Saturday, March 15, 2014

How Rubber is Made!

I thought for our Anniversary week, I would spend the time to write an interesting post for all our readers! If you are anything like me, then you will watch every "how it's made" type of show on television! I just love seeing how different items are manufactured.  Today I am going to show you how something we all love so much...rubber stamps....are made!!


We at ODBD are fortunate to live in the same state (Ohio) as the country's largest supplier of vulcanized rubber is manufactured. Every week we make the 25 minute drive to pick up our rubber.  The owner took me and Rick around the plant for an extensive tour and explained everything in great detail.  I will be giving a Reader's Digest version of how rubber is made so you can see all the work that goes into every rubber stamp that is made for your passion...stamping!

This picture shows the ingredients that are used to make batches of rubber.




Here are the measured out amounts of supplies needed to make a batch of rubber, which includes natural rubber, clay, zinc oxide, curing agents.



Here we have raw, natural rubber before being mixed with the other ingredients.
 



This machine is a mix mill with two 60" long rolls, side by side horizontally with a gap of 1/4" to 1/2"separating them; each moving in opposite directions. The natural rubber and the powdered ingredients are added and mixed up. The rubber starts mixing and starts out yellowish, until the coloring pigment is added.



Here the worker has added the pigment, and the rubber is mixed, blended and rolled for a  long time.  He will cut the rubber, it will fall down and be thrown back to stretch it again several times.


The batch is almost ready as it has a uniform texture and color.

 
The rubber is cut into long sections and hung on racks so it can cool down.


This next machine is the calender and it used for rolling out the rubber to the desired width and thickness. It is run through several areas of the machine to thin it out as much as needed.




Here a worker is applying the powder/dust on the rolls right after the calendering operation.  The powder will assure a smooth surface, assist in dissipating heat build up in calendering and assist in the molding operation.



Completed batches of rubber are stored in this area until they are needed to be thinned and rolled out in the calender.



Here is the ODBD rubber...Orchid! It is our signature color that is made special just for us!



Once the rubber is complete, it is kept in the cooler until ready to be used for rubber plate pressings. 

Once a stamp set is designed, I order it and it is made into a magnesium plate.
(made in Michigan).  This one shown here is a very old plate, our first stamp set ever..,,Light of the World! The magnesium plate is layered with the green board, called the Matrix, and pressed in a very hot vulcanizer, and the matrix board them becomes the mold that is used to press the rubber sheets.


This is one of 2 industrial sized vulcanizers. The matrix boards, with sheets of rubber layed on top, are placed on the metal surface, and inserted into the vulcanizer.  Two metal plates, called platens,  are then pressed together with a hydraulic press for about 10 minutes.  The combination of the high heat and the pressure makes the rubber "melt" and form into the mold, and rubber stamp set sheets are made!


  

Here we have "The Girls"(Tanya, Dreama and Cheryl) cutting our rubber sheets of stamps sets into separate stamps. On busier days Mo will be cutting also.  They use scroll saws with special blades to cut the rubber.
 

A close-up of Cheryl cutting apart a stamp set.


Back at ODBD our employees place the stamps onto the plastic sheets. The packaging is printed, cut and inserted into the stamp set bags, stored in the factory or put onto the ODBD show carts! 

Once we receive the order, Josh will ship it out to you! 



I hope you enjoyed learning how rubber and rubber stamps are made! 

All of us at ODBD are so thankful for all our customers, whether you have ordered online, bought from us at a stamp show or attended one of our classes and mini shows! Our schedules are listed on the website HERE and HERE.

Be sure to check out our 2014 Anniversary Blog Hop on Monday, March 17, 2014, where we will showcase our yearly anniversary sets.  My fabulous Design Team have submitted scripture verses, quote and sentiments for 4 new fabulous sets! We will have PRIZES!! See you then!


47 comments:

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Kelley! WOW! I just LOVED the tour and am so delighted to see it from the start! Fascinating! And that it's all "Made in the U. S. A." is extra special! My first order was The Light of the World back in April 2008, and I have loved ODBD for six years and now am blessed to be a small part of it! Thanks for the wonderful tour, wonderful tour guide! Warm hugs, Kelley, and thanks to the entire ODBD team!

