The Coulomb Manoeuvre

or How To Remove Shrink-Wrap From Vinyl


The Classic Coulomb

The Wear & Tear Coulomb


Place the record as shown (opening down) and rub gently back and forth from left to right applying only as much pressure as the weight of the record exerts. Approximately 3 - 10 rubs will be enough to wear the plastic down and it should simply split along the opening of the record cover with the slightest coaxing.

The "Wear and Tear" Coulomb is exactly the same as the 'Classic' except you use the thicker part of your pants around the belt line to avoid creating unseemly friction lines in your strides. As you are not using the weight of the record you will need to apply a small amount of pressure but take care not to push too hard or you will damage the cover.


We strongly recommend the Wear & Tear. We've seen a guy slice right through his silk pants. True Story. Additionally, NEVER, EVER, run your fingernail across the record opening to slice through the plastic. Paper burns suck. Cardboard burns are worse. A Cardboard burn under a nail is a fate worse than death.

Who is Coulomb and why is this particular manoeuvre named after him?

Charles August Coulomb (1736-1806) adds to the second law of friction; "strength due to friction is proportional to compressive force", "although for large bodies friction does not follow exactly this law". Coulomb published the work referring to Amontons. The second law of friction is known as the "Amontons-Coulomb Law" referring to work done by the two scientists in 1699 and 1785 respectively.

The Amontons-Coulomb law of friction holds for many different material combinations and geometries but unlike Newton’s first law, nothing fundamental can be derived from it. link

We decided to drop the Amontons from the name as it was too unwieldy and Coulomb sounds way better anyway. Respect to Amontons but he can blame his mother - or in this case, his father for having an ungainly family name.