I Built A Vinyl Record Shelf!

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.

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12 Responses to I Built A Vinyl Record Shelf!

  1. Matt Palucci
    February 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    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

    Reply
  2. David Claycomb
    March 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • John
      March 3, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      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!

      Reply
  3. Ben Danek
    December 14, 2013 at 11:38 pm

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

    Reply
    • John
      March 26, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      2 inch wood screws.

      Reply
  4. Gabriel
    December 30, 2013 at 8:05 pm

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

    Reply
  5. barry
    March 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm

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

    Reply
    • John
      March 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      We used 2″ wood screws.

      Reply
  6. James
    May 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    What thickness is the plywood you used for this project?

    Reply
    • Scott
      May 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

      He used 3/4″ thick plywood

      Reply
  7. Jason
    June 13, 2014 at 10:53 am

    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.

    Reply
  8. Pierre
    June 28, 2014 at 11:02 am

    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.

    Reply

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