Building a guitar rack. Question about padding

My collection of guitars as outgrown my floorspace for individual guitar stands and wall space for hanging instruments, so I am building a guitar rack that will hold up to six guitars depending on guitar depth (acoustic, hollow body, solid body).
I am using 1-1/8inch dowel rods for the bottom supports that the guitar bodies will rest on. My initial thought is to use common expanded foam pipe insulation as a cushioning material. Will the insulation material react with the guitar finishes used in modern guitars?
The headstock supports will be cut from baltic birch plywood with edge banding applied to cover the core. All wood will be finished using a water based acrylic lacquer.
Your thoughts are appreciatied.

If you can get polypropylene foam tube that should be OK because Polypropylene is basically inert, so the foam itself should not react. It may be a good idea to make a ‘sock’ for the foam out of cotton just incase there is anything embedded in the foam during manufacturing.

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Ah my friend is solving a first world problem: what to do with all these guitars. :smiley:

I’m no material specialist but I think the safest way is to have something “cloth” like where body or neck touches the rack. Not sure but I’ve got the feeling that isolation might get sticky after a while, especially touching necks all the time, that will have stuff coming off your hands.

I have a couple of Hercules guitar stands. The advertising blurb says the rubber padding does not react with nitro varnish finishes unlike some of the cheaper stands where the rubber eventually ruins the varnish. Hercules do multi guitar stands too.
I think if you are making custom diy stands using really quality timber then there has to be a better solution than pipe insulation. That will look terrible! :woozy_face:
The type of inert rubber that Hercules uses must be available to buy.

Edit I’ve been looking online and haven’t yet found inert rubber.
I did however find this excerpt from a guitar magazine.

1) Nitrocellulose and Possible Chemical Reactions are Unpredictable

There are a lot of companies out there that claim their products and stands are nitrocellulose safe, however, you never know what can happen.

I remember reading the statement from one reputable brand who said it was impossible for them to say their stands would be 100% reliable whilst holding nitrocellulose instruments.

Simply put, it might be wise to stitch on a piece of towel behind the neck to keep your guitar finish safe, rather than trust the marketing and advertising of a brand that wants your money and really won’t care if the finish on your neck is ruined.

Good luck Robert. There must be a solution to your issue. I somehow don’t think people like Joe Bonamassa who own extremely expensive vintage guitars will mess about with old socks over their stands!:joy:


Nope. They have the money to buy new socks.

@sairfingers Interestingly Joe sells all sorts of music gear on his website apart from guitar stands. You should have a word with him next time you go to see him.

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