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Matt Hess

Project Type




Waste Materials

Vinyl Records


The vinyl/turntable format is rapidly dying in the music world. DJs and even loyal users of the classic gramophone disc are starting to throw their historic collections away after discovering the convenience of using CDs and downloading MP3s. PolyLamps are a series of ideas based around re-using/re-purposing vinyl records and turning them into a contemporary light source that can be wall mounted or just used as a lampshade.PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a thermo-plastic and is well recognised for its manufacturability and heat shaping properties. PolyLamps use these properties to make exciting new shapes that provide a wide range of light distributions, experimenting with colour reflection, and shadow techniques.Available in a range of colours and designs. Designs are created purely by hand, cutting, heating, moulding and shaping using ovens and strip heaters. Costs and limitations are dependent on the extent of manufacturing processes, resources components and time taken to manufacture.

Materials & Equipment List

Materials & Components:1 lamp consists of:2/3 X 12

Making Instructions (Login to see the full instructions)

Begin by mapping out your design on the record using a pencil, use a white pencil or a marker that is clear and removable.
Make incisions in the record using a Stanley knife, hold the record down firmly to avoid any slips or mis-cuts, frequent light slices result in a smoother, cleaner cut.
Drill a hole the size of the thread of your light fitting in the centre and others in varying sizes in any necessary areas. Using a Pillar drill is strongly advised as PVC is brittle and any mis-angled cut could cause the record to shatter. Use G-clamps if available to hold the record firmly down.
Heat the records in a pre-heated oven (using a baking tray) or vacuum former at around 200
Shape the record around a mold, I have used a manufactured MDF mold but you can use anything that gives the desired shape e.g. a bowl, plate etc. the record hardens within around 15 seconds and will not stick to any solid surfaces.
Use a strong adhesive e.g. Epoxy resin to attach the shaped records together in order.
Insert the light fitting, you will need to un-screw the back casing and re-wire the pins in order to remove it. Please ensure no electricity is running and all power is switched off when doing this.
The fitting, providing you have drilled the correct size hole, should fit comfortably through, and you can use the additional piece that comes with the fitting to hold firm together.
It is very important that the wiring at the back is protected and out of reach in order to prevent any electric shock, this can be covered with anything you wish available, I have used a vacuum formed piece of High Impact Polystyrene, available from my University workshop.
Once vacuum formed, cut round the edge of the plastic and sand off smooth.
File a slit for the wiring to slip through on the edge.
Drill a thin hole around the top area of the casing, the size of the hole should be dependant on the hooks, screws/nuts/bolts you are using to attach the hook for mounting.
In the drilled hole, attach the hook using any small nuts/bolts/screws available, ensure a tight fit.
Use Epoxy resin to attach the casing to the back of the light, ensure wiring is held down by the slit and hook is facing upwards, surface needs to be made rough with sandpaper before gluing, set to dry over night.
Your Lamp should be ready to hang and use.
Final PolyLamp in red
date time
07-12-2011 23:06:32
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