How to recycle hundreds of Vinyl Records…
In my huge building in center city Philadelphia, my office neighbor across the hall has a small music studio, where he occasionally makes hip-hop music. He had pressed up a 12″ vinyl single release many moons ago, and now had stacks of freshly pressed records that would never be sold. He asked me about solutions for recycling or tossing them.
After a minute of research, I discovered vinyl records are made out of PVC, and therefore are not recyclable. Most solutions call for re-use, so unless I was looking for 1000 salad bowls, or other plastic stuff, I was out of luck.
I’d figured since I had 1000 records, in order to save them from the dump, I needed a big solution that used as many at once as possible. My solution was to convert the stacks of vinyl into small side-tables for drinks and knick-knacks. I’d put a stack of records on a set of wheels, and small table tops to approximately 18-20″ tall. I happened to have enough materials to make 2 tables, so ahead we go!
- 2x Ikea Rill Casters 4 Pack ($9.99)
- Ikea Snudda Lazy Susan ($7.99)
- 36″ threaded rod 1/4″/20 + 4 bolts ($3.00)
- Scrap Plywood
- 40+ 1/2″ wood screws ($2.00)
This post falls under the Ikea Hack category as well. I used a few Ikea items to make these side tables. First, I made a circle slightly smaller than a 12″ record on a piece of scrap plywood and cut it out. In this particular photo, I’d screwed a tiny screw in the middle of the board, then used a loop of string wrapped around the screw, and a pencil to make a perfect circle.
Next I mounted the casters to the circle, and drilled a 1/4″ hole through the center for the threaded rod.
Next, I painted the bottoms black in order to hide them. I also cut my threaded rod in 2 equal pieces. Here’s the bottom of one table, with the bolt and threaded rod through the bottom.
Here it is standing, waiting for the eventual stack of vinyl to be piled on top of it.
Next up, I unwrapped several hundred vinyl records, and sorted the contents into paperboard, paper, and vinyl. I stacked the vinyl on the rod until I was within an inch or so from the top.
I happened to have an older, broken turntable, and was planning on reusing the metal platter as one tabletop. Besides being a fairly solid piece of aluminum, it had the typical turntable markings on the outside, and really enforces the record platter motif. The vinyl record platter already had a hole in the center, so it’s ready to be mounted.
The other table would use an Ikea Snudda Lazy Susan top as a table top. First, I disassembled the lazy susan, removing the bolt from the bottom let me pull off the bottom base, then unscrew the rotating platter from the round circle top. Once the top is unencumbered, I marked the center and drilled a 1/4″ hole all the way through the center, then used a larger 1/2″ drill bit to countersink the top hole, so a bolt would sit flush with the top once it was assembled. You can find some exotic 1/4″-20 threaded bolts that might give you a better effect, but the bolts I used worked fine. This requires some finish work once the table is assembled.
The Finished Products
Due to the nature of the vinyl records, the edges aren’t as thick as the center, so the tables aren’t the strongest from edge to edge. I wouldn’t stand on them, for they wobble uncontrollably under any serious weight. You could sit on them, but it’s wobbly enough to be really uncomfortable, and you’ll find another chair soon enough. However, they’re very solid, hold a few drinks/cellphones, and are so heavy to move, they’ll be hard to knock over. They make great conversation pieces, and excellent re-use examples.
The bolt is on top of the platter, but covered by the rubber top and some tape. I notched a bolt-size hole in the middle of the rubber top, then used a piece of black gaffers tape to hide the exposed metal bolt.
I’ll patch that hole in the middle of the top as soon as I get some wood filler. For now, I have a piece of masking tape over it. Looking at these photos, if you’re an avid sewing nut, you could easily buy two Snudda tops, use one as the base, the other as the top, and make what appears to be a large spool of black thread! You could even make a thread label to put on the top to sell it.
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