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Thread: Durable, grippy, glue-able, thin, rubber strips or sheets?

  1. #1

    Durable, grippy, glue-able, thin, rubber strips or sheets?

    I made ten of these a few years ago:

    They're a clone of these:

    What I'm trying to figure out is what to make the clamp pads out of that will last any length of time? I'm not even sure bessey has that figured out since they sell replacement pads. Although they might sell them for different reasons because they sell them with the cams and everything, not just the pad. ...and for about as much as a new clamp, at least where I saw them for sale.

    My first try was a brand new mouse pad. It had a satin cloth adhered to the top and some thin, grippy rubber on the bottom. I cut the rubber into strips and epoxied them to the cams. Lasted a few months I think before the rubber started deteriorating and leaving marks on the projects. Like rubber powder was getting ingrained.

    Second try was vinyl seat fabric. It was 88 cents for way more than enough. It just wasn't grippy enough. It does work great in my bench vises where more pressure is applied.

    Third try was epoxying 150-grit paper to the vinyl already in place. Worked great once. Second use the paper-vinyl bond started giving up. So that was a fail. And I'd like to maybe not have sandpaper on the projects in this fashion.

    My ideas include silicone baking mats, or rolls of adhesive-backed neoprene rubber. First I'm not sure how to glue the silicone non-stick mats. But now I'm not even sure where to find the thicker ones that are grippy. Seems like all I could find today on amazon were thin and or not grippy-looking.

    Not sure how durable the neoprene strips would be. Any thoughts?

    *addition to post:

    Found this chart online.

    Looks like silicone is a good candidate as far as lifespan. Do you think Devcon 12045 silicone adhesive would be a good choice for gluing strips from a silicon baking mat to semi epoxy-soaked wood?
    Last edited by Robin Dobbie; 07-12-2018 at 2:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Looks like a copy of the Bellevue Workshop edge clamps, how about just gluing some bicycle tube or pond liner rubber on the clamp pads?

  3. #3
    I did use the bellevue template, but the bessey clamps existed long before the bellevue video. If I had it to do again, I would absolutely make these a different way. And I may do that since I kinda want a few more of these.

    The problem with bicycle tubes is they're smooth and low-friction. I think they're a bit, thin, too. What was great about the mouse pad material, while it lasted, was it was about 1/8" thick so it spread the pressure. Moderately grippy, too. I don't know what the thickness is of tubes, but I'd want at least 1/16" I think. I suppose doubling it up would be possible, but that's doubling up the work and it's rubber. Looking at that chart I found I'd rather stick with something like silicone. Worst case with silicone, if it's been sitting in a warehouse for 10 years I still get 10 years of use. If that rubber mouse pad would've lasted even three years that would've been spiffy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    This stuff might do your job.,110,43466 It is soft and grippy. I use it to wrap handles, where it works great. I don't know whether it is glueable. Because it is silicone, gluing might be a challenge. I'd start by trying urethane glue - y'know, Gorilla glue.

  5. #5
    I would try a big plug cutter and some old flip-flops. Those soles are generally thick enough and while they are rubber, they should wear pretty well. You might also try an old car tire (not the steel-belted kind - the plug cutter wouldn't like it).

    Nothing is idiot-proof for a sufficiently ingenious idiot!

  6. #6
    You can get thicker neoprene from, it's reasonably grippy and is very durable. A wipe with some isoporpyl alcohol should knock off any dust. If you need more grippyness to get things started, you can make your cams more gently sloped. That will increase the "wedging" action and can compensate for less grippy materials.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    This stuff might do your job.,110,43466 It is soft and grippy. I use it to wrap handles, where it works great. I don't know whether it is glueable. Because it is silicone, gluing might be a challenge. I'd start by trying urethane glue - y'know, Gorilla glue.
    The problem with silicon tape is it fuses to itself. The cams definitely touch each other when the clamp is not in use, so that wouldn't last long.

    Yeah I am wondering what my options are for gluing silicone. There's Sil-poxy which is $20 for half an ounce or $35 for 3 oz. But I wonder if anyone has experience with Devcon 12045. It's $6-$10 for almost 2 oz. I've had good luck with Devcon rubber cement for refoaming vintage speakers. But the 12045 doesn't actually list silicone in its list of bonded materials, so that's suspect. I think it's just made of silicone.

    Car tires would definitely leave a mark. Plus it's rubber. I think I'm shying away from rubber or neoprene at this point.
    Last edited by Robin Dobbie; 07-12-2018 at 3:00 PM.

  8. #8
    I haven't been reading good things about the sil-poxy. So I don't know if there's even a way to attach silicone.

    I ordered this. For the price and ease of application I figure I can't go wrong. It's already got adhesive backing and it's the width I need for the current cams. If it works for a few weeks I may try a wider width when I make my new clamps. I'd rather have silicone but I don't know how to make it work.

  9. #9
    One summer many years ago I worked for a gasket fabricator and have been using scraps of various types for all kinds of pads and grips since then. I suggest you look at sheet gasket material for your clamps. Mcmaster sells an assortment so you could try a few different types, but two come to mind. Rubber/cork gasket material, and red rubber (SBR). Here's a link to a durable and abrasion resistant SBR material:

    [edit] that link just takes you to a general page, but if you search for "Water- and Abrasion-Resistant SBR Gasket Material" you'll find the material.....
    Last edited by Paul F Franklin; 07-12-2018 at 3:40 PM.

  10. #10
    That might be worth a try, but it's possibly harder than desired. I don't know how much friction I'd get with it. 70A is on par with a shoe heel. I think inner tubes are 55A and rubber bands are 30A. Not sure what the rating is of what I ordered, but some of what that seller sells is 60A +/-5, so it might not be any better.

    I wonder if softness automatically means more grippy and if durability isn't even attainable in the softer grades.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Piedmont Triad, NC

    Silicone rubber

    Last edited by Tony Joyce; 07-12-2018 at 4:41 PM.
    "Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily. Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

    Woodworking since 1972

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Joyce View Post

    This looks like the best thing, yet. Silicone, PSA is an option, 50 hardness is an option, 1/8" is an option and it's not a million dollars.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Bill D.

  14. #14
    I know I've heard leather is great in regular vises. Not sure how grabby and soft it is, though.

    Friday I needed to attach some edges so I peeled the sandpaper off the cams that had loose sandpaper. It mostly peeled off super clean leaving a perfectly smooth finish. I figured I'd try them again before getting out the pipe clamps and doing things the pain in the booty way. They worked, mostly. One slipped, but I reset it and it was fine. I don't know what the epoxy did other than give them a super clean. The wood certainly wasn't clean.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Shorewood, WI
    Use silicone RTV, which stands for room temperature vulcanization. This is silicone (not acrylic) bathtub caulk. It comes out of the tube as a sticky grease, and on exposure to the moisture in the air it hardens (vulcanizes) to a silicone rubber. Smear some on the plywood edge and let it harden. It will become pretty much the same thing as the silicone sheets, but fused to the plywood. You want the cheaper one that smells like vinegar as it cures.

    This has been used as bandsaw tires on shopmade plywood wheels without noticeable wear after several years. You can find that by searching for "John Heisz bandsaw wheel silicone"

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