Clean old records with wood glue

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Anyone know if this would work for shellac 78s? Not just a curious question. One of my family members has several crates of 'em.


So this process could be said to be making a copy of the record, thus killing music??? Do you commonly advocate processes which will inevitably result in the utter destruction of an entire industry?


I would guess no. I say this because 78s are not only made of shellack, and were designed to be slightly abrasive, the glue might stick to it.

And remember, 78s always sound dirty and scratchy if they are not played back with the proper RIAA curve.


No. This would be a negative image of the groove, similar to the plates used to press the actual vinyl, it would be a long spiral raised ridge of audio data instead of a valley the stylus rides in. I suppose in theory you could play it (in the same way you can put a frozen pizza on a turntable and “play it”), but how well it represented the music would depend on how close the grooves were cut, and even then it would be a weird noisy mess.

I find the wood glue method interesting but suspect. If you really want to clean records without risk of damage then invest in a VPI or Nitty Gritty or Record Doctor machine, a vacuum that actually sucks grime off the vinyl. Even those ubiquitous Disc Washer brushes, or the newer “spin cleaner baths” are not very useful, from my experience.


presumably there is some way of actually playing the music from the intact glue-skin, given sufficiently advanced apparatus

To play it you would cast a new record from the glue skin (it’s a negative mold).


This scene from “Desperate Man Blues” is kind of a shocking eye-opener. The guy with the largest, most valuable 78rpm collection in the USA (basically a vault for lost Americana), uses dish soap and what looks like a common bathroom brush to clean records that are valued at hundreds of dollars each.

78’s are made of stuff that’s more like ‘clay’ than the vinyl that LPs are made of. I’m sure there is an improvement in sound with this method, but it would probably make an archivist scream.


First of all, are people still playing records with needles! Isn’t that risky? I thought we were using laser profilometry and and digitizers to play them. Or for the purist you could hook up an analog circuit to play the sound depending on the laser reflectivity changes. Then you never have to touch the record.

The above profilometry method would be able to play the negative mold produced by the glue. Just have to reverse the polarization on the Heisenberg compensators.


This seemed to work:

Shellac are putting out 78s now? Man, Steve Albini’s vinyl purism can be fucken ridiculous.


There are laser turntables. ( I would assume you could grab the waveform off the glue using something like that, and then perform the necessary transformation in software to get the “positive” version of the waveform.


Only if you want to summon demons.


Of course the dust is going to be on the copy, so at that point it won’t sound as good as the original.


Next Up: Cleaning the Minds of the Alt-Right with Wood Glue

Hey, I don’t know why. It’s the first thing that popped into my head.


After-effects of Model Cement, I suppose…


When did boingboing become a daily Way Back machine? “Uploaded on Apr 30, 2011”


This looks like a great way to get glue in ones turntable, or maybe that’s just what I see myself as ending up doing if I tried this…

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Years ago there was a marvelous DIY audiophile magazine called The Audio Amateur that had a recipe for doing something like this. Poly Vinyl Alcohol, some surfactants, dissolved in ethanol and like this, you paint the gunk on you records, let it dry, and peel off.

The recipe was concoted to be gentle with the plasticizers and surface of the record, and I found it worked quite well. I don’t know if there are ingredients in wood glue that cold harm a record surface, but certainly the idea isn’t new and it works.

I’ll try to dig up the old Audio Amateur recipe and post it later…


That’s how faithful it is to the original, It reproduces even the dust.

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Will it work better if you run a green marker along the outside edge before peeling?