I have piles of old CDROMs and DVDs lying around. Promotional distributions, demo software, conference handouts. Drivers for hardware I no longer own. Operating systems I no longer use. I have absolutely no use for the data that's on these discs, and yet I cannot bring myself to throw them away. In my mind's eye, I can see them lying in a landfill for eternity, their non-biodegradable metal and plastic and all. I am not aware of a process that can economically reclaim the polycarbonate or the metal content from these discs.

The Time to Recycle CDs is Now

I have good experience using CNC machines for artwork and to make parts for my airplanes. I want to translate this experience into a process for cutting old CDs into new, useful things.

I take a stack of CDs and make a clock out of them, hands and all. I hang it above my desk to remind me when's a good time to work on this project.


I remember owning a Spirograph set as a child. Most everyone I know has this memory, or a memory of buying one for their children. Denys Fisher designs precision springs in the 1950s and 60s. He develops the Spirograph as a drafting aid in 1962. It finds a niche as an educational toy and eventually sells over 100 million copies. In 1970, Fisher sells his company to Hasbro, Inc. who own the "Spirograph" trademark and continue to manufacture sets (check out this $39.99 version on Amazon.com).

I am cutting my version out of old compact discs. I like the juxtaposition of pure-digital medium and completely mechanical operation of my rendition.

A previous version of this page includes a widget that allows readers to name a price for a set and place a PayPal order at that price. This mechanism of price discovery, while novel, proves untenable. If you wish to buy a set, you can write to me and make an offer--while supplies last.