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Thread: Cutting rubber blocks

  1. #1

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    Cutting rubber blocks

    Any one have suggestions on how to cut a 1" thick piece of rubber block and get a smooth surface?
    The material is black rubber 4" square and 1" inch thick, I need to make a 3.5" round pad.

    got any tricks?

  2. #2

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    You can try freezing the rubber to make it hard so it cuts like wood.
    It's been decades since I tried this, and I can't remember if it worked or not.

  3. #3
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if a Greenlee hole punch would do it (if you dont mind a small hole in the center)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    You can try freezing the rubber to make it hard so it cuts like wood.
    It's been decades since I tried this, and I can't remember if it worked or not.
    I don't think my freezer will get that cold, it would take a dose of N2 or something.

  5. #5

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    The freezer should be about 0 degrees.
    I have used liquid propane at -44 degrees. To get a cup of liquid propane, hold a propane bottle upside down and let some out. About half will evaporate and then the remaining liquid will be -44.
    Do it outside, of course, and wear gloves.

  6. #6

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    I have been contemplating using a 3.5" hole saw modified by removing the teeth and grinding a knife edge on it. Gluing the rubber block to a board, and clamping that to the drill press table, and running the drill press as slow as it will go. adding lubrication for the blade.

    the propane sounds a little scary.

  7. #7

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    I think they sell dry ice at Safeway.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    I think they sell dry ice at Safeway.
    I wonder how cold you would have to get the rubber to cut it on a lathe?

  9. #9

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    Dry Ice & a lathe - I think that's the best idea. Silicon grease will help any cutter or knife slide thru the rubber. It depends a lot on the physical properties of the rubber block though.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nrpetersen View Post
    Dry Ice & a lathe - I think that's the best idea. Silicon grease will help any cutter or knife slide thru the rubber. It depends a lot on the physical properties of the rubber block though.
    The material will be here today, I have a steel plate that has been turned round at about 5' I think I'll try gluing the rubber to that and try cutting the rubber on my lathe with the modified hole saw in the tail stock. That way I won't worry about holding the rubber, or getting enough pressure on saw, or frost bite

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