DIY Acoustic Panel Stand
Like a lot of people, I have a number of 4' x 3' diy rockwall filled acoustic panels in my studio. You know the ones, right? Traditionally these are mounted and secured to walls in a number of different ways: french cleats, specialist brackets, chains etc. However, a few years ago I realised that I wanted more flexibility in how I could use my traps both around the studio and on occasion, when recording in other locations, without fixing them to permanent stands. To enable this, I designed and made wooden stands that allow the traps to be freestanding.📷 The panel stand showing the additional support blocks adjacent to the vertical pieces.
My design was made using some offcuts of plywood that I had lying around and although they are very much a 1st pass that I made in a hurry, I'm yet feel the need to improve on them. It's a very simple build and I encourage people to try it, especially if you're someone who can't do any structural work to your studio space.
The two most important things to get right are the width of the opening and the mechanical joint of the two vertical pieces to the base. In some cases I made the opening too small and had to saw/chisle away a layer of the plywood I was using. It's wise to measure and mark the base carefully so that the opening is just the right size. If the opening does turn-out too large then additional chocks can be slid down to stop any wobble. In terms of the mechanical joints to the base, I just used dowel joints and glue. I then attached an additional block adjacent to them to try and give some extra support. A better approach would have been to cut rebate joints for extra support, but time was of the essence.
These designs have proved strong enough that one stand can hold-up a panel on its own. In order to keep the panel level, an additional piece of wood of the same thickness as the base can be cut and slid underneath the opposite side of the panel. An added bonus is that the stand grips the panel tight enough that picking the panel up brings the stand with it, making it very easy to reposition in the studio if I'm wanting to use it.📷 A support block underneath the left hand side of the trap to keep it level.
I've not included plans for this build as it's simple enough that I imagine people would be able to recreate it from the images alone. A quicker and easier way to build them might be using countersunk screws. Bear in mind that if you want a perfect seal against a wall, say if you're covering a corner, this design wont quite achieve it. That would require an asymetric design that allowed the back to be flush somehow. Maybe one for another time.
The majority of my studio furniture is self-made. Partly inspired by the work of designer Victor Papanek whose ideas for what he termed Nomadic Furniture accomodate transient lifestyles and focus on the the ability to arrange your environment despite restrictions. Papanek foresaw that many people may spend a large portion of their lives in houses they do not own, where their capacity to have things as they like is limited, so he centred his efforts on cheap, accessible materials, simple workmanship and the ability to break-down furniture for transport. This is especially pertinent in the present day, when many young (and not so young) people cannot get into the housing market and are limited in what they can do in rented properties. Learning some basic woodworking is a good way to be able to adapt aspects of your workspace to your needs, regardless of the limitations.