Making Rubber Skins for Agility Equipment

Making Rubber Skins for Agility Equipment




Subtitle: How to Improve the Safety and Traction of Your Agility Equipment with a Permanent Rubber Surface
Author: Darlene Woz
Format: Paperback
Length: 48 pages
Release Date: 2010

This book provides start-to-finish instructions for making your own rubber skins for agility equipment. It includes all of the formulas you need for measuring and mixing the rubber as well as specification for placing slats on contact equipment. The resulting skins are compliant with AAC, AKC, ASCA, CPE, DOCNA, NADAC, UKI, and USDAA regulations.

Until recently, people using rubber granules to finish contact surfaces have focused on one application technique: painting a urethane binder onto the obstacle and then pressing rubber granules into the binder. There are several drawbacks to this method, primarily because the binder is intended to bind or join the rubber granules together and not to affix them to another surface: You can easily end up with bald spots during application of the granules if you don't get them pressed in well enough; the obstacles shed rubber almost every time they are used; while the surface provides traction, there isn't really a substantial layer of cushioning for the dogs; and the slats must still be made of either wood or hard rubber strips.

After much experimentation with applying rubber granules, and a great deal of work with one of the largest supplier of rubber granules in the U.S., American Recycling Center, Inc., Darlene Woz developed a new and exciting method for applying rubber granules. Called wet pour, the rubber granules are mixed with the urethane binder. The mixture is then evenly spread on plastic sheeting within a marked outline for the shape of the "skin" you want to make. After the skin cures, you peel it off the plastic sheet, glue it to any obstacle surface, and do a final trim for perfect edges. The advantages of the wet pour method are numerous:

  • Because the binder is used to join the rubber granules together, the surface of the skin is very stable and there is no shedding of granules. In fact, the granules are bound together so well that you can clean the surface by scrubbing it with a brush or power washing it.
  • The skin provides better overall rubber coverage on the obstacle so not only does it provide traction, it provides an actual layer of cushioning for the dogs.
  • You can control the thickness of the rubber skin. 
  • The slats are created with the same wet pour mixture so they are formed into the skin and are much more forgiving on a dog’s foot than a wooden or rubber strip. 
  • You can easily create skins with patterns in them to customize your obstacles. 
  • You can make the skins without having the actual obstacles to work on until you're at the stage where you’re ready to apply the skins to the obstacles. 
  • You can apply a rubber surface not only to contact obstacles, but to many other things.

Making Rubber Skins for Agility Equipment includes the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Overview of the Application Method
  • Important Information about Rubber Granules
  • Before You Begin
  • Materials and Tools Needed
  • Laying Out Guidelines for Making Skins
  • Preparing the Plastic Sheeting
  • Measure, Weigh, and Mix
  • Shaping and Curing the Skin
  • Making Slats
  • Applying the Skin to the Obstacle
  • Retrofitting Obstacles with Permanent Slats
  • Rubber Skins Can Be Used for More than Just Contact Obstacles

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