It's been a huge year for Waxwork Records! We celebrated our ten year anniversary and we’ve also opened a pressing plant! We've released new titles that we're very proud of, some of which have never been released before on vinyl (we're looking at you ÆON FLUX, White Zombie, Spider Baby, and The Sentinel)! Overall, it’s been a long, fun, and sometimes hard journey, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. With that being said, we thought it’d be fun to let y’all know how the pressing plant works!
Making the Vinyl Puck
Making the puck, a round piece of vinyl that has been melted and shaped into a hockey puck sized disc, is the very first thing that happens. This is done by loading PVC pellets into a hopper, which leads to an extruder. Pucks can range in color depending on mixing various different colored PVC pellets and can be formed into split colored vinyl, pretty splatter records, marble records, pinwheels, and even butterfly effects. Re-Animator (which also happens to be our very first release in-house) featured a unique green and yellow hand pour! There are plenty of options and all vinyl records come out one of a kind! The puck then leaves the extruder.
Pressing the Record
The puck then goes into the hydraulic press and is, as you guessed it, pressed flat, between two stampers. These stampers contain the music that will be pressed into the hot PVC puck. The stampers literally have the music you hear etched into them. Cool, huh?! This process is fun to watch while the melting vinyl pours out from the stampers, as the puck is heated to over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The center labels are also pressed to the vinyl records during this time, fusing to each side of the record as it's pressed with high levels of pressure and heat!
Trimming the Record
Once the vinyl is pressed, it is transferred over to the trimming turntable where the excess vinyl, also known as flash, is trimmed from the record. This leaves the record smooth around its edges and makes it a full circular shape. The record is then moved to a cooling station where it "cures." The process then repeats itself and hundreds, sometimes thousands, of records are made! The excess trimmings are recycled and used for other pressings.
The last step in the process is quality control. Quality Control looks over every stack of records that are pressed to make sure they are flat, with no scratches or imperfections, and they listen to many of them to make sure the sound quality is top notch. The records are then assembled into sleeves and sent off to a different department in the warehouse where they're put into jackets, shrink wrapped, and shipped! You can read more about this process here!
For questions regarding the pressing plant, please email firstname.lastname@example.org! You can also find more details here!