Design questions for media storage cabinet

Hi all,
I'm working on the design for a media storage cabinet to handle our movie/music collection, and I have a couple of questions I though I'd put to the group:
Since DVD & CD cases are "so" narrow (5"-6" maybe), I'm trying to work out a plan to get 2 "layers" of cases into the unit. I'm thinking about having a "layer" of shelves on the front of the cab. on hinges that will reveal a 2nd "layer" of shelves when opened up.
I'm currently planning on building the unit in 2 pieces, a lower cab with either drawers or doors for misc storage, and an upper unit with the dual layers of shelves for the media, and the 2 units will be bolted together with furniture bolts. The piece will be placed into a niche between the fireplace and outter wall of the room, and I haven't measured it yet, but it's somewhere in the 2-3 wide.
The cabinet will be roughly 2 1/2 - 3 ft wide, and 12-14 in deep, depending on depth needed to hold the 2 layers of media. The bottom cabinet will be 2 1/2 - 3 ft high, and the top cabinet somewhere in the 3 1/2 - 4 ft high depending on how it works out with the height of the DVD cases (I'm kinda tall, so a 7 ft cabinet works great for me).
The front "layer" will be 2 "inner" shelf units, each about 12-18 in wide and 6ish in. deep, connected to the "outter" case with piano hinges. The "outter" case will be 2 1/2-3 ft wide, and 12ish in deep.
What I'm wondering about is clearence for the front shelves at the top & bottom of the case. I'm concerned that when the weight of the front shelves is swung out, it will cause the outter case to rack a bit, causing the swingout shelves to possibly bind. Anyone have any experience with a design like this? I was originally going to go with 1/4 in. clearence at the top and bottom, but I'm wondering if that is too much, or too little. Any thoughts on how to a) figure out how much clearence I really need, or b) support the outter cabinet to ensure it cannot rack at all?
The upper cabinet will have a full back of 1/4 in. ply, which I know should stop the vast majority of the racking, but like I said above, I'm just a little worried that when one side is opened, the shifting of the weight may cause the outter case to rack enough that the swingout shelves may bind.
I'm planning on making the both the inner and outter cases out of 3/4 in ply, with 1/4 in ply backs, rabbited into the sides, then guled and nailed.
Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.
Trace
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Do you really want/need to store all of those cases? I decided to toss them all. I bought a bunch of Tyvek sleeves and simply store the disks and sleeves. It saved a huge amount of space.
In fact, I just added some dividers to an existing chest of drawers and have around 1500 discs in only 3 largish drawers. The sleeves are labelled, arranged alphabetically and indexed to aid retrieval and return.
I haven't regretted tossing the cases since I first moved to this system a couple of years ago.
It would be nice if the drawers extended out for 100% of their depth (mine only roll out 90% of the way). But that's been only a minor issue and so I haven't really looked at replacing the rollers (until now, hmmmmm!).
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On Jan 29, 1:36 pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

Actually, I had thought of putting them all in disk binders, or individual sleeves, but then thought I try this as an educational experience since I'd never built a piece of furniture like this. On paper, everything looks great, but I thought I'd ask here for any practical experience before I go too far down this road. My collection is extremely modest compared to yours...I'd probably only fill 1/4 of 1 drawer if I went that route :-).
Trace
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Malcolm Hoar wrote:

Same here.
I went to a 4 per page looseleaf system.
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wrote:

Something like this?
http://www.thejungles.com/enoakcab612.html

The trouble with a setup like this is your door is now 6" thick, so when it swings out at 90 degrees you need to have 6" clearance on both sides. If the space is 2' then you end up with two layers of 1' shelving, exactly what you would have had with one layer that went full length. At 3' then you have two layers of 2' shelving, so 4' instead of 3'. So you probably are not gaining as much by this as you think.
The best way I can think to take advantage of depth would be something more like a pull out pantry type of shelving. Basically turn the shelves 90 degrees so that the ends of the shelves are what face out, mounted on full extension slides so that a whole column of shelves slide out.
-Leuf
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My father built a Pantry into my mom's new kitchen. It actually has three easily accessable layers. It has double doors and shelves on the doors for storing canned goods. Then there are two top to bottom swing out shelves that are mounted to a single divider in the middle of the cabinet. Then there are fixed shelves top to bottom in the back. It holds A LOT of canned goods and does not rack at all. You do lose some shelf width in the door / swing outs but not a full 6" for a 6" shelf.
I would reccomend going to home depot or other store that has a lot of kitchen cabinets on display for inspiration.
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Leuf,
Close, but instead of having the hinges at the back of the front shelves, the hinge would be at the front. The 'outter' case would be 12 in. deep, and the front shelves would be on 'inner' boxes that are about 6 in deep, again, with the hinge at the front vs. the back of the swing out shelves.
The disadvantage is that with both shelves swung out, there would only be 18-24 in open between the front shelves. That fact may make it unworkable. I need to play some more with the design.
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Forget doors. Imagine a lowboy dresser stood on end. Where your drawers pull out vertically. In your case at 3 feet wide you would have five vertical drawers 4 feet high at 14 inches deep. Hardware would be top and bottom. That's a lot of CD storage.
Those new thin CD cases can be glued back to back (hotglue gun is great) giving you a nice wide edge that can be labeled so you can find them in your cabinet. They also fit perfectly in all the hardware designed for the older thick CD cases. Like these. http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&p@103&cat=3,40894,41369 Each drawer in your cabinet would have these 2 deep by 4 high. So in the skinny cases each of your five drawers would hold up to 320 CDs or 1600 total. Do you have that many? <g>
Or do what my son did. Wallpaper the entire room with CD cases. He has them from 32" off the floor to about a foot from the ceiling around the entire room even his door. Over 350 CDs. It actually looks good. He's an artistic kid and arraigned the covers in a great color coordinated way. He has twice this many and only keeps his favorites on the wall. I dread the drywall work when these come down.

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