Pretty sure I have the record

One of my oldest and closest friends turned 45 yesterday. He made it very clear he did not want any gifts from anybody. Which is fine… He’s got everything he wants. But all of a sudden on Thursday I decided I should make him something anyway. Well, he’s 45, so… why not a 45?

I went about finding the dimensions for a 45. And I realized there was more to it than I was originally thinking. I found the best website in the world for getting the dimensions correct. Turns out that the RIAA specs are readily available! It gets even better… What appears to be the original, hand-drawn diagram is also available!

So I faithfully recreated it on :proofgrade: black acrylic!

I wasn’t happy with that one. I wanted sort of a texture where the music would be, but it was way too deep of an engrave. I just didn’t like it. NEXT.

This I kinda liked! Went the oposite direction and ditched the engrave figuring the scored grooves would be enough to give me what I was after. It looks quite a bit like a record, and it was considerably faster to cut, but you could only see the grooves if the light hit at the right angle. So, I decided I’d scrap this one too.

And we have a winner! I re-enabled the engrave but dropped the power down considerably to give me the look I was after. Personally I think it looks great. If I ever run off another I may drop the power a little more on the engrave but, heck, if they all come out like this I’m happy.

Here’s the svg if anybody would care to… break my record. :wink:

As you can see I added the label to the final product. That was sticker paper that I’d had on-hand. I tested the design on plain paper first, of course. And when it was perfect I kinda went “How the heck am I gonna cut circles out of this paper? Scissors? Hobby knife?” Then I thought “Well, I do have a frickin’ laser.” I believe this was my first-ever attempt to cut paper with my Glowforge. In an amazing stroke of luck, I managed to dial-in the settings to cut through only the top layer of paper… so only the sticky layer that is… giving me perfect peel-and-stick labels!

Speaking of labels… Even though the idea was to frame this, I’ll quote Steve Jobs here…

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

So, yeah… Even though this is going into a frame, this record has a B side… :slight_smile:

I gave some thought to the B side being “I’M REALLY OLD.” Then thought maybe the Instrumental version, Spanish, German. Then it hit me… the Dance Mix, of course!

Yes, I suppose I could have made a frame for this. Honestly, for the effort and cost of materials to do that, I just didn’t think it was worth it. The $4 frame I got at Five Below is quite nice with no assembly required. :wink:

The only thing I did add was a peg to hold the record in place. I decided on :proofgrade: clear acrylic for that, but I think I would have preferred wood. I dunno. I’m happy with it as-is so I guess it really doesn’t matter. And then to top it all off I added a little dedication at the bottom using some 2-layer acrylic I’d gotten a couple of years ago.

So, I gave it to my buddy yesterday. He loved it. Knowing each other these decades as we do, the conversation went like this…
“Oh! You didn’t buy this as a novelty item, did you… You made this huh.”
“Wow! Hey, is there a B side? Let me guess… is it I’m REALLY Old?”
“Ha! Yes, there’s a B side, and I’m REALLY Old was my first thought! But after struggling with that versus the instrumental version, Spanish, etc. I finally decided… It’s the Dance Mix of I’m Old!”
“And I wonder… if I were to scan this barcode, would it take me somewhere?”
“Nice catch. It won’t take you anywhere, but if you scan it it does present you with a simple message… Happy Birthday.”


looks great!

only thing missing is this:



Ha! Oh, totally! Of course I’d considered it. It was part of my original concept… And then I’d have a post in the middle of that. But I just didn’t have the time. This idea only came to me on Thursday, and that’s when I designed the record. Then Friday night I didn’t have much time to play around, but I ran off the first record that I didn’t end up liking. Yesterday morning I ran off the 2nd one I didn’t like. After that there really wasn’t any time left before we had to leave. 110 minutes total to cut both sides of that little record! :slight_smile: 5 minutes for the dedication, 8 seconds for the stickers. Add it up and it left me no time to fiddle with a spindle adapter and adjust the kerf well-enough for yellow acrylic to fit snug with the black. So I went with the clear peg, which I think works out quite nicely anyway. :slight_smile:


It’s a great gift, an awesome write-up.


Nice story, great record and write up. Thank you.


Tom, you out did yourself! This is fabulous!!! Love all the details, and enjoyed your write-up!


I believe you DO have the record! Looks great! :grinning:


B side is a nice touch. Attention to detail is key.


I love it!! Nicely done!!


Yes. This is great project and write up. Definitely a story for Inspiring people to get a Glowforge seeing this.


Oh, thanks!

Funny part is, my buddy’s an Owner! He has yet to take possession! His business model changed a couple of years ago so he keeps pushing it off. We were talking about it again yesterday and he said he thinks if he got it he’d spend way too much time playing with it. When it was for business he could justify the “play time.”


Seeing it framed like that makes me think it would be awesome as a gold record too!


Yep! Originally that was my plan! I was going to use gold spray paint. But then I decided that would be reserved for somebody’s 50th, or retirement or something. I figured a “normal” 45 is appropriate for 45. :wink:


Using the date for the time was a great touch too!

Excellent and thoughtful project. Bravo.


What a cute idea! Something tells me you are going to find yourself making a lot of those–it should be very popular.


I already have the urge!

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My thoughts exactly - Tom is going to be looking for gold acrylic in about five years.


Your design rocks! Pun intended.


Now the challenge is to make one that PLAYS…


I don’t feel comfortable subjecting a record needle to that! However I may consider the ol’ tried and true Pin in a Dixie Cup player.

Here’s something similar…