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Anyone ever cut Rubber with a bandsaw ?

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  • Anyone ever cut Rubber with a bandsaw ?

    I was thinking about getting some
    rubber to cover my mill table.
    Tractor supply has horse stall mats
    that are 1/2 and 3/4" thick.
    I'll probably get the 1/2.

    I'm wondering what your results were.
    Last edited by hephaestus; 10-26-2016, 04:52 PM.

  • #2
    I just recently sawed some pieces about 4 by 6 out of the tread section of a used (well used) auto tire that had steel belt in it with the vert bandsaw at school. Worked fine. It was the one set up for steel, fine tooth running pretty slow ( don't know the actual speed off hand ). The guy at the tire shop
    didn't think it would be so easy. I did use a utility knife to remove the sidewalls first.
    ...lew...

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    • #3
      Grind a knife edge on a jigsaw blade and use a straightedge or board for a guide. Wavy would probably work better, but I haven't had the need to try that yet.
      Location: North Central Texas

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      • #4
        Yes - as Lew said, use a fine tooth blade for metal and run it very slow to keep things from getting too sticky. I've also had good luck freezing rubber parts before machining, but freezing an entire horse stall mat to cut on a bandsaw probably isn't practical

        You can also get "band knives", similar to what Joel is describing but I don't do enough cutting in soft materials to make it worth changing out the bandsaw blade. See here in case you are interested: http://www.starrett.com/saws/saws-ha...es/band-knives

        :edit: Getting those band knives uncoiled gives me the heebeegeebees! I manage to do alright with the normal blades but I can see myself cutting my fingers wide open getting those knives uncoiled!

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        • #5
          Used to do it all the time! Whenever I'd change tires on the motorcycle, I'd grab the Harbor Freight portable bandsaw and cut the tire into 3 pieces for easy disposal. After ruining numerous blades from the cable in the bead, and eventually destroying the bandsaw--I don't do that any more!

          The rubber would pinch on the blade and bring the blade to a pretty quick stop. Failure mode on the bandsaw was that the rubber tire that drove the blade got chewed up and spit out. Harbor Freight may have replacements, but not sure about that. If you want to cut rubber on a bandsaw, that would be something that you'd want to avoid.

          Nowadays, I'm cutting through the cable in the bead with a zip wheel on my 4 1/2" angle grinder, then cutting the tire up with a jig saw. Jig saw doesn't cut real well as has a tendency to pinch and grab the blade just like the bandsaw did. The difference is that it doesn't really hurt the jigsaw. It's mostly just stops cutting, and starts shaking and vibrating my arm. It's a bit of a bother, but haven't come up with a better method yet. What can you do?

          Jim

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          • #6
            For pure rubber with no wire in it I'd say the bandsaw with a coarser tooth blade should work. But do handle it in such a way that you can hold the kerf open as it comes off the blade as much as possible. As mentioned it is a VERY grabby material.

            I was reading the thread about table covers and a few thoughts occurred to me. First of which I would not want any sort of cover that can trap and hold any water containing cutting fluids. And that lets rubber out. My own thoughts were of thin plywood with raising pads on the lower side and a "skirt" of wood around the edges that hold the tools in the cover tray. By raising the cover up like this and allowing some flow of air between the cover and the table surface I like to think that I'd be covered.

            Another issue is that many rubbers are not oil and solvent resistant. You'd want to try a sample of these mats before committing to them.
            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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            • #7
              I've bucked up some 1/2" or so truck bed liner... heavy rubbery stuff, probably recycled tires or something. Worked fine on a wood bandsaw. It beltsands not too bad either, abrading the edges to a line, though it is messy.

              I was using bits of it to re-heel my workboots, just air-stapling cut out sections onto the heel and then beltsanding to shape. Yeah, I'm cheap.

              David...
              http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                1/2" rubber on ways? hows that going to work? seem pretty thick. You need it flexible and easy to push out of the way - ie getting at the Y handle. when table is forward. Most importantly, what kind of rubber......many dissolve with oil. I would recommend 1/8 neoprene, sold at MSC etc. Its super resistant to oil and very flexible....its what you want as flaps to protect ways imo.

                To your question, rubber via machining (except grinding) is a bad idea unless its frozen. You want to slice with a knife type blade for the bandsaw. The neoprene recommended cuts easily with a razor knife
                Last edited by Mcgyver; 10-26-2016, 04:52 PM.
                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                  1/2" rubber on ways? hows that going to work? seem pretty thick. You need it flexible and easy to push out of the way - ie getting at the Y handle. when table is forward. Most importantly, what kind of rubber......many dissolve with oil. I would recommend 1/8 neoprene, sold at MSC etc. Its super resistant to oil and very flexible....its what you want as flaps to protect ways imo.

                  To your question, rubber via cutter style machining is very bad unless its frozen.....or you grind it. You want to slice with a knife type blade for the bandsaw. The neoprene recomended cuts easily with a razor knife
                  I don't know why I said ways, I meant
                  on the table.
                  I guess I was still asleep.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hephaestus View Post
                    I don't know why I said ways, I meant
                    on the table.
                    I guess I was still asleep.
                    lol....well that makes more sense.....still, make sure the type of rubber is ok with oil
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                    • #11
                      Rubber cuts best with some sort of liquid lubricant in the cutting area. Even just water works, antifreeze or liquid dish soap & water works really well.

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                      • #12
                        The only time I ever had to machine rubber, I ended up putting it in the freezer for a few hours and that made a big difference.
                        Max
                        http://joyofprecision.com/

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hephaestus View Post
                          I was thinking about getting some
                          rubber to cover my mill table.
                          Tractor supply has horse stall mats
                          that are 1/2 and 3/4" thick.
                          I'll probably get the 1/2.

                          I'm wondering what your results were.
                          To cover your mill table i recommend roofing rubber it,s 0.062 thick you can cut that with scissors and you can buy it at a roofing supplier or from a roofing contractor. The matt's your talking about you can cut on a band saw tell me why would want matt's that thick

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                          • #14
                            I have cut horse stall mats with a utility knife and strait edge. You can use a little WD40 for lube. It cuts pretty easy. Don't over think it.
                            Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
                            Specialty products for beating dead horses.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GEP View Post
                              To cover your mill table i recommend roofing rubber it,s 0.062 thick you can cut that with scissors and you can buy it at a roofing supplier or from a roofing contractor. The matt's your talking about you can cut on a band saw tell me why would want matt's that thick
                              Why Not ?

                              I already have some roofing rubber
                              it's not thick enough for much
                              protection if you drop a tool, which I
                              have done. I don't have a pneumatic
                              draw bar yet so I often have to hold
                              a wrench above my head.
                              I could bolt thick rubber down, how
                              are you going to effectively bolt thin
                              rubber down ?

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