I started to buy vinyl records with my allowance when I was like 11 or 12 years old. The very first record I purchased was “Abbey Road” by The Beatles. The compact discs came out soon after that and I eventually moved away from vinyl records. Then everything became downloadable and I quit buying CDs as well. I really missed not having the album cover artwork when buying music in MP3 format.
Fast forward to 2014, I finally bought a record player so I could pretend to be hip like everyone else. My setup is super simple: U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus with ART DJPRE II Phono Preamplifier and Audioengine A2+ Speaker System on my Paul McCobb credenza. I originally had a fabric wall art above the credenza, but always wanted something different – so why not just display some of my records, right? Album cover artwork was one of the reasons I decided to go back on vinyl records to begin with. Plus, it is nice to be able to swap them out and enjoy a whole new look on the wall every so often.
So, how do I want to display my records – in an individual frame like this Art Vinyl Play and Display Record Frame or on ledge shelves? Record display frames are nice, but taking records out when you want to listen to them can be a pain, especially if I display my favorite ones. So I decided to go with the ledge type shelves, but all premade shelves were too expensive. They were also too deep for records and would stick out of the wall too much. DIY was the way to go!
I found some nice tutorials (here is the one I almost did), but I created my own plan.
Here is what I did:
Materials and Tools (this project can be done without any power tools):
* ¼” x 1 ⅜ Pine Lattice Stick (you must select ones that are cut really straight, around $5.50 for 8’)
* 1 x 2 MDF Board (actual thickness is 0.6875” and actual width is 1.5”, around $4.00 for 8’)
* Corner brace (I used three (3) 0.75” “L” shaped corner braces per shelf.
* Wood glue
* Primer, paint and paint brush (use OIL based primer if you are using MDF)
* Saw (I just used a hand saw, but a miter saw is more helpful – I wish I had one)
* Miter Box (it is helpful to cut straight)
1) Decide how many records to display per shelf, buy materials accordingly
2) Cut MDF and lattice to your desirable length and sand rough edges
3) Glue and clamp them together
4) Prime (use oil based primer for MDF board) and paint
5) Attach to the wall (I used three corner braces per shelf)
6) Display your records and admire their artwork
Things I wish I knew (and other thoughts):
• Record jackets vary in sizes – some of my taller jacket records are very snuggly fit on the shelves, thus harder to slide in and out. Also, shorter jacket records can fall out if I’m not careful.
• Corner braces on the top shelf are visible since there are not records on the shelf. Maybe I should’ve placed them under side of the shelf (???).
• I wish I had more clamps. I used four clamps to hold boards together. Since I only had four clamps, I could only make one shelf per day which made this project a weeklong.
• I am starting to wonder if displaying records this way will make them warp eventually. I guess I should swap them more often than just once every other month.
• Someone somewhere said record jacket can stick on the painted surface. So I didn’t paint the top of the shelf (which was factory primed) where the records sit. This is only acceptable the paint color matches the factory primed surface.
• Not all my records have cool artwork, so I need more records…
I don’t have hundreds and hundreds of records (yet), so I’ve only rotated my records three times so far. Once I collected more records, I would try to display them by theme like records with geometric shapes, records with just faces, records with just animals, etc. Possibilities are endless!