Hackaday Prize 2022: Recycled Tire Table Is Where The Rubber Meets The Road

The problem with good inventions is that we usually end up with way too many of that particular widget lying around, which can cause all kinds of problems. Take the car tire, for instance. They were a great invention that helped spell the end of buggy whips and broken wagon wheels. But there are so many used-up tires about today that some people end up burning them in large piles, of all possible things.

Not [Vaibhav], who prefers to turn trash into utilitarian treasures. With little more than an old tire, some jute rope, and four plastic drink bottles, they made a sturdy, low-slung piece of furniture that could be used as a coffee table, a foot stool, or whatever life calls for.

Construction was fairly simple and involved stabilizing the hollow core with a round piece of cardboard glued to either side of the tire. Then came the jute rope and glue artistry, which hides any trace of the foundational materials. Finally, [Vaibhav] glued four plastic bottles to the bottom to act as legs. We think that steel cans would last longer and support more weight, but if plastic bottles are the only option, you could always fill them with dirt or sand.

43 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize 2022: Recycled Tire Table Is Where The Rubber Meets The Road

  1. Rules for commenting: please be kind and respectful …
    Let’s just say you can’t make a silk purse out of a soy’s ear.
    …. and what happens to the “smell” of the tire?

  2. I have another use for used tires…

    A lot of central air conditioning units are badly designed…. condensor heat exchanger in a turb or box shape with a fan on top… whats wrong with that? Well there’s nothing stopping the warm air, which the fan is also tending to throw outward a bit centrifugally as much as pushing it perpendicularly away, circling back into the tops of the condensors. You get in effect a circulating donut of warm air round the top of the thing. Meaning only half the condensor is working very well, the bottom half getting cooler air, not the top half getting pre-heated air.

    So… I get some used tires, cut out half to 2/3 of the depth of the sidewall out with a sharp knife… enough to make a hole that matches the fan diameter on top of the unit, but leaving enough so the tire mostly holds it’s shape. Then stack them on top of the unit (If it’s in view of the neighbours you might have bylaw or HOA problems, unless it’s only one neighbour who is chill) … this gives you a kind of duct/chimney to keep the hot air separated better from the fresh air.

    With just a stack of 2 tires, I think they are 235/75R15 or thereabout, my AC bills dropped A LOT, and my unit was no longer struggling on the super hottest days, the ones they say are breaking records etc etc.

      1. It’s an issue with every AC unit built like that. I had this one inspected and serviced the first year I bought the house and performance and consumption was unchanged for several years until I did that.

        We also did it at a buddies place to a similar unit and saw the bill halve there too, but he only got one season because it was a rental and the landlord wanted them removed “In case it might damage the unit” which seemed spurious, so next summer was back to high bills again then landlord turned anal about a lot else too, so he moved.

    1. If you use something smooth in the inside it will act as a velocity stack. Getting you more flow as well as cooler intake air. I suggest a keg ice tub with the bottom cut out.

      1. Yah or one of those food barrels that come up free from time to time. Though it will probably just get trapped vortices in each segment of tire that will make a smooth run up the middle.

        I think about a neater, cleaner looking solution from time to time, but the tires just need gravity to keep them there unless we have a real bad windstorm, (which might snap thin plastic) and are easy to take off to clean stray leaves and twigs off. However, maybe if I get some coroplast or something sometime, I might roll some up around a half tire base or something.

    1. I hope that this has improved over time. Long ago (30 years or so), somebody tried extending asphalt using recycled tires. The resulting compound was lab tested and determined to be superior in every way. In practice, roads built with this turned into goo on hot days.

        1. Well, there’s goo, and there’s GOO. This stuff wouldn’t support the weight of vehicle traffic, and just started sloughing off the side of the road on every curve.

        2. Depends on the binder. Polymer modifiers turn it from thermoplastic to more of a thermosetting plastic that won’t re-melt – with the side effect that the asphalt turns more brittle.

    1. For some reason, the other day I thought about a door mat we had when i was a small child, that was made from small strips (40mm x 10mm x 10mm) of cut-up tires, which were then put together like a brick wall, with steel wire reinforcing these at all like pivots in bicycle chain. Yeah, not describing it very well, sorry. Anyway, they’re still being made today.

      I’ve also seen bumpers on loading docks made from laminations of dead tires. See them everywhere.

      1. Bring back hippy, made from old tire, flip flops.

        It’s been 60 years. The kids will think it was their idea.
        Charge a lot for them, so the idiots use them as a ‘I’m so rich’ flex.
        ‘Supreme’ recycled tire flip flops, 5k$ (each). They’ll fly off the shelf.

        1. Supreme stuff isn’t actually priced any higher than sportswear name brands in retail stores, it’s the scalpers that mark it up to insane money because it’s limited quantity.

  3. One less tire to build the miles’-thick, 2000+ ft used tire wall to keep the riff raff out (I’m talking about Canadians by the way). I guess having a lumpy smelly table is a good use for something that’s otherwise useless. Better than nothing I suppose, but how many tables until there are enough? However… Border wall…. Imagine a Canadialien who holds his life savings in maple syrup while he clambers up toward the summit of the southern border width x 5 mile thick x .5 mile high wall of tires and collapses in despair when his effort is spotted and another 250,000 tires are lifted in in front of his very eyes.

    1. Well that’s useless, you do realise that Canada is the land of Sandy McTire, Laird of the Tires, Head of Clan McTire and possessing tire magic, tire bending and tire sorcery skills beyond the mere ken of a pretender like Bibendum?

    2. Well, in considering how many tables is enough, it’s probably more useful to just look at your own tire usage. How many tires have you consumed yourself? How many useful things can be made from that number of tires?
      Or, alternatively, how much does a tire weigh?, how many tires do you consume per year?, and how much useful stuff made from tires would you consume every year?
      I think from either method, I end up with too many tables, mainly because the tables pretty much last forever (or at least well past the projected end of my life), and I already don’t have room for the tables that could be made from the tires I’ve already consumed!
      But I guess that’s the garbage problem in general.

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