After getting deeply into record collecting, I decided I needed a good record crate. My goal: something that was super solid, looks great, shows off the albums I have, and rolls around on the floor easily. I like to sit on the floor as I listen to albums and browse through for the next selection.
The design features an inside dimension that's wide enough for albums with large plastic sleeves. But not so wide that things don't look neat. The center rail design in the base makes it possible to add a wooden stop, to keep the albums from sliding forward.
This project turned out great. It requires just one kind of wood, a minimal set of tools, and about 3-4 hours in total to build, including glue drying time. So a perfect weekend day projects.
Also makes a great gift for a friend that's into vinyl.
The woodworking plan is available as a SketchUp model (also a .dae file) at Thingiverse:
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Step 1: What You Will Need
The entire record crate is made from the same kind of wood: 3cm x 5cm pine board. This is commonly available at hardware stores in 2.5m lengths, sold in bundles.
For screws, 5cm and 7cm wood screws are ideal, as they are the right length to bind the chosen wood in different arrangements, at the right depth. And of course, standard wood glue.
- 3cm x 5cm pine boards, a bit less than 5m total length is needed
- 4x caster rolling wheels
- wood glue
- 20x 5cm wood screws
- 12x 7cm wood screws
- Miter saw or saw and miter box, for cutting wood lengths
- Hand-held power drill
- Drill bits for pre-drilling screw holes, driving screws, and a counter-sink tip
- Sandpaper and sanding block
- Sturdy metal ruler, or a tape measure
- Some wood clamps, and ideally one or two large wood clamps, able to span to 40cm
Step 2: The Plan and Cutting the Wood
The downloadable Sketchup file is available at Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2527568
You will need to cut the 5cm x 3cm board into the following lengths:
- 4x 37.5 cm
- 4x 19.0 cm
- 4x 40.0 cm
- 2x 32.5 cm
- 3x 35.0 cm
To make things easier, for each different sized piece, measure carefully and cut the first one neatly. Then use that first one as a template to measure the rest of the same size. This will ensure all pieces are the same length.
After the cuts are done, use a wood sanding block to lightly sand the edges of each piece. Lightly sand the corners and edges to remove any splinters or rough edges.
Tip: When using the miter saw, take your time and don't press down too hard. Let the weight of the saw do the work for you. Slow down at the end of the cut, so you don't cause the wood to break off at the last bit. This will keep your cuts neat and perfect.
Note: Wait to cut the 40.0 cm boards until you are done assembling the base. That's so you can measure it exactly to match the base length. Due to variance in wood and measurements, you'll be thankful to do that :)
Step 3: Create the Base
First, assemble the base is where the records will rest.
You will use the two 32.5 cm pieces and the three 35.0 cm pieces, and six 5cm wood screws.
- Lay the pieces flat on a table and align them. Use wood glue on the edge of each board to connect them as shown in the diagram.
- A clamp should be used to hold the entire piece together (ideally, two clamps).
- Once it is clamped together, drill one 5cm screw at each place where the boards meet (six screws total). Look at the notes in the picture for where the screws go.
- Let the piece dry for about 10m and then you can remove the clamps.
Note: before driving in any screws, pre-drill smaller holes, using a drill bit that's a bit smaller than the diameter of the wood screw used. Be sure to do this, so the wood doesn't split.
Now is a good time to measure and cut the four 40.0 cm wood pieces, using the long edge of the base as a guide. This will ensure things are lined up properly.
Step 4: Assemble the End Pieces
Next, assemble the two end pieces. Each will be built using two 37.5 cm and two 19.0 cm cut pieces.
As in the last step, lay the pieces flat on your work surface, glue and clamp together. Drill in the screws while it is clamped. This time, use the 7cm screws at the points indicated on the photo. Be sure to pre-drill a smaller hole so the wood doesn't split.
Step 5: Connect the End Pieces to the Base
Next, glue and clamp the two end pieces to the base. For each end piece, line it up using the 40.0 cm pieces as spacers, to make sure things are centered correctly.
Pre-drill the holes to attach the sides to the base. See the detail notes on the picture. You will drill 8x 5cm screws for this step. Four on each side, between the gaps in the base board, drilling from the inside, so these screws are not visible on the final piece.
Step 6: Glue and Connect the Long Pieces
Place, glue and screw in each 40.0 cm piece, using the 7cm screws. You will do this eight times in total. Drive the screw in at the corner, so it doesn't run into the other 7cm screw you used at the top of each end piece.
Start with the bottom pieces near the base first. Then do the top pieces.
You might not need to use a clamp for this step, as the screws should hold things together very well.
Step 7: Add the Casters
You can use any kind of caster, but I suggest wheels that have a metal post (like the kind used in chairs), as you can drill a nice sturdy hole into the inner corners of the base. You can also use a caster wheel with a flat metal base (square or round). If you use this kind, the base should be 2.5-3.0 cm in size.
I suggest nylon or rubber wheels that swivel and turn freely, so the whole crate is easy to roll around.
Step 8: You're Done!
At this point, you can paint it, stain it, or use clearcoat. I left mine as bare wood.
I made a nice wooden divider out of thin balsa wood with a coping saw, so I could separate my jazz and rock records easily.
I also built a small block using leftover wood. This required one 5cm piece and 2x 2cm pieces. It fits snugly over the middle board in the base, and helps keep the records from sliding around, since I don't have enough to fill it yet.
This was one of my favorite projects to make this year, so far. I took about 1h to design in SketchUp, and about 3h to cut, assemble and tweak.
If you like it, reach out to me on Twitter @foz.
Cheers, and happy Vinyl enjoyment!
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