Stackable, flippable 7" record boxes

45 Storage

With fewer storage options than for 12” records, 45s are usually stored in shoeboxes, fruit crates, or random bins from dollar stores. Commercially-available alternatives are limited to corrugated cardboard bins for long-term storage and homemade wooden crates with very similar form factors.

 

Typically, these trade off visibility and aesthetics for portability, or ease of browsing for stack-ability. If you can flip through 45s easily, you can’t stack the box. If you can pick it up by handles, you can’t get a good look at what’s in the case.

 

My goal was then to make a case that is:

  1. Good for flipping from the top or side of the records

  2. Prevents weight from adding up too much in one place

  3. Stackable with other cases if possible

Prototype Development

01

The first prototype was a 3-sided laser-cut cardboard box with slot handles and a trapezoidal divider. I also used cardboard rectangles as facsimile “faux-ty-5s”

Overall worked well, but low slot handles and high divider did not afford easy carrying or browsing

02

Second, I raised the height of the box and changed slots for large windows, while lowering the divider

 

This improved carrying, browsing, and aesthetics, but at the cost of stability

03

Acknowledging how the weight of records would fall to the bottom-back of the case, I added a curve to accommodate carrying it at a stabilized angle

I also added an L-shaped divider for improved browsing and aesthetics

04

I tried out swappable side panels and dividers to simulate different holding angles, aesthetics, and structural support

05 Current

Learning from my cardboard prototypes, I built two cases from laser-cut 1/8” plywood, fastened by finger joints and wood glue, to more robustly test stability when carrying and stacking. I kept most elements of the previous construction, but refined the window curve radius and rounded off other corners

I glued a drawn-in board to the bottom of the case to let it lock in when stacking with other cases. This version stacks comfortably and larger windows afford the carrier to securely grip both at once. Added height allows for comfortable browsing even when stacked and the divided weight distribution of the records helps with comfort and stability

Challenge

Design and test an alternative storage solution for 7” records

Timeline

2 Weeks

(2021)

© 2022 Matt Muenzer