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What is the best way to cut a rubber (non-steel-belted) tire? Answered

I need a method of cutting a non-belted rubber tire (I'm attempting to sole shoes) that will (a) allow for an angular design, and (b), leave relatively clean edges. The best idea I've gotten was to use a hacksaw with water in the cuts for lubrication, but the results are too ragged and uneven. Any good ideas would be appreciated!

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kelseymhBest Answer (author)2009-07-21

I use a bandsaw. To reduce the ragged edges, I put the tire between two pieces of scrap plywood (1/4").

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o-diskordia (author)kelseymh2009-07-21

Oh, criminy, that's not a bad idea... dunno why I hadn't considered using the bandsaw before; I'd imagine that's the last time I'd end up using that blade, but that's much easier than trying a Sawzall or hacksaw. I'll have to give this a shot- thanks!

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kelseymh (author)o-diskordia2009-07-21

It's actually not as bad on the blade as you might think. If you cut slowly (don't push the piece through), you'll end up with rubber "chunks" that you can get off the blade with a wire brush. Now, cutting a steel-belted tire, that's a real mess.

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steveastrouk (author)kelseymh2009-07-22

Smoky job, but an angle grinder works well. Steve

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kelseymh (author)steveastrouk2009-07-22

P.S. You should post this as a top-level comment. Comments within threads are not identified by the database as "Answers".

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kelseymh (author)steveastrouk2009-07-22

Nice option! Especially for someone who might not have a bandsaw at home. Are you able to get precise cuts?

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AnotherBrian (author)2009-07-23

I've never tried it, but Tin snips might work if the rubber is thin enough to fit in the jaws. Long handled pruning shears might work too.

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and7barton (author)2009-07-23

Even a plain old-fashioned hacksaw does the job.

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steveastrouk (author)2009-07-22

Try an angle grinder. It takes a bit of practice, but you can cut windows in the things with some practice ! Use a "cutting disc" not a grinding disc

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