JohnVantine.com

Can I still call this a "blog" in 2019?

I Built A Vinyl Record Shelf!

Check out this vinyl record shelf my friend and I built.

Record storage shelf with vinyl records

I like music. A lot. Last year, a friend of mine got me into vinyl. I bought a turntable and a few records, and then I bought a few more. After I went to my first “record swap” (basically a giant flea market for records), I realized that I had the vinyl bug. As my pile of records grew taller, I came to terms with the fact that I probably wouldn’t stop purchasing them anytime soon.

Soon after, it dawned on me that I was gonna need some sort of record organizer/record bin to store them in. I CAN’T STOP BUYING RECORDS.

While perusing /r/vinyl, I came across these plans to build a wooden record bin from a single sheet of 4×8 plywood.

Record storage bin plans

Please note that these plans originated from this thread on Audiokarma.

Projects are fun, and building stuff is pretty manly, right? …Guys?

To clarify, I’m not looking for validation here, but there’s something about buying lumber and using tools that just seems “right”. It’s a lost art in this day and age!

So my friend Nick and I took an early morning trip to Home Depot and picked up some lumber. Two sheets of 4×8 plywood, as we were both planning on building record storage shelf holder bin thingers. Here’s a very exciting shot of said plywood, taken just MOMENTS before we paid for it. Make sure you’re sitting down for this one.

4x8 plywood at Home Depot for record storage shelf

We actually had a friendly Home Depot employee help us out with some of the bigger cuts, so that we could fit the wood into my car, and to save us some work later on, as we only had access to a handsaw.

Blessed with a beautiful day and ice cold Yuengling Lager (brought all the way to Los Angeles from Pennsylvania), we got started right away.

Hand saw, measuring tape and an ice cold Yuengling Lager

Some of the cuts done by Home Depot were pretty rough, and the wood had splintered a good bit, so we spent awhile sanding it down.

Once we smoothed everything out, we started to put the first wooden record organizer together, and I realized how awesome this was going to be.

Beginning to assemble the wooden record storage bin

Once we inserted the dividers, we dusted these bad boys off…

Inserting the dividers for the record storage bin

And put them inside the house next to one another – to marvel at the beauty of our creations. The dividers look crooked, but it’s just the angle at which the photo was taken.

Completed vinyl record storage bins

I then sanded the record shelf quite a bit more to prepare it for the application of a polyurethane finish.

Sanding the wood for the record shelf

Lauren helped out too.

Lauren sanding the wooden record storage bin

We then painted on the polyurethane finish… We actually did two layers, as the first layer didn’t look as dark as I had hoped.

Lauren applying a polyurethane finish to the record storage bin

Lauren applying a layer of polyurethane finish to the vinyl record shelf

We waited a few days for the stain completely dry, then brought it inside and moved some records into it!

Completed wooden record shelf with vinyl records inside

While the quality of the photo above (shot in low light) leaves a bit to be desired, I’m very happy with the results. Apparently this record storage bin can accommodate from 5-600 records, assuming the record sleeves are 1/8″ thick. I probably have around 200 records now – the above photo was taken several months ago, and I’ve gone on several buying binges since then.

Edit: Here are some more shots of the finished vinyl record shelf.

A front shot of the finished wooden record shelf

Front shot of finished vinyl record shelf with some records in it

Top side shot of the finished vinyl record shelf with some records in it

Side shot of finished vinyl record shelf with some records in it

If you’re interested in building one of these awesome record shelves for yourself, be sure to check out this AudioKarma thread. It contains several sets of record shelf plans (for variations on the shelf itself) as well as more detailed instructions.

Rather than going to Ikea for your vinyl storage solution, why not just build your own? A homemade, “DIY” vinyl storage cabinet is a solid conversation piece. Almost everyone who comes to visit asks about the shelf, and it feels pretty cool to be able to say “I built this myself”. Just saying.

