Nomad Crates

I received an interesting call today from a man named David Garrett in Atlanta, Georgia. David has 25 years of experience as an architect (in fact, he grew up in Highpoint, North Carolina—“Furniture Capital of the World”) and, for the last 13 years, has operated his own interior design company. He is aggressively and enthusiastically looking to change directions, however, and has recently started an LP rack business called Nomad Crates.

“I’m 49 years old, so I have plenty of good experience and I’m still young enough to put it to work.”

David wanted to design something that would be sturdy, “super-modular,” easily transportable, and relatively affordable. (People should be able to save on shelving and put more money toward buying records or audio equipment, he says.) Nomad Crates use domestically sourced wood and are built here in the United States. They ship in 4”-thick containers, arrive unstained and partially assembled, and can be disassembled for storage. Standard lengths are 18”, 24”, and 30”; a 24” Nomad Crate holds approximately 150 LPs and costs $50. Or just $0.33/LP. Which matches the price per LP cost of my Gothic Cabinet LP rack, but still misses the crazy-cheap $0.18/LP mark of my nicely finished Ikea Expedit shelves. But, then again, I can’t just rearrange my Ikea shelves to suit my mood or ever-growing LP collection, nor can I simply pick up and go with my Ikea shelves the way one might with the Nomad Crates. After all, the Nomad Crates are made to be transportable and configurable.

(This is an interesting attempt at addressing a problem common to most vinyl fans. We want to lead these free lives—physically and intellectually free lives—but wind up burdened by these things we hold so dear. We are crowded, made immobile. The records own us as much as we own them. What’s up with that? Love?)

In fact, while David says he designed these crates for music lovers, he’s also working with a department of the US government to devise larger versions of the design which can be utilized as temporary shelters, walls, and other sorts of structures. Your LP crate can even double as a shield against terrorist attacks! Just kidding. Professional DJs are going to seriously love these things, though. David tells me that DJ Turn Signal, an LA-based DJ perhaps best known for spinning Gene Simmons’ house parties, is already a big fan and will be promoting Nomad Crates in his videos.

To learn more about Nomad Crates visit the website. David doesn’t have an e-mail address, but has enjoyed getting in touch with other vinyl fans and music-lovers. The reaction to his Nomad Crates has been outstanding, he says.

“People love them, and I love them, and I just think this is a really fun thing. This is the most fun I’ve had in 20 years.”

Mark Fleischmann's picture

"We want to lead these free lives—physically and intellectually free lives—but wind up burdened by these things we hold so dear. We are crowded, made immobile. The records own us as much as we own them. What’s up with that? Love?"That is some very good writing.

Scott Atkinson's picture

You bet.Same graph jumped out at me. Nailed it, you did.

Dismord's picture

They may function effectively as transport containers but as domestic storage they simply don't make sense.

buddha's picture

Wow, heavy....but can you deal with the unbearable lightness of digital?

Jared's picture

Agree with Dismord, makes no sense for domestic storage. Looks great for transport, more effective than milk crates with the stacking capabilities. Probably not great storage containers either.

John E.'s picture

Remember back when Peaches used to have crates very much like these but made out of cheap rough sawn wood. They were $5 each at the time. I find that a standard size milk crate works very well and is exceptionally ugly as well. I have a entertainment center with two unused cabinets at the bottom which I fitted for a sliding rack to hold my LPs. Works very well.

Stephen Mejias's picture

I think the pictures on the website need some work, but I don't think the Crates are particularly unattractive. If you check the website, you'll also see the Crates stacked vertically, like shelves. The Nomad Crates pictured here are the standard version. David is also working on a furniture-grade version, which will of course be more expensive.

buddha's picture

Y'all do know you can turn them sideways and created a modular record shelf, right?

Ron's picture

I like 'em, but it's easier for me to schlep down to Ikea for an expedit.I've had to pare my collection down as records were taking over my apartment. Now I'm keeping it to one record a week max. When you buy less you can buy higher quality stuff and keep it to the best of the best, which it should be.

Alexander Ghali's picture

Paying for something that only exists in the digital realm is,,, well let's just say if I buy something I want to be able to hold it in my hand. I paid a relatively significant amount of money for one of those Boltz racks years ago, and since it isn't completely filled (a lot of my CDs are in what's supposed to be a videotape rack in my back room) an enormous number of my CDs have fallen through those metal bars onto my tile floor and broken the jewel cases, which I need to replace. I'm a filmmaker working on a film shooting next year about a high school DJ/music producer, so for record storage I bought portable primary-color DJ record cases from Odyssey Gear. They're a lot cooler than that butt-ugly DIY-looking record crate, for not much more money.

Nathan's picture

"The records own us as much as we own them. "almost bought a record I already own. Whats up with THAT?

GEORGE's picture

How dopey......guy has 25 years of design work, and all he can do is make some ugly box, with slats of wood, we had more involved projects in high school wood shop. This is really not so good. Does it make the records SOUND better by being in one of these things. The specail wood has sonic enhancement propertys. XTRA $50. !! Scull marketing techniques?

David's picture

Thank you all for taking time to comment. First, Stephen that really is some good writing. Hoping it would occur to you all that boxes are unacceptable. Ron,you are adding resonating devices to the room so design wise, boxes are never a consideration. If your boxes are in a basement, trapped moisture will be a concern as well. Alex, since Nomads ship partially assembled, DIY is somewhat appropriate. Butt ugly? It's a heavy-duty crate designed to last 50-100 yrs. My design colleagues (serious critics) say that the beauty is in it's simplicity. George, I admit this isn't my creative outlet (look for in 2011) but is the Lou Khan of crates. The hardest thing for most designers is simplicity. Re:skills, you don't last 25 yrs unless you're good. Clients want me in wings even after I move on. If you can afford, custom millwork can be made for you in any style you like. Nomads allow LP stor for approx 33 cents/ disc and US made, thus cost. Last, unfin pine less reflective- so you got it!D