Repairing a broken record
I have glued (vary carefully) broken 78's and then used a crayon to smooth out
the repair. It may take some practice so, it's best to practice on a disc that doesn't
Here's what I do;
Assess the situation and prepare everything ahead of time. Including brush
trimming, pieces of adhesive tape that you may use, crayon sharpening, etc.,
saving the need for a third hand (You may need one anyhow).
Clean the disc if at all possible and save all of the pieces, even the chips.
Your work surface should be completely flat and the disc should be placed on a
material that is impervious to the glue, if you are using it.
Use as little glue as possible. I usually use a toothpick as an applicator.
If the glue oozes into the grooves, you've used too much and it's best to start over.
You don't have to apply glue the entire broken piece(s). Just enough to hold the
disc together so, that it can be played. Cellophane tape can help hold the pieces
in place while the glue sets. The type of glue is your choice.
Super Glue sets fast which, can be a bonus however, it sticks to everything.
I prefer something more viscous like Super Glue Gel or some other type that
provides a little more setting time because I use a microscope to make sure that
the grooves are realigned.
Epoxy has a set time that you need to be aware of. Different types of epoxy have
different set and cure times. Most adhesives take 24 hours to be fully cured.
I usually rush things becaude of time constraints. Make sure that the glue is going
to work with the material that the record is made of.
If the record is broken but hasn't separated or just cracked, glue on the outer edge
before the grooves start and see if it will play. I like to use Super Glue for this type
of repair. Then, I use a crayon to fill any gaps. The color of the crayon doesn't
matter however, the lighter colors are easier to see what you're doing but they
tend to show the repair effort. I’ve learned to use a dark colored crayon.
Sometimes, I will melt the crayon and work with liquid Pariffin.
It all depends on the repair and what will work the best.
When working with a crayon, I will use a hair dryer or heat gun and a trimmed fine
bristled paint brush to smooth out the crayon, following the direction of the
grooves. Chip brushes work well for this. Plus, they are cheap and disposable.
Play the disc a couple of times with a cheap stylus that's correct for the disc to
smooth things out. You may have to use some extra weight on the stylus for the
If the disc is to be digitized, record everything, even the smoothing process.
Today's restoration software can do an amazing job so, use it if you have it, on a
copy of the file.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me.
© Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
DO IT YOURSELF?
BAKING AUDIO TAPE
LUBRICATING AUDIO TAPE
REPAIRING A BROKEN 78
FLATTENING A RECORD
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