Reproducing Vinyl Records In Resin

A hand holding a paper cup pours orange resin into a mold. There are several different colors in a spiral inside a circular mold on a circular platform with holes around its perimeter sitting on a wooden table.

While most are just plain, vinyl records can be found in a variety of colors, shapes, and some even glow in the dark. [Evan and Katelyn] decided to spruce up a plain old record by replicating it in bright, glow-in-the-dark resin.

By first making a silicone mold of the vinyl record and then pouring several different colors of resin into the resulting mold, [Evan and Katelyn] were able to make a groovy-looking record that still retained the texture necessary to transmit the original sounds of the record. The resulting piece has some static, but the music is still identifiable. That said, audiophiles would probably prefer to leave this up on the wall instead of in their phonograph.

Acrylic rings were laser cut and bolted together to build the form for the silicone mold with the original record placed at the bottom. To prevent bubbles, the silicone was degassed in a vacuum chamber before pouring over the record and the resin was cured in a pressure pot after pouring into the resulting mold.

If you’re interested in how records were originally made, check out this installment of Retrotechtacular. A more practical application of resin might be this technique to reproduce vintage plastic parts.

9 thoughts on “Reproducing Vinyl Records In Resin

  1. Reminds me of my childhood when I made a balloon powered hovercraft disc from one of grandma’s old records and glue & a spool of thread. The instructions were printed in a comic magazine.. Ah, hood times! πŸ€—

  2. More and more new vinyl is often “limited edition” and is something other than black. In the past though the coolest one I’ve seen were records had that the grooves somehow messed with so there was a hologram in it. I think a Styx record did it.

    1. Decent 2 part molding silicon isn’t particularly cheap, that said for the quality of clean it likely gives and how little human effort it may be worth it. Its also not really stupidly expensive (here at least) as the stuff goes quite a long way when you use it right and that few kg will end up lasting well beyond its shelf life for most of us i expect, especially if its just deep cleaning records…

  3. The mold should be made in a pressure tank. Silicone does not like to flow into sharp corners unless it’s forced in. I figured that out over 20 years ago when getting started in making silicone molds and resin castings.

    I also gave up on vacuum degassing the silicone and resin. I just use pressure, no less than 60 PSI on the molds. That pushes the silicone into all the finest details, even fingerprints, and forces the air into solution in the silicone.

    It’s very important to keep the silicone under pressure long enough at a high enough temperature so it’s fully cured before the pressure is let off. I made a mess of a mold in a cold shop one winter. The silicone wasn’t fully cured and bubbled up. Shining a halogen worklamp on the pressure tank from a couple feet away warmed it enough to cure.

    If you’re casting over a master that’s not solid (like wood) which has been sealed to make the silicone touching surface smooth, casting the silicone under vacuum can cause ‘pops’ in the sealed surface as the vacuum pulls air out of the master. Yup, that was a one off fail too.

    Don’t seal a master model with enamel paint, unless you’re prepared to wait a long time for it to truly 100% dry. It’ll inhibit the cure of platinum cure RTV silicone. Even after heating an item in a dehydrator at 145F for several hours, the silicone still cured with a gooey surface. Lacquer dries fast, losing all its VOCs so it won;t inhibit silicone cure.

    1. I prefer degassing in the mixing pot first with anything slow enough curing you can take the time. As that means there is so little air in the stuff you can get away without pressure for many things, and the results are extra consistent. I still will also pressure cast particularly for parts with fine details and more viscous 2 part mixes but not having too every time means those big stacks of parts all at once that won’t fit in the tiny (and slightly leaky) pressure pot don’t have to wait.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.