How to package and ship lp vinyl records
How to Make a Vinyl Record Mail Holder
Records sometimes get damaged to the point where they no longer play. Instead of throwing them away, you can heat them up, then mold them into all sorts of items, such as bowls. A mail holder is another useful item that you can turn an old record into. All you need is a record, a heat source, and a narrow box to use as a mold.
Creating a Mini Standing Holder
Tape a record over a narrow box.Choose a narrow box to use as your mold. How wide this box is depends on how wide you want your holder to be. Center the record over the box, then tape the record to the box to keep it from sliding around.
- You will be folding the sides of the record over the sides of the box. Make sure that the box is tall enough!
Place a sheet of paper over the record.The exact size of the paper does not matter, but it needs to be big enough to cover the length of the record. This will create a buffer between the iron and the record.
Turn your iron on to the lowest heat setting possible.This is very important. If you use too high of a heat setting, you risk the record releasing chemicals. It will take longer to do it on a low heat setting, but it will be safer.
- Make sure that the steam option is turned off.
Iron the record starting from the middle, then do the sides.Press the iron against the middle of the record and move it around. Work your way towards the edges of the box. Once you feel the record turn malleable, fold the sides down against the sides of the box and iron them as well.
- Move the paper around as needed. You should only touch the paper with the iron and never the bare record.
- Keep the iron moving and don't leave it in 1 place for too long.
Remove the paper and let the record cool.If you see any bits of paper stuck to the record, wait until the record cools and hardens completely, then wipe them off with a damp cloth. How long it takes for the record to cool off depends on the temperature in your room, but it shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
Peel the tape off and remove the record.Once the record has cooled and hardened, it will keep its new form. Flip the record over so that creates a U-shape. Place it on your desk, and tuck your mail between the 2 arms.
Making a Large Standing Holder
Place a record on top of a box so that the label aligns with the edge.The size of the box does not matter because you will be folding just 1 side of the record over the edge. Slide the record over a few inches/centimeters until the edge of the label on the record aligns with the edge of the box.
- Do not slide the label past the edge of the box.
Secure the record with tape and cover it with a sheet of paper.Secure the record to the box with a few pieces of tape to keep it from sliding around. Cover the record with a piece of paper; make sure that it is long enough to cover the record.
Switch your iron on to the lowest heat setting.Even though a high heat setting will get the job done faster, it may also cause the record to release chemicals. A low heat setting will take longer, but it will be safer.
- Ensure that the steam is turned off.
Heat the record with the iron, then fold it over the edge of the box.Press the iron over the part of the record that's still on the box. Move the iron around towards the edge of the box. When you feel the record turn soft, fold it over the edge of the box, and iron it down the side.
- Make sure that you keep the paper between the iron and the record. Move the paper around as needed in order to do this.
Let the record cool off, then remove it from the box.Pull the paper off first, then let the record cool and harden. Peel the tape off, then lift the record off of the box. If you see any bits of paper stuck to the record, wipe them off with a damp cloth.
- How long the record takes to cool and harden depends on the temperature in your room. This should only take a few minutes, however.
Repeat the process with a second record.Place a second record on the box. Tape it down, cover it with paper, and iron it. Fold it over the edge of the box, let it cool, and pull it off of the box. When you are done, you will end up with 2 L-shaped records.
Cut a block of wood to the same size as the record's folded edge.Use a ruler to measure the length and width of the side of the record you folded. Measure along the folded edge first, then measure from the folded edge to the side of the record. Cut a piece of wood to match these measurements.
Paint the wood block, if desired.Spray paint will work the best for this, but you can use acrylic craft paint as well. Black will blend in with the records the best, but you can use a bright color that matches the labels instead. Let the paint dry completely before moving on; this should only take 15 to 20 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can leave the wood raw, stain it, or coat it with clear, acrylic sealer.
Overlap the records to create a U-shape.Rotate the records so that the shorter ends are parallel to the floor and the longer ends are sticking straight up. Turn the records so that they are facing each other, then move them together so that the narrow ends overlap completely. You'll get a rough U-shape.
Secure the records to the block.Keeping the records overlapped, place them on top of the block. Secure them to the bock with strips of tape. Drill 2 screws through the records and into the block, 1 at each end. Remove the tape when you are done.
- Alternatively, you can use industrial-strength glue. Glue the first record to the block, then glue the second on top. Secure them with tape until the glue dries.
Stand the block on your desk and fill the records with mail.If you are worried about the block sliding around too much, you can purchase rubber pads meant for furniture, and stick them to the bottom of the block. Alternatively, you can glue felt or cork to the bottom of the block to keep it from scratching your table.
Folding a Hanging Mail Holder
Heat the record in an oven or in boiling water.Place the record on a baking sheet, then bake it for 2 minutes in a preheated oven at 200 °F (93 °C).Alternatively, place the record into a sink filled with boiling water, and leave it there until it turns malleable, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Be aware that the label may discolor in the hot water. It should not discolor in the oven, however.
Transfer the record to a heat-safe surface.Use a pair of kitchen tongs to lift the record off of the baking sheet or out of the water. Set it down onto a heat-safe surface. Be prepared to work quickly, as the record will cool and harden within minutes.
Fold the bottom edge of the record over a heat-safe cylinder.Find a long, narrow glass, bottle, or rolling pin. Place it on top of the record, just below the label. Using gloved hands, wrap the bottom edge of the record over the heat-safe cylinder.
- Wear heavy-duty rubber gloves or oven mitts for this. Do not handle the record with bare hands.
- You can also use a tray, plate, or other item. The goal is to create a lopsided taco shape.
Let the record cool, then remove the cylinder.It should only take a few minutes for the record to harden and cool. Once that happens, slide the cylinder out. You will be left with a taco-like shape, where 1 side is longer than the other.
Secure the record to the wall with a screw.Place the longer side of the record against a wall. If the center hole of the record is still visible, you can insert a screw through that hole. Alternatively, drill a screw through the top of the record and into the wall.
- Place the screw about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) from the top of the record.
- Alternatively, you can use double-sided foam mounting tape.
Place your mail into the slot created by the cylinder.If you want to create a multi-tier mail holder, simply repeat the process to shape more records. Drill them in a vertical row above the first record mail holder.
- Make sure that the record is not a valuable collectible.
- Ask your friends and family for damaged records that have no collector's value.
- Buy records for cheap online or in thrift stores. Some libraries may also have records that they no longer need.
- If you don't like the color of the mail holder, spray paint it after you finish making it.
Video: How To Pack And Ship Vinyl Records
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