Storing LP Collections
January 1, 2004 5:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a better way to store my vinyl records. Right now I probably have 500 or so sitting in milk crates on my living room floor. I'd like as cheap of a solution as possible, so I was thinking about just pulling the old cinderblocks and some boards deal. I'm not opposed to buying some premade shelving though. Any ideas?
posted by corpse to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ikea has a shelf system that is very popular with DJs, but I forget the name.

I would not recommend cinder blocks because they are dusty and messy and really heavy to carry. I suppose if you lived in an industrial loft, they would be appropriate, but I think you can do better than that.

I use Metro.com Shelving systems for both my turntables/mixers as well as for some of my vinyl, but this stuff isnt cheap.
posted by gen at 7:42 PM on January 1, 2004


In my experience, you already have the best solution: milk crates. Perhaps all you need is spray paint.
posted by mischief at 9:20 PM on January 1, 2004


The $40 (Canadian) WalMart bookshelf I've got holds something like 400 LPs, and is, after about two years and one move, holding up pretty well (except that I've lost one of the little metal bits that holds a shelf up--milk crate to the rescue). No style points or anything, but it's cheap and functional. More so than milk crates, anyway, as the latter don't seem to stack well sideways.
posted by arto at 11:27 PM on January 1, 2004


I'm storing about 22000 records home here....all 12 inch...many in a garage, but some in my small box room (about 3000 in the room with me) - I use an Ikea shelf system called 'STEN' which is (obviously) self build, so allows you to customise the shelf heights, with each pack (about £25ukp) - you buy and extra shelf....and you get 4 rows of storage (leaving the top free) - you can then put record boxes or milk crate type storage on top...I have two 'columns' in my room for records...and two more for my computers and music kit...

My only modification - has been to build 'ends' into the shelving as the gap is just over a record sleeve wide... I bought some ply and made 13" widths to fit in....

You could stain or paint them - although I leave em natural - they look fine to me...no style points again - but fully functional.

Made my record/computer room much much tidier... email me if you wanna know any more.

(and by the way - I'd still like more space...!)
posted by mattr at 6:02 AM on January 2, 2004


mischief: I live with corpse and am encouraging a solution that doesn't involve milk crates spread out over the living room floor.

I think I saw the shelving units mentioned in a friend's Ikea catalog yesterday. Too bad the closest one to us is four hours away.
posted by jennyb at 6:09 AM on January 2, 2004


I just bought a shelf unit called Manto (I think) from Habitat. Maybe a bit pricey (£140) but the shelving will probably take most of my thousand odd records (perfect fit) as well as some of the stereo equipment. The decks on top are a little high but the unit looks very good and has full approval from the boss.

mattr - still would like to meet ya. playing out in the area anytime soon?
posted by Frasermoo at 6:17 AM on January 2, 2004


I've got a few thousand records stored on muy cheapo resin shelfs that they used to sell in Argos (UK). I say used to, as I just had a look at the online catalogue and can't see them anymore. They were fairly generic however, and I'm sure that similar ones are available elsewhere.

Anyway - they're resin (hence very strong), black, look inoffensive, they slot together in moments, up to three shelves high, about 3.5 feet wide and the perfect depth for vinyl. They cost £25.00 / set. I think they're designed for garage or workshop storage, so check out appropriate suppliers.
posted by bifter at 6:38 AM on January 2, 2004


I was just checking out these. They seem affordable and expandable, if you just get the plain record racks.
posted by corpse at 6:48 AM on January 2, 2004


Commercial wire shelving can be very good for something like this, because it is strong and lightweight, and keeps dust accumulation down. And if you prefer something that isn't a tall bookcase, you could go with a couple-three of these.
posted by taz at 6:57 AM on January 2, 2004


I use the "instaoffice" cube things that taz linked to - they're pretty good, but i'm not sure that I'd trust them to hold that many LPs - also, the records tend to slide out the sides sometimes. A DJ friend of mine uses the commercial wire shelving though and he loves it. He keeps the tables down where he can reach them and stores records above and below.
posted by soplerfo at 9:06 AM on January 2, 2004


My father the carpenter built me something similar to the Rackit thing that Corpse linked to. Since I have absolutly no carpentry skills I assume he used magic. But upon inspection they look like wooden milk crates. Same dimensions on all 5 pieces of wood (14x14 I think). They have handles so I can use them for moving (though damn heavy). He made me 9 which hold about 350 albums. They stack great (I have them in a closet out of the way and away from little sticky hands). He also made me 2 smaller units, about 22 in long to hold my 45s as well. The amazing (to me atleast) part is he actually knocked the whole thing off in a day. Painted black it looks permanent like the monolith from 2001.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 11:01 AM on January 2, 2004


I'll second taz's commercial shelving suggestion. I'm storing ~15k records in stainless steel units similar to these. Very strong, and virtually indestructable. The only downside is that they don't fit in very well with the furniture in the rest of the house.
posted by Oops at 11:40 AM on January 2, 2004


I use quite a bit of "wire" shelving around the house and whenever I need more the first place I check is Restaurant Equipment World, which sells the stuff from InterMetro at a pretty decent discount. I'll probably be buying another set soon for the laserdiscs, which are roughly of the same form factor as 12" LPs (though a bit thicker).

Now, does anyone know a cheap source of those clear plastic self-adhesive 12" outer sleeves? The cats did a number on most of mine.
posted by majick at 12:10 PM on January 2, 2004


Now, does anyone know a cheap source of those clear plastic self-adhesive 12" outer sleeves?

Check clearbags.com's "Search by Size" function. They may have what you're looking for, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. 12 1/4" x 12 1/4" clear bags are currently listed at $0.17 each, with price breaks for increased quantity.
posted by Danelope at 12:36 PM on January 2, 2004


I love Metro shelving units, but aren't they actually quite inhospitable to the delicate cardboard edges of LPs? Your records won't be sitting on a flat surface, resulting in multiple point loads that will dimple and deform your cardboard. (Same would happen to books.)

Plus the uneven surface makes it hard to stack things.

Yes? No?
posted by joeclark at 2:54 PM on January 2, 2004


A cheap solution to that problem might be to slap a piece of plywood down on top of the bars on each shelf. It's worked for me when I need to store something other than 12's.

I haven't found the bars to be harmful to the edges of my records, though.
posted by Oops at 3:21 PM on January 2, 2004


Now, does anyone know a cheap source of those clear plastic self-adhesive 12" outer sleeves?

Send away for a Bags Unlimited catalog. Even if you don't order from them (they have the resealable sleeves), their catalog makes for a decent reference tool to have sitting around.
posted by gluechunk at 7:23 PM on January 4, 2004


JoeClark... oops' idea of cardboard is almost on : but cardboard will eventually transfer the points through its layers. My suggestion would be the artist board (the name slips my mind just now... starts with an "m") that is rough on one side, smooth on the other, and damn stiff.

Also, for shelving, I would suggest taking a look at The Container Store.
posted by silusGROK at 11:52 AM on January 5, 2004


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