Question for DIY people: Butcher block shelving??

I picked up the "Spar" maple butcher block from IKEA the other day. (Link to the butcher block is here) =>

I am going to use these blocks to replace the cheap MDF shelves on my welded steel Target rack. I believe the blocks are unfinished. They are not solid chunks of maple -- there is some hollowness inside.

My question is, what should I do with them next to increase their effectiveness as shelves and to increase their durability? Should I oil them? Put a coat of lacquer on them? Glue cork and/or rubber to the underside?

I will be placing them under a variety of components (Cd player, amp, power conditioner), so I could customize each block to suit the component it sits on.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!! Thanks!!!!
I wonder if Sean has a scientific reason that he has found from his tests. I have the same, maybe even greater from the Orchard bay titanium cones. The titanium is far (louder) more efficient than the O.B. brass cones.
With respect to the inner tube suspension described above, I tried that once upon a time with unimpressive results. I think that the main reason for this is that the inner tube is not likely to have a natural frequency much below 6 Hz, which means that by the second overtone there is likely to be a significant interaction with the component placed upon it. That is, the inner tube does not isolate the system from vibration, it merely provides a spring upon which the system is placed, so that it adds vibrational energy to the system, which of course makes matters worse. Using extensional damping eliminates most of the resonances associated with the shelf itself, but that does not isolate the system from its environment. People who are using MDF shelving could probably make a noticable improvement if they got some extensional damping polymer material -- it's not expensive -- and then made a sandwhich between, let's say, an MDF shelf and a maple shelf. That composite shelf should not ring, i.e., it should be reasonably inert accoustically. This will probably change the sound. The problem is, as everyone knows, that anything one changes in an audio system changes the sound. However, eliminating resonances contributed by a system's components from the playback chain brings one closer to the original master tape, which is as close as one can come to the musical event itself.
Hi Lapaix,

Using an "off the shelf" inner tube as a vibration control device does pose a number of limitations. The wall thickness of the rubber, how the valve and it's reinforcement ring are designed and a number of different parameters are all critical to the ability of the tube to perform successfully. In addition, mass MUST be placed atop the tube which will allow it to achieve a low resonance frequency. The choice of the specific type of mass is very important as is making sure inner tube is inflated with the minimum amount of air pressure required for the load weight and the physical configuration of the tube.

We have found that most "off the shelf" inner tubes to be fairly mediocre and some have been rather poor in performance.


Interesting, Lapaix. My *thinking* was along the same lines -- but hardly as articulate as yours! Thanks

On a different note, using weight on top of the cdp did change the resulting sound somewhat. The only word I can give is "bolder", a bit like increasing the VTF on a TT. Unlike the later, however, some upper level detail dropped further to the background... wether or not this effect reflect correct phasing (or whatever, stored in the cd) I don't know. I'm going to work on this further.
Reducing "ringing" in a system, whether it is electrically or mechanically based, can change what one hears from a system. Whether or not one likes this is up to their personal preferences. Sean