Business Cards from LP Records
I cut some LP records as part of my business card project. This proved to be a bit tricky and time consuming. Records are actually fairly inconsistent in thickness, hardness and other properties. They can act brittle one minute and then melt and give off poisonous gasses the next.
I then did a record clock project which gave me a bit of practice and I can now do this fairly well.
Cutting Records with Laser
This is the wrong thing to do. Vinyl (PVC or Polyvinyl chloride), when heated produces some corrosive and highly poisonous gases. It’s bad for the laser and it’s bad for people. The off-gas includes gaseous hydrochloric acid and other nasty things which will condense on your laser optics, bearings, your lungs and other important things.
Cutting Records with CNC Machine
My initial runs were with fast feed rates using shallow cuts with 1/32″ and 1/16″ endmills. I’ve noticed sometimes I get better results by dropping the spindle RPM.
I got this to work in a single pass using a slower spindle RPM and also a slower feed rate. I’ve also managed to get this working cutting multiple records at once.
It’s very tedious clamping and un-clamping a record to a CNC bed. To solve this challenge I decided to make a fixture that could be clamped to the bed that would allow me to quickly change records.
What I came up with was a three part system.
Here’s what it looks like cutting vinyl. You can see some of my CNC machines cuttings stuff.
This has evolved considerably:
Jewellery from CD and Vinyl
Article published on June 11, 2013