Those bloody AOL disks...

Here's a complete list of the uses that I've investigated so far for an AOL CD:

Disk Cutter (This page)

Beermats Hygienic, crackle-finish, eezi-wipe.

Body armour One day, this page might save your life. On the other hand...

AOL disk

The Disk Cutter test...

It wasn't so bad when they came on a floppy, because the first thing we all would do is erase them to use as free floppies. Well, we weren't going to sign on with the world's crappiest browser, were we? Now they are in CD format and the only use they have is as beermats. Other than that they are completely useless.

Or are they...

Angle grinder

I just happened to notice the how similarly-sized a CD and a 5" angle grinder disk were. I suppose anybody would! So how far, I thought, would I get through a piece of wood using an AOL CD in the angle grinder? Would it fit? Would it even survive? I mean, 10,000 rpm and 800 watts is nearly up to 32X CD ROM drive standards!

Angle grinder

Easy! Let's see what it's capable of!

I had to take the safety guard off, so make sure there's a responsible adult around when you do this. That's not me, by the way.

Cutting through wood...Neeeeeaaaaaaaooooooowwwwwwww!


Well, I managed to get about 25% through the the piece of wood, before the disk jammed. Cool blobs of melted plastic everywhere, though, and melted plastic 'candy-floss' blowing everywhere from the spinning disk. Top class entertainment, but as a serious DIY tool I'm afraid the AOL disk gets 0 out of 10.

I'm not giving up yet, though! These things must have a use! I'll be back soon to report on my next project - are they oven-proof, dishwasher-proof and *microwave-safe? I feel we have to know!

* Apparently not, it transpires! See the beermat link!


Author: Martyn Arnold (though I'm ashamed to be so irresponsible - NOT!!)

Last modified: September 1997