CD Shelves

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Project by Brad_Nailor posted 04-22-2012 01:23 AM 6988 views 8 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
CD Shelves
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My neighbor is a huge music fan, and lately she has been going totally retro, buying a turntable, and bunches of records. Along with this revelation she wanted to dust off her CD collection, and bring it out of the closet and on the wall. They asked me to come up with a design for some shelves for them. After discussing style, location and the size of her collection I came up with this for a design..

pretty standard…brackets, a 1” solid top, and I was trying to figure out something to keep them from falling off the ends..

I sent them these drawings and the render..and they didn’t like it. Too country for them. So, back to the drawing board! I kicked it around with some people at work that are fellow woodworkers and I also took a look at most of the other furnishings in the house. I came up wit this version..modern simple..a floating wedge, suspended on hidden french cleats..

I sent them the drawings/renders, and they loved it! So it was decided..they would be made out of Poplar, and painted gloss piano black. I started giving more thought to the CD rails at the ends. I needed something that could move with the size of the collection, so the stationary rails were out. I was thinking along the lines of a sliding dovetail but I figured the paint would gum it up, and eventually the paint would wear at the rub spots. All of a sudden it hit me like ton of bricks….rare earth magnets! I could embed a steel bar in the top and then build a bracket with the magnets in the base. Cover the bar with a thin layer of bondo, and cover the bracket bottoms with some felt…Here is my detail sheet on how I did it.

I designed the brackets to be small versions of the same design as the shelves, with the same angle

So now I had it all worked out..time to get busy in the shop…

The shelves assembled, with the steel rail dadoed, epoxied, and screwed in. No sides yet..

At this point I wanted to do a test mount in my basement to make sure it would work and be sturdy enough..

Worked out perfectly! I just have to make sure I screw the cleats into the studs, and tight to the wall.

Here they are getting bondo …

All finished..sanded to 220 and ready for primer..

Primed, and ready for a finish coat..

My drilling jig for the magnet cup holes in the brackets. I did some tests and ended up using 1/4” and 1/2” rare earth mags in cups. After the bondo and the felt goes on that should leave me with enough magnetic attraction to keep the CDs in place but still be able to move them..

I like to cover my workbench with builders paper to keep the top from getting covered in glue and paint and I like to sketch ideas on the can see some sketches I did behind the brackets, when I was trying to work the design out..

After 4 coats of rattle can Gloss Black they were ready to be installed. I purchased some washer head, cabinet hanging screws…these are by far the BEST screws to put up french cleat brackets. They snug them to the wall nice and tight and wont pull through the cleat like a regular screw..
First cleat on the wall…

Finally finished!

They love them! She is so thrilled with how they came out. The paint looks nice..I guess I could have filled the grain a little and got more of an enamel look..but the like the slight grain showing through the paint. The brackets work better than I expected..just the right amount of hold, and not so tight that you cant just slide them back and forth. All in all I say a successful design/build. There is already talk of a second set, smaller but exactly like the first set…


14 comments so far

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 4055 days

#1 posted 04-22-2012 01:44 AM

Brad really nice project. At first I had a lot of questions, but your explanations answered them all. Very smart engineering

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5474 days

#2 posted 04-22-2012 01:53 AM

Awesomeness wood master Bud. Sincerely nice work.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View T. D. Reid's profile

T. D. Reid

275 posts in 3836 days

#3 posted 04-22-2012 02:26 AM

Great design and it really turned out nice. Album collection may cause you some problems when they have you design shelves for them. LOL Cheers

-- Head to the shop its calling you – Todd

View JohnnyB's profile


107 posts in 3880 days

#4 posted 04-22-2012 04:34 AM

Excellent design and execution.

-- JohnnyB - - Sometimes determination can substitute for skill.

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 5405 days

#5 posted 04-22-2012 11:27 AM

Certainly anything but traditional. Excellent work. I really like your design and the finished product. Just curious, there wouldn’t be an issue with the magnets being close to the dvd’s would there?

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5449 days

#6 posted 04-22-2012 12:00 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone..Bruce…no issues with that..CD and DVDs are optical not magnetic storage. They are read by a laser. Just don’t get your wallet or credit cards near the magnets…
TD..they have already approached me to start working out a design for LP storage…but they are thinking some type of stacking crates…not giant versions of these..


View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 5405 days

#7 posted 04-22-2012 12:39 PM

Thanks Dave I guess I really knew that :) just a brain cramp.

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View ErikF's profile


652 posts in 3735 days

#8 posted 04-22-2012 01:52 PM

Looks great! Maybe you should have had an intervention with her and introduced her to the Ipod :) j/k. Again, looks great.

-- Power to the people.

View albachippie's profile


773 posts in 4526 days

#9 posted 04-22-2012 06:00 PM

I really love these, great design and execution. Thanks for your post,


-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

View corydoras's profile


165 posts in 3988 days

#10 posted 04-22-2012 08:22 PM

Great looking shelves.
And if Brad Nailor is your real name… have got the COOLEST woodworker name I have ever heard

Bets reg

-- ->Growing old is mandatory, Growing up is optional-<

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5164 days

#11 posted 04-24-2012 12:38 PM

Nice work, Brad.

View Bennie Woods's profile

Bennie Woods

63 posts in 4165 days

#12 posted 04-24-2012 06:50 PM

These are really cool! I definitely would like to make a few of these! Thanks for posting this project Brad!

-- Bennie Woods, US Navy, GUAM

View superstretch's profile


1532 posts in 4184 days

#13 posted 04-25-2012 01:33 PM

Very nice.. I’ve been playing with RE magnets lately too and they offer a lot of flexibility

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View JSB's profile


737 posts in 3569 days

#14 posted 12-23-2012 02:55 AM

Not only a great project but thank you for the well written and detailed post. I enjoyed following along with your post. Great work on both ends. Thanks! :)

-- Jay -

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