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How to make rubber tyres for Mamod
For around 7 you can get a set of tyres for your Mamod traction engine from Ebay but making them yourself is relatively simple, with a little guidance.


  1. Rubber Sheet: The following describes manufacure from 3mm plain neoprene sheet but if you want to use a ribbed style (or anything else) then have a browse through the offerings on Ebay.

    Here is a link to Ebay search -->> Ebay Rubber Sheet

    Or we have the plain rubber sheet here -->> Plain Rubber Sheet

  2. Sharp Stanley Knife
  3. SuperGlue GEL: It is important not to buy the cheap-and-cheerful makes of glue as they are too weak. You will find it much easier to use the GEL superglue as the standard stuff runs all over the place. Safest is Loctite Gel superglue.
  4. Steel ruler pencil and a suitable flat cutting surface
  5. The top off a plastic ice cream tub (or similar)
Cutting Out
  1. You need a straight edge to the rubber so trim the long edge as straight as you can using the knife and steel rule. Make sure you keep the knife vertical when cutting as you want a 90 degree edge for when you gloue the tyre together.
  2. Measure the diameter of your wheel, add the rubber thickness and multiply by Pi to get the circumference of the rubber you will need. Since you want your tyre to be a stretch fit over the wheel reduce this by about 10mm.
    E.g. Traction engine front wheel diameter 64.5mm + 3mm rubber x Pi = 211.85mm Minus 10mm gives a length of 202mm. Similarly for the back wheel I got 292mm
  3. Now mark this distance with a pencil on your sheet of rubber and cut along the line using the stanley knife. You should now have a rectangular sheet of rubber from which to cut your tyres.
  4. Measure the width of the wheel and mark a line on the sheet of rubber at that diatance. Use the knife to cut along this line.
  1. Now the glueing. Paste a little of the gel glue onto each end of the rubber strip. The rubber may have a natural curl to it. Turn the strip so that it is against this natural curl.
  2. Using your ice cream tub top lay the rubber ends onto it and slowly bring the 2 ends together. This will give you a nice even and aligned join. Pressure should be firm but not so great as to cause the rubber joint to buckle upward. Hold it like this for 1 minute. Twist the rubber joint against the ice cream tub top to release it. It will not stick to the plastic as super glue does not stick that type of plastic. Once released quickly turn the tyre inside out and leave for about 2 hours to completely set.
  3. If you have done a good job you should see a line of the joint. If you have overspill glue then then gently file it neater with a standard metal file
Other Tyres
  1. The process is the same for other engines like Wilesco. The rear wheels on the Wilesco traction engine are larger diameter and a little wider but that is easy to change.
  2. If you want ribbed tyres then you will need to find a supplier for the ribbed sheet
  3. Steam rollers are usually not suitable. For the Mamod roller you would have to make a wide tyre for the front rollers. The axle needs to be removed to get access to the front rolls. It's not easy. On the Wilesco roller the thickness on the rubber will not pass under the front roll scraper so that is a completlely inappropriate modification.
  4. If you fit the plain tyres to Mamod Traction Engine (described above) you will note that there is no way to fit the drive band around the back wheeel. Ribbed rubber will allow the band to fit into the grooves, although the band gets stretched a bit. You could make two thin tyres (shown below) as a solution otherwise the tyres are for display only.