Instructables

How do you melt rubber?

I am trying to make my own rubber-soled shoes. Is there a good rubber I can melt at home for this? It needs to be relatively hard. Also, what kind of mold would I need to use & how would I make that? If I am successful, I will certainly make an instructable. This is the only part I need help with. Thanks.

theRIAA5 years ago
you cant reach rubbers' melting point without completely destroying it's vulcanized properties.

you have to buy pre-mixed, un-vulcanized rubber and vulcanize it yourself:
http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com/info/RubberMolds/RubberMolds.html

or you can buy that plastic tool handle dip at the hardware store.

or just cut up an old tire/exercise mat/garage floor mat into a sole pattern and glue the whole thing on.

or you can get some special order 2-part rubber mixes:
http://www.smooth-on.com/

rickharris5 years ago
Most modern shoe soles are not rubber (as in natural latex based) but are some form of plastic, Heat will melt most thermoform plastic but the problem will be making a suitable mould for the sole. Pure rubber once vulcanised can not be melted or the tires on your car would melt under heavy braking. Maybe you could recycle tires as shoe soles??
This is a very well used idea in some third world countries, the thing to watch for is blade deformation/overheating during the cutting proccess. you need to get past the steel belts and hold the material VERY firmly close to where you are cutting for a quality cut. I made some once with a mud tire and it took a long time with a bench vise, bottle of dish soap thinned out and 3 bi metal blades in a sawzall. the result was pretty cool and VERY durable.
Wolf Seril (author) 5 years ago
I think I'll be using that smooth-on site. Thanks.
rickharris5 years ago
Amazingly here in the UK you can buy stick on rubber shoe soles just like you want!!