Faux ivory and bakelight

Had anyone used baklite or faux ivory to make game pieces. I am wanting to replicate the feel and weight of such materials. Thanx. Craig

As with any synthetic, you have to be careful that it’s not chlorinated. As I recall from chemistry class bakelite should be relatively ok in terms of that, but if your fake ivory is made from something like pvc, it’s bad news to laser it.

The key document you need is called a MSDS, a material safety data sheet. It should tell you about the hazards of the material, especially “combustion products” or “decomposition products”.

I’d get familiar with that stuff before I tried to laser either material.

1 Like

For kicks I googled bakelite MSDS and found a bunch of them.

from 3M:

Hazardous Decomposition or By-Products Substance Condition
Formaldehyde During Combustion
Carbon monoxide During Combustion
Carbon dioxide During Combustion
Ammonia During Combustion

(source: https://msdsdigital.com/3m™-bakelite-powder-black-green-red-msds, there are many others)

None of those things are particularly great to breathe in, but if you have a proper ventilation setup you should be ok. They’re your lungs, you need to assess your own risk tolerance.


Not tried to laser it personally. A friend of mine made some costume pieces with this “alternative ivory” that says it’s cast polyester (she used saws and files, not laser). Polyester itself is fine but you’d probably want to double check with the manufacturer for an MSDS as @evans suggests to make sure there isn’t anything else naughty in there.


(and as with all unfamiliar materials, watch it like a hawk, meltiness and flammability are always a concern with unknown plastics)

This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.