Make your own vinyl

As you have seen the chemistry behind vinyl looks deceptively simple. Why not try making your own records with this step by step guide? Just follow the easy instructions below and soon you can be rocking away to your very own records.

Step One: you will need a source of PVC - many materials contain PVC including credit cards and pipes (which are available on the outside of every house). If in doubt find your parents old records and simply melt these down (make sure to remove the labels first as if left on these will result in an inferior quality record).

Step Two: melt down your PVC. This can be done over a kitchen stove - avoid breathing in the fumes as they are highly carcinogenic.

Step Three: add pigment. Black records may be obtained by added pencil lead (graphite) to the mixture, other colours can be obtained using food colourings.

Step Four: pour your melted vinyl onto a flat plate and compress with any weights you happen to have lying around.

Step Five: remove your disk and carve groves into it in a spiral pattern.

Step Six: play your new record!

Front Chemistry History How it works Make your own Links copyright Daniel Cressey 2001