Makers across the country have expanded their shelving options. Another tactic? Buy your woodworking friend a bottle of Scotch.
Let’s not belabor the point: Ikea’s KALLAX shelving unit, though a sensibly utilitarian storage solution marrying form and function and carrying a modest price-point, is hardly the most breathtaking way to store your records.
The ALL-CAPS product is definitely unworthy of the inferred excitement of its name. After all, it only comes in two colors, white and black, and is made of particle board and easily scratchable plastic veneer. Save putting stickers on them, Kallax shelves are tough to personalize.
That’s a problem, especially as the vinyl market has evolved from its boom phase into a way of life. As we settle down and settle in, more records require more space, which in turn demands a solution that will showcase our bounty as it protects it from sunlight, warpage, and disorder. It’s not rocket science. They’re shelves. Or units. Or modular boxes.
Sturdy shelves and boxes, in fact, are easy to build. You might even have a woodworking friend who’ll do the job for the price of the lumber and a bottle of Scotch. Also not rocket science? Searching online hubs such as Etsy for accomplished makers willing to do that work for you.
This is the builder, Paul P.’s, side-gig. By day he’s a math teacher, he notes in his Etsy and Instagram bios. His Instagram offers ample evidence of his skillz.
R/D Record Cabinets
Details: “Perfect cabinet for displaying and storing your record collection! Each drawer holds about 75-100 LPs comfortably, or about 14 inches of vinyl per drawer. Viewing your LPs upright makes sorting, finding, and returning your vinyl a breeze. Drawers are on telescoping, full-extension hardware, so finding a record tucked in the back of the drawer is easy.”
The UK-based woodworker Urban Editions has designed a distinctive series of shelves shown below that are both simple and sturdy. (Note: due to shipping costs, these pieces are perhaps an aspirational buy for US-based customers; definitely show these to your woodworking friend!)
Details: “This large solid iroko (African teak wood) cabinet is designed to be used as a vinyl storage cabinet, record player stand or media console table, but it also works well as a sideboard or even a drinks or display cabinet … This vinyl storage cabinet is a solidly built design [and] made using traditional joinery techniques, sustainable hardwood, attention to detail and finish. Perfect if you’re looking for a vinyl storage solution to complement a premium music setup.”
The Chicago company Archer Furniture has established a name for its heavy-duty Mid-Century Modern-inspired constructs. Its 4-tier Helen shelf (below) will transform a room, and your perception of your collection.
The company was founded by Cole Mestrovich, a Midwest builder whose upbringing in Hammond, Indiana and “its industrial forms and rigid geometry” informed his aesthetic. He started in furniture design while pursuing a sculpture MFA at University of Chicago. Per his bio, “the Minimalist sculptors of the mid 20th century had a heavy influence on his style.”
Another option is committing to a modular system: well-crafted boxes that allow for expansion as you spend more and more of your food money on Discogs. The Connecticut-based Form and Finish designs a striking box that allows for easy stacking and includes accessories to doll-up your system.
The solid Fillniture Modular Shelving System features customizable cubes that combine to create record shelves and feature add-ons that add class. Add a table top and make it a coffee table or stack them. The company also offers various customizable options to add to the standard cube, which comes with four legs and a connector. Each subsequent addition uses its own connector.
Those looking to save money on shelves in order to spend more of it filling them have any number of options. One good one is to buy shelving brackets online and nice wooden planks closer to home. Any number of companies offer options, including F & F Vintage’s Iron Modernist Record Shelving Brackets.
F & F Vintage
Since you won’t have to spend shipping costs on wood planks – those you’ll be buying locally – you can save your hard-earned money for filling them. Note: make sure you use a harder wood to prevent the wood from bending or buckling.
In the beginning, of course, there was the peach crate, which predated the Peaches-brand crates that have since dominated the conversation crate solutions. At one point farmer’s markets were dense with crates during peach season; that they happened to have the precise measurements for vinyl storage was a fluke. Now a search on Etsy will take you to volumes of such crates, which are easy to build and allow for cheap knockoffs.
Those less interested in authenticity will be giddy with the non-Peaches options. The SouthHaven Designs box has been getting raves.
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