We have stored our vinyl record collection in milk crates for years. They are heavy and take up a lot of floor space, plus the records are not easily accessible. So, I made some wall racks to store all 180 lbs of our record collection. I love how some album covers are visible and we can flip through them like we used to at the record store.
Watch my video tutorial, then click here to download my FREE PDF Plan from my blog post and follow this Instructable to make some for your collection.
Step 1: Determine How Many Racks You Need
To get an estimate of how many bins I needed, I measured our stacks of records. We have about 60" of records if we stacked them in one big tower. I wanted to use 1x6 boards (which are 5.5" wide) for the racks so that the racks would not stick out too far off the wall. This meant that 5" stacks of records would fit comfortably with .5" of wiggle room for flipping through them. So, 60" of records divided by 5" stacks gives me 12 stacks of records that I need to store, so I need at least 12 bins.
I made 3 racks that are 4 bins wide, but you can customize your racks to fit your wall space by adding or removing bins depending on how many records you need to store.
Step 2: Cut the Dividers and End Pieces
Use the cutting templates in my plan to cut the dividers and end pieces. Each of my racks had 2 end pieces and 3 divider pieces, since there were 4 bins per rack. I cut one of each on the band saw, then used those as guides to cut the rest.
Step 3: Attach the Dividers and Ends to the Bottom Shelf
For each rack, I bought a six-foot 1x6 and cut it to length for the bottom shelf. I marked where each divider should be located and glued, nailed, and screwed them into place. Then, I glued, nailed, and screwed the end pieces onto the ends of the 1x6. Make sure they all face the same direction.
(Exact measurements are in my project plan.)
Step 4: Add Front and Back Strips
I cut the front and back strips from 2x4s, but pre-cut furring strips or molding would work fine too. I cut the front strips to .375"x.75" so they don't block much of the album covers. The back strips are .5"x1.5" for strength, since they will be mounted to the wall. I attached these to the rack using glue and brad nails, then I inserted screws through the back strips for extra strength.
After assembly is complete, sand and apply your choice of finish or paint. I filled the nail holes with putty and painted the racks with semi-gloss black spray paint.
Step 5: Mount the Racks on the Wall
Vinyl records are really heavy. Each 5" stack of records weighs about 15 lbs. It is very important that you mount the racks securely in to the wall studs with several long screws and washers. Washers help to spread the force across a wider area of the board. My racks have four bins, so that's about 60 lbs of records per rack. Four long screws into wall studs holds them just fine. Use a level to make sure they are straight.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Records Again!
First, please alphabetize your records! It makes it easier to find a particular record and it feels better if they are organized. After I filled the racks, I looked through each bin and picked out my favorite album cover to display on the front of the stack. I plan to swap them out occasionally for a change of scenery.
Have fun flipping through your records again! I used to spend hours browsing through records at record stores back in the day and have missed that experience. Thank goodness I don't have to move those heavy crates around anymore.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable and I hope this helps somebody out there! If you make some racks, I'd love to see a picture. Steve...