Introduction: Revived CD Rack As Vintage Box

About: I'm an Italian freelance structural engineer, graphic designer and photographer, now I'm teaching physics in Waldorf high-schools. I always investigate electronics, robotics and science in general, I'm a passi…

This is one of the best reusing I've ever done. I'm sure that some of you remember that until some years ago everybody had a cd-rack on the side of the hi-fi.
I took my two old plywood cd-racks and I converted them into nice vintage compartment boxes for my electronic components.

Step 1: The Unused CD Racks

I loved my collections of music albums on CD, but nowadays all my music has been converted into files and all CDs are in a drawer. These plywood racks were only bulking and lumbering.

Step 2: Disassemble

Disassembling the racks was not easy, since I wanted to keep every piece intact... actually sometimes there is glue and sometimes there are nails, just try to use the right tool and be patient.

Step 3: The Basic Idea

My first idea looking at the many plywood pieces was to intersect some of them to make compartments.

Step 4: Adjusting

Then I improved the basic design and I decided to use as much original pieces I could, and to not add new parts to the project.
I had to make some slits deeper and to cut new ones. Number of slits and distance between them depend on boxes dimensions and pieces availability.

Step 5: Test and Refining

When you cut all slits you can check that all junctions work good and that the assembled drawers (still with no bottom at this time) fit in the box. Don't glue parts yet.

Step 6: Mordant

I painted all pieces with mordant to add a better appearance, visually more old and lived. Use a sponge to make the painting process faster.

Step 7: Wax

Polishing wood with wax will make it nicer. Pay some attention and use some time for these steps because it's easier treating parts before gluing them, and the final result will be more well-finished.

Step 8: Details

There are no particular suggestions to assemble these compartments, just look between many pieces a different piece if one you are joining doesn't fit well.

Step 9: More Details

If you have no other choice use saw to make slits deeper, and use sandpaper to remove parts which protrude.

Step 10: Bottoms

Of course you need a bottom for each drawer. I chose 4mm plywood. I measured pre-assembled compartments and I cut plywood sheets at right dimensions.

Step 11: Bottoms Finishing

To obtain same appearance of previously finished parts, I treated bottoms with same products.

Step 12: Double Bottom

To hide a double bottom in one box I glued two profiles to inside edges, where double bottom will rest.

Step 13: Glue Dividers

Now you can glue all dividers one to each other. I used vinylic glue. Then wait the right time the glue dry, usually at least two hours.

Step 14: Glue Bottoms

When dividers are glued you can spread glue on one side and lay bottoms on them. With an heavy tool or container keep them pressed while glue dries.

Step 15: One Dilemma

One dilemma I had was how to connect pieces with two slits near the centre. I mean, leaving one slit unused is not nice at all... and I don't want to have two dividers at half inch distance one each other.

So I decided to cut some little dividers and alternate them on the rows. You will understand better in next steps.

Since I only have two long pieces to use as container sides, I opted for the lower level integrated in the box.

Step 16: The Solution

You can see this solution is quite good, this is the test I made before gluing the dividers.

Step 17: Gluing

I first glued the central pieces, then I added the sides. Remember to clean glue when it's still a bit fluid.

Step 18: Still Gluing

To press parts together while glue dries, I used a long clamp. Use a rope or a cord if you don't have this type of clamps.

After a while, like two hours, take clamp off and glue bottoms like described before.

Step 19: Lower Level

Like I said lower level of this ex-cd-rack is integrated in the box. This is again a test, and you will notice that at the end I placed dividers upside-down, since I though that long profile on the side was better near the lower edge, like in next step.

Step 20: Glue Profiles

Add glue on the sticks then press them against the sides in the way you prefer. I used same plywood parts like in the pictures. Wait some time until the glues is dry.

Step 21: Again Glue

Now glue the dividers, one at a time, have a great patience in this step. Use clamps or other ways to keep pieces in contact.

Step 22: Add Handles

This wood board is the cover for the compartments lower side of one box.

I drilled two holes and added a cord handle at each side.

Step 23: Vintage Handles

At the sunday flea market I found beautiful old handles. Two of them are door handles, but they are cool enough to use on my boxes. I cleaned and straighten them.

Step 24: Bolts

To connect handles I needed small bolts and nuts. Some of them are too long but I will cut them.

Step 25: Anchor Handles

Drill holes and use bolts to anchor handles at the right position. Then use a file or a saw to remove the protruding part inside the box.

Step 26: Handles Again

Other handles couple is easier to attack, and from inside the box i screwed bolts directly in the handles.

Result IMHO is quite nice for both boxes.

Step 27: Some Details

Bottoms of the boxes need to be secured, so I added some metal staples with a useful staple gun. Then I placed some felt pads on the corners.

Step 28: Cord Handles

I also needed some handles for the drawers and for the covers.

I opted again for small portions of yellow cord, it adds some colour to my project.

I drilled holes in the containers sides, made a knot at one end, inserted other end in the holes, made second knot, cut and burned the cord extremities with a lighter.

Step 29: The Hidden Double Bottom

One bow also have an hidden double bottom, and I'm still thinking a way to lift it with no obvious handle.

Step 30: And That's It!

Boxes are now completed, they both have two levels with small compartments, and covers to avoid dust. One of them even has a double bottom where you can hide your secrets ;-)

I hope you will be able to reuse your old cd-racks or something else following suggestions of this instructables of mine.

Thanks to Ford which sponsored me with some tools and material.

Hand Tools Only Contest 2016

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2016

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Make a Box Contest

Participated in the
Make a Box Contest