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How to Make Rubber

By Jessica Schira

A common misconception is that rubber is a recent invention that was created specifically so we could comfortably ride around in our cars. The truth is that the knowledge of how to make rubber has been around for a very long time. Ancient Mayans used the rubber to make balls that they used during sporting competitions, bindings for their weapons, and to make small figurines. Rubber was first brought to Europe in 173, and Charles Goodyear first used it to make tires in 1839.

Natural rubber is now most commonly called latex, and making it isn't hard if you have the proper ingredients and a little time.

Find a rubber tree. Rubber trees grow very well in Africa, Asia and Central and South America.

Closely examine the rubber tree's trunk, looking for spots that have hardened rubber.

Use your tapping knife to remove the hardened rubber from the tree's trunk.

Look for rubber to start seeping from the tree. The rubber sap is a white liquid.

Insert your metal tapping spout into the tree trunk. When you purchase a tree spout you should make sure it is designed with a bucket hook.

Hang your bucket from the bucket hook. If you don't have a metal bucket, you can use a plastic milk bottle.

Remove the bucket from the bucket hook when you have collected enough rubber sap, and tug the metal tapping spout from the tree trunk. The sap will seal the hole until the next time you need rubber.

Mix the sap that you've collected from the rubber tree with a small amount of juice from the morning glory's vine. The purpose of the juice is to keep the rubber from becoming hard, brittle and breaking.


Things You Will Need

  • Rubber tree
  • Steel tapping knife
  • Metal tapping spout
  • Large bucket
  • Morning glories