30 Comments

  1. Matt Palucci

    John,Very cool- job well done!
    Where were you in 1979-1983? (Rhetorical Question)
    Those years found me immersed in building two separate, floor to ceiling, ‘built in’ combination record/book/turntable,stereo system, wine glass shelves in my first home in Ardmore. I certainly would have welcomed your help and comradery in this jointly appreciated passion !!
    Someday I will show you pics of my creation.
    As for the record collection – I have lugged it with me from house to house as it grew to over 1,000 titles.
    John, we certainly share a passion for music, handed down to us from Poppy (who loved to listen to Frank Sinatra, Jazz and Big Bands on his Columbia HiFi.
    Take Care and Enjoy the Ride
    Love,
    Uncle Matt

  2. It had been years… years since I’d typed jiglet.net into a web browser. I’m glad to see you kept the domain and forwarded it to your new site. Interesting topics and good entertainment so far!

    • John

      Haha, well I’m glad that I was able to retain one of my original followers. I actually hope to put together a post soon chronicling all of the ridiculous stuff that happened as a result of jiglet.net, ultimately leading to it’s demise. So check back sometime!

  3. Ben Danek

    Hey looks like it turned out well. What size screws did you use?

  4. Gabriel

    Nice work John. I was considering building one myself for about 2000/LP.

  5. Did you use screwws or nails for the record shelf if screws what size?

  6. What thickness is the plywood you used for this project?

  7. Fantastic how to article: I wish I had the talent and patience to build a shelf like that. I use the Ikea shelves mainly, but I do like the record shop style of these you’ve built.

    If you have the room and don’t need to stack to the ceiling these shelves are perfect, I especially like the ability to put an index card in to alphabetize.

    I wouldn’t mind limiting the time I am staring at my collection searching for a specific record.

  8. Pierre

    Hey john ,

    I live in Paris and I was looking for something to store my records. Thx for this usefull article !
    I certainly going to build it.

    Otherwise it would be easier if you have the drawings in “millimeters”. Maybe ?

    Merci beaucoup.

    Pierre.

  9. Steven Chapp

    Nice job and from one sheet! Only I would add some casters to make it mobile! I tend to re-arrange things from time to time and having to unload the records to move the bin to reload them is a pain in the back!

    • John

      Wow, that’s a great idea. Wish I had thought of that. It’s definitely a pain to move it around.

  10. SUSAN KNAPTON

    HI JOHN.
    GREAT IDEA MY RECORDS ARE SO HARD TO GET TO(OLD AGE) THIS WILL MAKE LIFE SO MUCH EASIER THANKS ONCE AGAIN.
    REGARDS SUSAN

  11. Heather

    Awesome build… and from what’s visible, awesome taste in music!!

  12. This shelf is awesome. I’m really considering building one myself, but modifying it to be records on top, CDs in the middle, and books on the bottom. It’d be great for my “now playing/reading” selections.

  13. Richard Murray

    The shelf looks great! I like the idea of the casters. I’m helping a friend build one, and I think I’ll build one for myself. I was thinking of making it in two parts (upper and lower), and connect them with 4 1/4in dowels.

  14. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ll be making at least one of these soon, with the addition of casters.

    Here’s my own design that I made a couple of years ago:
    http://sosylvie.typepad.com/so_sylvie/2014/01/rock-n-rolling-record-cabinet.html

    Cheers!

    • John

      Nice! In retrospect, casters would have been an awesome addition. As it stands, I have to take all of the records out of the case whenever I want to move it around.

  15. It’s not too late! You won’t regret it. Rock AND roll, heh. I’m putting casters on all of my big furniture these days.

  16. Carlos

    About how many records do you think each shelf holds?

    • John

      Anywhere from 5-600 records, with sleeves that are 1/8″ thick.

      I have no idea how many I have in here currently, but I have quite a few… And it’s probably about 60% full.

  17. I actually built the same exact thing about 4 years before you. Thanks for the plans. Sent them to someone else who wants to build one.

  18. What is the unit of measurement on the plan? I’m used to imperial.

  19. Scott

    Nice! I am going ot build these soon! BTW gaaah! You have Akuma no Uta on vinyl! Nice.

    • John

      Good eye! It’s actually a Nick Drake album (“Bryter Layter”) that Boris based their design on. I see it as a sort of tribute 🙂 but I would love to own that Boris vinyl too!

  20. Just wanted to drop a quick thank you for posting this. I’m going to build one this weekend!

    Adam

  21. Stephen

    Being in Blighty Inches aren’t a lot of good to me. But i’ve converted the measurements here if anyone would prefer.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/dcct0wl

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.