How to Cut PVC Vinyl Records

Written by katherine harder
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How to Cut PVC Vinyl Records
Choose old records made with colourful PVC or eye-catching labels. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

PVC's durability and inexpensive construction lead to its popularity in a wide array of products, including wiring, clothing, pipes, electronics, signs and record albums. Most of the records in your local thrift store's vinyl bin are cast-offs from the heyday of cheaply mass produced PVC albums. Re-purpose badly scratched or warped PVC albums into artwork, fashion accessories or home decor by first softening the plastic and then making any necessary cuts.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Oven
  • Aluminium foil
  • Baking tray
  • Utility knife
  • File
  • Fine grit sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Line an oven rack with foil to protect it from possible dripping, melted plastic. Preheat your oven to 107 degrees Celsius.

  2. 2

    Set your record album on the baking tray. Use a baking tray large enough to accommodate the entire record. Most record albums have a 12-inch diameter.

  3. 3

    Place the baking tray in the heated oven, on top of the foil-lined rack. Leave the record in the oven to soften for five minutes.

  4. 4

    Remove the baking tray from the oven, and place it on a heat-safe surface. Cut out shapes or designs in the softened vinyl. If the record hardens before you complete your work, put the baking tray back in the oven for re-softening. Heat for only two to three minutes at a time to avoid melting or distorting your designs.

  5. 5

    Allow the vinyl to harden before removing it from the baking tray. Round and smooth any jagged or rough edges with a file and fine sandpaper.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use a jeweller's saw or a router to easily cut through vinyl records. Before you begin cutting, draw your designs and then use a utility knife score the vinyl along the marks you made. File and sand cut edges smooth. Don't use a laser to cut your PVC vinyl records. Fumes from the heated PVC can damage your laser.
  • After using the baking tray with your PVC records, don't use it again with food. Set it aside for use in future craft projects.
  • While softening your record, open the windows, turn on any fans (including the exhaust fan) and never leave the oven unattended.

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