With the right tools you can make a sturdy rugged looking bracelet from an old bicycle tyre in less than 30 minutes. Though nice for kids (boys, tomboys), an adult should make it because of the tools involved.
it could be a coincidence... but in the same period I wore this bracelet I developed some eczema kind of symptoms. It is not clear if this is caused by the bicycle tyre because a few months before making the bracelet I had the same symptoms caused by washing detergent. However, it's obvious the rubber of a bicycle tyre is meant to be used on a bicycle.. not as a dressing accessory. I am not qualified to say anything intelligent about whether it possibly could damage your health, but thought I should add this warning to this instructable anyway.
Below the description how I made this. As it's entirely made from scrap, you might have to be a bit creative to get it the way you like it.
Basically this instructable boils down to "how to drill a hole in a piece of rubber, put a bolt through it and tighten a nut" ... so nothing too advanced there.. Hope this serves as an inspiration to some of you :)
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Step 1: Getting the Right Part of the Tyre
Though pretty self explanatory, this part obviously is the most important one as it will determine the look of your bracelet. Tyres have different profiles, so go for one you like.
Assuming you use an old tyre for this (and not a brand new one), cut out a part that you like. It's a matter of personal taste what you like, you might go for the part that still looks new, but you could also go for the part that shows a lot of tear (red colour coming through).
Step 2: Sand the Inner Side of the Bracelet
To get it nice and soft I sanded the inside. This feels better when actually wearing the bracelet.
Because I am lazy I used an electric sanding machine. It obviously can be done by hand as well.
Step 3: Fine Tuning
Now fine tune your rubber strip. You can clean it with some washing detergent an a nail brush. However, I suppose any soap will do. A brush gets the grooves of the profile nice and clean.
I used a razor blade to cut all the edges straight.
Step 4: Creating a Closing Mechanism
The closing mechanism probably is the hardest part to make. You could use an existing mechanism from an old bracelet you might have lying around. When I make something like this, i prefer to make it entirely from scrap.
Attempting to make something using glue probably isn't going to work because it's very hard to glue rubber. Also, in my experience, trying to melt rubber is a hopeless exercise... besides, I assume the fumes are not healthy, so I would advise not to try that either.
You'll have to work with screws, bolts, elastic bands, rope, metal wire, stuff like that. Remember, a tyre cannot be stretched very well, so you have to think of something that is easy to open and close.
I used a bolt and nut to make a closing mechanism.
Notice the bolt has something like a washer below it's top. This is not a washer, but part of the bolt. The nut has a similar washer looking ring attached to it. These nuts and bolts are quite common on bicycles. I suppose any hardware shop will sell them as well (though, it needed to be scrap remember ;)
As I was using an angle grinder, i needed to put the bolt in a vise. Just putting the bolt in the vise would damage the thread, so I screwed on the nut and tightened the vise around the nut. Because I was going to grind the head off, the nut needed to be fairly tight, however not too tight because after grinding off the head I would not be able to use a spanner to get the nut loose again.
Carefully grind off the nut, leaving the washer/ring on the bolt. (if you are going to use an angle grinder for this, I assume you are familiar with safety precautions..i.e. protect your eyes and make sure there's nothing flammable nearby!)
(this could be done with a manual metal saw as well... but that takes forever!)
Step 5: Drill Holes and Put the Bolt Through
Now drill a hole on both ends of the rubber strip. You should be careful when doing this... there's a slight risk the drill bit will "grab" the rubber when turning and pull your fingers with... if you are holding the drill with one hand, you might lose control of it... so take care!
I used a drill bit for wood and put the drill on a low speed... no need to have it at high speed.
Now there are two ends.. the bottom is where the bolt will go through (see picture above)... this hole should be tight.. just take a drill bit with same diameter as the bolt, and drill through the rubber in one go.. after removing the drill bit, you will find it looks like there is no or only a wee tiny puncture.. put the bolt through there.
the hole on the other end should be open, as this is what you are going to use to open and close the bracelet. Use the same drill bit and very slowly drill through the rubber... giving the drill bit some time to actually get the rubber loose. you might have to drill through this hole several times to get a nice open hole.
Step 6: Done!
Okay, you are done! If you like you can do some final work on it like making the rubber strip a bit thinner at the end with teh bolt and trimming the other end a bit.
Now go impress your friends:)