Is it safe to cut old record albums? Are they the dangerous vinyl or just called vinyl by us oldies? Thanks
They’re a “no go.” They are vinyl.
Absolute NO, it is not safe.
There are some illustrative and really quite sad stories here in the forum of folks that have done it (even just one) and the destruction it’s caused to their machines.
A popular image of what can happen when you cut vinyl, although I’ve never found any evidence that’s what caused this machine to look like this. I’ve seen pics of dirtier Glowforge internals just from cutting wood and acrylic.
That’s not a dirty machine though, it’s corrosion. I saved this same pic a few years ago and my label for it says it was an Epilog that had been used to cut Kydex gun holsters. The vinyl in the Kydex and it led to this. So not records, but same chemical reaction. (If I remember right the pic had been posted to a FB laser group, but I might be wrong.)
I think this is a very good visual showing the danger of records. This gal only cut the two records you see at the beginning of the video and said she had had very good ventilation. In a week her new laser was pitted with corrosion.
Thanks for the help everyone!
@janet2 While you can use many types of plastics in your Glowforge, unfortunately, vinyl isn’t laser-compatible. When cut or engraved, vinyl can release gases that are hazardous to people and can cause damage to your Glowforge.
If you’re interested in hard plastic, we recommend acrylic as a substitute for vinyl. Acrylic is inexpensive, beautiful, cuts and engraves well, and is available in many colors.
If you’re looking for a flexible fabric, some customers have reported success with https://www.stahls.com/heat-transfer-material-thermo-film, but we haven’t tested it ourselves.
I’m going to close this thread - if you have any other questions, go ahead and post a new topic.