Vinyl - Part Two

  • Posted on: 20 July 2014
  • By: Shawn DeWolfe

Working with the vinyl records requires a heat gun. So I have been at the mercy of the weather and my schedule. My schedule doesn't really allow for non-programming time. The heat outside has made brandishing a heat gun into a really unappealing prospect. After my first outing two weeks ago, I could resume my work. The goal of my experiments is to make a suit of armor out of vinyl LP records.

The Armor Plans

I need a list of armor components, largely made from LP records:
  • foot (1 record per leg)
  • lower leg segment (2 records per leg)
  • upper leg segment (3 records per leg)
  • fingers and hand (2 per arm)
  • forearm (1 per arm)
  • upper arm (1 per arm)
  • shoulder (1 per side)
  • abdomen and obliques (for most people this would be less; for me: 9 records)
  • chest (4 records)
  • back (6 records)
  • helmet (3 records-- we're going to do something funky with more crinky bits than Norway)
That's a total of 44 records I have to melt, shape and mess with. I better get melting!

Using Gravity

On my first outing, I was holding onto the LP and pulling. Pulling the LPs when they are like hot taffy is risky and unrewarding. What I did instead was rig up a way to hang one side of the LP from something above me, and then clamp on a weight below. There was two clamps to balance the load. The cabling goes to a bucket and the bucket holds bricks to weigh it down. The LP records are sturdy even if they are brittle. When I hit the LP records with a heat gun, they start to get pulled down by the weight to stretch out the records. This warping is the first step. After they have the silhouette, I will work on the third dimension of the shape.

Double Your Fun

My goal is to make a suit of armor. That means I need symmetry for the left and right side. I could melt each LP and hope for duplication. What I discovered I could do instead: I can twin the LP records in the clamps and then work on melting both of them togehter. It takes long to melt two instead of one, but it's not twice as long. Twinning saves time.

Hit The Bottle

To make a decent curve to the records, I have used a glass bottle. To force the shape to the bottle, I have a couple of the clamps to serve as weights.
Here's a growing album of photos of the project as I go.

There's going to have to be a part three and four to this series on what I'm doing. Stay tuned!

Last updated date

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 01:50