Do It Yourself CD Shelf
Eventually all music collectors run out of storage space for their CDs, Tapes, DVDs, etc. This article is written to show you how to build a Do It Yourself CD Shelf for under $20 and will hold up to 640 standard CDs in jewel cases.
Get some lumber. Shown here are six 1″ x 6″ x 6 ft so called “common boards” made of pine.
Four of them have been cut down by the hardware store into pieces 24″ long giving me 12 interior shelves.
TIP 1: When selecting your lumber it pays to spend time testing the boards for flatness. Lay them on the floor of the hardware store and be sure they lay flat, if they curve even a little put that piece back and test another one.
TIP 2: Make sure the store cuts the lumber for your shelves exactly 24″ long. Line them up like this in photo #2 and be sure there are none that are wildly off measurement before you take them home, a tiny bit as shown here will not make a difference.
Tools you will need: power drill with drilling bit and Philips head screw driver bit, a pack of 50 2″ long wood screws (you will use 48 for this project), pencil and a CD to measure the shelf height. I happen to be using the original pressing of the EMPEROR / ENSLAVED split CD from Candlelight Records.
TIP: A “quick change” chuck on your drill (as shown) makes swapping between the drill bit and screw driver bit far less irritating than manually swapping them out each time and tightening over and over again.
Build a Box. Set the first long end board ontop of a short shelf board and drill down through the long board and into the shelf board. You pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting the wood when you drive the screws in. The second photo shows the completed box which will hold the 10 interior shelves.
Using the pencil and CD of your choice stand the CD on the short label end and make a mark for the shelf on the long endpieces top to bottom. Measure using the CD oriented this way so that the shelf space is slightly taller than the CD case by about 1 inch, as you see in photo 3. This makes it easy to remove CDs from the shelves and allows space for CDs that may be in some kind of special packaging like an outer box.
Measure, mark and test fit all the interior shelf boards. Due to the slight variation of the interior boards some may fit better than others in certain areas along the length of the shelf so try to come up with a scenario where they all fit snug. Then begin pre-drilling the holes and driving the screws in on one side then the other.
You’re done with the basic shelf giving you 11 shelves that will hold 58 standard jewel case CDs per shelf, so this unit will hold roughly 640 CDs.
STEP 7. (optional)
Add backboard to create an enclosed shelf.
You’ll need a hammer, some Brad Nails (small thin nails) and heavy cardboard or thin wooden boards
Cut your cardboard sheets to size and use the brad nails to attach them in the corners and in the center along the shelves.
TIP: If your cardboard boxes have tape or markings on them like these do be sure the blank unmarked side faces into the shelf so you don’t see any markings from the front of the finished shelf.
Here you can see the shelf from the front showing your completed 3 sided enclosed shelf.
You can use this same process to make shelves specifically for DVDs, Cassette Tapes and certain Book series that are all published at the same size like the Warhammer / WH40K and Dragonlance series. Just use a set size measuring device to ensure each shelf is the same distance from each other with a little extra space on top of each shelf to allow ease of removing & replacing the items.