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Old 10th September 2012, 04:27 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South East USA
Post Custom Wood Record Stand

Like many people, my record collection started out small. As such, it's location wasn't thought out very well. As it has grown (as all collections do) it's become harder and harder to find what I am looking for. I think the major reason for this is the tiny print on the spine (which is often in poor shape; at least for flea market records).
So for my design, I had a few requirements. I wanted the albums to be front facing, so I can browse through them just like I would at a record store. I don't have a large collection, but I wanted some room for expansion. So I estimate my design could hold twice my current collection, and three times as many if I store my least favorite albums in the bottom section. The spaces needed to be wide enough to accommodate boxed sets and the like. I also wanted the unit to be somewhat mobile (on wheels) and fit on a single 4' x 8' sheet of plywood. This project was also needed to build my experience level, in anticipation of building some full range speakers in the future. I created the plans in SolidWorks which gave me a great idea of what the finished product would be. This also allowed me to optimize my wood usage.

The finished product took several months to complete. This was mostly due to the finish applied, and waiting on dry time. The entire unit is made from 3/4" Baltic Burch hardwood plywood, and fit on a single 4' x 8' 3/4" sheet (there was also a half 1/2" sheet). There is one 2x4 under the main shelf for added support. I wanted to have as few as possible visible fasteners, so most pieces rely on wood glue alone. From the front, there are no visible fasteners. From the sides, there are two brass wood screws that are attached to the 2x4. I also added a small wood screw to the top of the back panel (I decided that this could actually have a fair bit of pressure on it from many records leaning on it). The same panel has multiple wood screws along the bottom (not directly visible on the back).

Because the primary assembly method relies on wood glue, the tolerance between pieces had to be pretty tight. To accomplish this, I used a hand held circular saw to make rough cuts and then a router with a flush-trim bit. To align the router, I used aluminum rails and set the edge trim distance with a dial micrometer. I found this to give very much better results than measuring with a tape measure. Also, as the pieces were completed I dry assembled the stand in its upright position using straps and clamps to my workbench. Doing this allowed me to cut the critical dimensions on the front and rear panels a little large. I then fine-tuned the fit by sanding with a belt sander. The main shelf is attached to the side panels via a 3/8" deep dado the runs the width of the side panels. To dress the raw edges of the plywood, I used pre-glued edge veneer (also in Birch) in 1" wide strips. This was applied using a clothes Iron set to cotton. I originally tried using my router to trim off the excess veneer, but found a sharp razor blade worked better. The wheels were attached with 5/8" bolts via flat bottomed holes made with a forstener bit. This allows storage on the bottom shelf to lie flat and use 100% of the space. The dividers between the rows are 1/4" thick press-board.

Since I don't have a lot of experience with woodworking, I had no clue what finish I wanted to use. I do know that I have never had a project where a paint brush is involved look better than my 6th grade shop class creations. So I bought several sample size oil based finishes and tested them all on scrap from the same sheet of plywood. I wanted to try 100% Tung oil, but couldn't find any place locally that had it. What I chose in the end was three coats of 'Natural' Danish Oil (blend of Tung oil - or so they say, Varnish, Stain, and Solvents) and one coat of 'Cherry' Danish Oil. I found that starting with the cherry just turned the wood red. By finishing with it, I got a little bit of nice chatoyance (I've been wanting to use that word for a long time! Woot!), The finish was applied liberally with a foam sponge (no paintbrush Woot again!) and wiped off after 30 minutes. I messed up, and didn't wipe the 3rd coat off and it almost ruined the project. It would not dry, no matter what. It remained a sticky mess. When I applied the 4th coat, I wiped it off as directed and that seemed to help somewhat. It was still sticky though, even after two weeks of dry time. I had planned all along to use 'SC Johnsons' paste-wax as a final sealer. It happens to have Naphtha in it as a solvent. I applied the paste-wax liberally and let it harden overnight. Then the next day I buffed it out with a clean towel. Thankfully, the paste-wax had the desired effect and finished curing the Danish Oil. The finish now is smooth and non-sticky. As a test, I left a couple of cheap flea market records in the stand for a week, just to make sure they wouldn't stick and that no coloration occurred from the finish. All seems well.

The stand is in my listening room, which happens to be an unfinished basement, so ignore the tools and such.

If anyone wants to use the plans, the dado is not shown! If used (very highly recommended), make sure to make the main shelf wider by the dado depth. In my case, that changes the main panel on sheet 3 from 41.6" wide to 42.35" I also didn't route the dados in the bottom of the main shelf (for added strength). The row spacers work just fine with only front and back dados.


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