Sunday, March 20, 2011

For all you using IKEA Expedit shelving for your LPs...


Beware of overloading! I found this photo on the Facebook page for Highend & Vinyl Lovers United. I used the IKEA Expedit for a few years and then discarded it when the dowels and the screws became loose. I currently use a custom-built hardwood rack made of 2" thick shelves. I commissioned it from a local carpenter who was happy to do a quality job for a reasonable price.

You just have to ask yourself...how much is your LP collection worth to you? Do you want to trust it to something you bought on sale for $99?

(Edit: I get hundreds of comments every week about this blog entry--by far my most read. Before you try to fire off a 2000-word comment about the photo used above, please refer to this follow-up and this follow-follow-up. No further comments will be published on this particular blog entry.)

11 comments:

  1. I like Expedit and use them myself - but only the smaller versions. As my LP collection grows I'll switch to a different solution probably, but it works ok for less than 300 LPs I would say.

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  2. The Ikea Bonde shelving units are much sturdier and are the perfect fit for LPs. I never understood why people thought Expedit was meant for LPs.

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  3. If you look closely at the photo, it appears that the shelving unit was positioned on the wrong side. From the looks of it, the weight load was carried by the dividing boards, and not the long, support shelves. Supporting my theory on this is the way in which the records are aligned. They show that they were perpindicular to the dividing boards, and not parallel, as the system is intended. That's not to say we shouldn't be cautious about how many records are stored, but it's helpful to understand what took place.

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  4. Perhaps, but that does not negate my own comments on the overall construction of the Expedit. I used it and had to replace it after a few years because it was coming apart.

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  5. Plus, I've been to an IKEA where they were displaying the Expedit--complete with LPs--in this way. So much for "intent."

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  6. Same exact thing happened to me. Luckily I didn't lose any albums. The 4X4 and in my case the 5X5 Expedit units just can't take being loaded with that much weight. Check the Ikea website and see what they rate 'em at. It's not even close to being able to handle being fully loaded with records. Part of the problem is the 4X4 and 5X5 units are too big to be put together easily. Most end up wobbly right away.

    I've had better luck with the 2X2 and 2X4 units however. I'm a few years in and they remain tight. I've had plenty of other Ikea stuff loosen and self destruct over time so I tend to keep a close eye on all of 'em now. It's cheap stuff so I'm not surprised.

    Still I have to agree in general with you. I only use the smaller Expedit units and once my listening room is remodeled I'll be switching to purpose built shelves all around. My albums mean too much to me.

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  7. It, indeed, looks like the unit was used 90 degrees from how it should be used. If I understand the assembly it requires supplied dowels and screws. The addition of proper wood glue or construction adhesive would greatly strengthen the joints.

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  8. Very Helpful. Gonna go with the 2x4s and 2x2s just for the piece of mind.

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  9. The unit in the photo was put together EXACTLY the way it is to be done according to the manual provided with the product: I knwo 'cause I've got one. Don't use it for vinyls, though.

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  10. Jonathan from March 28 is right on the money. If you put the short dividers in the horizontal position, the weight of the records will tend to shear the dowels over time. If you follow the directions and allow the records to sit on the long shelves spanning the width of the whole shelf, the dowels will be in compression and you'll be fine. Having said all this, I anchored mine back to the wall in one location. I live in California and have the utmost confidence that my fully loaded 5x5 will survive a decent tremor. Fingers crossed!

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  11. Thanks for posting this! I was just about to buy Expedit shelves for my LP collection. I think I'll ask my carpenter friend for a quote.

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