Clickersister said...

That is fascinating! I love that you did this for us! I'm so sorry I missed the last stamp show in Indy and didn't get to see you all!

Dawn said...

Awesome tour!
Happy Anniversary!!!

TLady said...

WOW!!!! :) WHAT A PROCESS!!!! :) THANKS FOR SHOWING US Kelly!!! I AGREE with Cheryl!!!! "MADE IN THE USA, IS THE BEST!!!!!!!" :)

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

What a fun tour! I'm looking forward to the hop on Monday!

Tricia

Unknown said...

Thanks, Kelly! This brings me back to the early 1970s when I worked for Johnson & Johnson. The process for making the adhesives for Band-Aids and tapes was very similar. The rubber was mixed with rosin and lanolin in a Banbury mixer on the second floor, then dropped down onto sheeter mills identical to the ones in your photos. It was stripped off the mills in large loaves, and then spread onto the tape backing using a calender. The natural crepe rubber arrived in the same form as you show, sometimes with an extra surprise - a tarantula - included!

Walt (Cherylquilts' hubby)

Clare said...

I've always wondered how stamps were made! I'm not sure what I imagined, but this wasn't it! I didn't know that rubber had to be mixed with other ingredients and heat pressed into the mold. I thought that there were machines that cut the finished stamps apart, and on a much larger basis than three lovely ladies! (and sometimes Mo) Very interesting - thank you for sharing this!

Gina Ables said...

It was so interesting to see all the steps involved in creating rubber stamps. I love different crafts and how they come together from start to finish is amazing. I do ceramics and when I tell people how we get to that beautiful finished piece, they never realized all that really went into it. Thank you for posting.

irishgreensue said...

What an amazing process, Kelley, beyond imagination, for sure!!! I had no idea how much was involved in making our rubber stamps, and I sure am glad to learn about it!

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday at Allentown!! HUGS!

Leanne said...

WOW! Extremely interesting & informative. Thanks for sharing.

Diana Nguyen said...

That is so very cool! We love to watch "How It's Made" too! Thank you so much for sharing this!

Sabrina said...

Totally fascinating. Thank you so much for such an interesting post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelley: Thank you so much for the step by step process of making your rubber stamps. I learned a lot, and I really enjoyed the post. Your rubber stamps stamp so well. I have others that are not deep enough, and I get a halo every time I stamp. Thank you for sharing. I have missed seeing you, Rick and Josh. We are still in MI. Horrible winter. I will explain when I see you in Novi. Hugs, Margie F.

Julie- justwritedesigns said...

Wonderful! I knew the steps, but haven't ever seen the actual process in pictures. Loved the tour, Kelley!

dorothy harrison said...

Thank you for the tutorial - I have sent it on to friends - especially friends with children! This was educational for all of us. Hard work is involved in creating rubber - obviously not just done by machines and computers - which makes us all appreciate the finished product even more! I had seen a small set up and vulcanizer but what a huge difference with commercial machinery!

Donna Whitten said...

Thanks! Enjoyed it.

yums said...

A tour like this to the beginning of the creation of rubber stamps makes you appreciate the end product.....the stamps that we use to produce our cards. Wonderful and much appreciated show.

DebR said...

Loved this! Thank you for sharing all this with us.

Lucy said...

I enjoyed learning about rubber and stamp making. That's great that you are so close to the rubber mill-saves money, I'm sure! Can't wait to hop:-)

Bernadette Roberto Shisler said...

Wonderful post, Kelley! I learned something new today! :) And I have a greater appreciation for the "hands on" dedication of the team. Blessings!

Papercrafting Princess said...

Thank was interesting...Thanks for sharing and putting SO much love in it!

Mary Marsh said...

Thanks for the informative article Kelley-learned something new today -that's always fun

Grace said...

Oh Kelley this was such an awesome tour!!! I really enjoyed seeing all the steps involved in creating these stamps! I had no idea so much was involved just in creating the rubber! Thanks so much for the informative and fascinating tour! Happy Anniversary to ODBD and all who work behind the scenes!!! May God continue to bless you richly!!!

