Introduction: How to Pirate a Vinyl Record the Hard Way

Picture of How to Pirate a Vinyl Record the Hard Way

One of my most fun projects to date! I take a Johnny Cash reissue 7” vinyl record and duplicate it with a silicone rubber mold and liquid plastic. To be quite honest I was surprised on how much detail the mold can handle as the duplicated record played almost perfectly. You can listen to the ripped audio on my website. There was a few more pops and clicks than the original record and I’m guessing that’s from dust or not cleaning the original enough beforehand. Obviously pirating and duplicating any copyrighted material is prohibited but in the spirit of making and experimentation this was a fun project.

Step 1: Making the Mold

Picture of Making the Mold

Nail, screw or glue 4 pieces of wood big enough to hold your record. Here I'm just using plywood and some screws. You'll want it to be an inch or two bigger than your record. The internal dimensions of my mold is 9".

Step 2: Making the Mold

Picture of Making the Mold

Using some tub and tile adhesive attach your mold to a piece of glass. I'm using a large mirror I have laying around.

Step 3: Caulking the Mold

Picture of Caulking the Mold

Now caulk the inside of the mold. This will keep the silicone rubber from leaking out.

Step 4:

Picture of

Now mix up equal parts Smooth-On Silicone OOMOO 30. This is a silicone rubber compound for making molds. You'll want to mix this thoroughly for 3 minutes.

Step 5: Pouring on the Silicone Rubber

Picture of Pouring on the Silicone Rubber

Pour in just enough to cover the record. You'll also want to plug the spindle hole of your record. I'm using a 45 RPM adapter/plastic insert.

Step 6: Brush in the Silicone Rubber

Picture of Brush in the Silicone Rubber

Use a brush to push in the silicone rubber into the record grooves. This will ensure there is no trapped air.

Step 7: Pouring on the Silicone Rubber

Picture of Pouring on the Silicone Rubber

Pour in the rest of the silicone mixture making sure everything is covered edge-to-edge. Let this dry overnight.

Step 8: Peeling Back the Rubber

Picture of Peeling Back the Rubber

Once the silicone rubber has had a chance to dry overnight carefully peel it out of the mold.

Step 9: Completed Silicone Rubber Mold

Picture of Completed Silicone Rubber Mold

You should have a clean mold free of air bubbles. It's pretty amazing how these tiny grooves leave an impression in the silicone rubber.

Step 10: Mixing Up the Liquid Plastic Resin

Picture of Mixing Up the Liquid Plastic Resin

Now it's time to mix up the liquid plastic resin. I'm using Smooth-On Smooth-Cast 300. Make sure to mix thoroughly and work quickly as the liquid plastic starts to set in just a few minutes.

Step 11: Pour in the Liquid Plastic Resin

Picture of Pour in the Liquid Plastic Resin

Now pour in the liquid plastic resin into the silicone mold. Try your best to keep it from spilling out of the round impression. I did get some spill-over because my bench is not level. This can be cleaned up with a knife or bandsaw later. You'll also want to plug the spindle hole of your record. I'm using a 45 RPM adapter/plastic insert. Let this cure for at least 1 hour.

Step 12: Cutting Off the Excess

Picture of Cutting Off the Excess

Once it has time to cure for at least one hour you can pull it out of the mold. Since I had some spill-over I'm cleaning up the edges on my bandsaw. You could easily do this with a utility knife.

Step 13: Attaching the Label

Picture of Attaching the Label

I took a photo of the label and printed it out on on some shipping label stock. Cut it out with some scissors or an X-Acto knife at attach it to the record.

Step 14: Turn It Up!

Picture of Turn It Up!

And that's it! Put on that record and turn it up! You can listen to a ripped copy of the duplicated record on my website along with many more tutorials!


ttripp2 (author)2016-11-20


ttripp2 (author)2016-11-20

Awesome, only wish you has posted both for comparison

TonyC88 (author)2016-01-23

I was surprised that you were able to do this without removing air bubbles from the silicone compound and the plastic casting. Perhaps you materials were less viscous than the ones I used. Silicone is excellent for picking up fine detail. However, I always used a vacuum pump and jar when I made my molds to release any bubbles, as well as physically removing those I could see.

Gamer4Fire (author)2016-01-12

The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (USC 17.10 §1008) clearly states:

"No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings."

DanyaelD (author)Gamer4Fire2016-01-23

Thank you Buzz-Killington. We're all aware of copyright. Let's just look at the project for what it is, duplicating something from a mold ;)

rthunder (author)DanyaelD2016-01-23

Or to pull out the relevant parts: "No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on... noncommercial use." The commenter was trying to say, "No worries."

Gamer4Fire (author)DanyaelD2016-01-23

You didn't even read my post, did you?

Wow. You enjoy sucking the fun out of other people's projects? Obviously it's illegal to duplicate and distribute copyrighted work. But just so you know the record label tweeted about this project of mine twice. Let's continue to celebrate the act of experimenting and creativity.

The law I cited clearly states that it is LEGAL to make copies of music records for personal use. How is that "sucking the fun out of other people's projects?"

bryan3141 (author)Gamer4Fire2016-01-13

While it's exceedingly unlikely that something like this would ever go to court, you should note that the method being used here is ANALOG, not digital and therefore not actually covered under this act.

cargorilla (author)bryan31412016-01-14

It clearly states "analog". or by "analog", do you actually mean "anally"? in which case it would not apply. Maybe that is where your eyes are. or maybe your entire head. (sorry, could not resist).

bryan3141 (author)cargorilla2016-01-15

And this is what comes of posting while tired. I apologize for my lack of reading skills and your lack of honor and manners.

teshcreations (author)Gamer4Fire2016-01-13

Is that saying it's ok to make a copy for home use?

