. There are some neat designs out there using PVC pipe for example, that are inexpensive and easy to make, but I wanted to build something that looks more like a nice piece of furniture.
Being a former engineer, I felt compelled to get a precise design before I started building, and I had been wanting to learn to use Google Sketchup so I created this design file you can download. As I said, it is very similar to the design on Instructables, but I made a few adjustments based on what materials I was able to find at my local Home Depot as well as to make construction easier. I found foam pipe insulation that is 1/2 inch thick and is for 1/2 inch pipes that comes in a pack of four 36 inch pieces. This foam fits perfectly over the 3/4 inch diameter hardwood dowels that also come in 36 inch lengths. The frame is built from 1 x 3 inch and 1 by 4 inch poplar boards. Since the actual finished thickness of the boards is slightly less than 3/4 inch, the same 1/2 inch pipe insulation can be split along the perforation and then it fits beautifully over the edges of the boards.
Here's a couple of views from the Sketchup design. First the front view (click on the images to get a clearer, full-size picture):
and the left side of the base, showing the locations where the two 36 inch dowels are attached. The dowel on the right in this image is mounted higher than the left one in order to force the guitars to lean against the upper supports.
List of Materials
- one four-pack of 1/2 inch foam pipe insulation
- one additional 6 foot length of 1/2 inch foam pipe insulation
- two 14 inch lengths of 1 by 4 inch wood for base
- two 27 inch lengths and one 39 inch length of 1 by 3 inch wood for the rest of the frame
- three 36 inch long 3/4 inch diameter hardwood dowels
- four 1.5 inch wood screws and sixteen 2 inch wood screws
I went with poplar wood for the 1 x 3 and 1 x 4 inch boards. At my Home Depot, they were nice quality wood without being too expensive. Generally the pine boards are in bad shape, warped and full of knots and chipped edges. I purchased all the materials listed above for about $42. You can bring the price down if you are able to use wood you already have.
Cut the wood to the lengths shown above and sand them smooth. Align a base piece (a 14" one by four) to a vertical support (a 27" one by three) to form an 'L' shape. Try to get close to a 90 degree angle here, then drill pilot holes for the screws through both pieces while they are in position. Try not to go all the way through the bottom support. Screw the boards together with the 1.5" inch screws. Now do the same thing for the other base piece and vertical support, but this time just drill one of the holes and screw them together. Then put this 'L' on top of the first one you made and adjust the angle on the new 'L' to match the first one. Then drill the second hole and insert the screw.
Again lay the 2 'L' shapes on top of each other with the base pieces on top of each other. Drill the two holes as shown above for attaching the 36" dowels. Drill straight through both bottom supports at once to make sure your holes are perfectly aligned on both sides. Then drill pilot holes into both ends of the 36" dowels. Slide one of the 36" lengths of foam insulation over each dowel, place it against the inside of the bottom support, and use a 2" screw going through the support and into the dowel.
Lay the stand on its back so the 2 vertical supports will be kept parallel by the floor. Place the 39" piece of 2 by 3 across the top of the vertical supports. Drill 2 pilot holes on each end and attach to the vertical supports using 2" screws.
Now the separators. Cut the remaining 36" inch dowel into 9 four inch pieces. Cut one of the 36" pieces of pipe insulation into 9 four inch pieces. You're going to attach one four inch dowel at each end of the horizontal support aligned with the the base support below it. That means they should be 36 inches apart. You can space the remaining supports between them as you wish, but you should try fitting some of your guitars to the stand and see how much separation you need. I added 6 more separators, with the first two spaced 5.5 inches apart and the rest 5 inches apart which uses up the whole 36 inch span and gives you 'slots' for seven guitars. The wider spaces are for acoustic guitars, while the smaller ones were sufficient for my electrics, even ones with whammy bars. Remember to mount the separators low enough on the horizontal support to allow room for both the insulation on the dowels as well as the strip of insulation across the top of the horizontal support. Each of the 4" dowel separators are attached to the horizontal support by a screw entering the back of the support and into the center of the dowel (drill those pilot hose first!).
Finally, cut the 6 foot piece of insulation into pieces to cover the top of the base supports and the front of the vertical supports. Hopefully the plans and pictures above make this all clear.