Intro: Repurposed Rubber Rail Pad Bench Top
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welcome to my very first Instructable (be gentle)
So the story goes.....i was walking around the yard at work and I noticed some out of spec rubber rail pads (these pads sit between railway tracks and sleepers) that was due to be binned. I hate to see things go to waste, that got my mind going to come up with a use for at least some of these pads.
I asked my boss if I could take some and after telling him my plans he agreed.
The original plan was to use them as garage flooring but decided against it as a slip hazard as there is usually oil spills. My bench was looking very tired and messy so I thought, let's use these pads as a bench top!
I'm pretty sure you could do this with any flat rubber type material that's going to waste.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
Nothing fancy in this build just basic tools, the only item you may need to get from a local hardware store would be the contact adhesive or some other type of rubber adhesive.
A word of warning, make sure the area is well ventilated as the adhesive gave off some crazy fumes!
1. Rubber pads
2. Utility knife
3. Straight metal ruler
4. Paint brush
6. Tape measure
7. Contact adhesive
8. Aluminium tile trim
9. Protective gloves
Step 2: Clearing the Work Area and Making a Start
So I gave the area a good clean to remove any loose dust, I did think about sealing the ply top but didn't think it would be an issue, as contact adhesive is pretty strong stuff.
Next I arranged some pads to find the placement that gave a nice look and fairly simple cuts. Conveniently these pads fit together nicely without leaving huge gaps.
I had a length of tile edging trim in the garage and thought that might give it a nice finished edge.
I screwed 2 pads to the front edge of the bench to line up the metal trim and screwed it down.
Step 3: Time to Get Sticky
I laid out the pads again, as I had laid the pads out before I had a rough idea of where I needed to start, I cut the front pad flush with the trim and then cut the back pad. The principals are basically the same as tiling.
I dry fitted this first row to make sure everything lined up. And marked where the back pad sat this would be my start point.
I used an old aerosol lid as a container for the adhesive. I applied a thin layer of adhesive to both pad and bench top. And left it to cure for 10 minutes as per instructions, I then firmly pressed the first few pads in place making sure everything "looked" straight. I could say I measured everything with a super laser level but I'd be lying!
Step 4: Laying the Rest of the Pads
Now I've got the first row stuck down I get a bit of a production line going, applying adhesive to a large section of bench and about ten pads allowing ten minutes or so for the glue to activate.
I went all the way across the bench using full pads they stick pretty much instantly so I had to be pretty accurate when laying them.
Once I'd finished with all the full pads I fill in all the gaps.
Cutting the pads was a simple process, I placed them on top of the gap marked the cut needed on each side, then used my metal ruler as a straight edge and used my knife to score along this till the pad was cut.
Then just glued these on til the top was finished.
I then just simply screwed full pads to the front edge of the bench to finish it off, I ran my blade flush with the bottom of the bench front to cut all the pads level.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
I had just repainted my garage floor and had some left over paint so thought why not give the whole thing a quick coat.
I didn't do under the bench as I plan to add cupboard fronts when I come across some suitable plywood.
The bench was originally made from waste wooden bearers from work when we first moved in, and the pads were going to waste, so what you see was completely free!
I attached a few tools I like to have to hand and re-attached my vice (which was also salvaged from the metal waste bin at work)
And that's it, I now have a tidy area.
I just need to figure out a use for the left over pads!!