Gamer4Fire (author)teshcreations2016-01-13


patricksworkshop (author)2016-01-19

very cool David

MichaelAtOz (author)2016-01-13

and the cost of consumables was?

Greasy fingers all over the Vinyl at 30s on the video...tsk tsk, probably explains the sound...

Ehlers_TV (author)2016-01-13

Awesome ! Thanks :-)

hyperplane (author)2016-01-13

Did you notice an improvement of the sound quality of the original record?

I think that the silicon cast may help to take all the impurities away.

Istarian (author)2016-01-12

Might be a way to have an acceptable backup copy of the record... I.e. if you can refine the process you can keep your vinyl and destroy the resin copy by playing. Have to wonder whether that would have any adverse effects on your record player though.

As someone that casts resin (models, sculpture, etc.) and loves records, I really don't think you'd want to play a resin copy too often, unless you're fine with replacing your needle more often than normal. Every resin I've worked with is *much* harder than vinyl and seems like it would wear out the needle faster or even break something so fragile. Not to mention the time and cost molding and casting would be way more than buying another copy of your favorite album :)

True, the needle will wear much faster, but then again, the recording won't, and really, which is more valuable?

If there's a valuable record that I don't want to excessively play, I make a high quality rip of it and play through a lossless player, patching into the aux input of my restored 1960s tube amplifier. (That thing will warm up anything!) Replacing a $60 Grado Green1 stylus more often than I should isn't something I want to do- I could be spending that cash on record hunts or on my nephew!

Tenebrax (author)2016-01-12

Hmmm... I am wondering if this would be a good (if expensive) way to get the crud out of the grooves of some of the vinyl I played and cleaned to bits. Let's face it, it seems some of the record-cleaning products available in the '80s were really methods of making sure that the tick&pop stuff was shoved more deeply into the grooves.

farmboy79 (author)Tenebrax2016-01-12

I have also had good results cleaning with Elmers orange poster tack putty rolled into a cylinder then rolled firmly tangentially over the records which I often get at garage sales and thrift store.

Do make sure to have a good flat surface and a minimum of a clean
plastic sheet below the record. This method generates a lot of static
charge on the far side of the record so a clean surface and plastic are a

Then clean with cartman550's cleaning fluid & microfiber method below which will dissipate the static. A record played dirty will have permanent damage.

I've had good luck cleaning records with a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and distilled water with a drop or two of dishwashing soap mixed in a spray bottle, which is then gently "scrubbed" into the grooves with a round stencil brush, then dried with a clean microfiber cloth. Filthy records get that treatment as well as a thin coat of Titebond wood glue left to dry overnight- it peels right off! Much cheaper than RTV silicone :)

pachytrance (author)2016-01-12

amazing!!!! really good job

danzo321 (author)2016-01-12

Good job! I like to work on a piece of formica'ed plywood so I can use shims to get the mold perfectly level. I'd brush the silicone, and later the casting resin, back and forth to eliminate microbubbles, but even better would be using a vacuum chamber. I don't have one.

this size will hold a single record and you can suck it quite empty to get the bubbles to the surface;

HelenaTroy (author)2016-01-12

I'd like to copy some of my records so the originals don't get played so much, and so risk less damage (same reason I copied my videos to another video; I can play the film a dozen times but only play the original once).

Jfieldcap (author)2016-01-12

Wow! This is pretty neat! When I first saw the title, I though it said "How to private a vinyl record the hard way" and assumed you were pouring concrete over it in the first picture. XD

tinypriest (author)2016-01-12

Amazing! What a great video that accompanies it, too. I almost wanted to hear the silicone piece played, since that would give you the effect of hearing the channels separated by one groove over, although the Johnny Cash single was likely mono... That would have been some weird effect worthy of The Beatles's "Revolution 9".

bibbster (author)2016-01-12

Tenebrax, yellow wood glue, or carpenter's glue is the go to liquid for removing crud that is deep in the grooves of your records. There are tons of how-to's online. Check 'em out and try the one that best suits you.

ThomasK19 (author)2016-01-08

I should try that with my CDs xD

Nice 'ible! But I guess the cost for the copy is higher than the original except you have the material already at hand?

Eirinn (author)ThomasK192016-01-12

lol, good joke :P

julinano (author)ThomasK192016-01-12

hahahah since you've made with your CDs be shure to post a video

blamothe (author)2016-01-12

I'd like to hear a rip of the original record to hear any differences.

DanT2 (author)2016-01-12

Now that is cool!

jim_lewis1 (author)2016-01-12

Nice instructable. I've been looking for a way to make cheap base plates for Lego and this technique would seem to be perfect. Thanks

Elliot Lord (author)2016-01-10

Very interesting to follow. It's a bit too much work to try for myself though!

imcp1024 (author)2016-01-08

that's awesome.

liquidhandwash (author)2016-01-08

That worked awesomly !

Just4Fun Media (author)2016-01-08

Very interesting instructable! I did not realize how much detail silicone moulds could hold.

Have a great day! :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a full-time online content creator, designing, creating and teaching the art of woodworking. I have an art background that I incorporate into my ... More »
More by Drunken Woodworker:Wood TV RemoteWood Crayon DisplayWooden Block Plane
Add instructable to: