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removing rubber from 2x72 contact wheel

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  • removing rubber from 2x72 contact wheel

    10" wheel. how can it be done?

    - freeze and try to press it off
    - freeze and trepan it off
    - burn it off (wont do that)
    - slit the rubber and try to pull it off (how to hold the rubber?)

    what else? who has done it and how?

    edit: wheel is aluminum.
    Last edited by dian; 03-06-2021, 03:44 AM.

  • #2
    Honestly, if i had to id stick it out back over the firepit. Not environmentally friendly, but it is easy

    Barring that, id probably bandsaw off most of it, then hit it with an angle grinder with a wire brush to get off the remainder


    • #3

      What's the wheel made of? If it's some alloy of aluminium, I probably wouldn't put it in a bbq.

      If you can't machine it off, it sounds like it'll be one of those nasty, messy jobs - it'll come off in bits, and leave bits & old glue on the wheel. Depending how hard the rubber is, I'd probably go at it with a knife, and then use solvent or a flap wheel for what's left.

      All of the gear, no idea...


      • #4
        I have used dry ice to turn neoprene seals from round stock with great success in the past, when cold enough the material turns like POM.
        Do it quickly before it warms up otherwise back in the ice it goes. Dry ice is inexpensive even by hobby standards.

        Freeze it then turn it.


        • #5

          That indeed works well for accurate turning of various soft materials. In this case, I think he'll just be happy if the rubber ends up as a shredded mess in the swarf tray. I'm guessing that he'd machine it down to the point where he's just skimming the metal rim.

          All of the gear, no idea...


          • #6
            At the risk of being "that guy" why do you want to take the rubber off?

            From what I have seen putting the rubber on is the hard part for many grinder builders. Making a new aluminum wheel might be easier than recovering the old one depending on the capabilities of your shop.

            I think I would be tempted to pop the bearings out, freeze it, and the turn the rubber off on the lathe with a hand polished razor sharp turning tool. If it has a hub you can grab with a chuck great. If not either with an arbor or with pressure turning. The thing is it might be a slow process because the aluminum will transfer heat to the base of the rubber fairly quickly once it comes out of the freezer. It might take days rather than hours as you keep tossing it back in the freezer. Of course you could try turning it off at room temperature. You might get lucky.

            I just don't like turning plastics, polymers, rubber on the lathe ever since I gummed up a chuck. Only if I have to.

            A fresh sharp end mill and a rotary table might also do it on the mill. Ultimately you are just going to have to try something and see if it works.

            I'm sure somebody has the perfect answer, but as somebody else said tossing it on the BBQ is probably not it. You are likely to burn up the aluminum.

            Another turning option if there is enough material might be to trepan the aluminum edge of the wheel.

            Different rubbers act differently, but pretty much all those (except some silicones) I've played with tend to tear rather than cut. Tearing takes a lot of energy. I do make some silicone molds, and have found a nice sharp tool used with the right amount of pressure by hand will make clean cuts, but I'm usually just making shallow easy cuts. Not trying remove cubic inches.
            Last edited by Bob La Londe; 03-06-2021, 09:01 AM.
            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.


            • #7
              If you want to remold it, why not hand cut some slits for interfacing and over mold it.
              *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.


              • #8
                How about a circle cutting fixture on the band saw.
                John b. SW Chicago burbs.


                • #9
                  Can you get a small section of it cut off and then get under it with a razor blade and basically “skin” it off. May not be perfect but would get the majority off.

                  Same thing with a razor or sharp knife from the side of the wheel and and keep taking slices off.


                  • #10
                    Freeze it, turn off what you can, grind the rest. Grinding work well on frozen rubber.


                    • #11
                      Not sure how thick the rubber portion is on this particular wheel but I would probably saw or grind the majority off and then soak the aluminum in acetone to clean it up.
                      You could probably do the whole process with acetone alone but it would just take a bit longer and likely use a bit more acetone.
                      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                      Location: British Columbia


                      • #12
                        You say you won’t burn off, why not? At the very least, I’d use a torch on the underside of the rim. Not likely to distort it, and whatever adhesive is holding the rubber on should give up pretty quickly.

                        Carbon disulfide is a solvent for rubber, and maybe for the adhesive as well. Not very nice to work with, and might be tough to find in today’s nanny state climate, but it would do the job.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JohnMartin View Post
                          You say you won’t burn off, why not?
                          Because that is disgusting. Burning anything should be done at the last resort.

                          Peel it off and figure it out. Wanna borrow a nice thin blade? Its yours. JR

                          P.S> I have a nice supply of pressure sensitive adhesive if you want.

                          Its Gaskasinch LOL Rubber cement. JR

                          Umm? You guys see where I stiffed in the joke in re to my "P.S> " post and the reference to PS adhesive. No one got that joke? Lol. I am still gonna throw them out JR
                          Last edited by JRouche; 03-06-2021, 11:35 PM.


                          • #14
                            Brake fluid.



                            • #15
                              When I built my belt grinder I used a 12” rubber caster wheel. Not having a big enough lathe at the time to swing it I made an arbor and used the mill like a lathe to true it up, worked great.