The Best Racks On & For the Planet - Made in the USA
August 02, 2021
The Evolution of Grassracks Designs.
Our esteemed Grassracks aficionados know that we specialize in wall-mounted gear racks, it’s long been our bread and butter. But, many years ago, we dipped our toe into easy assembly furniture (you are right to be excited about that). After a few prototypes we had developed a style that eliminates the need for all hardware. That’s to say, no annoying screws, half turns, brackets, etc. that we’ve all come to expect from “easy-assembly” furniture (that ends up taking 1.5 grueling hours to put together), just good ol’ fashioned design.
Not long after, we decided to take what we learned from our furniture designs and apply it to our board racks, the result of which is a Freestanding Surf Rack (originally designed for surfboard storage but redesigned to hold guitars, snowboards, wakeboards, wakesurfboards, and more) and a Vertical Freestanding SUP Rack (which is also perfect for shortboards and longboards). Our press-fit designs mean that stress, weight, and strain on the rack doesn’t rely on cheaply made hardware but rather high quality materials and engineered designs. This also means that we are able to create real easy-assembly products.
Types of Joints.
If you’ve ever built your own anything, you’ve realized that there are many ways to join pieces of wood together. This often comes down to style and preference but all are not created equal and are applicable in different situations. For quick “DIY” assembly that doesn’t need to support heavy loads, doweled butt joints are often employed (especially from cheap furniture manufacturers), but this relies on the strength of the dowels, any racking (distortion) of the product and the dowels can snap in half.
More robust, weight supporting joints will generally employ joints like dovetails or mortise and tenon which shape 2 pieces of wood so they fit together like a puzzle. This is preferred for high-quality furniture and was very commonly used for house/barn support beams back in the olden times (and still). Another common joint is something we’ve all seen, tongue and groove, which is used for things like flooring and siding, which keeps boards locked together but isn’t always applicable away from floors or house siding. We considered all of these methods but really like the strength, functionality, and look of the dovetail/mortise and let that inspire our designs.
What does press-fit mean and how does it differ from other racks?
What you’ll see often on the rack market are lots of designs where they just slap 2 pieces of wood next to each other and use screws to hold everything together. It works, to an extent, but it looks terrible, isn’t stable, loosens over time with rack movement, and is just lazy designing in general. The screws and brackets used are often very cheap and result in wobbly products that I wouldn’t trust with thousands of dollars worth of equipment I love.
To make our Freestanding Racks, we took 20+ years of woodworking experience and combined it with the precision of CAD designs and CNC machines. Co-founder Andrew did his engineer nerd stuff on his magic computer machine and designed joints that are easy for customers to assemble with a rubber mallet and essentially lock in place and create a rock-solid rack. We achieved this by finding the perfect balance between the compressive strength of our materials and the tolerance of the CNC machines we run. Our press-fit joints are designed to fit together like puzzle pieces and are cut to extremely precise measurements so they fit perfectly, with a bit of interference. It’s this interference, as well as the design, that keeps the pieces together and locked in place and also makes the racks so strong. Before I keep talking your ear off, check out this award-winning assembly video to see what we mean..
Hopefully you were witness to the ease of assembly and that it takes just a few minutes to put together the best rack you can buy. Notice that I was not applying very much pressure in getting the base and upper cradles into place. This is the desired amount of resistance and, while we test fit all of our racks, some climates may make for slightly more resistance. If that’s the case, you can easily take a bit of sandpaper to the nubs on the inside of each joint to make the installation a bit easier. Forewarning: Don’t take off too much, the rack’s stability depends on some resistance so just sand little by little IF needed.
Our padding is also a quick installation and keeps your gear safe from dings, slips, and damage. I like to line up the padding then fold back a portion (about 3” worth) of the wax paper to adhere to the starting point and peel and stick as I go. You can do what you think is easiest but you should probably do what I do since I made these, do it often, and am really good at it.
As far as freestanding racks go, we are pumped about how these came out. We encourage you to do your research before purchasing any rack, but we don’t think you’ll be too excited about what you find once you leave our site. The market is plagued with racks that are lazily designed with cheap materials and are outrageously priced for what you receive. We have assembled and used hundreds (or thousands) of our freestanding racks and have never been let down. We use incredibly strong, gorgeous materials that are functional, safe, and look great in your home. For gear as valuable as your surfboards, snowboards, wakeboards, wakesurfboards, guitars, etc., make sure it’s safe and displayed on something worthy of your favorite gear.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out, we’re always happy to help. Bring Your Adventure Home!
March 30, 2021
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Our goal is to make the best racks ON & FOR the planet. So far, we think we've nailed it. Feel free to peruse our site to learn more about how we're making the best-looking, most-functional, and most eco-friendly racks on the market!