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I live in rented accommodation and can't hang anything on the walls. My guitar collection (around 10) is taking up too much floor space, so I'd like to get them off the floor. I've been thinking about building a free-standing stud wall as in the pic below.

The guitars would be hanging from a slat-wall strip at the top of the wall, and the amps sitting on the platform below. The amps are reasonably heavy, and I suspect would stop the whole thing toppling over. The wall would be ply- or MDF-sheeted to prevent sideways movement. However, what would I have to do to ensure that the top-heavy wall doesn't a) bend or b) break away from its fixtures to the bottom platform?

enter image description here

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  • How will you be hanging ten guitars ? If they are flat to the wall in a single layer, IE each one hanging from a typical guitar wall hook, you'll need a HUGE amount of wall space. Your pretend wall will be enormous, heavy, and expensive. If they are hanging several guitars deep on special hangers, or sideways as in a guitar rack, your wall will need to. be stabilized by more than amps. I'm not sure I see how this plan is practical. Are you sure you can't hang anything on the walls? Most landlords will let you hang a few things, especially if you do it artfully. If so, I have ideas.
    – jay613
    Sep 15 at 21:47
  • 1
    My amps get carted around when I want to play somewhere other than my living room. Do you plan on using them as glorified paperweights forever (or however long your lease is) and not moving them as long as you live in this apartment, since they seem to be relegated to a critical support counterweight function in this design. Sep 16 at 5:00
  • Given that each guitar is at least 12" across the bout, the wall will be a good 10' wide. I have 10 on one wall , staggered, so they 'intertwine', and they take up 10'. That's a wide secondary wall. Make the secondary wall reach the ceiling, and screw a batten into that. Anything in the lease prohibiting holes in ceilings..?
    – Tim
    Sep 16 at 11:21
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    How to build a guitar rack? Without counting on the amps to hold it down, as they are removable. A 'freestanding wall' with no adjacent lateral attachment must be fastened to the ceiling, or the foundation has a means to accommodate via an embedded pipe or w/e. That's two holes for some threaded rod, instead of 10(x2+) holes for hangers in the wall. Expect forgiveness, not permission.
    – Mazura
    Sep 16 at 11:34
  • How to attach a ledger (platform) to a column (fake wall)? Through-bolts x2 and washers, minimum 1/2". Page 30. chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/bldgs/general/Porch/…
    – Mazura
    Sep 16 at 11:49

8 Answers 8

18

You could simply add a couple of triangular pieces of wood at the bottom next to the amplifiers.

enter image description here

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  • 3
    This seems like a DIY version of the display racks used in retail. your version is probably cheaper unless you can get a bargain at a fire sale.
    – Jasen
    Sep 15 at 11:39
  • A piece of good quality 3/4" plywood would work well here. Sand the exposed edges round (stain and finish if desired) for a clean look.
    – JimmyJames
    Sep 15 at 17:54
  • This would certainly work, but it's more complicated and requires more of the expensive materials. It also reduces utility somewhat by restricting side access. Jasen, most shelving units used in retail have no such diagonal bracing. See any grocery store.
    – isherwood
    Sep 15 at 20:49
  • @isherwood Interesting point, side access would presumably be useful when removing the amps. The OP assumes the amps are part of what keeps this upright.
    – JimmyJames
    Sep 16 at 18:34
15

Another option (should be a comment but comments don't allow pictures):

enter image description here

https://www.guitarstorage.com/

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  • 2
    Frame challenges as answers are allowed. I like this one. From the included picture, it almost looks like the ends are cardboard! :)
    – FreeMan
    Sep 15 at 17:05
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    Of course comments allow pictures.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Sep 15 at 19:04
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    I could accept this as a frame challenge if it offered a comparably simple DIY solution with some level of detail. Also, where do the amps go in this scenario? Sorry, not an answer.
    – isherwood
    Sep 15 at 20:52
  • Maybe build an MDF "table" over the amps and put this on top? Hanging the guitars doesn't sound like a brilliant idea anyway, and with this side-by-side setup you might have a shot at actually storing 10.
    – Reznik
    Sep 16 at 6:49
  • I like the table idea, @Reznik. Not sure what's not brilliant about hanging guitars - there are a multitude of devices made specifically for hanging guitars on the wall. I know several musicians who love their guitars nearly as much as their spouses and they hang 'em (when they're not in their travel cases - the guitar that is, not the spouse).
    – FreeMan
    Sep 16 at 12:41
3

Have the entire thing leaning backwards slightly. The top of the unit would be against the wall, and the bottom would be about 3" away from the wall. The easiest way to do this would be by making the horizontal part thicker at the front than at the back. Your big chunky amps will be at the back, which will make it hard to see the difference in thickness. Guitar mounts should hold the guitar far enough from the wall that it won't hit the wall even at a slight slant.

The overall concept is to have the vertical portion's center of mass (including the mass of whatever's hanging on it) located between the wall and the back edge of the horizontal portion. That way, the vertical part won't naturally tip forward even if it comes disconnected from the horizontal part. If your guitars are heavy, you can counterbalance them by making the bottom of the vertical portion very heavy. Put something heavy inside the wall cavity, like sandbags or dumbbells.

I have a bookshelf that sits that way due to a low spot in the carpet. It's a lot more stable than an identical bookshelf in the next room on a hard, flat floor. The gap at the bottom is mostly hidden by the baseboards unless you're looking at it from the side (which rarely happens). The gap at the bottom also means you can run cables behind it more easily.

2

You should talk to your landlord instead.

Landlords don't want to enforce weird restrictions, they want to preserve the property value and be able to rent it again afterwards. Here, that means he will need to have your guitar hangers ripped out and the wall refinished. If you are willing to pay for that, there is a very good chance that you can get permission to hang things on your walls.

"Paying for it" might mean additional security deposit, or it might mean a non-refundable deposit. In either case, you would be looking at a lot of time and money to build your fake wall, so you should look at cheaper options first.

Having a clear plan for installation and removal which you can communicate clearly is also likely to be a big selling point.

1

I suggest you consider how heavy your guitar stand will be. In the hardware store, heft a few pieces of MDF or plywood.

A half inch 4x8 softwood plywood sheet weighs about 40 lbs. MDF is substantially heavier.

You might spec out a wooden 2x3 or 2x4 frame with plywood triangles in the corners to keep it from warping. Cover it in fabric, stapled to the frame, perhaps with blocking behind the slat wall strip.

Even though you’re in a rental, if you put a couple eye bolts into a stud on the wall behind the stand, and secured them to the back of the frame, you would have a great deal of peace of mind vis-a-vis having the structure topple over.

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    If they allowed hanging pictures and mirrors then I agree about the eye-bolts - the holes won't be a big deal. But "can't hang anything on the walls" Sep 15 at 16:14
1

There's no need to overthink or overdesign this. Just engineer it well.

If you connect the studs to the joists properly* it'll hold a hundred guitars. Since the load will all be interior of the wall, balance is not a concern either, barring any serious roughhousing.

  • Fully lap the studs with the joists.
  • Use four screws of at least 2½" in length at each joint, spread as wide as is reasonable, and pilot to prevent splits.
  • Use wood glue or construction adhesive.

With four or five such connections I'm confident you could hang the amps on the wall.

Obviously this requires an offset, which creates a bit of complexity at the sides. Just add lumber to flush things up on either the stud or the joist, whichever is inboard. The interior members don't matter.

Do that, then cover the structure as planned. I suggest blocking laterally at the inside corner to support the floor and wall paneling. The floor is especially likely to sag otherwise.

SIDE VIEW                       FRONT VIEW

|    |                          |  |  |
|    | <-- short stud --------> |  |  | <-- full-height stud
|    |                          |  |  |
|____|_________________         |__|  |
|    :                 |        | \|  |
|    :                 |        |\ |  |
|____:_________________|        |__|__|


                                TOP VIEW
                                 __ __
                                |/ |/ |
                 short stud --> | /| /| <-- full-height stud
                                |__|__|
                                |  |
                                |  | <-- full-depth joist
                                |  |
                                |  |
                                |__|

* Not the building wall studs. We're talking about furniture here. The furniture wall studs. Also not the building floor joists.

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  • that's not going to work well.long-term. that sort of 90 fegree lap joint tends to fail under cyclic load like wind through an open window.
    – Jasen
    Sep 16 at 11:03
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    @Jasen, nonsense. Wind through an open window is utterly meaningless here. Both adhesives I mentioned would just about do the job on their own. Along with screws, this will be solid for decades.
    – isherwood
    Sep 16 at 12:37
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I would avoid the weight of the wall framing, and instead go with a wire mesh and a frame around it.

Acoustic guitars are not heavy, electric guitars tend to weigh more. The real weight is in amps and speaker cabs and pedals.

I suggest something like this as the vertical, but wider. You can hang guitars from some padded twin-hooks, and put them on both sides for balance. This example is very lightweight - yours would need a little more substance in the frame.

enter image description here

Your amps should sit on a wooden shelf that goes right across the bottom, directly on top of the legs/feet, on both sides. The bigger amps/cabinets should be cabled and rigged to use as-is, not moved around. A smaller practice combo amp/speaker can just rest on the shelf, to be picked up as necessary.

A see-through wall will make the room feel larger - if the sight-lines are blocked it will feel more cramped.

And finally, backlighting would be more visible this way.

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This shelving unit with no shelves design seems like a sound idea. cover the front with some sort of wood (panelling or plywood) instead of using drywall.

It is much easier to secure brackets to wood than to drywall (which is basically dry mud with paper on both sides, and about as durable as that sounds.)

You could use upside-down shelf brackets at the bottom prevent the wall from toppling forwards,

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