I’ve found lots of potential in these materials. Silicone jewelry was one of the first uses I ran into, and then I found out that Nervous System used EPDM rubber for their designs.
Though since then I’ve used the silicone to cut custom gaskets for kitchen jars among other things. I also want to try making some embossing mats for clay work at some point like this artist does and perhaps making some food safe silicone stencils for cakes and muffins (I don’t know much about EPDM and food safety).
Picture above by Leah Buechly on Instagram.
Here is a project that I made recently using EPDM:
I made a video about it that includes some additional tips and tests:
I’ve bought silicone from amazon and eBay. It’s mostly sold as kitchen mats but some suppliers will have larger pieces. Most of the kitchen mats I’ve bought are around 1/32" and I also tried some 1/16" off of eBay though my basic struggles a bit with it even with 2 passes.
In the video above I used the following materials:
EPDM Rubber Sheets:
- 1/64" - https://www.mcmaster.com/rubber-rods/thickness~1-64/material~epdm-rubber/color~black/durometer~60a/
- 1/32" - https://www.mcmaster.com/rubber-rods/thickness~1-32/material~epdm-rubber/color~black/durometer~60a/
- 1/16" - https://www.mcmaster.com/rubber-rods/thickness~1-16/material~epdm-rubber/durometer~60a/color~black/
- Silicone Rubber:
And these were the cut settings I arrived at, as usual your mileage may vary:
EPDM Rubber Sheets:
- 1/64" - 300/50
- 1/32" - 300/100
- 1/16" - 150/full , 2 passes
- 1/32" - 200/85
Notes and tips:
- EPDM does smell a bit like burnt rubber but it’s really not as bad as I expected
- EPDM is left with black soot after cutting but it washes away easily with soap.
- Silicone is left with some white powder and sometimes with burn marks but both wash away with soap.
- Some silicone sheets warp a bit while cutting, masking tape on both sides of the material fixes this problem
I’d love to know what you make with this stuff and other tips you might have