Making a Rough Edge on a CDROM

VFO Tuning with a CD-ROM || Using a Small CD-ROM || Microwave CDROM || Tesla CD ROM

Step One || Step Two || Examples

Some variable capacitors will have a stiff drive, rubber grommets get old and loose their grip, and perfectionists may want a no-slip drive, so a means was devised to make a very good rough edge that the grommet can really grip.

This makes a great way to divert attention from the fact that you just cooked a CDROM in the kitchen Microwave. "Honey, that smell is from rolling the CDROM on the file. Don't worry!"

Step One

Heating the file

The first step is procuring a file from the tool box. The one above was a triangle type that fit very nicely between the metal spirals on top of a gas range burner. The very common flat file will work great. This one had a tendency to slip around when I rolled the CDROM over the top.

Next, heat the file. A little practice may be needed to determine the proper temperature for the operation. Heating the file from 1 to 3 minutes, not letting the ends get warm that are hanging over the edge, will give a very slight indention on the edge of the CDROM.

Heating the file till the end over the edge is warm to the touch is about as hot as you should get the file. Any hotter and the CDROM will melt too fast as you roll it over the file.

Step Two

Important! Turn off the heat to the burner! Rolling the CDROM over the file while the heat is on will burn your hand. Believe me!

Rolling the CD on a file

I used a Sharpie Permanent Marker that fit perfectly inside the hole of the CDROM. Anything will work, even a screwdriver, but use a hand on each side of the CDROM to keep it straight up and down.

Roll the edge of the CDROM over the file a couple of times, making sure you get the whole circumference covered. Check to see if the edge has been roughed up good. If not, give the file a little more heat and roll the CDROM again.

Don't forget to let the file cool before lifting it off the stove burner. Use a wire brush to remove any plastic on the file. If you have plenty of ventilation, reheat the file and burn the plastic off.


The ends of the file were still cold. Heat time about a minute. Edge feels slightly rough.

Ends of the file were warm to the touch. Roll CDROM quickly with light pressure. Edge feels rough. There may be tiny hairs hanging off the edge after lifting from the file. They break off easily, leaving this pattern.

Opps! Got distracted messing with the camera and overheated the file. Also, didn't move the CDROM fast enough over the file. This left a lot of plastic on the file that had to be burned off. It was baked on too hard to be removed with a wire brush.

Be careful burning off the plastic, it is really bad smelling! Have plenty of ventilation!

VFO Tuning with a CD-ROM || Using a Small CD-ROM || Microwave CDROM || Tesla CD ROM

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Last Update: 1-1-2003
Web Author: David White, WN5Y