Category Archives: discs


I made this a couple of months ago:

But it turns out the silvery grey disc I chose for this doesn't hold dye very well. It's a common problem with certain kinds of plastics, and disc dyers have compiled lists of plastics which work best. This should have worked, according to the chart. But I think maybe the disc isn't exactly what it was sold as, or maybe it's the fact that it's a 'pearly' disc - the mica they use to give plastic that pearly effect can interfere with dye absorption, I've heard from some experienced dyers. Some say they're had no problem.

Here it was just three weeks after dyeing it.

That sucks. That disc was supposed to be my precious masterpiece. Or something.

So here's a different music-themed disc that has held up:

It's the Tribe, Y'all!


I tweaked my right shoulder playing disc golf, back in the fall - tried to throw backhand around a tree in a way that shoulder joints can't actually do. It only hurt in certain motions, and I could usually avoid them. So, I assumed it couldn't be too bad. I played through it for a couple of months, but it never stopped being sore in certain positions. When the weather got bad in January, I decided to try taking a few weeks off to let it heal for real. That didn't work. Went to the doctor in early February, she sent me to physical therapy. By the time I started PT in March, I'd lost a lot of my internal rotation in that shoulder - I can't touch my back above my waist with my right hand, can't put my right hand on my hip, etc.. I have "impingement syndrome" and possibly some adhesion. Sweet. Basically, the injury healed rapidly and messily and made a bunch of scar tissue, and some ligament or tendon or something is in the wrong place and is blocking the shoulder joint along one axis. That's what I get for stopping!

So, while I deal with my busted right wing, twice a week at PT and painful stretches twice a day, I'm learning to throw lefty! Took about five hours (across two weeks) to where throwing with my left hand didn't feel totally ridiculous. After that, it still felt like I was just pushing the disc out of my hand - I had no feel for the weight or shape of the disc, no sense that I could control it in any way. Took a couple more weeks to get through that. This was all just putting and very short distances (less than 50 feet) around the yard. Then I started trying to get a feel for distances. That took some time. And now I've played a couple of rounds at the local community college course (wide open fields, no hills). My scores are exactly as bad as they were when I started throwing right handed, last year. So that's acceptable.

I can throw maybe 80% of my right-hand distance, but with much reduced accuracy. And strangest of all, the course feels like it's been reversed. When you throw right hand (backhand) most discs will naturally fade to the left as they slow down and lose spin. And so you learn where and how each of your discs fades, and that info becomes part of the calculation you make when deciding how to throw each shot. But throwing left handed flips that - discs fade to the right. So all of that muscle memory I've accumulated about how to approach a shot is now backwards. And I have to relearn each disc. Plus, my form is crap and I can't control anything anyway.

But, progress is being made.

[Hope I don't bust my left shoulder too, because Mrs has already refused to be sympathetic if I do.]


I do remember one thing.
It took hours and hours.
By the the time I was done with it
I was so involved I didn’t know what to think.
I carried it around with me for days and days..
Playing little games
Like not looking at it for a whole day
And then, looking at it
To see if I still liked it
I did


[ This is the knot from the original Discipline cover. Robert Fripp thought the knot was in the public domain, but it wasn't. So newer editions of Discipline have a different, inferior, knot ]


The design is, well, kindof a mess. And I touched-up a bunch of voids left by air bubbles by hand. But look at all that lovely detail in the black swirls on the left - Pretty little chaos!

This was dye dissolved in acetone and then dripped onto a bed of glue, then blown around with a straw.

I didn't deliberately choose the same color scheme as one of my favorite Cure albums, but the coincidence does make me smile.

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I lost my first Saint in a pond, stupidly. Someone who was brave enough to wade onto murky waist-deep water looking a disc of his own found it and offered to return it (always write your phone # on the bottom of your discs!). But I had already ordered a replacement, with big plans for dyeing, so I told him to keep it.

Got the replacement, all the way from Sweden. Drew up the design:

After five attempts, I got the design cut out on a piece of vinyl and transferred to the disc. Then I pulled off the parts that I wanted to dye black.

Because the vinyl is flat and the disc is curved, there were a lot of these little creases along the edge where the vinyl just wasn't stretchy enough to lay smooth. I tried my best to flatten them out. And in the end, I did a pretty good job of it. But the black dye did bleed through on a couple.

The black came out pretty weakly towards the edges, where it didn't get enough dye. Alas. And, it came out this strange bronze color, not black. Luckily, that fit the concept just fine.

So, I got out my glue-based dye mixes and started to paint.

Turns out, that plastic is super hydro-phobic and the glue would just bead up and roll around. And the colors really wouldn't saturate. I didn't want to use the acetone-based mixes because acetone eats the factory stamps, and I wanted to preserve all of that - because the whole stained glass design was based around the "SAINT" logo. But, since the glue wasn't cutting it. I had no choice.

The acetone mixed dyes saturated a lot better. And the mixes I made were surprisingly gentle on the stamps. But, the Dip-N-Glo yellow that I used in the middle section absolutely tore through the logo. The red logo color instantly liquefied and slid off when the dip-n-glo hit it. I tried to clean it up as best I could, but a lot of the red smeared around between the letters. Since I was then trying to preserve the silver foil under the red so at least the "SAINT" would still be there in some form, I didn't get very aggressive in trying to get rid of the red.

Anyway, It turned out OK. Not glorious.

I did want the colors to be a little mottled, like antique stained glass. And the bronze color works fine as leading. Wish I hadn't used that yellow in the middle, though!

Spun a black border around the outside of the design, then added a yellow rim. Now it looks like it was originally a bright yellow disc! This should make it easier to find, especially edge-on. White discs are surprisingly hard to find in the woods. Bright (UV-reactive!) chartreuse is much easier to spot.


In disc golf, it's cool to put a US F18 on a Soviet star. Nobody cares.

Couple of small bleed-throughs in the black, and one on the red. But, overall, it's not terrible.

The star is off center a little. Not because I didn't get the design from the computer onto the disc exactly as I drew it, but because I drew it off-center on my computer (but didn't notice).

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Here At The Western World

Started with this disc:

Erased the stamp, with acetone:

Found a sketch of the western hemisphere continents:

Printed that out, taped it to a piece of adhesive vinyl. Cut it out with an exacto knife:

Stuck the vinyl to the disc:

Hand-painted the continents using dye mixed with white glue. I've never hand painted a disc, and I had no idea how it would work. And I had to mix colors to get brown (blue + orange), so I didn't know what I was going to get... but, fear is the mind-killer.

Let that sit for a few hours in a very low oven. Then, pulled it out and took off the vinyl:

The glue had hardened and mostly stuck, except for Alaska, which ripped off. I'll fix it in post!

Mixed up a bed of blue, purple and green for water.

Dropped the disc in there for 20 hours. Pulled it out. Hand-touched Alaska and a few spots where air bubbles had made blanks. And... done!

The glue on the continents had apparently dissolved into the glue bed for the water. When I took it out there was no trace of the thick glue layers. And the dye is reallllly saturated there. Not exactly what I was expecting.

I don't hate it. Learned a lot.


This would've been awesome. But it looks like it slid in the dye bed and came out off center. It developed a lot of air bubbles, too. Should've paid attention to that.


I'm moderately pleased with this one. I was expecting that purple in the middle to be more muted, like the yellow and green. I didn't want to obscure that bird quite as much as I did. I like the yellow and green, though.