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How to Cut PVC Vinyl Records

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tip

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.

Warning

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.

Things You'll Need

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

Katherine Harder kicked off her writing career in 1999 in the San Antonio magazine "Xeriscapes." She's since worked many freelance gigs. Harder also ghostwrites for blogs and websites. She is the proud owner of a (surprisingly useful) Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University.