This is a mash-up of a couple different projects: My pop-up pyramid and the classic vinyl record bowl idea.

If the low heat makes the vinyl easy to work with, then why not apply the geometric cuts to get some extra height, right? And then, why not, slap a light bulb inside of it.

Sure, let's do it.
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Step 1: Mark the Record

I'm not using any computers for this one and definitely not a laser cutter. I heard that someone at IDEO passed out from the fumes while trying to laser cut vinyl so I'm hoping to avoid that mistake.

The cuts here are all about circles with gaps in them. Here, I'm drawing eight lines across the record, four for each orientation of the cut circles.

Also, I picked records based on them having songs that have equal length and thus regular circles for the dead air between songs. Why not use the medium to its advantage, eh?

Step 2: Cut the Record

Picture of Cut the Record
I used some diamond mini cutting discs on a rotary tool to make the cuts. The guide here is to start just to the left of a line, start cutting, follow the groove, and stop just before the second line you hit. Repeat three times and you've finished a circle.

For the next circle, start at one of the lines you crosses over and repeat the process. This is much easier to see in the picture.

Step 3: Don't Bend it Yet!

You may be tempted to bend it to make sure the cuts are good or to see the gaps appear. Resist the delicious temptation! Or if you do be verrrrry careful and slow with your movement.

The record is in a fragile emotional and physical state and can easily fall apart. This Hair soundtrack was especially sensitive and split fantastically with the slightest bend. With a previous version I had made all my cuts on a Bruce Springsteen record only to see it break in two places with a slight curve. It made me sad.
I love this. Now I have a way to make some cool lamps for the apartment. We're drowning in records at work. I think this could be made even better by painting the lamp. I think white would be gorgeous, or perhaps a light blue or green. :D
SusanMD1 year ago
First, I have to say...this is absolutely brilliant! Thank you for sharing. I am in the process of building an entire vinyl chandelier. It's going to be very large and will be the center piece to a new art and performance space opening here in Dallas. I'm pleased to say I will be using your technique as element in the design and I'll be sure to share photos when I get the crazy thing complete. One question though, have you had any problem with heat from the bulb? I have run numerous experiments, and plan on using LED bulbs, cause I have found that even heat from compact fluorescent can cause the vinyl to lose it's shape. Again, thank you for sharing, you have provided some much needed inspiration. -SusanMD
mechaninja2 years ago
Damn straight, brotha!
oklacalit5 years ago
I mean this is cool and all, but why did you have to do it to heart and the boss? I can understand film soundtracks, but those are a couple great bands.
ewww :P
mdomino7 years ago
okay _ i am not trying to be rude, but does anyone else find this thing a touch unattractive. gosh, feel like i am talking trash on someone's sister...
fungus amungus (author)  mdomino7 years ago
Funny you should say that. I was going to put in a step at the end which are some Lessons Learned, but didn't get around to it.

I see this as the first step in a process and hope that others find it as interesting as I do. This led to the [| Vinyl Fruit Bowl] which I find to be more attractive. There's another one as well which I haven't decided if I'm going to publish yet.

Future iterations of this idea would be to include cloth that lines the melted record to fully make this a real lampshade. I would also make the hole bigger so that the bulb is more flush with the top.

I have no problem with anyone providing criticism as long as they can say why they feel that way and offer new ideas. Which is what this site is all about. Or should be.
Ok, In all honesty, I think it is a great Idea, the only thing I would change if I were you, (or if I make one) is to cover the bulb, so that it is not directly visible, because it is too bright. I think it looks great though :) just the bulb needs some hiding
Light bulb paint might work or wax/rice paper if the bulb is an LED.
I think if you made the cuts smaller (shorter) at the top it wouldn't drape down so far and it would cover the bulb more. just an idea.....
You should tottall drill holes in the hanging strips and hand strings of glass beads (or plastic if the wattage is low enough) --- shiny!
StarrsWife5 years ago
I am SOOOO thinking side table with this as the base!
Shut Up Now5 years ago
i was wondering.. it would be awsome if you took a decorative glass bowl and laid the heated record over it to get the curves. maybe put a layer of some lubricant (oil) so it could be separated.
You fiend! Wrecking a perfectly good Heart record.
Neat! If I make one of these I don't think I'd stretch it *quite* so far... that's an interesting look but it looks over-extended somehow, like it's straining to break (even if it's perfectly stable). Oh! I bet you could do two of these sort of gently stretched and attatch the wide ends together, so it'd be kind of like an open chinese lantern. You could either cut more of the bottom one out from the center or just leave it as is to cast a circular shadow down below. Or make a giant globe-ish shape with several, hee hee :3
katz7 years ago
I wonder if you can make this with old CD's and DVD's? Or do they need different melting technic? This would be very shiny!
latobada katz7 years ago
they don't quite melt like that, and i'd imagine the cutting would be hell, seeing how small CD's are. but they also are think little buggers if you think about it.
ILOSN7 years ago
OH WOW. What a nifty idea!
PetervG7 years ago
Im scared to do it because it might smoke or explode or something crazy like that.
fungus amungus (author)  PetervG7 years ago
It's only 200 degrees, just under boiling.
Maybe say 200F because I wasn't sure if you meant C or F
zachninme7 years ago
Very cool. I wonder if you could melt it with the heat of the lamp?
That sounds a lot easier. Just get a really inefficient bulb and over time watch it grow. This sounds like some I will do, I just dont understand where to cut, ill go read it again.
Hmm, that would be a cool gift. One that you can tell if it wasn't used :-P It starts off really stupid, and gets cooler :-)
fungus amungus (author)  zachninme7 years ago
Nah. If the bulb was that hot and that close the outer ring would stretch farther and farther and fall off. Wouldn't take that long either. The cool thing is that these can be shipped flat to a friend and they can heat it up themselves to make their own shape.
PetervG PetervG7 years ago
Ohhhh, I get it now.
fungus amungus (author)  zachninme7 years ago
Not with an 11-watt CFL bulb it won't.