Linda Carson said...

Quite fascinating! That's quite a process from powder to rubber to shipping! Fabulous tour!

Shelia said...

wow, I had no idea of this process!! Thanks for the tour. I love that you have the orchid colored rubber made just for ODBD stamps!!

Alshandra said...

Awesome post Kelley - so fascinating to see how it is all made! Thanks for sharing and Happy 6th Anniversary!

JD/ Jill said...

This was really a great post! Thanks so much for sharing this.

It was so good seeing you again, Yesterday at the stamp show! And thank you again, for all the help you gave us. And as before, I spent the most at your booth! smile...

Stacy aka Twinshappy on SCS said...

Kelley this is the coolest view of how the rubber is made! Amazing the process and transformation. Thank you for sharing this with us all. Each step is just amazing, so very cool!

Jean Bullock said...

That was fascinating!

Pamela Haskin said...

Looking forward to tomorrow and all you have to share.

Cathymac said...

WOW!! Just had a chance to read this post...What a time consuming and interesting process! Loved learning the story behind the fabulous stamp sets at ODBD! Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Kelley!

Cathymac said...

WOW!! Just had a chance to read this post...What a time consuming and interesting process! Loved learning the story behind the fabulous stamp sets at ODBD! Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Kelley!

Becky said...

wow, this is fascinating!

Becky Jo said...

Kelley, I loved this post. Thanks for letting us know how the stamps are made. Congratulations on your 6th year anniversary! So happy your business is booming! I used to purchase your stamps online, but now purchase them thru a local shop - Joys of Life Scrapbooking in Mechanicsburg, PA. I will be getting more soon. Hugs!!

Saints Rule! said...

What a fun "tour!" I love seeing how everything is put together. Sounds very similar to a recipe... certain ingredients, processed and a whole lotta love! {{hugs}}

Sue Speck said...

Best explanation EVER! I really loved this tour and I thank you for the time you spent in getting this together. Thanks also for such a great Allentown show: I got some new toys from you and am looking forward to playing with them ASAP!

Dottie said...

Very very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to show us this process. i do have a question though, how are those intricate patterns on a rubber piece originally cut or made into the original die? Some stamps are so intricate that some tiny little desgins being pressed into a mold would be lost. Does the rubber have to be really hot so as to press better?
Thanks for such an interesting tour.

Indian River Stamper said...

Wow, I never realized so much went into making the stamps, I will definitely treasure all of them. Thanks for the great visit to the rubber world. Loved it!

Maxam Made said...

Thank you for the tour Kelly, it was very interesting! I Love ODB and I am thankful you have put the Word into rubber so beautifully! I look forward to seeing you in Springfield in June!
Ginny Maxam

Carol<>< said...

I love that show "how it is made" also, nothing like learning something new!!! now I know there are a lot of steps to making these stamps. thanks for the tour on making rubber.
Carol N<><

Bobbi Miller said...

Kelly, this is SUCH an interesting "how to".... I have never given any thought to how stamps become stamps! There sure is a lot of work involved! I love the orchid color of your stamps; I have several and they do stamp so perfectly! Can't wait to get my hands on these new verse scripture sets! Thanks for sharing this wonderful info! Blessings!

Graciellie CH said...

Oh my, I was always curious of this process and I truly appreciate the time you took with the pictures and the step by step post. Thanks so much!

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

wow this one one fascinating post!!!

I thank you so much for sharing.
I really wish it was not so far and post items and was not so dear to Oz...

.. wonderful job all of you!!
Shaz in Oz.x

Barbara said...

What a fun walk through on the making of rubber. I loved this and now have some understanding of how the beautiful rubber stamps that I love so much is made. Thank you for sharing.

BlueRose said...

Great tutorial, had no idea, learned a lot. Thank you.

Candy said...

Great tutorial and so interesting to see the process from start to finish!

Dorothy S said...

I missed this the first time around - thanks for the "rerun". This is quite a process - I have a much better appreciation of the dedication of your staff (and you!).