casting your own urethane rollers?

Has anyone done this?
If so, what Shore D hardness urethane rubber are you using?

What about a mold? I assume finding a pipe the same ID as the trucks would work unless there’s a different diameter that should be used for the finished roller.

seems like the right PVC pipe, some wood end plugs and some 2 part urethane rubber would make short work out of casting some affordable rollers.

has anyone tried? let me know. I’m interested in giving it a shot.

i figure if I can sculpt and cast a human head from start to finish with a silicone mold and 2 part resin, I should be able to encase a rod in a cylinder of cast rubber.

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I don’t know anything about casting rollers, but I’d always assumed they were lathed down to diameter after casting to ensure that they were perfectly round and centred with respect to the core. If the core is off-centre, you’ll run into big problems inking. Maybe you’ve already made this consideration and have a lathe you can use after, but figured I’d offer my two cents.

From the research I’ve done it seems most offset rollers are cast with a durometer of 25-30 while letterpress rollers are slightly softer at 20-25.

Keith, someone on here cast rollers out of gummie bears, i’ve heard they work well on smaller rollers, just last year there was some

I remmber that… Those rollers made me rethink part of my dietary concerns.

dick.. that’s where I got the idea that i could cast them myself only using actual synthetic rubber / urethane since I’ve recently sourced that type of material.

as for perfectly round, as long as the end plugs on the mold were centered in the mold and the core hole centered on that I don’t imagine there’d be too much of an issue on trueness unless the material had shrinkage issues.

is there any info on roller diameter for an 8x12 c&p os?

Keith, i make rubber stamps, i took a piece of pvc pipe and put a 3x5 kelsey roller inside with the trucks on it with some rubber stamp rubber wrapped around the core, shoved it in a stamp press. Kids, don’t try this at home, i melted the pvc pipe, was going to try the gummy bears but while waiting for the pvc roller to cook i ate the bears. I’ve been wondering if a liquid polymer would work??? As soon as i get the pvc out of my stamp press i might try something else.Dick G.


Unfinished project at this end I am afraid.

Started the process with a model brayer concept to test how the ink transfer went.

I went for Silicone Rubber on a four inch long (about) aluminium core and cast the rubber in a 1 inch ID aluminium tube. Release agent is critical as the internal surface seems to grip the rubber firmly.

I ended up building a 1” diameter press tool to successfully extract the brayer.

Achieved moderate improvement in ink transfer by cutting the rubber mix with talc. This also increased the Shore rating. I am, however, a bit doubtful about silicone rubber and agree that the urethane shows more promise. Need to get the workshop back up and running before I can resume experimentation.

Regards Bruce W

Dick… that would be me with the Gummy Bear Rollers. The original link is:

and there are several other discussions about it. The only real trick to casting rollers is to get the mold right. I make mine out of hard drafting vellum, sprayed with silicone spray, using the trucks as ends. It’s easy.

I’ve not tried urethane or silicone rollers, but I can think of no reason they wouldn’t work. In fact, they would probably work better than gummies. I like Gummie Bear Rollers better though, since you can eat the leftovers!

As far as hardness goes… I have no idea. If I were to try urethane, I’d start with a mid to soft material from Reynolds, and see how it worked.