Flattening Warped Records

Post questions and answers on the repair and prevention of record warps.

Moderator: Guild Moderators

Post Reply
greenspring
R.C.Guild-SM
R.C.Guild-SM
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:55 pm
Location: Virginia, USA
Contact:

Flattening Warped Records

Post by greenspring » Mon May 31, 2010 11:25 pm

I have seen posts before about flattening warped records and I was able to 'flatten' 3 records so that they are playable. Are they perfect, no? But they play fine with a very minor 'whosh' at the beginning of each side but I intend to try again. So here is what I did.

1. I purchased two pieces of tempered glass with holes cut in the middle for the label, figuring I would cook them in the oven. Didn't cook them as my wife reminded me that she melts my old junk records and shapes them for flower planters. Anyway, didn't use the oven method.

2. Yesterday I stacked 5 records in sleeves and covers between the glass while I went to a couple of cookouts, 85 and sunny out, left them on a table in the sun. Well two ended up being trashed and the other three were slightly flattened.

3. So my wife convinced to try one at a time, no sleeve, no cover placed between two clean dish towels and the glass. I placed one in the sun (85 and sunny) for about an hour and then brought in inside and left it sit for about an hour and then played it. Voila, no jumps, no skips, just the minor 'whosh' sound at the beginning. It seems to track very well and places just fine. It is still not perfectly flat but is playable and enjoyable, just don't watch it play!! I am going to try again, but this time place at least two bricks on it for weight and see what happens. I tried another and wasn't as lucky but did not destroy it, so it is stall salvageable I believe, at least before I try it again.

If a perfectionist collector would purchase one like these, they would probably complain. But these two I am dealing with are pretty rare and I figured worth the risk as they were not playable before. Any other suggestions? I have heard of placing in an oven at a certain temperature but if you screw up, record done!!

I must also point out that if you use a cheap turntable with a cheap cartridge (like my old JCV) this probably will not work. You need a cartridge with some distance!!

Hope somebody can use this info. I have across many old collectibles over the years that were ruined because of being warped. When I have the time, I intend to go through my stacks of 'not so great condition records' and try some more, gotta get these two a little better first!!

User avatar
ShadySam
R.C.Guild-SMR
R.C.Guild-SMR
Posts: 14474
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 7:12 pm

Post by ShadySam » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:07 am

FWIW-
I would not mess with glass in an oven. Or bricks upon glass. The glass thang does NOT work
every time- alot has to do with the chemical composition of the vinyl. I have had a few success
stories but it was probably just luck (glass-n-wax sandwich in the hot southern sun). I also let
the glass/wax cool down inside for an hour or so, before peeling the glass off.

greenspring
R.C.Guild-SM
R.C.Guild-SM
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:55 pm
Location: Virginia, USA
Contact:

Post by greenspring » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:40 am

Yeah, the vinyl can be tricky. One of the destroyed was a Soundgarden record, unplayable before anyway, so nothing to lose. The Iggy Pop on the German Line Record label worked and I had limited success with the Flow record on the CTI label. Have a private label to try too. It seems they older the vinyl the better.

So do recommend the dish cloth or vinyl on glass? So far, the dish cloth has made me very happy, sound quality is still great.

User avatar
greyhound
R.C.Guild-SMR
R.C.Guild-SMR
Posts: 1184
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:58 pm
Location: Maine

Post by greyhound » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:55 am

Lose the dish cloth. Put the naked record between the glass and lay it on a paved driveway. A couple of hours in direct sunlight should do it. Then, as Shady pointed out, let it cool for an hour or so.
Make a fast friend. Adopt a Greyhound.

User avatar
vinyl1
R.C.Guild-SMR
R.C.Guild-SMR
Posts: 1614
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:38 pm
Location: New York, NY, USA

Post by vinyl1 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:19 pm

The high-end disc-flattening machine does work well, but is hideously expensive:

http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/52595 ... ccessories

Why they charge $2060 for it, rather than $2000, I cannot say.

You might be able to find a record shop that has one, and will flatten your records for a fee.

User avatar
ScoopLV
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:24 am
Location: Las Vegas

Post by ScoopLV » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:46 am

Just bought a Manhattan Transfer album that has a big enough warp as to render the record unplayable. My driveway gets about 140f in the sun these days. What's the max temperature you'd recommend?
Vinyl: My anti-drug.

User avatar
greyhound
R.C.Guild-SMR
R.C.Guild-SMR
Posts: 1184
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:58 pm
Location: Maine

Post by greyhound » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:11 am

140 might be too hot. When I tried the oven method, the digital temperature setting on our oven wouldn't go below 140. At that temp, 5 minutes in the oven and the record showed signs of beginning to melt. The key to the success of the driveway method, I've found, is the 1/4 inch thick glass that I use. The weight of the thick glass flattens the record while the heat softens it. When I tried the oven method, I was using thinner glass from LP frames, so that probably contributed to the failure. Best advice is to experiment with throw away records before you try it on one you want to keep.
Make a fast friend. Adopt a Greyhound.

User avatar
hrtshpdbox
R.C.Guild-SM
R.C.Guild-SM
Posts: 5856
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 7:39 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Post by hrtshpdbox » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:07 am

vinyl1 wrote:The high-end disc-flattening machine does work well, but is hideously expensive:
All of us RCGers should chip in and buy one of those suckers - it would be in use 24/7.

User avatar
ScoopLV
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:24 am
Location: Las Vegas

Post by ScoopLV » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:08 am

Well, I tried to flatten my warped copy of the Manhattan Transfer album I thrifted recently. It was 108f today, so I placed the album between two heavy pieces of (clean) polished travertine outside in the blazing sun for two hours. Then I took it inside for an hour and tried to play it.

Still warped. But better.

So I placed it out in the 108f heat again for three hours, with a 50-pound bag of cement on top of the travertine. Almost playable! But has an annoying "whoosh" sound as the needle tried to navigate the less-warped record.

Today, I placed the album back into 105f sunlight between the stones. This time, I put 100 pounds of weight on top of it and left it for eight hours. Still warped, playable, but has a skip on Birdland. So why bother keep the thing?

I have a warped disc one from ELO's Out of the Blue that I will try again with soon. Any advice?
Vinyl: My anti-drug.

User avatar
CactusCowboy
R.C.Guild-M-SMR
R.C.Guild-M-SMR
Posts: 10271
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:25 pm
Location: Powell, Wyoming

Post by CactusCowboy » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:51 pm

I've had similar limited success with the glass/sun method. Using an oven is risky. Get above about 140 and they start melting.

Post Reply

Return to “How do I repair a warped record?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest