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I would like to install a 2-Post 12U wall-mounted server rack in my utility closet. The rack will hold up to 200lbs. However, my equipment will be just under 180lbs. Most of the weight will be at the last 4U of the rack (2-2U UPS Battery Backup units weighing in at 63lbs each)

I have two studs 16" apart that I can secure the rack to with 4 lag bolts included. However, my concern is not being able to hit the center of the stud and having the equipment rip off the wall.

Would ripping out the sheetrock and installing a 24" wide by 48" tall plywood board in its place be a better option? I could then mark the center of the studs once I see them and screw the lag bolts through the plywood first and then into the stud?

I could even add additional 2x4 going vertically and horizontally to strengthen the integrity of the wall.

Thoughts?

Specs of the wall-mount rack:

Weight (lbs): Approx 15.5
Size (in): 24.8 x 20.1 x 18.24 (HWD)

Here is a link to the actual rack

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You can overkill the job as much as you like, but it's easy enough to use a studfinder or a magnet (looking for screw-heads) to establish the location of the stud non-desctructively, or drill some small holes that will be covered by the rack (and which you can spackle) to destructively identify for certain where the edge of the stud is, and thus infer the center. Given an inch and a half of surface, you don't have to be too precise not to miss the stud.

I've mounted dozens of wall-mount racks and never bothered with more than a studfinder and/or magnet, and not one has fallen off the wall.

  • Even if the lag bolts are 5/16" diameter, you still have about half an inch leeway on either side of the centerline to keep the lag bolts fully in the stud. In other words, you have a 1 inch wide area in which to sink the lag bolt and be completely in the stud. I wouldn't worry about it. Use a stud finder and find the middle the best you can. – rjbergen Oct 24 '14 at 12:04
  • I have a stud finder but at times I've noticed I was off center. I like the idea of drilling small holes left and right to find the exact center. Thanks for the easy tip! – user1052448 Oct 24 '14 at 13:23

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