Back when records were the dominant music format, the means for organizing, storing, and carrying vinyl collections was a decidedly low-tech affair. In fact, one of the most common vessels for albums at the time — the milk crate — remains one of the more popular means of management to this day. Well, that and a now-discontinued piece of Ikea furniture (which is definitely not portable.)
It’s the 21st century. We can do better. And now that vinyl is back and setting some serious sales records, folks need a better solution. That’s where Wax Stacks comes in.
Frustrated with few options better than a plastic crate with ‘Darigold’ stamped on the side, a trio of music lovers set out to design a record storage and transportation system that was sturdy, durable, stackable, portable, and, just as important, attractive. What they arrived at was Wax Stacks, a storage crate that ships flat and requires no Allen key and cryptic illustrated instructions to assemble (or anything else, for that matter.)
Each Wax Stacks unit comprises five panels of 1/2-inch thick Baltic Birch. The panels are cut such that they have tabs that snap into matching slots and lock into place — there’s no hardware involved. The crates can then be used to tote records around, or stacked to create a shelving unit in any number of dimensions. Each crate will comfortably hold 50 albums. Of course, the crates can hold any number of items aside from records — books, toys, stuffed animals, laser discs, a diorama of miniature Star Wars figures … you name it. Wax Stacks’ creators even go so far as to say the crates are sturdy enough to be used as a step stool or end table.
Milk crates are a poor solution for record storage. They flex under a heavy load, potentially warping records, and the sharp edges are known to tear up record sleeves. Ikea’s Expedit rack — the darling of many a record collector — is no longer available, and its less robust replacement (Kallax) means you’re stuck with a 30 x 30 x 15.25-inch block of Sweedish assembly frustration, whether you need something that large or not.
Wax Stacks appears to provide the right blend of utility and stability in an aesthetically pleasing package, and at a reasonable price. The catch is: Wax Stacks is looking to get off the ground on Kickstarter, so if the project doesn’t get funded, you’ll never be able to get one … or 12. With 17 days left to go (at the time of this publication) Wax Stacks has about $25,000 left to raise. You can get in on the action for as little as $2.00 (because Karma), or you can line up one crate from the first production run for $59 on early bird special. After all the early bird offers are gone, the Wax Stacks crates will go for $65.
This article originally appeared at The Manual’s brother site, Digital Trends.