Introduction: Vinyl Record to Lamp Shade

Everyone knows it: You have a vinyl record with a beautiful cover, but you can hardly listen to the music because of all the scratching. Or your grandmother likes the music, but you don't like it yourself. You don't have the heart to throw the record into the garbage, because records are a part of the past that needs to be restored. In addition they are also pretty cool and retro.

So why not increase their usefulness for yourself by turning them into a lamp shade and making them unique. In the following I would like to give you a detailed instruction on how to best bring the record into the desired shape and present the matching ceiling canopy I made. The procedure for this is relatively simple.


For lampshade:

  • Desired record
  • Baking oven
  • Two interfitting bowls (metal or temperature-resistant glass)
  • hole saw (diameter 42mm)

For ceiling canopy: (optional)

Step 1: Forming the Record

In order to achieve a recurring uniform shape of the record's curvature in a simple way, it is recommended to form it between two interfitting bowls. This is often the case with multi-piece bowl sets of different sizes. Two important points should be considered:

  1. The flat bottom of the smaller bowl should be at least as large as the cover of the record, so that it is not damaged by bending and there is enough space for the bore of the socket.
  2. The bowls used should be either made of metal or high temperature resistant glass.

Preheat the oven to 120°C (248°F). Position the smaller bowl with the convex side up, in the middle of the baking tray and place the record centered on it. Let it sit in the oven for 2 minutes. Your record should start changing from flat to wavy.

After the time is over, take the baking tray out of the oven and put the larger bowl with the convex side facing up over the record and the smaller bowl. Make sure that the bowl is straight and centered to prevent the record from slipping.

The process should be sufficiently fast and with sufficient force, since the record quickly gives off its heat to the two bowls and thus solidifies. After a short time (approx. 20s) the bowl can already be removed and remains in its shape. If the desired shape has not yet been achieved, the record can be placed in the oven again with both bowls and then the shaping process can be repeated.

If you want, you can stop now and enjoy your new vinyl (fruit) bowl.

Step 2: Borehole for Lamp Socket

I cut the hole for the lamp sockets with a hole saw (diameter 42mm).

The hole in the record is ideal as a guide for the center drill of the hole saw. If a lamp socket with a different diameter is used, a hole saw with the appropriate diameter must be used.

Alternatively a screw hole punch can be used.

Step 3: Installing the Lamp Socket

Depending on the type of lamp socket used, the connection of the cable to the lamp socket differs. In my case a detailed connection instruction was already provided by the manufacturer of the lamp socket. If available, please follow it or search for the appropriate instructions on Instructables.

Step 4: Ceiling Canopy (optional)

Of course a suitable ceiling canopy including the lamp socket can be purchased and connected already in finished form. This makes sense especially if access to a laser cutting machine is not available. Especially for only one lamp shade, there are already many finished and also very nice solutions available.

In my case I decided to produce my own ceiling canopy, because the models that could be bought did not allow me enough distance between the individual lampshades and did not appeal to me with their bulky shape.

I first created the lamp together with the ceiling canopy as a simplified 3D model in CATIA. The individual pluggable parts were cut from acrylic glass with a thickness of 4mm with the laser cutting machine. The single parts are screwed together with square nuts and countersunk screws. The holes for the countersunk screws have to be countersunk with a suitable countersink.

Before attaching the lamp, I assembled the lamp once completely and then unscrewed the lower star plate again. To prevent the square nuts and the three small end pieces from falling out during the assembly, I fixed them from the inside with a transparent adhesive strip.

The cables were secured against pulling from inside at the lower star plate with cable ties. This was put on and screwed after fixing the rest of the ceiling canopy and connecting the single electrical wires. Especially the plugging on of the star plate turned out to be tricky and has to be improved by me in a future version by larger tolerances. But with a little bit of skill this is no obstacle either.

In the version mounted by me I led the cable over a monkey swing to the ceiling canopy. For this I also made the cable socket myself. It consists of a 3D-printed housing and a cover cut with a laser cutting machine from the same material as the ceiling canopy. The cover is screwed on with the same square nuts that are attached from the inside and had to be countersunk. If the cable box is too small, its height can be printed enlarged.

Step 5: Conclusion

I hope you like my idea as much as I do. In my eyes it is a must for every fan of old vinyl records. I would be very happy hearing your opinion. Of course, I will fix the disadvantage of the very fiddly mounting using a mounting ring.

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