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Slicing natural rubber?

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  • Slicing natural rubber?

    How to slice a natural rubber blanket 3 inch thick. The blanket is 72 in. large by 14 ft. long. I want to cut it in small blocks to clean abrasives. Any better idea to use it is also welcome. Thanks

  • #2

    I have tried this before, and it is not easy to do.
    I found that a razor works OK.
    Or use a band saw and soapy water as a lubricant,
    If you want a hole in it a twist drill dose not work,
    I had to use a 1/2" drill to make a 1/4" hole.
    Use a forster bit, which is normally used in
    woodworking. Again use soapy water lube.
    Good luck.


    • #3
      "How to slice a natural rubber blanket 3 inch thick. The blanket is 72 in. large by 14 ft. long."

      There is nothing that will slice this. You have to use it as is.


      • #4
        Around here right now I would just leave it outside at -10. Once well frozen a circular saw should do.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


        • #5
          A friend had a steelrule die made, but it was for rubber less than an inch thick. I'm not sure it could be used for something thicker.


          • #6
            We used to use a length of music wire between two pieces of broom handle like a garrot to slab rubber to feed extruders or grinders.

            Effective, but not terribly accurate.
            Jim H.


            • #7
              You'll need a mask

              Oxy acetylene?


              • #8
                I was called in to troubleshoot a saw used to cut various types of foam rubber into sheets. The saw had a horizontal bandsaw blade that had no teeth - just the band of steel that was continuously sharpened to a murderously sharp edge. The "bun" of foam rubber, 3' x 8' x about 2' thick, was held on a table that ran under the blade, slicing off a layer. After returning the table, the blade was indexed down a preset value and another layer sliced off. Effortlessly.
                Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


                • #9
                  Slicing rubber

                  Just a few thoughts. Back in the "Good Old Days" (40's and 50's) tires were regrooved using a hot U shaped cutter clamped to a heavy high wattage electric soldering iron for heat. This cutter sliced through tire rubber like a hot knife through butter and left nice straight edges.

                  You might be able to rig a hot blade cutter using a length of band saw blade sharpened to a knife edge and heated by passing current through it with a battery or battery charger - similar to the hot wire cutters used by florists but heavier built. Sort of a hot blade saw. If you try something similar be sure to use low voltage for heating - not straight line power. You will probably have to keep tension on the blade to keep it from bending and wandering.

                  At some time in the past I have seen bandsaw blades with a knife edge instead of saw teeth. (McMaster lists scalloped and V tooth bandsaw bladeswith rubber slicing noted as a possible use). One of these with soap lubricant might work.

                  Good Luck.


                  • #10
                    I don't think running it through a bandsaw is a viable option. According to my calculations the sheet weighs around 1/2 ton.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                    • #11
                      Portable band saw?

                      Knife die blades will cut some rubber thicknesses.

                      Punch rubber, don't drill it.

                      Leather punch style.

                      Can also be punched with a press.


                      • #12
                        Rubber knife and plenty of water, water lubricates the cut and helps the knife move along. A rubber knife is a straight bladed knife with a wood handle, the blade is a little thicker than a kitchen knife for example. Water is the secret.


                        • #13
                          Thanks to all.
                          For now my wife serrated bread knife modified to fit my sawzall with runnining water do a nice job. Yes I had to replace it with a new one before she discover the trick. lol


                          • #14
                            Do you mind me asking how you came to have a 1/2 ton sheet of rubber lying about?
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                            • #15
                              I used a electric fillet knife with dish detergent as lube. It was not hard at all to do.
                              Jim, By the river enjoying life...