How to make

The Perfect Vinyl Record Cabinet

And they said you were going to put me on a shelf

 Dominic Vautier

...and it even looks good.record cabinet

If you have a lot of records like I do then it is really nice to have your own personalized record cabinet.  The trouble is nobody makes decent record cabinets anymore.  What's vinyl anyway?  Well I have a lot of it and I could not find anything anywhere close to what I wanted to store my precious vinyl records it so I built my own custom cabinet.  It needed to be a cabinet that was not too big to move around yet was plenty strong to accommodate a large number of records safely, in fact this thing turned out to be really strong and not all that heavy.

The shelf I designed and built consisted of one set of three stacks containing six cubicles in each stack.  It was about 150 lb heavy so two people can move it around when empty.

I decided on 13 inch deep 14 inch high and 14 inch wide cubicles.  The width could change but 14 inches seemed about right because in this way it is easy to store about 75 to 80 records in each cubicle without crowding.  Also they would not flop over or get subjected to pressure from other records on the same shelf.  I experimented with different designs of shelves and if you want to keep a large row of records from flopping over you need some really big bookends, or you can design cubicles as I did.  The best way is just to build the separate cubicles because it adds strength to the shelves and prevents flopping.

A vinyl record jacket is close to 12 and 3/8th inches wide and often the same height.  Some collection covers are slightly bigger perhaps 12 and 1/2 inches.  I felt an optimum cubicle size was13 inches deep and 13 and 3/4 inches high.  This gives me almost an extra inch on top to arrange records and pull them out.  

I decided to use 3/4 inch 7-ply plywood for the cabinet with 1/4th inch backing.  The total height of the cabinet was 85 inches and the width was 45 inches.  This may seem a bit tall but remember that it is the best practical way to store lots of records safely in little space.

A cabinet like this needs to be anchored to the wall because of earthquake or accidental falling.  You definitely want to anchor a cabinet this tall.

The record cabinet may seem at first a bit high and I suspect that 3 stacks of 5 cubicles would be easier to handle.  But my past experience with record shelves had me always putting records on top anyway so I decided to build a sixth set of shelves up on top.     



I began by cutting the sides from one 4x8 sheet and each of the 7 shelves from another 4x8 sheet.  I needed a third 4x8 sheet to build the shelf dividers.




Everything was glued and screwed.  I finished the front with oak molding and then applied several coats of clear varnish to bring out the wood grain.


Each shelf divider was placed in starting from the bottom and proceeding to the top.  In this way no screw heads were visible.  The bottoms of the dividers were secured by toe-nailed screws from the front and back.  they had to be drilled out beforehand and countersunk to avoid splitting the wood.  Molding covered the screw heads.

The cabinet should be able to hold 1000 to 1500 records.  That's probably all my wife will let me keep.

The total cost was below $200 plus my labor (free).