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 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.
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…
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.
The only thing I did add was a peg to hold the record in place. I decided on 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.”