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Using old inner tube for patches

Old 06-02-15, 01:05 PM
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Using old inner tube for patches

I've read in several different places people using old tubes for patches. I had a few tubes that needed patched and gave it a try using REMA Tip Top Vulcanising Fluid. Every time I try, the corners of the patches stick up. Does this not matter? How have you use old inner tube patches?
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Old 06-02-15, 01:09 PM
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You pretty much have to buff/scratch/remove all the oxidized rubber from the glue side.
You can't really do that well, unless you clean a larger piece of rubber and then cut the patch from that.
Why bother when a REMA patch works so well? Especially the feathered edge which allows you to overlap a patch on a patch.
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Old 06-02-15, 01:14 PM
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Various reasons, but mostly just wanted to see how it works. Thanks for the idea of buffing the patch as well.
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Old 06-02-15, 01:18 PM
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I like to think I am good at patching tubes, and feel that a properly applied tradional patch is as good as a new tube. But I have tried to make patches out of old tubes and had very little luck. It might work to get you home in a pinch, but the two scuffed and glued surfaces do not bond together anywhere near as well as a purpose made patch like from Rema.
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Old 06-02-15, 01:28 PM
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Do they put additional chemicals on the pre made patches so they stick better, or is it just the airtight seal that keeps it from oxidizing?
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Old 06-02-15, 01:43 PM
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I know a guy that uses Elmer's rubber cement and old tubes and doesn't have any issues. I use electrical tape and Rema glue and works fine. I was using old tubes but they're a little thick but still worked. Just sand the pieces of old tube because the inside of them usually have like a talcum type powder.
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Old 06-02-15, 02:09 PM
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There's a page about patching on Sheldon Brown's site, written by Jobst Brandt. It specifically mentions the ability to use butyl rubber from tubes as patches, but there's a catch: According to the page, butyl rubber is impervious to rubber cement solvents, unlike purpose-made patches. Because of this, the cement needs to be completely dry before applying a patch made from a scrap of butyl.

Patching Tubes by Jobst Brandt
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Old 06-02-15, 02:33 PM
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Anyhow, Rema patches are available in bulk. and the little tubes too in a sparate box of dozens..
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Old 06-02-15, 02:39 PM
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I use Elmer's rubber cement and Rema (or other brand) patches. I have not had any luck at all using cut-up inner tubes as patches. Some people argue that rubber cement can't possibly work, but it works for me, almost as well as the so-called vulcanizing fluid. I use the fluid when I'm on the road because it comes in conveniently sized tubes. I use rubber cement at home because it's so inexpensive and doesn't dry up soon after I open the package as the little tubes do.
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Old 06-02-15, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Henry III
I know a guy that uses Elmer's rubber cement and old tubes and doesn't have any issues. I use electrical tape and Rema glue and works fine. I was using old tubes but they're a little thick but still worked. Just sand the pieces of old tube because the inside of them usually have like a talcum type powder.
omg, electrical tape! never heard of that one before, i might have to try it one day if i,m in a bind

a fella gave me a pack of 48 patches which came with a large tube of cement, reckons he bidded on a few on ebay and scored them for a $1 a pack! :-D
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Old 06-02-15, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SaltoDeAgua
Do they put additional chemicals on the pre made patches so they stick better, or is it just the airtight seal that keeps it from oxidizing?
The working face of a high-quality patch, like a rema, is vulcanized rubber mixed with a vulcanizing ultra-accelerator (a zinc dithiocarbamate, usually). The vulcanizing fluid is unvulcanized rubber, a solvent, and an activator for the patch. The big difficulty in attaching a patch to a vulcanized tube or tire is that there's not a whole lot free sulfur to get vulcanized. So, using a used tube presents the same problem on both sides of the repair, and is likely to be a weak joint, and subject to failure. You might make one work, you might not. Proper patches are cheap, and readily available. Use 'em.

If I had to use a improvised patch, I'd clamp it well, and heat the clamp.
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Old 06-02-15, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I use Elmer's rubber cement and Rema (or other brand) patches. I have not had any luck at all using cut-up inner tubes as patches. Some people argue that rubber cement can't possibly work, but it works for me, almost as well as the so-called vulcanizing fluid. I use the fluid when I'm on the road because it comes in conveniently sized tubes. I use rubber cement at home because it's so inexpensive and doesn't dry up soon after I open the package as the little tubes do.
An auto parts store will sell you a can of proper vulcanizing fluid for not much more than a can of elmer's rubber cement.
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Old 06-02-15, 04:10 PM
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I've been known to use part of an old tube to make a collar for the valve stem, but for a patch itself, I just use the rema type patches, which are available in bulk in multiple sizes for dirt cheap from China via ebay. The orange adhesive stuff that's on the back of them, which interacts with the cold vulcanizing fluid, vastly enhances the bonding ability compared to the unbacked butyl rubber of tubes themselves.
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Old 06-02-15, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dscheidt

If I had to use a improvised patch, I'd clamp it well, and heat the clamp.
Does anybody else recall the old hot patch kits, which had a little tin with a patch on one side and flammable stuff on the other? You clamped the patch to the tube and set the stuff alight. They might have been called "Match Patch" or similar.
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Old 06-02-15, 07:25 PM
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I've used patches cut from old tubes and they worked, but REMA or similar are better IMO.
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Old 06-02-15, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr
Does anybody else recall the old hot patch kits, which had a little tin with a patch on one side and flammable stuff on the other? You clamped the patch to the tube and set the stuff alight. They might have been called "Match Patch" or similar.
I remember them, but the last time I actually used one (on a car inner tube) must have been in 1970...
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Old 06-02-15, 08:32 PM
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You must remove all of the mold release from the old tube. It's inside as well as outside the tube.
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Old 06-03-15, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dscheidt
An auto parts store will sell you a can of proper vulcanizing fluid for not much more than a can of elmer's rubber cement.
Does it work any better? I'm pretty happy with how well rubber cement works for me. But it's good to know, so thank you.
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Old 06-03-15, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Does it work any better? I'm pretty happy with how well rubber cement works for me. But it's good to know, so thank you.
On the few occasions I've tried using plain rubber cement, I've had the patches peel off. That's probably made worse by using skinny (21 or 23) tires at high pressure. A two inch 30 psi mountain bike tire would be less stressful. The solvent is also better, and the ratio of solids to solvent is higher, so I find it easier to use. Since it costs so little (about $8, I think, for a half a pint, which is enough to do hundreds of patches), I'd simply rather have the product I know works perfectly.
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Old 06-03-15, 01:03 PM
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@dscheidt, that's good reasoning. I'll go get a jar and try it! Thank you for your well reasoned argument.
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Old 06-03-15, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@dscheidt, that's good reasoning. I'll go get a jar and try it! Thank you for your well reasoned argument.
Just remember to screw the lid on tight....
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Old 06-03-15, 09:08 PM
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I had some good results with a jar of Elmers rubber cement. But I only get 1-4 flats a year, and the jar still dries out. When it starts to thicken up, I don't trust it as much. I did find other uses for the rubber cement since I had it on hand.

So now I keep at least 3 to 5 punctured tubes, and patch them all at once with a fresh tube of glue from a new patch kit. It's a little faster to do them all at once, too.
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